Alix 2D3 performance



  • Hi all,

    I have an Alix.2D3 running pfSense v1.2.3. I am using one interface for LAN, one for WAN and one another WAN connection which is only used for traffic to a certain IP address. That is handled by a static route.

    I have a 111/11 mbit WAN connection. A speed-test without the Alix box is showing speeds around 105 mbit which is ok. But when I go through the box it drops to around 25-30 mbit. Of course it cannot handle full speed but 25 mbit is far lower than what I would have expected. I am almost certain that I have seen it running around 50 mbit a while ago but I did not take any particular notice.

    I have not enabled any VPN related stuff. Neither does the box run any "non-standard" services. It is just acting as DHCP, doing NAT and handling simple static routing - and basic set of fw rules. I have tried disabling the "secondary" WAN interface, only connect one PC to the LAN interface, remove the cable to the secondary WAN etc. No change at all…

    Is this normal performance - or does anyone have any good suggestions? I would really hate to replace it right now. I could live with 50-70 mbit but 25 is just too low.

    TIA

    /M



  • @crazzter:

    I have an Alix.2D3 running pfSense v1.2.3. I am using one interface for LAN, one for WAN and one another WAN connection which is only used for traffic to a certain IP address. That is handled by a static route.

    I have a 111/11 mbit WAN connection. A speed-test without the Alix box is showing speeds around 105 mbit which is ok. But when I go through the box it drops to around 25-30 mbit. Of course it cannot handle full speed but 25 mbit is far lower than what I would have expected. I am almost certain that I have seen it running around 50 mbit a while ago but I did not take any particular notice.

    I have an Alix.6e1 (pretty much the same as 2d3) running pfSense v1.2.3. I am using one interface for LAN, one for WAN and have a 100/10 mbit WAN connection (fibre). I get between 85 and just over 90 mbit (down of course, no parallel upload, tested with large files of several GB) with standard services (plus siproxd) running, which is pretty much what I would expect. I have not enabled QoS and don't use Snort or similar, just the standard firewall. LAN is bridged to WLAN.

    The hardware can do it…



  • There may be a NIC tweak you can do in the pfSense interface to bump it up, but you should be able to get 80Mb.  However, knowing that you have 111Mb downstream, it was the wrong platform in the first place.  If nothing else, you are limited to Fast Ethernet besides the Geode speed limit on top of that.



  • Well… that proves my suspicion right. There is something wrong :-\

    I know it's not exactly the right platform for 111 mbit. When I bought the box I had a 10 mbit connection. Who could have known it would get a "slight" boost so soon :-)

    It is quite odd that things are running THAT slowly...!?

    And thank you for the replies!



  • @crazzter:

    It is quite odd that things are running THAT slowly…!?

    If I understand things correctly, on the downstream side you have a 111Mbps pipe from the internet to your modem and a 100Mbps pipe from your modem to your ALIX. If someone on the internet is pushing data to you fast enough eventually data will get dropped, TCP time out results and throughput drops.

    In contrast, if someone is pushing data to you at 50Mbps there is much less likelihood of data loss because you shouldn't get "local buffer overflow".

    "Faster" isn't always "better".

    In practice, I suspect there may not be that many internet hosts that could push data to you at over 70Mbps (intervening network and circuit sharing with other users will severely limit capability) so it may not be a "real" problem.



  • Don't want to hijack this topic, but I just started reading about the Alix 2D boards and got enthusiastic mainly because of the extremely low power consumption. I have a 120 mbit down / 10 mbit up connection currently, so the 100 mbit links on this board will be a limitation. As far as I can see there is no real alternative which has gigabit interfaces besides moving to a "real pc" like an Atom board or is there?



  • The fitPC2i http://fit-pc.com is pretty low powered too and would have 2 Gbit interfaces.
    Although it's quite pricy… (and it's based on an atom)



  • hacom.net has some low powered appliances with gigabit nics, but many of them are based on the Atom.


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