Building a new system, how are Realtek LAN drivers?

In the past Realtek LAN drivers were notoriously horrible on linux support and I was told in the past to only use Intel LAN chipsets on motherboards. Is this still the case? or has it gotten much better after the years?

Theyll work fine for the most part. The issue hasnt previously been the support as much as the fact that Realtek Lan tends to choke up when you push the NIC to its limits. Actually functioning in Linux you shouldnt have problems but might need to install the realtek driver for it and not try and completely saturate the link.

Ah, I see, still broken for the most part. The general consensus is to stick with an Intel NIC for the motherboard I take it.

They’re not broken as much as the NICs aren’t the best. They’re budget priced NICs and do the job just not as well as others. I have a few systems with realtek NICs that have no issues but I can’t actually reach Gigabit speed and the NICs may falter under heavy load depending on how they’re implemented.

Its honestly just up to you. If you want Intel then go Intel, if you don’t care that much and just want a decent motherboard some of the better boards out there use Realtek 2.5g NICs. It’ll work just fine for 95% of use cases. I wouldn’t use it for a Server, but home System who cares lol

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Or an alternative and use an add in PCI Intel Gigabit NIC card and blacklist the onboard Realtek on the motherboard. I was looking at some of the B550 AMD boards from ASUS and they seem to be going Realtek which I’m not very fond of. Since I keep my hardware for many years, I try to get something that just works out of the box without installing an extra Realtek network driver.

does any other distro work

Since (linux) distros are based on the same (linux) kernel, I would expect any distro to perform pretty much the same as any other.
Yeah, I’ve always considered networking important and buy Intel NICs, I do suffer with RealTek onboard audio which can have some issues :frowning:

I don’t think the Realtek chips are too bad on newer desktop motherboards. It seems they use some odd ones on WiFi though on laptops. I have them on mine and they work fine. On some of the B550 boards they have the 2.5 GB Lan which is newer and it is also works.

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Well here are 2 options I would consider

The best B550 board IMO is the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master which uses Realtek 2.5g which works just fine.

If you don’t want Realtek the Asus Strix B550-e gaming is also good and has Intel NIC.

I wouldn’t worry too much about it personally

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I have an MSI X570 with Realtek. I also have an MSI B550 with two Realtek on it. 1 GB and 2.5 GB Ethernet ports.

@ricklinux did it work out of the box (as in on a fresh install of EOS)? I see a great deal on a B550 motherboard but the Realtek NIC is the only downside.

Yes it works on the r8169 kernel module.

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You will be hard pressed to find Intel nics on a consumer mobo to begin with. Most of the integrated Intel nics I have seen come on workstation or server boards. Generally speaking adding a dual or quad Intel nic by way of pciex4 is the way to go if you plan on using it as a NAS or media server.