Cox Gigablast and Slow pfSense Performance



  • I just upgraded to Cox Gigablast and the speeds through my pfSense Router are disappointing compared to the Netgear r6300 that Cox gave me.  We first tested through my pfSense router and got speeds in the 350Mbps range both up and down.  Then we tested with he Netgear R6300 and the speeds were in the 950Mbps range.  Here is my build:

    Motherboard and CPU: Gigabyte Built-In Intel Celeron J1900 (2.0 GHz) Dual LAN Mini ITX DDR3 1333 NA Motherboard GA-J1900N-D3V
    Network Card: Intel PWLA8492MT PRO/1000 MT PCI/PCI-X Dual Port Server Adapter
    Memory: 4GB

    I ran multiple speed tests through http://speedtest.xfinity.com/ and http://speed.googlefiber.net/.

    My CPU utilization does not go above 40%.  I have already tried the tips on this page: https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Low_Throughput_Troubleshooting

    The only packages I have installed are cron and iperf.

    How could a Netgear R6300 with a dual core 800 Mhz ARM processor beat my pfSense Router with a J1900?  Am I missing something in the settings?  The pfSense router performed great before we upgraded to Gigablast routinely getting 180Mbps down on a promised 100Mbps line.



  • Pehaps it's a limitation because of the PCI/PCI-X implementation in the motherboard?

    PCI/PCI-X is old  :P


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    What packages do you have installed on pfsense?



  • That is a very old sounding system. 350Mb/s @ 40% usage is pretty bad. I get 1.95Gb/s (full duplex) @ 5% cpu usage. Mine is total overkill, but I'm trying to give an idea of how behind the times your system is.



  • I was wondering if it was the PCI that was slowing me down.  What would a recommended build for these speeds be?



  • I did some experimenting and tried different combinations of using the onboard Realtek network ports and the addon Intel PCI Network card.  The best speed results came from having my WAN attached to one of the Realtek ports and my LAN attached to one of the Intel ports.  I got speeds over 500Mbps down and over 700Mbps up.  I think the primary limitation is the bus on the motherboard.  PCI is just not enough for gigabit Internet.  Unfortunately, I have turned off the pfSense router and am using the Netgear R6300v2 that Cox provided which gets speeds over 900Mbps down and up.  Until I can build a beefier pfSense system, this will have to do.  :(


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