[3dem] putting additional 10G network card in the camera computer?

Matthias Wolf matthias.wolf at oist.jp
Wed Sep 20 19:37:54 PDT 2017

Hi Songye,

When I specified the K2 computer, I requested 10Gb outside communication and it was delivered with a supermicro motherboard (X9DRH-7TF) with on-board Intel X540 NIC with UTP ports. We use one of its ports. If your K2 PC does not have on-board 10Gb ports, I believe there is one PCIe-8x slot available for adding a network adapter, but you should double check with Gatan, because they prefer to keep certain specific slots empty for reasons of possible interrupt conflicts.
On the Falcon 3 frame capture NAS server for the Arctica, we are using a Solarflare 5161T dual port UTP (copper ethernet) adapter for the outward facing network. The same card type is used for outward communication on the Krios Falcon2 frame capture (“Falcon hack”) PC.
All are connected via CAT7 cables to a Netgear XS712T switch. The point-to-point throughput via the switch is near line speed. The link from the switch to our data center is dual 10Gb SFP+ fiber with an Intel X520DP in a PCIe-8x slot on the leginon server. I recommend these Intel and Solarflare NICs. Latency is a bit lower with fiber optic links, but UTP works just fine and is overall much cheaper (NICs, cables, transceivers, switches).

The microscope PCs are problematic, but they don’t really require high speed communication.
On the Talos Arctica PC, which runs Win7, the only PCIe-16x slot is occupied by the graphics card. I tried a single-port PCIe-4x 10Gb NIC (Thecus C10GTR, Marvell chip set), which is also marketed under different brands, in the board’s PCIe-4x slot,. It required replacing an Intel 4-port adapter, which occupied the other only PCIe-4x slot by two PCI-X dual port adapters. The card had driver problems and was not reliable. I do not recommend this brand. I chose it, because I could not find any brand name PCIe 10Gb NIC with a 4x slot. We restored the original configuration.
On the Krios PC, which still runs WinXP, it is essentially impossible to upgrade, since the 10 year old computer hardware does not have a PCIe bus and there are no standard PCI NICs with 10Gb speed available.

Best regards,


From: 3dem [mailto:3dem-bounces at ncmir.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Chen, Songye
Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2017 9:28 AM
To: 3dem at ncmir.ucsd.edu
Subject: [3dem] putting additional 10G network card in the camera computer?


Does anybody have experience in putting additional 10G network card in the camera computer, e.g. the K2 computer or the HP file server for Falcon3? If you succeed, could you share with us what network card you use? If you have tried and failed, could you also let us know what card you tried? Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you very much,


Songye Chen
Biology Department
MC 114-96
California Institute of Technology
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