Recommendation for 1000BASE-SX card?

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Thu Jun 1 16:32:53 PDT 2006

>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-freebsd-questions at
>[mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Danial Thom
>Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 6:38 AM
>To: Heinrich Rebehn; questions at
>Subject: Re: Recommendation for 1000BASE-SX card?
>--- Heinrich Rebehn <rebehn at>
>> Danial Thom wrote:
>> >  The intel cards that use the EM driver are
>> the
>> > best performing cards in FreeBSD that we've
>> > tested. We've test cards made by the same
>> company
>> > that use the broadcom controllers and the
>> intel
>> > cards are substantially better (ie use less
>> CPU
>> > passing the same amount of traffic). 
>> > 
>> > Be careful using on-board controllers.
>> Usually
>> > vendors, for some reason, don't wire them to
>> the
>> > pci-x bus. Most supermicro boards wire the em
>> > controllers to the 32bit/33mhz bus and the
>> tyan
>> > and supermicro opteron boards we've tested
>> wire
>> > the broadcoms to a shared 1x PCI-E, both of
>> which
>> > will not only give you poor performance, but
>> are
>> > not capable of running full gigabit rates.
>> > 
>> > DT
>> > 
>> The Intel card would be an INTEL Pro1000MF,
>> right? This would be quite
>> expensive (~ EUR 430), but good performance and
>> stability would warrant
>> that.
>> ATM, we are using the onboard controller
>> (Broadcom BCM5704C wired to the
>> pci-x bus). I did not have opportunity to do
>> performance measurements,
>> but we do have problems with our Linkpro
>> 1000SX/1000TX converters, the
>> 3rd of which has already died.
>> That's why i want to give a PCI-X card with
>> fiber interface a try.
>No, that would be the 1000MT, the MF is a fiber
>card I believe. They are about US$120. in the US.
>How do you know its wired to the PCI-X bus, since
>I don't believe that the controller has a way of
>reporting the way that the intel controller does?
>What MB do you have?
>Also keep in mind that the bge driver is a piece
>of crap; driver quality is a much more telling
>factor in these free OS's than the card in many
>cases. The EM and FXP are the only drivers worth
>anything (mainly because neither were written by
>mass-driver mill man Bill Paul).

After having fixed bugs in the bge driver I must stress
how wrong this statement is for the bge driver.  Bill
Paul may or may not have been associated with the bge driver,
whether he was or not is immaterial since the bge driver is
basically a port of the broadcom-supplied Linux driver,
the code is Broadcoms mostly, with hunks of Broadcom
code removed (like that dealing with the PHY's) when it
was too difficult to port. (apparently)  The quality of
the Broadcom driver isn't Bill Paul's, it's Broadcoms.

No, I can assure you that the reason the Broadcom
chips work like crap under FreeBSD is not due to Bill Paul,
it is because the Broadcom hardware iteself is pure, unadulterated,
stinking, bull crap.  It is crappy even under the supported operating
systems like Windows, it's craptitude reaches new heights on
the crap pile.  Broadcom missed their calling as an ethernet
chipset designer, they should have gone into making vacuum
cleaners, as they would certainly be the suckiest ones in
that business.


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