Bandwidth Ideas and Issues

OK, so over the summer I am planning on doing some upgrading with my storage system :) sorry for the book that follows; I don't want to follow the advice of a general answer only to find that it does not work.

I am looking to move to SSD only in my and my wife's PCs, and moving all HDDs to a NAS of one sort of another. We have several computers, but generally no more than 3-4 users at a time. However, I do some HD video editing, and would like to get more than gigabit throughput from the NAS as it is limited to 120MB/s.

Wife's PC: Office/Internet use
Core2Duo, 4GB, 60GB Solid3 SSD, Win7 Home

My PC: Audio/Video editing, some gaming, Internet use
i7 2600, 16GB, currently 500GB HDD but will be moving to a 120-240GB SSD, 2 1TB HDDs which may find their way into the server or may be replaced depending on prices, Win7 Home

Several netbooks/consoles/friend's PCs which will connect through wireless G, so I am not worried about them.

Server (may change if I need something bigger, I have an endless supply of computers at my disposal at my workplace)
HP Workstation xw4300, P4 ~3GHz (can move up to Pentium D), 2GB ECC 4x512MB, Intel RAID controller planning on using RAID 5 or 10, 4 SATA2 connectors, have a copy of Win Home Server but may use FreeNAS or other Linux distro. I know this isn't a real workhorse of a server, but I think the P4 and Intel controller are big enough for my uses, and I should be able to manage an easy 200+MB/s with 4 drives which is faster than my current non-RAID local configuration. I am planning on using 2 1TB and 2 500GB drives at the moment, but may move up to 4 1TB or 4 2TB drives if I can afford it. I picked it for the ecc ram support and above average RAID controller, while still using SATA instead of SCSI or SAS.

Router (drooling after the wireless AC standard coming out :) ) Linksys WRT45GS with tomato OS. I have loved this box for years, and it has performed like a champ, but I am finally beginnig to own a few wireless N devices, so I may switch to something else in the next year or so.

Switch Netgear 16 port Gigabit switch (I think it is this one, or a very similar model: ). Was mislabled as a 100MB/s switch during a going out of business sale, so I snagged it ~4-5 years ago for $80 lol. Anywho, It seems to be a good switch, and has worked well at LAN parties, but I am not sure what it's capabilities are.

So, gigabit is plenty fast for most of the PCs/devices on the network, and even plenty fast for 2-3 people to stream movies and music from the server, but my hope and goal is to have this run better throughput so I can do proper video editing, while having a silent local computer (ie, have the server in another room, and only an SSD and a few 'silent' (sub 15dB) fans) for a better work/play/movie expierence. Currently the loudest (and loudest by far) things in my system are the 3 7200RPM drives I have. The system is silent when they spin down, but they cannot spin down when editing, and I hate wearing headphones expect for when I need to do a real careful audio check. In theory I should be able to manage 100-120MB/s through gigabit ethernet, which is roughly what I am getting now locally, but it is simply the largest bottleneck of whe whole system. In fact, when rendering and doing heavy drive use my drives can only push the CPU to ~60% capacity. RAID should remidy this problem, but then ethernet bandwidth becomes an issue. Short of purchasing professional $500 10GB/s cards, and $1000+ switches to match, is there a reliable/cheap/relitively easy way to link 2 gigabit ports to get 200-240MB/s throughput for my computer? Or am I better off dealing with a little HDD noise and upgrading to 10GB/s ethernet when it becomes a 'home user' standard in 3-5 years?

As a side question, how easy is it to deal with permissions to get Windows Media Player on multiple PCs to see the NAS music/video folder so that we can consolidate all of our media, while keeping seperate 'My Documents' folders for our private documents? Would it be worth it to move up to win7Pro and do a domain for the home network? While a hardware nut and system builder, I am quite new to the network side of things when it gets more difficult than making ethernet cables and plugging them in :) But I am willing to learn


Sep 24, 2007
First even thou 1000mbits = 125Mb/s in real life if i get 50-70Mb/s I be very happy (large file copy, small files can't come close to those numbers) and that's using Pro nic cards from server.

In my home i got small server on gigabit network that connected to 3 PC's and wireless laptop, and i very happy i can watch 4 different blue ray movies at same time.
copy large file 3 PC at time, network slow down 30mb/s each pc

I also edit HD video thou i store video on server when time comes to edit i simply copy to local drive even with 3 15gb video tapes it take like 20-30mins

10Gbits network completely home use unfriendly at this time $$$$
I was looking into USB 3 pc to pc transfer, and wanted to combine that with active 25 foot usb extension cable, to connect to server.

BTW if you want silent edit station for Video, and specially sound. All you need is HDMI monitor.
25ft HDMI cable + 25ft USB cable + 25ft Audio cable (if monitor got no speaker or headphone connection) this way you can have your PC anywhere 25 feet away (my is in basement) all i have on my table is monitor, keyboard, mouse and usb hub

I thought about getting extensions for everything, but my editing stuff is in the basement which is big and open and would need much longer than 25' wires to get it 'out of the way'. Though perhaps it would be worth it to move to the other side of the basement where that would be possible... It just means I put the electric in this corner for nothing lol. Sigh... foresight...

Maybe you are right about putting the footage on the local drive once I am on SSD. I would not be able to keep it there for posterity, but maybe it would not be all that bad for projects. I just know that last summer I was dealing with a project that had over 50GB of source material (completely my fault for over shooting, but it was a fun project), and opening that project takes a fair amount of time locally, much less over the network. Perhaps some better shooting practices on my part would help that a bit, but maybe the money for a little bigger SSD would be the way to go rather than going overboard on the rest of the server.

I am a little surprised about the 50-70MB/s. Just with my little network transferring files from PC to PC I get a consistent 80-100GB/s (according to windows), but then again that is reading from my drive, and writing to an SSD on the other end, and I suppose it would be much slower the other way around.

Any thoughts on OS for the server? Windows home server? FreeNAS? Something else?

Thanks for the help!


Sep 24, 2007
used to have MS server 2003 just because got it free from work.
now free and powerful just need to learn Linux bit.

I used to have dual nic setup, to copy large files, used FTP servers, 2 of them assigned to different network card, make 2 connections to server and copy 2 files same time from raid 5>> to 2 separate hard drives
also good to download and upload at same time
so looking into teaming two ports as mentioned by Inzone. In just the little I have looked at it so far it looks like it can work... If all of your cards are identical, and if all of your switches/routers/endpoints support it. Has anyone done this successfully? Because it looks like it would be the way to go if it is not too terribly expensive/difficult to do properly. Berfore I thought duel nics were only for better multi-user throughput like duxducis mentioned.

Also, I am finding 2 camps; Those who say RAID5 is better because it offers better file protection, and those who say RAID10 is better due to less CPU overhead and potential better throughput. Anyone know of any good sites that explain the pros and cons of each and show some benchmarks to see what kind of overhead we are talking about?

The more I look into this the more I like the idea of forking over the money for a fat 240+GB SSD and just editing files locally, and using the NAS for storage and media streaming only. It would be massive performance without the potential headaches of doing something a NAS is not designed to do.


Sep 6, 2006
As mentioned already, you can teaming multiple ports on a NIC together. If you have about $250 to spend, you could grab the following:

This is a 4 port Intel NIC that requires atleast a PCI-E 4x slot (can work in 4, 8, or 16). Then through the driver, you can have the 4 ports work in concert so long as you switch will allow for teaming as well. Thus you can have this one NIC act like it's a 3.5 to 4 Gbps "port" (there is some overhead, so you will drop a little below 4 Gbps, or 500 MBps).
You don't need a $250 nic card , I have set up teaming with an Intel server nic card that costs about $80 , but it does have to be a server nic card.

Intel EXPI9400PT Gigabit Copper Connection for Servers 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express 1 x RJ45 - OEM
$87.99 and free shipping.

I bought two of these and set up teaming and it was extremely easy. It does give you a lot of options as well as to how you want to set the teaming function. In the feedback section one guy went so far as to put three of them in his home server for even faster thoughtput. I didn't use it for a server just for my internet connection. Asus also makes a motherboard that comes with the two Intel server class nics built in for a teaming function right on the motherboard.


Sep 24, 2007
speaking of Network Cards you can find some on eBay very cheap,
the older PCIx Intel pro 1000Mbps or others (specially dual port), only prob is they only PCI if you don't have server board (but mostly all backward compatible). I got lots of them for ~5$ to 20$

I don't have much experience with Fiber Optic but i was looking into some cards,
and even 2000gbits as well
but i was wondering if it was possible connecting fiber optic cards like those straight to each other (nothing in between) like maybe point-to-point. (like copper crossover cable)(or cheap switch)


Aug 9, 2007
Also, if you plan on using a desktop with a P4/PD processor as this "server," 1 gbit/100 MByte of network traffic will absolutely crush that system, especially coming from more than one source. (On something that old, you'll probably crush the processor and be bottle-necked on bus and RAM speed trying to get the data to the NIC, so you're not going to realize gigabit speeds... even 100mbit is probably pushing it, when you add in the resource footprint of having it act as a NAS server.)

I think you'd honestly be a lot better off trying to find an older, used server that's really a server instead of using something free that's not gonna be able to handle what you're throwing at it. Like this auction, for example. Less than $300 and it comes with 2 Gbit ethernet ports that are intended to be teamed together. (1U units are pretty noisy, though, FYI.)


Sep 24, 2007
Sadly it took long time for home network to go into 1gbit phase. Since 90% of people don't need those speeds. And i think it's going to take another 5 year to progress to affordable 10gbit network.
At moment 10gbit is unrealistic for normal people budges at-least, with 500$ for NIC, and grand for switch,

But lets be realistic it is home use environment, you don't have to go overboard on anything, you would newer clog up or bottleneck things much, it's not server for 1000 people.
Like you i have had about 5 PC's in home all the time and try make good network.

Now i have "server" but its probably wrong word, in home i got PC firewall and storage
on my simple PC i run virtual 2 machines
Astaro firewall (all traffic goes thou it)
Storage server (10TB of stuff)
lots of info! Thanks everyone!

The teaming idea is starting to look good now, and the $80 cards look like they will work in both my system and the 'server', and I may be able to find a few of those here at my work, so I will give that a shot. Any potential issues running teamed Ethernet through my rather civilian switch (24port Netgear gigabit)? Or will it be transparent to that device?

@infidel: Really? I would think a Pentium D would be plenty fast for running ~200MB/s. All that the computer has to manage is reading/writing from a RAID (4-5 drives), and a duel network card. Most of the time I will be the only user on the server, unless my wife is streaming music or video which should not be much overhead, and rarely would coincide with the times I am doing a video project. What would you suggest to be able to push through those kinds of sequential read speeds (read is most important as I can do a local scratch disc if needed)? a Core2Duo? Quad? Phenom x4/x6?

True, if it was a simple file server for streaming video/audio throughout the house then gigabit would be more than enough for my needs, but editing HD video (even compressed) requires a bit more oomph than 100MB/s to do effectively. As mentioned above I could always move the files locally, edit my project, and then put them back, but if it is only going to cost $1-200 to get a few NICs and parts to get the throughput I need, then I would much rather do that.