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TP Link TG 3468 PCIe Network Adapter Review

Network redundancy is always a great idea from the hardware side of a PC since an Ethernet adapter integrated from the motherboard may be less trustworthy in terms of power usage that affect network performance on the long run. Learn more specs in the TP-Link (TG-3468) Network Adapter review and how it differs from ethernet adapters found on a motherboard including MSI motherboards found potentially on a custom-built gaming PC.

TP-Link TG-3468 Network Adapter Specifications

A Gigabit type of Ethernet network interface card (NIC), the TP-Link (TG-3468) v3 Network Adapter supports a connection up to a 2.5 Gigabit per second speed if a Cat6a Ethernet cable is used from the router to this NIC.

Universally, this adapter solidly supports both the 32-bit/64-bit Windows 10 operating systems (also Windows 7 all the way back to Windows XP despite these OS versions being already retired) despite not having a device driver available for this operating system until after April 2016

It also supports Ubuntu Linux OS which will automatically recognize this NIC on the spot since this adapter uses the same Realtek r8169 chipset and driver that is considered a distributed kernel to broaden hardware support including the same chipset supported with Ubuntu Linux.

Auto MDI-X & Auto Negotiation Support

Just like most of the modern Ethernet adapter cards used in todays networking environment, the TP-Link TG-3468 network adapter handles a majority of automatic configuration in order to take the manual work for those that are not experts in setting up hard-wired connections through the command prompt or CLI used in Cisco devices.

This is where Auto MDI-X and Auto Negotiation support is beneficial for individuals looking for a plug-and-play network adapter to install into a Windows 10 PC.

Why is Auto MDI-X and Auto-Negotiation important…

Auto MDI-X on the TP-Link TG-3468 adapter is used to automatically detect which Ethernet pins on the neighboring device the adapter is connected to is transmitting and adjust with the neighboring device on which pins handle transmitting and receiving data to determine exchange of data normality

For Auto-negotiation, this Ethernet adapter “negotiates” capabilities between the neighboring network devices to determine the best interface speed and preferred duplex method(this will mostly be full-duplex unless the neighboring network interface is operating as a network “hub” or some older network device not used in today’s modern LAN infrastructure).

From the initial installation, Auto MDI-X and Auto Negotiation would be enabled on the TP-Link TG-3468 network adapter so any non-tech savvy individual does not have to worry about finding these options within the device configuration properties from the user’s device manager.

Further Full-Duplex Support

Looking back at what we mentioned that the TP-Link TG-3468 adapter does primarily use full-duplex for sending and receiving data at the same time…there is one minor possible setback to full-duplex local area networks and that is sending data too fast that the other end on the neighboring cannot handle too much data coming in to accept (never-mind overwhelming on the wire).

To solve this simple setback, IEEE 802.3x and the implementation of “flow control” used on the back-end of the adapter where data can be paused on the receiving and transmitting host ends when overwhelming of the network is detected (just think about the throttling back of an existing network due to lack of bandwidth and processing power).

Much like the Auto-negotiation and Auto MDI-X feature, the Ethernet flow control inside of this adapter is set to enable for both transmitting and receiving and the computer user shouldn’t ever have to worry about manually configuring this setting.

Wake on LAN

Some people may understand what waking a computer up is…that is just moving the mouse around to bring the computer out of sleep mode. This is correct; but, what about waking on LAN and what it has to do with the TP-Link TG-3468 adapter.

The answer to this question is the adapter would support waking the computer up from a low power mode over the Ethernet connection; but, instead would wake up the computer remotely if the computer has the remote desktop protocol enabled where a remote user could access the computer or a file server with this network adapter installed.

The only downside for using this would be that it would force the user to allow the network adapter to turn off the device in order to save on the power before the WoL option can be made available to be enabled within the device properties…this may not be great for someone who may plays for long hours in a multiplayer room and all the sudden the network adapter shuts off to ruin that high score

This option is available for any non-gamer who does a lot of remote desktop usage.

Low-Profiled Ethernet Card

Onto the hardware support, the TP-Link TG-3468 v3 network adapter uses both a standard and “low-profile” bracket that makes the NIC fit both a mini-ITX and a full-ATX PC case that up’s the support as needed.

For my Corsair Carbide Series PC Case I built for gaming, this Ethernet card slides in and bolts down onto the rear support nicely and doesn’t move around at all without any modifications.

For the low-profile bracket itself, it would simply require some slight modification to get the bracket to work say with a small-form factor PC like the typical HP ProDesk 800 G4 business computer; but, fortunately it’s simple with taking out a few screws to get the bracket on.

Review Summary

  • Supports up to 1GB network speed
  • Does not throttle network back
  • Improved ping numbers by 40%-50% in some cases
  • Auto-negotiates to detected network speed after installing to motherboard
  • Wake on Lan enabled by default

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About The Author

Chief, Author/Writer for TornadoTwistar Gaming. 15+ year gaming experience. Always a big fan of most first-person and third-person, action/adventure, and racing games from Forza Motorsports to Rainbow Six.
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