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Gigabit PCI card preformance

Last response: in Networking
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December 16, 2009 4:15:00 PM

Hi i have a question, i just bought a deltaco lan-1000 gigabit network card to connect to a 100/10 internet connection with my old desktop.
My laptop, with the same cat6 wire get full speed, 97mbit/s download and 10 mbit/sek upload. But with this pci-card i only get about 20mbit/s down and the full 10 mbit/s up. this puzzels me..
i guess it has to be either the card, or my desktop, so here i try to give some facts about them two.

the network card driver, well i can not find a newer. so even that it seems that it was released 2006, i think it is the latest.


Desktop:
motherboard asus a7n8x deluxe with 2 gb RAM.
Harddrive IDE WD 7200 rpm with 8 meg cache.
IDE dvd rw.
a firewire card installed in one of the pci slots (with a disk connected.)
and i have a usb 2.0 conected Harddrive aswell..
it has an amd processor that when i built it in 2004 was really fast, but i
cant remeber the model number right now.

system is win XP with service pack 3
disks are clean and defragmented and none more than filled up to 50%
i have a minimum of software (about 8 applications) and maybe a 25 diffrent processes running when i check the activity processor normaly is 99% idle when running for example firefox.

So, does pci not preform better or what is my problem?
It would be really nice if someone helped me out, because i just cant figure this out on my own...

/Richard E.
Sweden
December 17, 2009 4:07:21 PM

What CPU do you have in the laptop? That right there could be the problem, the AMD is alot slower.
Also check your pci nic and make sure it's connecting at 100 Full Duplex speeds and not 10 Full Duplex or even half duplex.
PCI is shared bus so any other activity on it will reduce speeds for other pci components.
December 17, 2009 4:21:06 PM

Thanks for the awnser, The Laptop has an i7 processor and works really fast. And yes the AMD is way slower. I shall test to conect the firewire harddrive via usb, and de-install the firewire card. That should take some load of the pci aswell.

Later tonight when i am home i will post new speeds to give feedback on the tuning. I will check the preformance of the AMD while testing the bandwith aswell to see if it really can be it that limits the bandwith.

The NIC is working on 1000mbit/full duplex.

This desktop it to serve as a server in the household with autobackup, media files, media streaming etc. so the bandwith is cruicial. there will be a minimum of software installed. Do anyone know about ant thread about tuning the system for this pourpose?

Again, Thanks a lot for the reply. with all the bits in place, it will work out!
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December 17, 2009 4:35:45 PM

I am assuming you have a gigabit router or switch on the network? You mentioned a 10/100 internet. I am assuming you mean a 10/100 network. If your network is only 10/100 then the gigabit nic will only connect at 100 speeds.
December 17, 2009 9:12:24 PM

Well the internet is conected trough my netgear cg3100, a modem/gateway/router which allows me to have a gigabit home network, a wireless 801n and a internet conection with 100/10, 100 mbit download and 10 mbit upload.

My desktop are conected with the gigabit full duplex conection (confrimed gigabit by the cg 3100). But internet speeds do not get as good as on my laptop.

so the internet is 100 mbit, but flows through the gigabit network.

Anyway, the problem is that i do not get 100mbit on my desktop.

after some tuning and resetting i now get about 50mbit down and 10mbit up (internet conection)
While doing the bandwidth test the cpu reaches 100% for a couple of seconds. It is the internet explorer proces that uses almost all of the cpu.

So, i now think i know what limits my internet on the desktop, it's antique processor (AMD Athlon) 1,24ghz.

yet, anyone now a nice tutorial to tune this traktor for server duty?
December 18, 2009 9:04:23 AM

Ok, heres a nice turn on things. Yesterday i used a peer to peer software called utorrent do download a documentary in BD format. It was downloded with an average of 7.9M/s but as i watched the progress i saw it peak a couple of times around 10-10.2MB/s, on the desktop. So it seems that the problem lies within either the tcp protocol or the browsers cpu-eating abilitys. When i changed from firefox to explorer it added another 15mbit to the DL speed...
December 18, 2009 11:50:22 PM

A 100 Mbit connection will give you a theoretical max download speed of about 12.5 MByte/sec so if you're seeing 10MByte/sec download speeds then I would say your doing just fine. It could peak above 12.5 depending on compression and temporary boosts you can get.

I would say your ancient, in computer years, cpu is/can limit you on speeds. I used to use an 800Mhz pentium for downloading stuff over night. My speeds were never very good. Started using my Athlon 64 +3200 at 2 Ghz and speeds were alot better.
December 19, 2009 4:20:10 PM

yep. Thats the problem. I will do a clean install just to dl stuff on thís desktop.

Thanks for the help Sturm!
December 28, 2009 3:37:21 PM

sturm said:
What CPU do you have in the laptop? That right there could be the problem, the AMD is alot slower.
Also check your pci nic and make sure it's connecting at 100 Full Duplex speeds and not 10 Full Duplex or even half duplex.
PCI is shared bus so any other activity on it will reduce speeds for other pci components.


My AMD Athlon 2500XP+ with integrated nForce 10/100mbit card can copy files across the network at full 100mbit and only uses ~4% cpu doing it(that includes HD overhead)

I'm and Intel fanboy but I see no reason for ANY computer new than 1995 to not be able to saturate a 100mbit connection.

You are right about the PCI being shared, but it depends. PCI is 125MB/sec total bandwidth, but segmented into time slots. the 12.5MB/sec of a NIC is fairly low and even with your HD reading/writing 12.5MB/sec to your NIC, that's still under 30MB/sec of your 125MB total.

You will never get the full 125MB/sec out of PCI in most tests because it's based on round-robin timeslots, but there's still no reason for a 100mbit nic to bottleneck unless you have A LOT of devices or one REALLY fast device like a RAID card doing heavy IO while your trying to transfer.

sturm said:
A 100 Mbit connection will give you a theoretical max download speed of about 12.5 MByte/sec so if you're seeing 10MByte/sec download speeds then I would say your doing just fine. It could peak above 12.5 depending on compression and temporary boosts you can get.

I would say your ancient, in computer years, cpu is/can limit you on speeds. I used to use an 800Mhz pentium for downloading stuff over night. My speeds were never very good. Started using my Athlon 64 +3200 at 2 Ghz and speeds were alot better.


12.5MB/sec max includes overhead.

The 10MB/sec you see does NOT include overhead. TCP/IP packets need to store a lot more info than just what you're transferring. 10.5MB/sec is about the max you will see using IPv4 on a 100mbit link.





The main culprits to slow NICs are usually bad drivers. Most decent NICs offload a lot of overhead to the NIC hardware, but a cheaper NIC will do it in software. This would show up as more kernel time than normal and may cause the system to be a bit more unresponsive and/or slower network speeds. A multi core CPU wouldn't be hit as hard because the OS can load balance the extra kernel time from your NIC.

I guess for a reference my XP 2500+(1.8ghz single core) from ~2001 uses about 2% cpu(kernel) doing 100mbit and my i7 doesn't even register CPU time so under 0.1% since it increments in 10th of a percent.
January 3, 2010 9:35:00 AM

Hi very interesting indeed.

Did a clean new install of XP and installed a minimum of software.

Now the bandwith test show a fresh 90mbit/s and full upload. Which is not as fast as my i7 powerd notebook but insignificant slower.

Why this was needed i really do not understand, but something builds up by time in windows that slows down the action.

Again, thanks a lot for all the help!
/R
!