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No Gigabit interface on HC3??


LeeSteventon
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It looks like the Home Center 3 only has a 10/100 network interface, no gigabit! The Home Center 2 had a 10/100/1000 network interface.

 

Why has gigabit been dropped from the HC3??

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Posted (edited)

Let's not beat around the bush here... The speed of the NIC on the HC3 does not matter, in any way, this discussion is purely about perception, please read the complete post before you judge what I am saying. If you are too impatient: I will neither bash, nor defend Fibaro for its choice, I'll only offer some perspective.

 

You all look at a "Raspberry Pi 4". It costs about 50 EUR (without case, cooling, memory, ...) and spec-wise it beats the HC3 and indeed has Gigabit.

 

So you can build a hardware platform with gigabit ethernet, USB3, all HC3 radio's, a nice case and a 128-512 GB SSD drive for about 1/3 the price of a HC3. I am not speaking in a theoretical manner, I have done that. It's my hobby.

 

What is keeping you from doing that? Run OpenHAB or Home Assistant on it, and you'll have your gigabit ethernet. But that is the crux of the story, You'll have to go "open source" or buy Z-Way 

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 or buy a RaZberry (series 500 chip available now - same as in HC3, series 700  is coming... - same as in HC3Lite and YUBII)

 

And if you want to beat the CPU specs as well, buy a 6 core "ODROID-N2+ AMLOGIC S922X SBC WITH 4GB RAM", the recommended hardware for Home Assistant...

 

And if you want to go wild, but an INTEL NUC generation 11 for about twice price of a HC3 and have 32 GB RAM, a terabyte disk and 4 virtual machines running every conceivable software.

 

I think that kind of covers the range of stuff you can buy in 2021 (except everything is always out of stock due to component shortages). To be honest... The HC3 was designed a few years ago and we did not have Pi 4 or it had only just arrived, so Pi 3 would be a more valid comparison. (Edit: for sake of completeness, Pi 3 has 100 Base Ethernet). The NUC 11 and the Odroid board did not exist either.

 

This leaves us with an interesting idea: could, and "should" Fibaro upgrade their hardware like Camera Manufacturers do? Like HC3 MK II with better specs, MK III with series 700 chip, ... ?

 

By the way. Imagine Fibaro releasing their software as a (payed) product and make it compatible with those systems! 🙃

 

I think@LeeSteventon put it very well when he asked: "why reduce the NIC capacity from the HC2 to the HC3". The speed does not matter, but it feels like a reduction of a specification that does not match the (marketing) idea we have of Fibaro products. "They are cutting edge, they exceed what the competition has to offer." Well, if you rule out the Open Source solutions, I think HC3 still does exceed what the competition offers. Go find the specs of similar gateways, they are often hidden very well to hide the fact they have much less CPU and memory than a HC3... And they will use the same argument to defend their choice as the one we use here to defend 100 vs 1000 Kbit... "It does not matter, it is good enough". Who am I to disagree, when I look at their forums I see few complaints.

 

You know, when I first saw the specs of a HC2 in 2012 I said to myself "this system is what I want. This hardware is future proof, it has enough memory (maybe a bit poor on disk space but *reliable disk space*". My HC2 still works and can handle at least 100 devices and a bunch of scenes. So naturally I expected HC3 be the same kind of "bomb"... It did not have that effect on me. Sure, it has enough CPU, DISK and peripherals. It has got the necessary radios... But then I saw the advantage of of lower power device as well. Many, many users thought their HC2 was "broken" our would burst into flames...

 

4 hours ago, Sjekke said:

I do agree with @petergebruers that the HC3 is better from an ecological point of view.

I am glad you agree with me. I think this aspect is often overlooked. We try to save energy and this works for "low hanging fruit" like connecting my first generation Sonos Play 5 speakers to a wall plug in certain rooms. Reduction of 6-8 Watt standby per speaker to 0.5 Watt... Imagine running a few 6-8 W LED light bulb 24/7 ... But once you've done that, that standby current of the "smart" devices might actually become significant. Might make an interesting, separate topic.

Edited by petergebruers
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The Intel platform was and probably is geared towards performance. The HC2 uses an Intel main board. The HC3 is based on ARM and more towards getting best "performance per watt". It is possible to have gigabit ethernet on ARM, Pi 4 does it, but actually plenty of arm SoC only do 100 Mbit. I did some tests long time ago so take them with a grain of salt. HC2 idle 10 to 15 watt. HC3 idle 3 W.

 

You sound unhappy, or maybe I am not reading correctly between the lines... Tell my why the lack of gigabit bothers you....

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Why would need to move more than 100Mb per sec though?

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  • Posted (edited)

    Probably never, but why reduce the NIC capacity from the HC2 to the HC3?

     

    10/100 is old technology / specifications, Gigabit is the standard for a while now...

     

    And if it isn't / was never needed, why was it included in the HC2?

    Edited by LeeSteventon
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  • Not unhappy, just curious / a little confused as to why the "downgrade" in network card spec. 🙂

     

    As an IT'er, seeing 10/100 NIC's in anything new always seems a step backwards.

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    HC3 is using USB to LAN phy, so that's why 100MBit, easy to implement and maintain. I can only guess, but when you check the APQ8016E dev boards, most of them are using 100Mbit, and one have to start with dev board to design something.

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    Besides the question of whether 1Gbit is necessary ... the price in production is the same so why not provide it. As an ex-ITer, 1Gbit NICS is no longer the standard either. 2.5Gbit, 5Gbit and 10Gbit is more and more becoming the standard.

     

    I do agree with @petergebruers that the HC3 is better from an ecological point of view.

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  • Inquirer
  • Posted (edited)

    @petergebruers sums it up perfectly I think.

     

    My original observation was more that the NIC spec had been reduced and I wondered why this was. There have been several answers to the possible reason(s) for this and they make sense. 👍

    Edited by LeeSteventon
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