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 From:  "Chris Buechler" <cbuechler at gmail dot com>
 Cc:  "m0n0wall list" <m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch>
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] gigabit hardware sizing and intel 82573 driver support
 Date:  Sat, 25 Mar 2006 15:41:35 -0500
On 3/25/06, Lee Sharp <leesharp at hal dash pc dot org> wrote:
>
> The Generic PC image will work fine on a duel core chip.
>

It will indeed, using only one core.


> A custom build
> with SMP support, however, is not that hard a thing to do.

But with FreeBSD 4.x, is next to pointless.  The network stack
performance barely improves with SMP.  If network throughput is the
primary factor, which it appears to be, it's probably not worth the
trouble.

All the talk we've had on the lists of how slow newer FreeBSD versions
are in comparison to 4.x, 6.0 is actually faster than 4.x with a SMP
system, network throughput-wise.  A SMP-scalable network stack is the
primary reason 6.x is slower than 4.x in network throughput on
uniprocessor systems (though that has improved greatly, 6.x is still
30-40% slower on single processors, but I've seen reports of 30-40%
speed improvements over 4.x on SMP systems).

I think I would go ahead with the dual core, if the extra cost isn't a
huge factor.  My guess (hope) is m0n0wall will have some sort of SMP
support in the future.


> I am worried about
> bus speed.  Will your backplane push the data that fast?
>

This is my primary concern as well.  A server class board with
multiple PCI-X buses with a single PCI-X gigabit NIC in each will
likely give you better performance.  Though I'm not extremely familiar
with PCI-e, does it have the same shared bus limitations of PCI/PCI-X?
 If so, PCI-e might be a worse option than a board with multiple PCI-X
buses.  Another concern I have with PCI-e, do the available NIC's even
work with FreeBSD 4.x?  That's another thing I'd validate before going
with that.

-Chris