What is the ethernet on my Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by paulg1979, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. paulg1979 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    #1
    Hi all,

    Just bought a new Mac Pro and have come from an iMac.

    I've always had wireless N on my iMac but have decided to go ethernet with the Pro.

    Is the Mac Pro fitted with the standard or gigabit ethernet port. If it's Gigabit do I need a certain ethernet cable for this to run faster?
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Mac Pros have auto-sensing ethernet ports that can run at 10, 100 or 1000 Mbits/s depending on the switch the are plugged into. Any Cat5-e cable will be fine.
     
  3. paulg1979 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2006
    #3
    Sorry if I sound stupid but what switches would these be and where are they located?
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    London
    #4
    A switch is a network device: it's not like a light switch. You may well have a switch build into your router that connects you to the Internet. Basically both devices at the ends of the ethernet cable have to be capable of running at the same speed. So if you plug your Mac Pro into a device that is only capable of running at 100Mbp/s then that's all it will do: it will not try and run at gigabit speeds.
     
  5. wwooden macrumors 68000

    wwooden

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    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #5
    He means a switch like what is shown below; an ethernet switch. You would plug in your modem to the switch, then plug in how many wired computers you need into the switch as well.

    It's not a switch on the computer.
     

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  6. paulg1979 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2006
    #6
    Thanks. Understand now. I will find out if my router can do 1000. If not I will purchase one of those.
     
  7. rylin macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2006
    #7
    If you don't have any other equipment running at a gigabit, there's no need.
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #8
    Exactly. You're internet connection will, most likely, be 10 Mbp/s or less...
     
  9. paulg1979 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2006
    #9
    So why is there such a thing as gigabit ethernet if you internet provider can only give you around 10mbps
     
  10. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #10
    There's more to networks than just the internet...
     
  11. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

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    May 20, 2004
    #11
    Gigabit helps computers and other devices on the network transfer data between one other faster. For example, I move large files up to our server regularly and gigabit speeds make a multi-gig file fly up to the server.

    It's not designed to help with anything to do with the internet connection because as has already been pointed out, the typical broadband speed is much slower than ethernet speeds.
     
  12. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #12
    To transfer stuff to other computers on the same network quickly.
     
  13. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    Location:
    .. London ..
    #13
    other computers in the same room or building.

    ethernet was originally designed just for use within a single corporation or towerblock or academic campus. Some of these places would have as many as 20,000 computers in a single building. (or a single very large computer with 20,000 keyboards and screens attached to it.)

    It was a good few years before someone had the bright idea of connecting a few of these local networks together. Many people thought that was a waste of time and a pointless dead end.

    Some still do.
     
  14. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #14
    That's for networking with other computers. Ever transfer a 100gb+ file over Ethernet to another machine on the same network. I don't think you want to be limited to just 10/100Mbps speeds :p.
     
  15. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    Northern California
    #15
    Let's put the record straight here. In the early days of computing, no building or even an entire campus had 20,000 computers or terminals. I doubt there are many buildings today that house 20,000 computers!

    Originally, Ethernet had 8-bit source and destination fields so 256 nodes would have been the maximum since there were no routers.

    The beginnings of Ethernet were at Xerox in the early to mid '70's. The 10-Mbit standard came in 1980 and that is when Ethernet took off and started to kill Token Ring. Man, I hated supporting Token Ring......

    S-
     
  16. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #16
    I thought the Mac Pros have dual Ethernet ports anyways to double the total bandwidth?
     
  17. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #17
    I think there's a problem with your internets. You didn't see the <handwave> tag.
     
  18. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    #18
    Nope. They have dual Ethernet ports so you can connect to an internal network and external network via Ethernet simultaneously. Something about security, anyway.
     
  19. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    Northern California
    #19
    I have no idea what this means.....

    S-
     
  20. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #20
    Just throwing this out there - Potentially, I could attach a computer to the Pro and use ATA over ethernet, and the other port I could connect to my local network which goes to the internet?

    Save on a RAID card...
     
  21. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    .. London ..
    #21
    Not quite. You're describing a network fileserver e.g. another computer with a bunch of files on it, which it sends to you over your local network. This isn't particularly fast - gigabit ethernet is better than older types of ethernet, but it still won't beat local storage.

    A RAID card in your Pro will connect via SATA to a bunch of directly attached drives and gives stupendous speed.

    You are highly unlikely to need one anyway, you've got space for 4 drives in a Mac Pro, which can be RAIDed in various combinations, sizes and speeds. Putting in 4 x 1.5TB is 6TB which is enough for most people.

    Another use for dual ethernet ports is for labs and companies with lots of Mac Pros - 3 to 20 000 (!) of them. Unused Mac Pros (e.g. at lunch or night time) can be used for rendering / CPU processing work. This can involve transferring huge quantities of data. One ethernet port connects to the render server, and the other ethernet port connects to the office network.

    The advantage of giving the render farm its own network is the data transfer can be done without impacting on the office network.

    Hope this clarifies a few things.
     
  22. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #22
    Does anyone know if the two ports can load balance if you're running say Leopard Server?
     
  23. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #23
    Thanks RedTomato, that really does clarify a lot... Sorry, budgeting crises is all.
     
  24. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2007
    #24
    dont bother, your router is enough. you will not even hit the 100mbit cap on your ethernet anyhow.

    Keep it simple, just plug it into your router and you are fine.

    I have it plugged into my cisco ASA and its 100mbit
     
  25. rastersize macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #25
    I'm using both of my ethernet ports as one (server version of Leopard not required). What you need is a switch that supports IEEE 802.1AX (previously 802.3ad) aka link aggregation. Search for it on wikipedia. And by the way, the switch needs to support the LACP "version" of the standard.
     

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