what is the purpose of dual gigabyte ethernet ports on new Macpros?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Keebler, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005

    that isn't a sarcastic question, but what can dual GB ethernet ports be used for? i can understand one to connect to a networkd, but what would the other one do?

  2. FullmetalZ26 macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2006
    You can split the services being used on the Ethernet ports in half to get better performance for all, for one. Say you do a lot of heavy downloading and file sharing. You could bind your internet access to one port, and filesharing to the other, ensuring that both get as much bandwidth available them as possible. This tends to be more common on dedicated servers, since they generally see a lot more network traffic.
  3. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    FullmetalZ26 has the right idea, but I think his application is a bit flawed. :cool: In his example, you're actually throttled by your internet connection and such a gain is only done if you can somehow link each ethernet connection to a different 'net connect (such as using two cable modems or a cable modem and a DSL modem).

    The Mac Pro's dual ethernet ports are a great way to manage network traffic, assuredly. The most common example I know of using dual ethernet ports is to connect a single machine to two different networks.

    For example ... a "standard" network, for internet and email access, and a "backup" network for doing networked backups of systems on a regular/constant basis. With Time Machine coming in 10.5, this may be even more common.

    Also, a "standard" network and a "rendering" network, where each Mac Pro spends its idle time with Xgrid assignments (as a render node, for example) and handles all of that on the "rendering" network, thus separating that traffic from the "standard" network.

    Finally, there's a true "server" application where one ethernet port connects to your broadband connection (cable, DSL, T1, etc.) and the other connects to your LAN, where the server acts as a proxy/firewall/etc.

    The same things can be done w/ the iMac, Mac mini, MacBook, or MacBook Pro, using 802.11 for the "standard" network and the faster wired ethernet connections for the backup or rendering connections.

    The full range of uses is pretty varied, but I think you get the idea.

    EDIT: Also, note that it is gigabit, not gigabyte.
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    For the average user, there's very little use for this, but then the Mac Pros (like the last-rev PowerMacs before them) aren't for average users--they really are pro workstations.

    Currently, the most likely use for it is for people using the box as a server, since you can get it with Tiger server now. Having two interfaces allows you to do things like use the tower as a bridge between networks, or a firewall, or that general sort of things. Or, you can (at least in theory, though I don't know how well this is actually implemented on the MacOS) double throughput by doubling up the uplink.

    You can also, as said, split your network traffic, though it would mostly be for internal network traffic as you would need one SERIOUSLY fat pipe to the internet to max out a gigabit uplink. You might, however, have your fileserver or other internal network on one port so it has an entire gigabit uplink all to itself, the put the other port on a "public" network that's exposed to the internet.

    [Edit: ChrisBrightwell answered this better than I could while I was typing a reply... ignore me.]
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  6. Sayer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Also you could use one port to connect to a metadata server for an Xsan setup, and use the other port for the regular LAN.

    Or for playing Quake or Unreal game servers, which is what most people (posting to MacRumors boards) seem to think that is all these boxes will be used for.
  7. brbubba macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2006
    Not to mention I see OS X Server as a configuration option. This would be a very nice and very cost competitive alternative to a Dell running Windows Server 2003.

    Wow thanks OP, this has gotten me to check out all the features of OS X Server. This thing is truly incredible and the price for all the features that you get is doubly nice.
  8. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    hey guys,

    fantastic answers. thanks for the info. i certainly don't have a lg network..just 2 pcs and 2 macs so i doubt i would use it, but you never know :)

    i'm all edumacated now :)


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