Bell Fiber 1gb/1gb - Slow speeds with XEON processor

  • Hi,

    I had an old Lenovo Thinkstation C30 given to me. I purchased a dual NIC using the Intel 82546 chipset. The onboard NIC is Intel as well.

    When I connect my laptop directly to my Bell Fiber modem, I get great speed test results:

    When I connect my pfsense box to the router, get a similar LAN IP (192.168.2.x), I get nearly half in my speed test:

    chipset information here:

    I had a similar issue when I was using my Mikrotik router. The fix was to add an firewall filter rule for enabling the fasttrack-connection action on established and related connection states.

    System specs:
    BIOS Vendor: LENOVO
    Version: A1KT55AUS
    Release Date: Fri Oct 16 2015

    Version 2.4.4-RELEASE (amd64)
    built on Thu Sep 20 09:03:12 EDT 2018
    FreeBSD 11.2-RELEASE-p3

    CPU Type Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2609 0 @ 2.40GHz
    4 CPUs: 1 package(s) x 4 core(s)
    AES-NI CPU Crypto: Yes (inactive)
    Kernel PTI Enabled


  • Forgot to add. The system has 8GB of memory. Also, did a vmstat to check irq sharing.

    [2.4.4-RELEASE][root@router]/root: vmstat -i
    interrupt                          total       rate
    irq4: uart0                          294          1
    irq16: em1 ehci0                  305597        710
    irq17: em2 uart2                    2723          6
    irq23: ehci1                         894          2
    irq36: hdac0                          14          0
    cpu0:timer                         59731        139
    cpu3:timer                         51555        120
    cpu2:timer                         48400        112
    cpu1:timer                         50312        117
    irq264: isci0                       4502         10
    irq266: em0                       309922        720
    irq267: hdac1                         52          0
    irq269: ahci0                         39          0
    Total                             834035       1937

    Any ideas where to start troubleshooting?

  • What type of card is the NIC (PCI\PCI Express). I am assuming it is PCI express if it is dual 1gbps. Make sure that the NIC is plugged into a PCI express slot with a speed greater than 1x. The 1x slots will not be fast enough for a dual 1gbps NIC. Not saying that's your problem, but I've had that issue before where I plugged a NIC into the wrong PCI Express slot and was scratching my head why I wasn't getting the speeds the card was capable of.

    Also, if it is an old PCI card, the PCI bus maxes out at less than 1gbps (don't recall what speed but I know when I was running an old PCI nic I was maxing out around 300+gbps).

  • Motherboard:

    I managed to get a speedtest working on the pfsense box itself. The results are good and what i'd expect. So you may be onto something... it may be the card, the PCI express slot. Looks hardware related or could be something with a NAT rule.

    This is what I did to run the speedtest (and my results):

    [2.4.4-RELEASE][root@router]/root: pkg info -x python
    [2.4.4-RELEASE][root@router]/root: which python2.7
    [2.4.4-RELEASE][root@router]/root: fetch -o /root/speedtest-cli
    /root/speedtest-cli                           100% of   59 kB 1909 kBps 00m00s
    [2.4.4-RELEASE][root@router]/root: chmod +x /root/speedtest-cli
    [2.4.4-RELEASE][root@router]/root: python2.7 /root/speedtest-cli
    Retrieving configuration...
    Testing from Bell Canada ...
    Retrieving server list...
    Selecting best server based on ping...
    Hosted by Bell Canada (Toronto, ON) [13.27 km]: 6.029 ms
    Testing download speed................................................................................
    Download: 901.78 Mbit/s
    Testing upload speed................................................................................................
    Upload: 809.91 Mbit/s

  • The card is brand new and the amazon listing is here:

    It's installed in the 2nd PCI adapter card slot. I've had it in the first, and have tried both slots.... same speed results.

    2_1543358624884_three.jpg 1_1543358624883_one.jpg 0_1543358624883_two.jpg

  • The link is for a PCI card. This pics show a PCI card as well. That's your problem. Search for max speed of PCI NIC and you will start finding more info.

    You are going to need a new card. The card below is great, I have one and love it. It would be my first choice. You can get it cheaper on amazon or other online retailers.

    If your looking for a cheaper card I'm sure you can find something if you search. The hardware subforum would be a good place to start.

    I've had bad luck with real cheap stuff from amazon or ebay. There's a lot of counterfeit intel NICs going around so be careful. If you have the money I'd just buy the card I suggested and be done with it.

  • Netgate Administrator

    The PCI bus is not doing you any favours there but note the upload speed is still 972Mbps and that traffic has to go through both NICs and across the PCI bus just like the download traffic does.
    Which NICs are you actually using there?

    The on-board NIC which I assume is em0 looks to support MSI/X at least so you should be using that for one part of the connection.
    Try re-assigning the NICs. Does the slow half of the test follow the PCI NIC? I.e. you get slow upload now?


  • Thx! Yea, did what you suggested and you're exactly right. It's the card.

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