D-Link DFE-530TX 10/100
PCI Ethernet Adapter
Last updated: 07/29/03
The DFE-530TX uses DL10030
PCI Fast Ethernet controller (which I understand is a variation of VIA's
Rhine chip) and Davicom's DM9101F:
10/100 BASE-TX Single Chip Transceiver to produce a low-cost,
yet powerful, Ethernet adapter suitable for PCs, high-end workstations, and
file servers. The DL10030 is a 32-bit bus-mastering, burst-mode controller. This,
plus a FIFO buffer make the DFE-530TX a fast card. Built-in NWay auto-negotiation
detects 10 and 100 Mhz connections and automatically supports half and full-duplex
This is a high-quality board with excellent
silk-screening, good lay-out, and electrolytic capacitors rated at 105°C. The
back and front of the board are almost solid with ground and power planes;
an indication of good engineering. The RJ-45 jack is the best I've
seen on any board. A CAT5 jumper cable snaps tightly into place.
The User's Guide is well-written, but incomplete. It's
treatment on network cabling omits connecting two computers together with
cable, some of the basic installation rules (e.g., stranded cable), and safety
guidelines. Trouble-shooting is weak. Coverage of common
Windows 95/98 problems is entirely missing. A diagram of the board
would be nice.
Software is provided on a single floppy for
just about every imaginable network environment, including Windows for Workgroups;
Windows 95, 98, and NT; Novell; SCO Open Server and Unix; Sun PC-NFS; Banyan
VINES; and IBM LAN Server.
Installation was very easy with Windows 98
SE (plug 'n prey as it should be): shut-down, turn-off, and unplug
computer; remove the cover, install board; plug-in
and turn-on computer; insert floppy and Windows CD when Windows asks for
them; click when prompted to reboot after the files are installed.
D-Link's Web site is quite good, is easy to
navigate, has drivers, manuals, etc, and makes it easy access to tech support;
but, it currently lacks FAQs and detailed technical information. Although,
D-Link's web site states the board features four 4 LED indicators, I counted
three: 100 Mhz, Link, and Activity. The User's Manual agrees with my
The DFE-530TX includes a lifetime warranty
from a major manufacturer. It costs a few more bucks than similar boards
from other manufactures, but I would say the extra touches of quality are
certainly worth the small premium.
More info is available on D-Link's