Network Performace

Shawn Ramsey shawn at
Tue Jun 24 17:02:00 PDT 2003

> > with unused USB and onboard NIC which is also not used. Should I be able
> > to push more than 100Mb sec with such a system? It is not doing anything
> > else, no NAT, one IPFW rule. OS is FreeBSD 4.7-RELEASE.
> All depends how big the packets are etc. - 90% interrupt time is fairly 
> typical of x86/PC kit shoveling lots of small packets.
> Try looking into FreeBSD's "polling" mode - i.e. interrupt free Network 
> cards. If your shifting a lot of small packets (such as online gaming stuff 
> etc.) - you may find your milage pretty limited using standard PC kit - as 
> the x86 architecture wasn't really designed for shifting lots of small 
> packets around [as I've seen many a time in the past :(]

This router is routing 99% NNTP traffic, so I wouldn't think small packet
size would be it. I tried polling, and its greatly increased the amount of
"idle CPU", and Interupt is around 20% now... But something is still very
wrong performance wise. It has helped, but I still can't push in/out nearly
100Mb/sec. (100Mb in, 100Mb out I mean). A simple FTP transfer locally
through the routers gigabit interface causes our internet performance to
plummet. I've disabled all the onboard stuff that was sharing IRQs with PCI
cards, but I didn't figure that was an issue, didn't make a difference either way.
Would the fact the gigabit is on the same PCI bus have any bearing? I would
expect to at least get 100BT performance even so, but I don't have any
experience with gigabit ethernet...


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