vr speed issues

Jamie Clark jamie at zeroth.org
Fri Dec 1 03:32:25 PST 2006

Charles Sprickman wrote:
> Hi all,
> I spent some time trying to track down slow tcp performance on a small 
> office switched 100 LAN.  We just put in a number of whitebox PCs 
> running FreeBSD 6.1-p2/PC-BSD 1.2 that all have onboard Via Rhine 
> 10/100 ethernet controllers.  Performace with scp was around 200KB/s, 
> ftp wavered between 300-500KB/s.  This did not appear to be a duplex 
> mismatch - unmanaged switch showed them all at 100/Full, put some 
> other hosts on the same ports/cabling and got near wire speed.  I took 
> the cabling out of the equation, the switch, no improvement.  The only 
> thing that got me decent performance was putting two hosts back to 
> back with an xover cable.
> I eventually realized that the only hosts with any speed issues in the 
> office were these boxes with the Via ethernet.  Putting an equally 
> cheap DLink (RealTek/rl) in one of them gave me much better performance.

There might be something in this. I have a 2-3 yr old box with an Asus 
A7V8X mainboard. This has been running 4.10-RELEASE for about 2.5 years 
and yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and update to RELENG_6. I 
also decided to upgrade the internal storage as well so this entailed a 
backup/restore over the wire.

Backing up the 4.10 box was within an acceptable margin of wire speed 
(~8MB/s on 100M ethernet) given that a router was in the middle. That's 
roughly how the box has always performed.

After installing 6.1_RELEASE and updating to RELENG_6 I started the 
restore.  Maxed out at about 380kB/s. Now I tested the backup speed 
again and it has also dropepd to 380k.

This would definitely lead me to assume that something has gone awry in 
the driver over the past years. Unfortunately I have not been frequently 
updating this machine (my imap server) so I have no idea when the driver 
became broken.

I realize that this is not much help in tracking the problem - but it 
seems to concur with the problem noted here earlier.

FreeBSD 6.2-PRERELEASE #0: Thu Nov 30 16:29:04 SGT

vr0 at pci0:18:0:  class=0x020000 card=0x80a11043 chip=0x30651106 rev=0x74 
    vendor   = 'VIA Technologies Inc'
    device   = 'VT6102 Rhine II PCI Fast Ethernet Controller'
    class    = network
    subclass = ethernet

vr0: <VIA VT6102 Rhine II 10/100BaseTX> port 0xb000-0xb0ff mem 
0xf2800000-0xf28000ff at device 18.0 on pci0
miibus0: <MII bus> on vr0
rlphy0: <RTL8201L 10/100 media interface> on miibus0
rlphy0:  10baseT, 10baseT-FDX, 100baseTX, 100baseTX-FDX, auto
vr0: Ethernet address: 00:0c:6e:3d:b9:0e

$ ifconfig
        inet6 fe80::20c:6eff:fe3d:b90e%vr0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1
        inet netmask 0xffffffc0 broadcast
        inet netmask 0xffffffff broadcast
        ether 00:0c:6e:3d:b9:0e
        media: Ethernet autoselect (100baseTX <full-duplex>)
        status: active

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