View Full Version : crossover cables?

rob rhodes
12-01-2005, 10:37 AM
I've just built myself an amd x2 machine and was hoping to network it with my laptop so i could share files and also distribute renders using Finalrender 2 with C4D (not bought it yet but working on it!) but until thin it will be used with c4d's netrender. What is the easiest or cheapest way to do this? I have heard mention of using a crossover cable? Both PC's have gigalan ports - do I have to buy a special crossover cable or can I use a standard lan cable? Im assuming I need to buy a crossover one.

Once connected what happens then - will XP pick it up and configure my network or do I have to do something myself. Will this work for distributed rendering or do I have to go through a hub for that? and once set up will that mean I will be able to see my other PC's drives from my laptop and vice verser? What happens when I have 2 'C' drives? - Is it separated in 'my computer' by windows.

Sorry for so many questions, Cheers

12-01-2005, 11:16 AM
I will ask this, why are you wanting to do things this way? Assuming you have broadband and you connect to the internet using these computers as well, it would probabaly be easiest to get something like the Netgear DG834 router (or the version with added WiFi even) which will act as a switch (smart hub), include a firewall and access control and take all the comms load.

One thing people seem to be unaware of a lot of the time is that the USB (A)DSL modems use a comparatively large amount of CPU time compared to a direct network connection and connecting to your laptop through the same network connection will be easier than having to configure one network for your software updates and internet and another for your rendering and file transfer plus you'll have a Linux based firewall (best defence against Windows based worms, stick a non-windows computer in the way ;)) and less load on your CPU.


If you want to connect the two computers to each other directly then, yes, a crossover cable is necessary. You should be able to get these wherever network cables are sold.

If you're wanting to connect more than one other computer at a time it's probably best to invest in a switch and the usual patch cables.

Of course, if you're just using a crossover you'll either need to set up on of the computers as a DHCP server or set the IP addresses manually but it's not particularly difficult... probably the best way to set things up.

regards, Paul

12-01-2005, 12:18 PM
Most Gigabit Ethernet adapters have an automatic detection for crossovers. A common cat 5 patchcable should do the job.
As for drives, you can assign any driveletter you want to a networkconnection. To make a disk or subdirectory available on the network you have to share it (take a look at the windows help on sharing files via network). Usualy you only have to choose share from the context menu of a disk/directory. Be carefull to only do this if you have a working firewall (preferably in an external router).

rob rhodes
12-01-2005, 12:33 PM
cheers paul - actually i already have a wireless router but im living in a student house and there is a bunch of us using it and getting a wire from it isn't that practical at the mo. But also I was concerned about security. I plan on using my laptop for the internet and using it for CAD work (student architect) when my x2 machine is rendering. But unfortunately not photoshop as I dont trust the colours on my laptop screen - but thats a whole other thread! I am basically wanting to keep my x2 machine as clean as possible i.e. no internet as i dont want it to come crashing down a week before my thesis presentation! Can viruses pass easily down crossover cables - do i set up a firewall to help this - Already got one on the hub and on my laptop so should be ok.

I will just be using this network for distributed render if it works the same as a normal network and transferrring files - picking up files from my x2 machine to work on whilst its rendering and sending them back when done (also keeping a central library and texture bank). I havn't any plans to expand the network so that doesnt concern me.

How should i manually assign an IP address to each computer? Do i use the network setup wizard for this - will it pick up the other pc automatically? Will having 2 networks (one wireless internet and the other crossover cable peer to peer) cause conflicts.

I have heard mention of firewire networks between 2 PC's. Is this a better option or does it have limits (like no HD sharing). Crossover would be more practical as my lan port is on the back of my laptop and firewire on the front. Is crossover cabling slow?

Thanks again, Rob

rob rhodes
12-01-2005, 12:35 PM
thanks srek answered some of my questions before id finished my post! feel like an idiot when that happens!!

12-01-2005, 01:04 PM
Here are two PDFs I uploaded for you which might help you out-

PDF 1 (http://nitindesign.com/TRASH/DirectCrossover.pdf)

PDF 2 (http://nitindesign.com/TRASH/sharing.pdf)

rob rhodes
12-01-2005, 01:17 PM
wow - thanks nitin just the job. Will have a good look through them later but seem to be just the job. Thanks again, Rob

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