Joined on 07/28/04
Difference between ProSafe & ProSafe Plus
Pros: Works so far
Cons: None so far
Overall Review: In case buyers are confused about the difference between GS108 and GS108E (the Plus version), let me explain. The Plus switch is not an update, but rather a feature-enhanced version. If you do not need VLAN or QoS, you probably don't need the Plus version. VLAN is a method of LAN segmentation in which a tag is added to data packets so that VLAN-aware devices can limit the distribution of those packets to only a subset of the ports. In effect, the switch can then act as it it was multiple switches, each on a different physical segment of the LAN. The ports on the Plus switches can be configured to assign or remove the VLAN tags to maintain that virtual segmentation. (Generally, one also uses other devices, such as VLAN-aware routers and WiFi access points when implementing VLANs -- not just a single VLAN switch.) QoS is a method of giving priority to certain types of data streams, particularly video streams and VoIP phone calls, where stutter-free presentation requires that the packets arrive in order and in a timely manner. By contrast, file transfers, Web surfing, printing, etc. do not benefit from such prioritization because the timing order of their packets does not observably affect performance. Again, if you do not intend to use either of those features, there is little reason to get the Plus switch. (Unless, of course, you prefer the color of the housing.)
Pros: So far, so good. The OEM drivers were easy to find online, so we saved a couple bucks by getting this bare card instead of the SKU that includes the (likely outdated) driver disks.
Cons: The OEM clamshell package had no label to identify the product, and Newegg did not even include a packing slip to show the item or order number. That could be a real hassle if we had several similar orders arriving at the same time.
Overall Review: Some have mentioned a lack of Intel support for the card or a difficulty in obtaining recent drivers. Maybe things have changed, because I had no problem finding the drivers on the Intel website. Among others, they have new drivers (version 17.3, dated August 2012) for Windows (XP, 2003 Server, Vista, 7, and 8) in 32- & 64-bit versions (including versions for Itanium hardware, where applicable). Also present are installation guide and other support documentation. (Newegg's product review guidelines discourage me from including the URLs here, so I'll just describe how to find the product's support overview page.) In the Browse window on Intel's Support page, select "Network Connectivity", "Desktop Adapters", "PRO/1000 GT" In Windows, cancel the "Found New Hardware" window and use Intel's installer (the driver file is actually an installer). If you have downloaded and are viewing the "Intel Network Connections User Guide", select "Intel Gigabit Desktop" for this product.