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MSI SW8G 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch Review

MSI SW8G 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The switch can be mounted in a standard 19" server or telco rack with its included hardware, or rubber feet stuck on the bottom and just left on a desktop.
Filed under: Networking Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Jan 12 2005   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Networking > MSI SW8G

Benchmarking the SW8G

PCStats Test System Specs #1:
Processor:

Intel Pentium 4 3.0C

Clock Speed: 15 x 200 MHz = 3.0 GHz
Motherboards:

Gigabyte 8KNXP, i875P

Videocard:

Gigabyte GeForceFX 5950 Ultra

Memory:

2x 256MB Corsair TwinX 3200LL

Hard Drive: 40GB WD Special Ed
CDROM: NEC 52x CD-ROM
PowerSupply: Vantec Stealth 470W
Software Setup

WindowsXP Build 2600
Intel INF 5.02.1012
Forceware 56.72

PCStats Test System Specs #2:
Processor:

AMD Athlon64 3200+

Clock Speed: 10 x 200 MHz = 2.0 GHz
Motherboards:

Epox 8KDA3+, NF3-250Gb

Videocard:

Asus Radeon 9800XT

Memory:

2x 256MB Corsair XMS 3500 CAS2

Hard Drive: 40GB WD Special Ed
CDROM: NEC 52x CD-ROM
PowerSupply: Vantec Stealth 470W
Software Setup

WindowsXP Build 2600
Forceware 4.24
Catalyst 4.5

Simple Data Transfer Source: PCStats

To benchmark the MSI SW8G's data transfer speed, we created a 63MB dummy zip file and used Windows Explorer to drag and drop between two computers attached to the switch. Both computers were using 100MB ramdrives to store the file. The network used in the test were a VIA Velocity PCI Gigabit Ethernet card and a Realtek RTL 8169 Gigabit adaptor respectively. All other settings were left at default to test typical working conditions. To provide a comparison, we reduced the speed of both network adaptors to 100Mbps full duplex and performed the same test again.

63MB simple File Transfer

Connection Time Average Throughput Ranking
1000Mbps (Full Duplex) 2.76 sec 184 Mbps
100Mbps (Full Duplex) 6.37 sec 79.8 Mbps

Seems like a Gigabit connection is only a little more than twice as fast as a 100Mb connection when it comes to simple file transfers. While nowhere near the theoretical maximum speed, more than twice as fast as a 100Mb connection is actually pretty good when you think about it.

NetIQ Throughput Source: PCStats

Our second test uses the NetIQ Qcheck endpoint software to measure the maximum throughput between our two host computers over the MSI SW8G. The Qcheck endpoint installs on both computers and measures throughput between them using specific file sizes. For this test we used a 1MB file, the maximum allowed by the application. Again we tested both at 1000mbps full duplex and 100mbps.

NetIQ Qcheck

Connection Average Throughput Ranking
1000Mbps (Full Duplex) 470.589 Mbps
100Mbps (Full Duplex) 94.118 Mbps

The advantages of gigabit Ethernet are quite clear here. While we saw that actual file transfer speed doesn't really measure up to this level, at least with lower file sizes, it's good to know that the potential performance is there.

Excellent performance for the money

The MSI SW8G is a great switch for those of you who are contemplating going to Gigabit ethernet. With a retail price of $202 CDN ($149 US), the SW8G is actually quite inexpensive compared to other Gigabit switches on the market. People with existing networks will be happy to hear that the MSI SW8G is compatible with standard CAT5 cables, so there is no need to redo all the cabling if it wired properly.

MSI's SW8G looks like your standard switch. You can let it sit on a desk or, if you have a rack, the switch is also rack mountable thanks to the additional mounting arms. You don't need any networking experience to physically hook up all the cables as it's pretty straight forward. The front LED display lights up showing various things from line speed (1000M, 100M and 10M) to indicating which connections are running full and half duplex.

About the only thing I can complain about is the noisy cooling fan. If you intend to use this switch in your home you're going to want to store it away from the PC. In a server rack you wouldn't notice the sound though. Ultimately, the MSI SW8G proved to be a simple and effective SOHO business tool. In the quick test we ran, it didn't reach the theoretical maximum speed of Gigabit Ethernet, but we were able to transfer a 1GB file more than twice as fast as a 100Mbps connection, which pleased us.

If you're looking for a Gigabit ethernet switch, the MSI SW8G is a very affordable solution and straightforward solution. There are no management capabilities, so it is best for applications which do not demands that.

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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Networking News»

 

Contents of Article: MSI SW8G
 Pg 1.  MSI SW8G 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch Review
 Pg 2.  — Benchmarking the SW8G

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