amd64/128143: NIC with Realtek 8139 (rl driver) doesn't work with RAM higher than 4GB

Marcin Kucharczyk marcinkk at
Thu Oct 16 09:20:01 UTC 2008

>Number:         128143
>Category:       amd64
>Synopsis:       NIC with Realtek 8139 (rl driver) doesn't work with RAM higher than 4GB
>Confidential:   no
>Severity:       non-critical
>Priority:       low
>Responsible:    freebsd-amd64
>State:          open
>Class:          sw-bug
>Submitter-Id:   current-users
>Arrival-Date:   Thu Oct 16 09:20:00 UTC 2008
>Originator:     Marcin Kucharczyk
>Release:        6.3-RELEASE-p5
FreeBSD 6.3-RELEASE-p5 FreeBSD 6.3-RELEASE-p5 #11: Sat Oct  4 11:25:20 CEST 2008     marcinkk at  amd64
The system: Gigabyte GA-M55plus-S3G (NVIDIA® Geforce 6100 + nForce 430 chipset) + Athlon 64 X2 + 6GB RAM.

The system has two NICs:
1. Integrated NVIDIA card (nve driver)
2. Realtek 8139 card (by Edimax or by Asmax) at PCI port (rl driver)

Few days ago I've upgraded system memory to 6GB and I've noticed that network communication on rl0 was lost. I've tried:

- ifconfig: works ok, autoselect recognize 100baseTX connection;
- arp: also works, MAC addresses of connected devices are proprly discovered;
- ping: 
  - ping to IP address of rl0 works
  - ping to any external IP fails, any external communication doesn't work :(

Next I've changed system memory size to 4GB. The communication was partialy restored - ping works with about 25% lost packet. After removing another 1GB, so with 3GB, everything works just fine.

At the same time nve0 card works properly.
Check other Realtek 8139 in similar configuration?
The fix ... I've bought Intel 1000 GT, the em driver and everything works ok with 6GB of RAM.


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