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D-Link GigaExpress DGS-1008D D-Link GigaExpress DGS-1008D: While wireless is becoming the latest fad in home networking, hardwired Ethernet will still provide the best performance as far as speed is concerned.
Date: May 2, 2005
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:

Test Setup

Soltek EQ3501-300P: Intel 560 (3.6GHz), 2 x 512MB Corsair TWINX PC3200XL, ATI Radeon X800XT, 160GB Seagate 7200.7, Windows XP SP1.

ASUS A8N-SLI: Athlon 64 3500+, 2 x 512MB Corsair TWINX PC3200, ASUS AX800 XT, 160GB Seagate 7200.7, Windows XP SP1.

We'll be using the onboard PCI Express Gigabit NICs on both platforms, transferring a folder of patches and benchmark apps ranging from 300kb to over 512MB. The breakdown is as follows: 4950 files, 352 folders, 4.25GB total.

For the large file tests, we compressed the above contents using WinRAR into 6 archive files. The first five archives are 717MB each, and the last one totals 291MB.

We will be testing the D-Link GigaExpress DGS-1008D against the D-Link Gaming Router DGL-4300 and a Linksys BEFSR41 router. Keep in mind that the Linksys is only a 10/100MBps router but we have included it just to illustrate the improvement from 10/100MBps to 1000MBps. The DGL-4300 is equipped with four 1000MBps ports, so it should provide a good apples to apples comparison. All the tests were done with direct CAT-5E connections from the PCs to the routers and switch.

Performance - Small File Transfer

Linksys
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DGL-4300
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DGS-1008D
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Well, it's no big surprise that a 10/100MBps connection is not going to hold a candle against a Gigabit connection. While we didn't test a wireless connection, keep in mind that 802.11g is officially spec'd at 54MBps, so that won't be nearly as quick as even the slowest of Ethernet connections. Getting back to the tests, the Linksys averages 7.28/6.1MBps up and down, the DGL-4300 at 13.34/18.54MBps up and down and the DGS-1008D averages 13.56/21.20 up and down.

Performance - Large File Transfer

Linksys
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DGL-4300
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DGS-1008D
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For the large file tests, we're seeing much better numbers than the small files since it's a steadier stream of data. In these tests, we're seeing averages 10.13/9.19MBps up and down on the Linksys, 21.81/37.2MBps up and down for the DGL-4300 and on the DGS-1008D, 22.9/37.15 up and down.

Final Words

Our benchmarks pretty much tell the whole story in regards to performance. If you have the existing wiring and network connections in place, there's really no reason to stick with a 10/100MBps router, hub or switch. While the D-Link GigaExpress DGS-1008D will do nothing for your Internet connection, it can really boost the network speed between PCs behind the router.

You'll have to keep in mind we added the Linksys into our test setup for illustration purposes only, and not as a direct competitor to Gigabit networking equipment. Pretty much all 10/100MBps routers will perform identically, so we can see the big jump when moving to 1000MBps. As for the tests against the DGL-4300, it's pretty much even as that router supports Gigabit speeds as well. While a router is the preferred device for home networking plus Internet, the DGL-4300 is limited to 4 ports, so adding one DGS-1008D triples the available connections for the home. D-Link also offers a 5-port switch (the 1005D) if you want to spend less money or require fewer connections. One option we would like to see is something to match their Gaming Router (rubberized black and blue LEDs), but at this time, we'll have to settle for the current look.

The D-Link GigaExpress DGS-1008D is about as close to plug-and-play as networking equipment can get. Simply plug in the power, attach a network cable from the PC to the switch (and another cable to another PC or directly into your router) and you're set. It really doesn't get much easier than this for home users as D-Link has made the switch very easy to use. It's only a layer 2 switch though (and marketed as such), so those looking for switches that can do more such as encryption and application level switching will need to look elsewhere. There is also no way to shut down ports or prioritize traffic streams through specific ports as you could with managed switches. Without delving too much deeper into the networking jargon, network admins responsible for mission critical servers in 500 000 user enterprises will likely opt for a more advanced multi-layered switch with a couple dozen connections, but keep in mind these switches have the price tag to match the user base.

I suppose the real drawback for home users with the GigaExpress DGS-1008D is that there is no wireless connectivity for it to act as an access point (WAP). This is a feature available on the D-Link Gaming Router though, and at a price point of , the D-Link GigaExpress DGS-1008D is one of the lowest priced Gigabit switches I've seen on the market.

Pros: Eight ports, all with Gigabit speed, auto-negotiation and auto MDI/MDI-X crossover. Unmanaged, which makes it easy to use. Well priced.

Cons: Cannot act as a WAP. Unmanaged, which is more of a problem for enterprises and advanced networks.

Bottom Line: Again, so that there is no confusion, the DGS-1008D is not a true router replacement, though it can be if you prefer to use your Operating System's Internet Connection Sharing. Personally, for ease of use initially, and the future, I'd go for a router and switch combo any day.

If you have any comments, be sure to hit us up in our forums.

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