3Com EtherLink 10/100 PCI NIC Review

3Com EtherLink 10/100 PCI NIC Review

3Com EtherLink NIC

With a name like 3com behind this card you know you can expect nothing buy the best quality and performance, and this card is no exception. This 3C905B Network Card definitely meets up to these standards, but at around $100 it's a little more expensive than it's competition.


  • 100BASE-TX/10BASE-T
  • 32-bit PCI Bus
  • The NIC supports 10/100 auto-negotiation
  • Parallel Tasking (II performance and 32-bit bus mastering)
  • Dual-speed & Full-duplex
  • DynamicAccess

Road Runner: Eat Your Heart Out

This NIC performs great, and while utilizing the 32-bit and 3com's Parallel Tasking? II, you get great network throughput with minimum strain on your precious CPU. The 3c905b is an auto-sensing 10/100 Base-T card that utilizes Ethernet technology. This card automatically detects the speed of the hub/switch of your network and adjusts its speed accordingly. We did encounter a large number of collisions when I transferred a large number of MP3's (1GB+) a few weeks back, but that is pretty normal for such a large number of files. Normally, very few collisions occur for normal traffic with this card.

Installs like a Breeze

3com's Network Interface Cards are well supported under the Linux OS, and they have even started contributing to the drivers themselves. Support for this card is already in the Kernel and installation is simply a matter of compiling the driver into your kernel or loading the module. It's THAT SIMPLE. For this review we used the 3c59x.o driver located within the Kernel source. 3com has also released it's own driver which is released under the GNU Public License.

Solid Like a Rock

I've been using a number of the 3C905B-TX cards in my home network for a while and they are phenomenal. I have yet to encounter any problem with them and in fact, they are in all of my x86 machines. These bad boys have displayed a rock solid performance so far.


The Good - Pros
  • Full Linux support
  • Easy installation

The Bad - Cons
  • A little more pricey than its competition

The Ugly - Issues
  • N/A

The Verdict - Opinion

Great card, performs well, a great buy.

Linux Compatibility:
Cost & Value: