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View Full Version : Can I replace Mac Mini wireless card for a second NIC?




macfalcon
Oct 30, 2009, 01:58 PM
I am looking for a way to get a second gigabit ethernet NIC into my Mac Mini. Ideally it would be able to be paired with the built-in one for port trunking (maximizing the network output by using two NICs as one faster "pipe"). I know the mini PCIe card there is just a 1x but that would be perfect for a network card. Has anyone heard of a mini PCIe card that could be used for this purpose?



old-wiz
Oct 30, 2009, 02:08 PM
Even if you could get a 2nd NIc in there (I doubt there is room), OSx won't pair 2 NICs for faster output. you're still going to be limited to the maximum of your ISP connection.

maghemi
Oct 31, 2009, 12:28 AM
That sounds highly unlikely to me.

macfalcon
Oct 31, 2009, 09:23 AM
Actually OSX server does port trunking (also called link aggregation):
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=serveradmin/10.4/en/c3ha3.html
Its real advantage is to accelerate the server output by letting two files be served at once, one through each port. This is what the Xserve is set up to do through its two NICs. The Mac Pro also has two gigabit ethernet ports - I'm looking to get the same benefits into a Mac Mini.

As a server, the Mac Mini is really crippled by not having a second NIC and I can modify the case so the added NIC board would be useful, if I can find one. The wireless card in a Mac Mini plugs into a miniPCIe slot inside. I don't need wireless so I want to find a gigabit ethernet card to plug into that slot.

Pressure
Oct 31, 2009, 10:26 AM
If everything else fail you can always try the Apple USB Ethernet Adapter :)

macfalcon
Nov 1, 2009, 10:32 AM
Unfortunately the USB adapter for ethernet is only 100T fast ethernet, not fast enough to make a difference for today's servers.

Serif
Nov 1, 2009, 11:20 AM
Unfortunately the USB adapter for ethernet is only 100T fast ethernet, not fast enough to make a difference for today's servers.

True, and I can see it's not much use to you, but it does make for a nice simple solution as the external interface if you're using a mini as the firewall / router of a home network using consumer level broadband.

As regards your original question, you're certain you can sustain over a gigabit of bandwidth through the mini? Do you happen to know if the disk interface is SATA 150 or SATA 300?