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Gigabit network with large frames at home...

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OK, this is just a hypothetical question for now but as my network utilization gets heavier I'll need to have a plan. First, the backstory:

This week I'm expanding the storage on my home server (Windows Server 2003 SP1) from 200GB (200GB x 2 in a RAID1 array) to 600GB (200GB x 4 in a RAID 5 array). I recently figured out how to store my DVD collection on a hard drive and view it from any computer in the house. This means my server will have a shared folder full of movies that will be accessed mostly from a home theater pc in my living room. I currently have a 100Mb/s wired connection that's been fine for streaming music and sharing files. Streaming movies might tax this a bit. I won't know for sure until I rip some more DVD's and monitor just how much bandwidth is used when streaming the movie to the pc. If I start streaming movies to other rooms I'm not sure if the single NIC currently in the server will be able to handle it.


*Does anybody know offhand if I'm going to get into a problems with my "limited" bandwidth? A 100Mb/s connection is pretty standard these days, but not everybody streams movies.

*Would a gigabit router solve this problem?

*Would a gigabit router with large frame support be an even better solution? Is it really that much faster?

And no, none of my current pc's or the server have NIC's that support gigabit connections so a significant monetary investment would be required. If it matters, my current router is a Linksys BEFSX41 that works great. I like the built in firewall and VPN capability, even though I haven't gotten around to actually using the VPN part.

Feel free to recommend affordable alternative routers. I do want an integrated firewall, for me it's cheap insurance and keeps my static IP somewhat anonymous from those scanning the net.

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I have streamed movies from PC to PC through a basic home router with 100Mb/s connections and it worked just fine. If you run into any issues with stuttering and such i would think they would arise from hardware issues as opposed to network speed. Gigabit is still really nice for file transfers and such though, and jumbo frames definitely helps the speed a decent amount. You wont get true 1000Mb/s speeds either way though, your hdd becomes the bottleneck(RAID5 will help). Its still extremely fast though, consider getting a router with one or two 1000Mb/s ports and a few 10/100's and just connect your server to your media PC and any other PC you transfer significant amounts of data to/from through the 1000Mb/s connections. Should save you some money, and still give you what youre looking for.

Edited by Aesthetic
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total bitrate for dvd's can be upto around 10mb, and a 100mb lan will give on average 9-12 mb.. so it depends what overheads you have. if you're running anything else over the network, you might sometimes drop frames. we have a gigabit network, but transfer speeds can depend quite heavily on cpu speed.. i've seen it at 15mb, sometimes at over 70 :)

so, depends on overheads, if it's just for streaming a dvd, then in most cases you'll be fine on 100mb

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