FreeBSD bind performance in FreeBSD 7

Tom Evans at
Fri Feb 29 16:47:16 UTC 2008

On Fri, 2008-02-29 at 15:44 +0000, Chris wrote:
> On 29/02/2008, Ted Mittelstaedt <tedm at> wrote:
> A weakness of freebsd is its fussyness over hardware in particular
> network cards, time and time again I see posts here telling people to
> go out buying expensive intel pro 1000 cards just so they can use the
> operating system properly when I think its reasonable to expect
> mainstream hardware to work, eg. realtek is mainstream and common as a
> onboard nic but the support in freebsd is poor and only serving
> datacentres to shy away from freebsd.  If the same hardware performs
> better in linux then the hardware isnt to blame for worser performance
> in fbsd.
> Chris

Not to come down too hard on you, but the reason why Pro/1000 chipsets
are reasonably pricey, and uncommon to find as an integrated NIC, except
on server boards or intel own brand mobos, is that it is decent
hardware, and hence costs real money to use. Consumer NICs like Realtek,
Via Rhine and (imo) Marvell are cheap tat that 'just about' works, until
you put it under heavy stress. I have encountered a series of Marvell
based chips on my personal home computers that work about as well as a
slap around the face. Also, even from the 'good' manufacturers, like
broadcom and intel, you have 'consumer' parts, which are reasonably
cheap, like bge(4) supported parts, and 'professional' parts, like
bce(4) parts. One should work fine under moderate load, one should work
fine under heavy load. One will cost $4, one will cost $100.

I'm not saying the drivers are bug-free, but if you want performance and
reliability, you get an em(4) or another professional chipset. Only a
few months ago at work, we had to  order around 75 Pro/1000s as we had
had enough of crashes from our bce(4) based integrated NICs on our Dell
2950s. Fortunately for our wallet, we managed to fix the issues in the
driver/hardware before our supplier could source that many - thanks
David Christensen!

Personally, I wouldn't put something in a data-centre with only a vr(4)
or re(4), regardless of OS. 


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