FreeBSD and newer HDD problems ?

Pavel Duda element at
Sun Jun 4 09:21:53 PDT 2006

Pavel Duda wrote:
> Hello,
> I've recently bought new big HDD (WDC RE, 320GB) and it looks like 
> FreeBSD has some troubles with it when trying to transfer files over 
> network.
> If I try to perform some "synthetic" test like 'dd if=/dev/zero 
> of=/wdc320/testfile' then I get some decent speeds about 40MB/s. When I 
> try to copy some big files from my older disk (IBM 40GB) I still have 
> write about 25-27MB/s.
> Problem comes when I try to copy something to disk over network (tried 
> samba, ftp) disk write speed is very low - about 5-6MB/s at max.
> When testing this issue I've start 'systat -vmstat 1' and noticed that 
> my new disk is very busy (60-100%) and speed (MB/s) jumps up and down. 
> If I write files with 'dd' or transfer them from disk 2 disk then write 
> speed and disk load is almost constant (about 60%). When transfering 
> files over network to old HDD then disk load is low (40-50%) and speed 
> is constant (8-9MB/s).
> To be sure that disk it is not some kind of disk problem I've installed 
> Debian 3.1r2 with same version of samba and I get 9-11MB/s transfer 
> speeds (in both directions) !!
> Also it doesn't matter if I use transfer data over gigabit card or 
> 100mbit card. Results are similar. FreeBSD is in avarage very very slow 
> (3MB) while Debian works fine (10MB). Because my server is primarily 
> used for transfer files (Samba + PDC) it is crucial for me to have 
> highest transfer speeds possible and I'd like to stick with FreeBSD :-/.
> Does someone has any idea what could be wrong or how could I determine 
> what causes this problem ?
> Thanks for any advice.
>     Pavel
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I've forgot to add that system is FreeBSD 6.0 (no custom kernel), P4 
1.8GHz, 384MB RAM, Realtek gigabit NIC (8169), Intel EE NIC 10/100mbit.

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