I bought a pair of these from ebuyer for £10.99 each because they had an excellent review on there and one of the comments was that they work straight out of the box on an XP machine. They don't. I plugged them in to the computers and turned on- neither machine recognized it even though they are both running Windows XP Service Pack 3. So, I looked in the manual- DO NOT INSERT CARD WITHOUT INSTALLING DRIVERS FROM THE CD! So, I tried putting the CD in and Windows found the drivers on there for the cards but there was a huge list. On my Dell PC I selected a random one from the list (they were all identical) and it worked perfectly. On my MSI board PC this strategy didn't work at all. It took me a long time to uninstall the card properly and install the software on the CD before inserting the card. This was because I found after several attempts I had to resort to using System Restore to get my computer into a state where the proper install procedure would work. So lesson learned is to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!
So now they are working fine and they are very fast. I saw great speed improvements over my 100MBPS cards. All of my testing was done using windows file sharing, shared folders, using CAT6 VIDEK cables and a Netgear GS105 and using Task Manager's networking tab to gauge the data speed. The speed improvement depends on a lot of things. Firstly I found that if you initiate the copy and paste of files over the network from the fastest machine it is a lot faster. It is also faster to write to a slow hard drive than to read from it. So my speed improvements ranged from about 5% to 250% increases in speed.
I consider this to be well worth it since I already had one computer with two Gigabit ports built in and now all three can transfer on the Gigabit network. This means I can back them all up quickly and easily. I think backing up to another computer is the easiest and most practical solution for storing data.
The cards came with the usual PCI back plates attached but also low profile ones too which could be useful in certain situations. They also come with INSTRUCTIONS and a Wake-on-LAN cable. This connects to pin headers on the card and the other end presumably connects to compatible motherboards. I could not find any mention of this feature in the instructions (apart from the packing list) so I didn't use it.
The D-Link DGE-528T is a high-performance 10/100/1000Mbps copper Gigabit PCI card for desktop PC. Capable of running at full-duplex Gigabit speed, this card gives your PC 2000Mbps data transmission on your existing Cat. 5 twisted-pair network cable. As an inexpensive alternative solution to fiber-optic, the card allows you to instantly upgrade to Gigabit without requiring you to install new, expensive fiber cables. The card supports 10/100/1000Mbps network speed auto-sensing and full/half duplex auto-negotiation.
The card provides on-board screening of VLANs Tagged Ethernet frames, allowing your PC to be configured with VLAN-supported switch. Your PC can be part of a VLAN network, where domains are segmented up to enhance performance and security.
Wake-On-LAN (WOL) is an Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI) function allowing a powered OFF computer to be powered ON from a remote station. This function allows the administrator to send wake-up signals to a computer. The WOL function provides a great utility for power management of the PC and allows users to initiate action at irregular times and from distant locations.
The card's embedded flow control and independent FIFO provide a means to protect against possible data loss during transmission on the network. When connected to a Gigabit switch supporting flow control, the card receives signals from the switch regarding buffer overrun during peak usage periods. The card then delays transmission until the switch is ready again to accept new data.
Using a single chip solution, this card is very small in size and consumes very little power of your computer system.
|Product Description:||D-Link DGE-528T - network adapter|
|Device Type:||Network adapter|
|Form Factor:||Plug-in card - low profile|
|Interface (Bus) Type:||PCI|
|PCI Specification Revision:||PCI 2.2|
|Cabling Type:||Ethernet 10Base-T, Ethernet 100Base-TX, Ethernet 1000Base-T|
|Data Link Protocol:||10Mb LAN, 100Mb LAN, Gigabit LAN|
|Data Transfer Rate:||1 Gbps|
|Compliant Standards:||IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.1Q, IEEE 802.3ab, IEEE 802.3x|
|System Requirements:||Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Novell NetWare 5.x, Apple MacOS X, Novell NetWare 6.x, Linux 2.2.x, Linux 2.4.x, Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP|
|Microsoft Certification:||Works with Windows Vista|