I'm speccing a new workstation and trying to decide if a dedicated NIC is worth it (at just shy of $100).
I've never invested in one before, I've always just ran with the LOM, but my biggest complaint with EPDM on a daily basis is waiting (and waiting, and waiting more) for folders to open, files to be found, files to download, upload, etc.
This article here is interesting and through testing they revealed that latency of the Intel NICs an order of magnitude less than the onboards! I won't recite all the details here but the article concludes with this assertion:
"...you shouldn't really expect more bandwidth for single sequential bulk transfers, but some operations, such as file creation, deletion, and seeking, can be noticeably faster, probably due to the lower latency of the Intel NICs."
File creation, deletion, and seeking is pretty much what EPDM is all about, so it seems to make sense for this application.