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I don't have any specific information about compatibility with the Dell Optiplex 790, but I can speculate on some possibilities. I see that the chipset on this computer uses PCIe v2.0. The Intel® PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Low Profile Server Adapter is one of the first PCIe adapter designs and is PCIe v1.0a. There is a PCIe bridge on the adapter that connects the two dual-port controllers to the external connector. I have heard of some cases with systems that support newer versions of the PCIe specification where the dual port adapter worked in a particular slot, but the quad port adapter did not. Here are some things you could look at to find a solution.
First, if you have a different slot available in the system that you can try moving to a different slot.
If another slot is not available or changing slots does not help, then you can check to see what PCIe configuration options might be available in the BIOS. You might have some setting to change settings for the PCIe version or maybe even some other configuration items for the slot that you could try. I am not familiar at all with the BIOS settings for your computer, so I don't know if this is an option or not.
Finally, if you cannot get the adapter to work reliably using any of the other suggestions, you will have to look for a newer Ethernet adapter that will work. Either the Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I340-T4 or Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T4 should work in your system. See http://ark.intel.com/compare/50495,49186,59063 for a quick comparison.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for your really helpful and informative answer to my question.
There are 2 PCI-e slots in the machine (1 black and 1 blue). The blue one seems to be reserved for the graphics card. I tried to plug the quad-port card into the 2 slots and the same symptoms occur.
I checked the BIOS setting and the display showed the quad-port card as "PCI Bridge" whereas the dual-port card showed as "Ethernet". In the BIOS setting, unfortunately, there is no way to change the PCIe version.
Your suggestion of alternative Intel quad port card is good.
However, I am not sure if the network monitoring software which I intend to run with the card will accept these cards.
Message was edited by: John Lee My colleague just called DELL and they confirmed that the machine is of PCIe v2.0. However, there is no way that the user can change it to PCIe v1.0.
If you are not going to use either of the PCIe slots for video or other adapters, and your software does not support the newer adapters, you could install two dual port adapters. Of course, using one of the newer quad port adapters is going to be less costly in terms of purchasing adapters and power use.
I did not mention one other quad port adapter that is PCIe 2.0, the Intel® Gigabit ET2 Quad Port Server Adapter. This adapter has a PCIe bridge too, but will probably work in your system. The Intel® Gigabit ET2 Quad Port Server Adapter is an older design than the quad port adapters I mentioned before, but newer than the Intel® PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Low Profile Server Adapter.I am only mentioning this one in case your software supports it and not the newer adapters.
Mark, before I purchase your suggested model of quad-port card, I checked with the technical support for compatibility, they replied that as long as the card can support the following, it should be fine.
- Supports Windows XP
- Supports NDIS5 or higher
- Can operate in Promiscuous mode
Would you be able to confirm that for for me?
All of the quad port adapters I mentioned above support Windows XP, have NDIS 5.x drivers for Windows XP, and can operate in promiscuous mode.
Based on what you have told me, I would recommend using either the Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T4 or the Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I340-T4. Both of these adapters have quad-port Ethernet controllers, so you eliminate the extra bridge component that was used in the older quad port adapters.
Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T4 has the latest generation Intel Ethernet Controller, which adds support for Energy Efficient Ethernet and SR-IOV. The Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter I340-T4 lacks those new features, but the adapter costs a little less.
http://ark.intel.com/compare/49187,49186,59063 is a quick comparison of some of the features of the three quad port adapters that I mentioned.
I hope this helps.