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Part I: Networking Basics > Networking Hardware

Chapter 3. Networking Hardware

In this chapter

  • Working with network interface cards

  • Selecting and installing a NIC

  • Using hubs and internetworking devices

  • Working with PC motherboards

  • Understanding processors and PC RAM

  • Working with hard drives

  • Differentiating server and client hardware

Now that we’ve discussed the different kinds of networks and looked at network topologies, we should spend some time discussing the hardware involved in networking. This chapter will concentrate on the connectivity devices that define the network topology—the most important being the network interface card. We will also take a look at hubs, routers, and switches.

Another important aspect of building your network is selecting the hardware for your client PCs and your network servers. There are many good primers on computer hardware—for example, the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to PC Upgrades, published by Que. Also, numerous advanced books, such as Upgrading and Repairing PCs (by Scott Mueller, also from Que), are available, so we won’t cover PC hardware in depth in this chapter. We will take a look at motherboards, RAM, and hard drives because of the impact these components have on server performance.

Let’s start our discussion with the network interface card. We can then look at network connectivity devices and finish up with some information on PC hardware.

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