FreeBSD bind performance in FreeBSD 7

Chris chrcoluk at
Tue Mar 4 12:19:11 UTC 2008

On 29/02/2008, Ted Mittelstaedt <tedm at> wrote:

> Device drivers and hardware are a cooperative effort.  The ideal
> is a well-written device driver and well-designed hardware.
> Unfortunately the reality of it appears to be that it costs
> a LOT more money to hire good silicon designers than it costs
> to hire good programmers - so a depressing amount of computer
> hardware out there is very poor hardware, but the hardware's
> shortcomings are made up by almost Herculean efforts of the
> software developers.
> I should have thought the invention of the Winmodem (windows-only
> modem) would have made this obvious to the general public
> years ago.
> Unfortunately, the hardware vendors make a lot of effort to
> conceal the crappiness of their designs and most customers
> just care if the device works, they don't care if the only
> way the device can work is if 60% of their system's CPU is
> tied up servicing a device driver that is making up for
> hardware shortcomings, so it is still rather difficult
> for a customer to become informed about what is good and
> what isn't - other than trial and error.
> I hardly think that the example I cited - the 3com 3c905 PCI
> network adapter - is an example of poor support in FreeBSD.
> The FreeBSD driver for the 509 worked perfectly well when
> the 309 used a Lucent-built ASIC.  When 3com decided to
> save 50 cents a card by switching to Broadcom for the
> ASIC manufacturing, the FreeBSD driver didn't work very
> well with those cards - nor did the Linux driver for that
> matter.  This clearly wasn't a driver problem it was a
> problem with Broadcom not following 3com's design specs
> properly.  3com did the only thing they could - which
> was to put a hack into the Windows driver - but of course,
> nobody bothered telling the Linux or FreeBSD community
> about it, we had to find out by dicking around with the
> driver code.
> If datacenters want to purchase poor hardware and run their
> stuff on it, that's their choice.  Just because a piece
> of hardware is "mainstream" doesen't mean it's good.  It
> mainly means it's inexpensive.
> Ted

Ted I never meant mainstream = good but I did mean mainstream cannot
be ignored and written off if something is mainstream it is for a
reason if the hardware was so poor then I am sure complaints would be
so high it would no longer be mainstream.  Not sure if you
understanding me I am most defenitly not saying I expect a cheap
network card to perform on par with a premium card.  I am merely
saying ideally it should perform and be as stable as it is in other
operating systems and if it isnt then look at what can be improved
rather than just saying go buy a new peice of kit.  Is freebsd a
operating system for use on premium hardware only? as that what it
feels like I am reading sometimes.

Now on the bind tests if the hardware used on both linux and freebsd
was the exact same spec hardware then blaming the hardware is invalid
as its apple vs apple.  Obviously if the linux tests were done on
superior hardware then its apple vs orange and the tests are


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