Best nic/driver combination

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Best nic/driver combination

Marcel Prisi-3
Hi all,

I am in the process of reinstalling our OpenBGPd router under OpenBSD
4.0.

We are currently using two fxp's and a quad sis.

The fxp's are ok, but the sis are really bad. It looks like the first of
the four ports (sis0) works OK, but the next three cannot handle more
than ~10mbit/s before losing packets.

I am looking for the best possbible (read most stable) nic/driver
combination, could you please recommend some ? I'd like some gbit nic as
I heard their buffering is better and they can handle more udp traffic,
but as I said, I need the most stable combination.

I can easily get some Realtek 8169 based (not 8139!) re cards, some
Intel gbit em (they seem less stable than fxp ?), and probably some sk
(SMC 9452TX).

Thanks.

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Re: Best nic/driver combination

Nolan-9
Marcel Prisi a icrit :

> Hi all,
>
> I am in the process of reinstalling our OpenBGPd router under OpenBSD
> 4.0.
>
> We are currently using two fxp's and a quad sis.
>
> The fxp's are ok, but the sis are really bad. It looks like the first of
> the four ports (sis0) works OK, but the next three cannot handle more
> than ~10mbit/s before losing packets.
>
> I am looking for the best possbible (read most stable) nic/driver
> combination, could you please recommend some ? I'd like some gbit nic as
> I heard their buffering is better and they can handle more udp traffic,
> but as I said, I need the most stable combination.
>
> I can easily get some Realtek 8169 based (not 8139!) re cards, some
> Intel gbit em (they seem less stable than fxp ?), and probably some sk
> (SMC 9452TX).
>
> Thanks
Hi Marcel,

It's not an answer to your question but i have a similar question about
LAN adaptater.

I am using the integrated NIC of my computer which is a Realtek 8110S. I
have also a 3com 905 PCI card but it's not in the computer. Both card
are just working fine under my OpenBSD installation (gratz OpenBSD
people making everything working  :D ).

But i read the well know :
http://www.holland-consulting.net/tech/ocep/index.html#HWSelect (OpenBSD
Commonly Encountered Problems) part What hardware should i use ?

It's a very old article but they say that "Realtek 8139 are reported to
beat up the processor badly". I have a 8110 but it can be true for it.
Do you think, that 3Com or other will be a better choice for my actual  
NIC ?

I manage to find a bench :
http://www.tomsnetworking.com/network/20010820/index.html. But it
doesn't worth an answer from people working everyday with these product.

Hope someone would help us finding answers.

Regards,

Nolan

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Re: Best nic/driver combination

Nick Holland
[hidden email] wrote:

> Marcel Prisi a icrit :
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I am in the process of reinstalling our OpenBGPd router under OpenBSD
>> 4.0.
>>
>> We are currently using two fxp's and a quad sis.
>>
>> The fxp's are ok, but the sis are really bad. It looks like the first of
>> the four ports (sis0) works OK, but the next three cannot handle more
>> than ~10mbit/s before losing packets.
>>
>> I am looking for the best possbible (read most stable) nic/driver
>> combination, could you please recommend some ? I'd like some gbit nic as
>> I heard their buffering is better and they can handle more udp traffic,
>> but as I said, I need the most stable combination.
>>
>> I can easily get some Realtek 8169 based (not 8139!) re cards, some
>> Intel gbit em (they seem less stable than fxp ?), and probably some sk
>> (SMC 9452TX).
>>
>> Thanks
> Hi Marcel,
>
> It's not an answer to your question but i have a similar question about
> LAN adaptater.
>
> I am using the integrated NIC of my computer which is a Realtek 8110S. I
> have also a 3com 905 PCI card but it's not in the computer. Both card
> are just working fine under my OpenBSD installation (gratz OpenBSD
> people making everything working  :D ).
>
> But i read the well know :
> http://www.holland-consulting.net/tech/ocep/index.html#HWSelect (OpenBSD
> Commonly Encountered Problems) part What hardware should i use ?

hm.  I need to update some of those numbers.  ssh on a 486/66 is
painful, as is 16M RAM. :)

> It's a very old article but they say that "Realtek 8139 are reported to
> beat up the processor badly". I have a 8110 but it can be true for it.
> Do you think, that 3Com or other will be a better choice for my actual  
> NIC ?
>
> I manage to find a bench :
> http://www.tomsnetworking.com/network/20010820/index.html. But it
> doesn't worth an answer from people working everyday with these product.
>
> Hope someone would help us finding answers.
>
> Regards,
>
> Nolan

The best thing that can be said about the Realtek cards is they are open
source friendly, so the drivers for them are pretty darned good
(assuming someone hasn't rebadged the card and sliced up the driver so
it only works on their card, and butchered the thing so it doesn't work
on their card really well, either).  However, "good" means "works".
That isn't to say this card is any kind of screaming performer...but it
works.

You are generally going to have to move a lot of packets before the
issues of the Realtek chip hurt you on modern hardware.  Put a Realtek
card in a Pentium 75MHz machine, you may wish you didn't (or maybe it
would work fine...haven't tried, actually).

Throwing away a Realtek card in favor of a 3c905 seems to be completely
pointless.  The 3c905 is overrated.  They are a sub-standard card on all
OSs I've used 'em on.

For 100Mbps cards, I'm partial to fxp(4) (Intel) and 21143 (dc) cards.
Unfortunately, 21143 cards seem to be almost impossible to acquire
through my usual channels.

My gigabit experience is too limited to comment upon.

Nick.

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Re: Best nic/driver combination

pedro la peu-2
In reply to this post by Marcel Prisi-3
> I can easily get some Realtek 8169 based (not 8139!) re cards, some
> Intel gbit em (they seem less stable than fxp ?), and probably some sk
> (SMC 9452TX).

I have been using sk(4) as my Gigabit card of choice with great success for
some time now. In fact, I don't bother looking for anything else. I pump lots
of Gigs through them daily with never a hitch, on old PIII junkware PC's.

There are probably alternatives with better maximum performance, I've never
needed to find out. The fact that they cost new about the same as two packs
of cigarettes (in the UK) is a pretty convincing bonus.

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Re: Best nic/driver combination

Shane J Pearson
Hi Pedro,

On 16/11/2006, at 11:48 AM, pedro la peu wrote:

>> I can easily get some Realtek 8169 based (not 8139!) re cards, some
>> Intel gbit em (they seem less stable than fxp ?), and probably  
>> some sk
>> (SMC 9452TX).
>
> I have been using sk(4) as my Gigabit card of choice with great  
> success for
> some time now. In fact, I don't bother looking for anything else. I  
> pump lots
> of Gigs through them daily with never a hitch, on old PIII junkware  
> PC's.
>
> There are probably alternatives with better maximum performance,  
> I've never
> needed to find out. The fact that they cost new about the same as  
> two packs
> of cigarettes (in the UK) is a pretty convincing bonus.

Yes, sometimes I feel like I should buy them in bulk. I am afraid  
that one day the chip-set will disappear for another cheap yet  
inferior one. And the vendors won't mention anything on the box.

I can't get D-Link DGE-530T Rev B1 cards to work in Sun U5's and  
U10's, yet the Rev A1 cards work fine. I think the move to Rev B1 has  
caused the cards to only work in PCI 2.2 slots and not older PCI 2.1.  
Even though the printing on the box of Rev B1 cards still claims that  
it will work in PCI 2.1 slots.

All I seem to be able to source now are the Rev B1 cards (which  
incidentally work fine in a Blade 150). Since they're so cheap, how  
long until a vendor like D-Link changes the chipset and then just  
ship a different Windows driver CD?

If I had the money at the moment, I'd buy them in bulk so I have some  
for myself and my customers. I realise there are other sk options,  
but since they can be so cheap, I fear they will change.

Can anyone recommend a cheap sk which is still capable of working in  
a PCI 2.1 slot? I was hoping to switch from fxp to sk in my 5  
interface Sun U10 firewall at home, but I only have 2 sk's (out of a  
desired 4) which work in it.



Shane J Pearson (hoping to see some affordable 4 interface sk NIC's)
shanejp netspace net au