should this network card have come with a heatsink...
March 23, 2011 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I bought a E1G42ET network card off newegg, and it didn't come with a heatsink. Is it supposed to come with a heatsink? Can I just stick an heatsink on it myself? Will it work as is?

Admittedly, the picture on newegg doesn't show a heatsink attached, and I didn't initially expect that the card would need one. But, when I got it, it had that super shiny polished surface on it, that seemed to beg to have a heatsink attached to it. And, looking at other vendors, there are pictures of the same card WITH a heatsink attached: (provantage), (amazon).

I mean, I'm wondering if newegg unintentionally fubared this bulk-oem product somehow, or, if the thing really isn't supposed to come with a heatsink or what. I have an unused aftermarket northbridge heatsink that seems like it would just clip on fine, and I'm wondering if I could just use that. (Just need to find some thermal paste first!) Would the card work just fine without one? Should I just return it? (Though, it seems like a fairly weak reason to return it: "pictures of the card on other websites show it with a heatsink!")
posted by yeoz to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Best answer: The pictures on the other sites are not of the same card (similar layout, but different markings at a number of places). Perhaps they are pictures of an earlier version or prototype of the card. Or perhaps they are using the same picture for various different models of the same brand. (I suspect the latter).
posted by astrochimp at 8:45 AM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: Intel's product brief that covers this card [pdf] doesn't show a heat sink either. Only the 4-port version has one, and the power consumption for it is about 3x higher than the 2-port cards. So I don't think it needs a heat sink.
posted by FishBike at 8:49 AM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: This is why stock photos stink. The two (with heatsink and without heatsink) are two different models. One is probably the E1G42ET, one is probably the E1G42EF. Intel has a PDF showing both of them as well as a 4-port version E1G44ET2.

On preview... FishBike beat me to it.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:50 AM on March 23, 2011

Response by poster: I found on google images a photo of the card with the heatsink attached, which admittedly has many other components that look a lot different from the one I have. I'm wondering if the heatsink was removed from current revisions of the card for perhaps cost reasons. Would it still be OK for me to stick one on?
posted by yeoz at 8:52 AM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: If you have a look at its specs on Intel's site, it is only rated for 2.9 W. I doubt that a heatsink is needed for any part on there.
posted by Ctrl_Alt_ep at 8:53 AM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: Would it still be OK for me to stick one on?

As long as your not shorting anything out, I'm sure it cant hurt. Just make sure it wont fall off and damage anything else in your case.
posted by token-ring at 8:59 AM on March 23, 2011

I've never seen a personal computer-level network card that even remotely needed a heatsink. If you were using some data-center level hardware, maybe - but that li'l guy? No way.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:34 AM on March 23, 2011

Response by poster: I am using the card (and will probably be ordering a few more) in a server running vmware ESXi in a test environment. I don't think I'll really end up pushing a whole lot of packets over it though. I'll probably just use it as-is, and wait-and-see if the thing explodes or not. Thanks!
posted by yeoz at 10:41 AM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: Back in the day (like ten years ago!) some PCI 1000BaseT NICs had big heatsinks on them. Now I doubt that this will be required. As someone above pointed out the total TDP (thermal dissipated power) for the whole board is 2.9W, and that 2.9W includes energy which is put into the cable. The power of the card needs to account for voltage losses over up to 100m of cable. Assuming that the server or workstation it is in has even basic, adequate airflow it will be fine.
posted by thewalrus at 11:48 AM on March 23, 2011

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