• Hello, Guest! Welcome back, and be sure to check out this post for more info about the recent service interruption and migration.

Asanté FastEthernet Nubus 10/100 comparison?


Active member
I searched the forum to find comparisons of Asantés 10/100 Nubus card, comparing to onboard 10 MBit Ethernet found in Quadras and PowerMac 6/7/8100, to no avail (that the forum software filters out the number "100" as being “irrelevant” doesn’t help searching, though …)

Did no one run some Classic Networking and Open Transport benchs to see whether this card is really faster in an 040 Mac or the 1st Gen PowerMac?


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
These were tested at some point last year or two and the result is that they range from around 10% slower than onboard ethernet to maybe "technically faster but disappointingly so" in some scenarios, depending on the software involved.

A difference was found but *all* numbers involved are still below 10 megabits.

Here's the results: https://68kmla.org/bb/index.php?thr...board-aaui-100mbps-ethernet.30548/post-354666

Even throwing a 266MHz G3 into an 8100 didn't speed things up enough to break 10 megabits of transfer speed.

Unfortunately Classic Mac OS is tremendously bad at networking and NuBus architecture also isn't doing anything any favors.

If you want an interesting read, the whole thread is a bit of a ride.


Active member
Thanks for the pointer, although the read is disappointing … Mac OS & I/O … again :-/

Hm, crosscheck test 1: if NetBSD or Linux on a Quadra is able to push more than Mac OS.
Crosscheck test 2: Use IP instead of AppleTalk. Even between 2 (Gigabit-) PCI-based Macs of the 800 MHz league, AppleTalk crawled, so let’s see how a different network stack lays out.
Crosscheck 3: Port iperf3 to the Mac. Using the Finder or Netscape 4 may be a real-world scenario, but we don’t know which one is the culprit here: the hardware, the stack or the lazy/lame application layer.


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Yeah, it would be interesting.

here's my guesses
1: NetBSD/Linux will probably be able to more consistently make better use of both onboard and nubus ethernet hardware, you might even be able to get more than 10 megabits out of the nubus card
2: These tests are already using IP -- AppleShare 3.8.3 ("for 8.1" but you can run it on 7.6.1) and 3.7.4 ("for 7.6.1 but it'll run on 7.1+") add IP
3: you might be able to get better out of, like, netscape 4 -- I saw big differences between netscape versus IE on, for example, my blue-and-white G4

Someone mentioned possibly using A/UX and some high end disk subsystem stuff to get better performance but I don't know if any of the 10/100 NuBus cards had A/UX drivers. On NewWorld Macs, Mac OS X consistently makes better use of i/o and the available hardware than Classic Mac OS.

This isn't exclusively related to networking but a huge theme for me is just how bad Classic Mac OS is at walking and talking at the same time. If you hold the mouse button down on a menu the whole rest of the system just stops, which is cool. Any Mac with loads of i/o is continuously let down by how bad the i/o is.

On the other hand, it's also part of the charm of the platform and I think it's an important thing to remember how... high end usage of Macs basically until the OS X was almost entirely accidental and Apple's retention of that market into the '90s was based entirely on the Actual Workstation Vendors not being able to get the software ported in a way that makes any sense, not because the actual computers were the best for the usage at hand.


Well-known member
Hm, crosscheck test 1: if NetBSD or Linux on a Quadra is able to push more than Mac OS.
Crosscheck test 2: Use IP instead of AppleTalk. Even between 2 (Gigabit-) PCI-based Macs of the 800 MHz league, AppleTalk crawled
AppleTalk is super chatty due to the way it creates and binds addresses. There’s also a bit of overhead because AppleTalk includes a lot of extra stuff besides the data being transferred, like some disk commands.

I would try using DAVE instead. I get faster and more reliable transfers with DAVE and SMB than with AppleTalk. But regardless, the onboard Ethernet is going to be faster at 10Mb because it’s not going over NuBus, it’s directly connected to the CPU and memory bus. And at 100Mb you’re going to need computers at both ends that have disks that can read and write fast enough to get good speeds, and that’s not happening with a NuBus machine.


Well-known member
68K macs running classic OS would have a hard time saturating 10Mb Ethernet even if the HD subsystem could do it (stock systems can't). I had much better speeds on A/UX with the Apple PDS card (full cache) then Mac OS7/8 on a Quadra moving files.

100Mb ISA cards are in the same boat since ISA is the limiting factor.


I'm sure the Mac OS of the day could mess up just about any concurrent I/O beyond belief, but those numbers don't sound right to me? SCSI drives even at only 3MByte/sec have over double the bandwidth of 10Mbit/sec. NuBus' 10MByte/sec would be 8x Ethernet's 10Mbit/sec, no? IIRC 10/100 was in the timeframe of NuBus90's 20MB/sec vs. only 100Mb/sec for Ethernet, no?


Well-known member
NuBus => 4 bytes wide X 10 MHz = 40 MB/s

PCI => 4 bytes wide X 33 MHz = 132 MB/s

10 Mbits/S = 1.25 MB/s

100 Mbits/S = 12.5 MB/s


NuBus and PCI are both multiplexed systems, meaning that they can't transfer an address and data at the same time. First they send teh address, then the send the data using the same wires. In some transactions they can send multiple chunks of data related to one address, which helps, but generally, you won't even get half of the theoretical bandwidth out of NuBus.


Well-known member
I'll probably post a dedicated thread, but off hand, anyone know why I was getting terrible bandwidth trying to use File Sharing?

Beige G3, 9.1, G3/500, tried both built-in ethernet and Realtek 8169 card.
S900 (8500/9500 clone), 8.5, G3/800 tried both built-in ethernet and Realtek 8169 card.

File transfers were maybe a few K per second. We're talking about 4 hours for a 60 MB transfer.

I'm not sure which network connections I was using (each wall panel has four ports) but they were connected to either a D-Link DGS-1024A 24 port gigabit switch or a Rosewill RC-412 16 port 10/100 switch, which are connected to each other by one port.

Neither machine has trouble getting good download speeds using something like Anarchie from an FTP site.