3com 3CR990-TX-95   
 

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3COM 3CR990-TX-95 NIC Review

Date: 20.10.2002

Fusion Hardware reviews 3COMís 3CR990-TX-95 NIC (Network Interface Card). In this review we look at file sharing, application sharing and multiplayer gaming with Windows XP. The 3CR990-TX-95 NIC is 3COMís answer to a professional network solution ideal for e-commerce, financial, government, engineering, or healthcare applications. Although this product is aimed at the business solution the features provided can also benefit home users, especially those who are keen gamers or IT enthusiasts.

 

 

Product Specifications
3COMís 3CR990-TX-95 NIC includes a full range of features ideal for the business user. The retail version of this product does not include Windows XP compatibility drivers but this should not be a problem with the availability of Windows XPís default drivers and driver updates on the 3COM website. We did not encounter any incompatibility problems with Windows XP running on the updated drivers. Here is a full list containing detailed information on the product specifications from the official 3COM product website:

 

  • Media: 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
     
  • Connectors: RJ-45
     
  • Bus: 32-bit PCI
     
  • Encryption: 56-bit DES, MD5, SHA-1
     
  • Processor: ARM 9 RISC
     
  • Operating distance (10BASE-T): Category 3/4/5 UTP up to 100 m (328 ft)
     
  • Operating distance (100BASE-T): Category 5 UTP up to 100 m (328 ft)
     
  • IEEE compliance: 802.3, 802.3u, 802.2, 802.1p, 802.1Q, 802.1 GMRP
     
  • Standards compliance: PCI 2.1/2.2, DMI 2.0, WfM 1.0, ACPI 1.0, RWU, PXE
     
  • Drivers: NetWare 3.x/4.x/5 Server, Requestor for OS/2, ODI Client; Windows Me/2000/9x/NT
     
  • Managed by: Any SNMP management, including 3Com Transcendģ Network Supervisor, 3Com DynamicAccessģ boot services, and 3Com DynamicAccess managed PC boot agent

     

     

  • System Requirements
     
  • PCI 2.1Ė or 2.2Ėcompliant PC

     

    Package Contents
     

  • Network Interface Card
     
  • Remote wake up cable
     
  • EtherCD CD-ROM with DynamicAccess managed PC boot agent
     
  • Quick start guide

The 3CR990-TX-95 NIC requires a PCI 2.1or 2.2 compliant slot on both system boards. This product does not come with network cables and such items must be purchased separately. Each box comes with one NIC card and must be purchased individually at a retail price of £75 (dabs.com). If you are looking at connecting more than two systems you might want to consider purchasing a network HUB.

 

Product Features
One of the main benefits of 3COMís 3CR990-TX-95 NIC would be its 3XP processor which helps to reduce CPU utilization and enhance host system performance by offloading TCP/IP networking tasks to the onboard processor. This we feel is a great feature for both home and business consumers and can be very beneficial - especially when running LAN based multiplayer games. More beneficial for the business consumer the 3CR990-TX-95 NIC also comes with its own encryption chip which offloads IPSec encryption which 3COM claims delivers ďreliable, secure connections at wire speedĒ.

The 10/100MB/s line provides fast streaming file transfer between multiple systems which enables users to free up system resources and hard drive space. The 10/100MB/s transfer also provides an ideal solution for LAN based multiplayer games and provides client users with a low ping multiplayer experience.

Ideally suited for Windows 2000 and Windows XP the 3CR990-TX-95 NIC works closely with Windowís Network tools to ensure full functionality and reliability. More specifically Windows XPís tool tips and setup wizards ensures that even the most timid user can start using the main benefits of this product quickly and easily without hassle. Having said that consumers are of course required to have a certain degree of knowledge based on network interfaces before using this product and this will generally involve a couple hours of reading on networking. The benefits of this product are something which can be used at a more basic level by the home consumer and at a more advanced level by the business consumer. Either way this product supplies great features and benefits for who ever uses it!

3CR990-TX-95 NIC for the Home user
Running under Windows XP the 3CR990-TX-95 NIC is a great product for home use with the option to share and control hardware and software applications between two or more PCís. Using Windows XPís network tools it is easy to share printers, internet connections and files. Utilizing the 10/100MB/s line the ability to stream audio and video files direct from a remote system operates to the same speed of a normal hard drive. This feature is also beneficial for those wishing to free up hard drive space on the fly from system to system. LAN gamers may well want to take advantage of the fast transfer and the 3CR990-TX-95 NIC can deliver pings well under 8 Ė 10 for client users. As listed as one of the main product features, the 3COM 3XP onboard processor helps to reduce main board CPU utilization by offloading TCP/IP networking tasks. This is a great feature for LAN gamers and helps to free up system resources for those demanding 3D applications. We took the opportunity to try out the performance qualities of this card and ran Windows XPís Remote Desktop connection program which enables users to run and share applications on a remote system. We wrote the entire review using Word XP running from a remote system. Why you ask? Because we can =).

Conclusion
The 3COM 3CR990-TX-95 NIC is an excellent solution for both home and business consumers. While some home consumers may see the £75 price tag a bit too expensive the additional features will benefit most users and will defiantly appeal to the hardcore multiplayer LAN fanatic. Along with 3COMís reliability and trademark quality the beneficial features of the 3CR990-TX-95 NIC makes it a clear choice to buy and this is why we are giving it a best buy award.

Final score: 95%

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Copyright © 2002 ōyvind Haugland
Sist endret:  13 januar 2019
 

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