Tech Tips / Windows NT / Hardware



NICs and performance

Installing multiple network adapters is beneficial in an NT server environment because doing so allows the server to process network requests over multiple adapters simultaneously. If your organization's network uses multiple protocols, consider placing each protocol on a different adapter.

It's equally important to make sure that each protocol is bound to the appropriate network adapter. Check your bindings by right-clicking Network Neighborhood, selecting Properties, and double-clicking the appropriate protocol for binding information.

Remember also that different network adapter types will vary significantly in terms of their impact. An 8-bit network adapter transfers up to 400 KB per second. A 16-bit adapter transfers up to 800 KB per second, and, best of all, a 32-bit adapter transfers up to 1.2 MB per second. Most 32-bit NICs are also available as bus-mastering cards, which decrease CPU involvement. The little bit extra you'll spend on these high-bandwidth cards will pay off as you reap huge benefits in network speed and efficiency.

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