Recommendations for 10gbps NIC

Alexander V. Chernikov melifaro at
Fri Jul 26 16:26:55 UTC 2013

On 26.07.2013 19:30, Barney Cordoba wrote:
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Alexander V. Chernikov <melifaro at>
> *To:* Boris Kochergin <spawk at>
> *Cc:* freebsd-net at
> *Sent:* Thursday, July 25, 2013 2:10 PM
> *Subject:* Re: Recommendations for 10gbps NIC
> On 25.07.2013 00:26, Boris Kochergin wrote:
> > Hi.
> Hello.
> >
> > I am looking for recommendations for a 10gbps NIC from someone who has
> > successfully used it on FreeBSD. It will be used on FreeBSD 9.1-R/amd64
> > to capture packets. Some desired features are:
> >
> > - PCIe
> > - LC connectors
> > - 10GBASE-SR
> > - Either single- or dual-port
> > - Multiqueue
> Intel 82598/99/X520
> Emulex OCe10102-NM
> Mellanox ConnectX
> Chelsio T4
> Do they all cost the same, have the exact same features and have 
> equally well-written drivers? Which do you recommend
> and why?
Well, Intel/Chelsio/Mellanox costs $500-600 / 2 ports, Emulex costs a 
bit higher (of course, YMMV)
Regarding features: it depends on your needs mostly (e.g. forwarding / 
TCP server / IB ).
for forwarding:
Each one is capable of doing at least 8 rx/tx queues per port with 
adjustable rx/tx ring size.
One important thing to note is that netmap is currently not available 
for any non-Intel NIC.

General hw offload features:
LRO/TSO4/vlans/jumbo are supported by all of them (not sure about TSO6 
in Mellanox) however I can't say how good it works.

Intel was very restrictive on supported spf/cables (however, Jack 
changed this a moth ago).
Chelsio is much better here.

Advanced features:
Intel (82599-based NICs) has hw firewall called FlowDirector which can 
be programmed to redirect particular IPv4/IPv6 TCP/UDP streams to given 
queue (or dropped). However it is currently not supported on FreeBSD.
(Intel also has IPSEC offload functionality, which, afaik, is currently 
not supported)
On the other side, Chelsio has similar functionality which is supported 
via cxgbetool binary (available in tools/)

IMHO Chelsio/Intel are the best (a lot of things are 
runtime-configurable, lots of counters, etc..)

> BC

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