Onboard NIC Sizing Question



  • Quick question.

    I'm setting up a pfsense box as an internal firewall sitting between the DMZ and an internal segment.

    Assuming the processor is fast enough, is there any limitation to throughput using onboard network interfaces as opposed to a PCI-e card?

    I'm looking at this 1U … http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816110049



  • @Agarax:

    Assuming the processor is fast enough, is there any limitation to throughput using onboard network interfaces as opposed to a PCI-e card?

    Assuming no other limitations, a PCIexpress onboard NIC should be able to get close to 1Gbps each direction but a PCI onboard NIC will at best (downhill, strong tailwind etc) get 1Gbps total across both directions. A PCI onboard NIC will generally have to share its bandwidth will all other PCI devices in the system but a PCIexpress NIC doesn't have to share its bus bandwidth.

    Short answer: You shouldn't see a significant difference between an onboard PCIexpress NIC and the same type of NIC in a PCIexpress slot.



  • Unless you want pure 2Gbps (1Gbps each way) throughput, there shouldn't be much of a noticeable difference between onboard or PCI-e. I have tested onboard NICs on multiple mobo's and sure have seen differences in throughput. A lot depends on the NIC manufacturer (Intel vs Realtek vs Broadcom vs others) and the type of driver you have for it.


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