"What sort of impact can you expect from switching a machine
from the Gigabit Ethernet NIC that come on its motherboard to a
higher-end Intel desktop NIC? I benchmarked two common gigabit NICs
found on motherboards against two Intel PCIe desktop gigabit NICs,
targeting the specific purpose of accessing an NFS share over the
network. The short version: throughput for sequential read/write
operations didn't improve much, but latency was much better,
allowing anything that needs a network round trip, like create,
delete, and seek, to work much faster.
"The two machines I used for testing were an AMD X2 4200 and an
Intel Q6600 quad core CPU on a p35 motherboard..."