Performance issues

  • I have recently installed PFsense at the office to test our cable internet connection. using a PC directly on the modem yelds us a 15mbit down and 1650kbit up rating from their speedtest site.  the same test running through pfsense shows a 1450kbit upstream and a measly 6mbit downstream.

    I installed this on a dell optiplex gx270.  the LAN nic is em0 and the wan nic is xl0 (hoping the nic type may have something to do with it.)
    is there anything i can do to get better performance?  is there a best practices/best hardware guide to running pfsense?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  • Does your CPU hit 100% usage while the test is running? Also check if the autonegotiation between the system and the modem was successful (status>interfaces) or if you see lots of collisions or interface errors. Are you using the trafficshaper?

  • Are you using 1.2 or 1.0?

    Certainly I get the full 20 Mb/s download on my home cable link through my pfSense 1.2 box, despite it using RealTek NICs ;)  Others have pushed their boxes to 60 Mb/s:,7668.0.html

  • Have you installed any packages, namely the squid package?

  • WOW,

    thanks for the great suggestions,  here is what i have done so far.
    i removed the 3com nics and tested with an intel nic.  i got a 1Mbit performance increase with the intel nic in polling mode.  no increase with the 3coms.

    HOWEVER,  status -> interfaces shows my lan link at a detected 10Mbit/sec.  which is most likely the cause of the issue!  didn't even think to check there as i have never had an issue.

    I will re-test and post results on this thread with intel vs 3com nics once i get this issue sorted out…  It is most likely caused by my company being cheap!

  • the switch unfortunately has 10 MBit blades in it,  i have stolen a port on one of the 100Mbit blades to continue testing.

    Intel NICS: noticed an approx 100kbit/sec drop in speed when turning polling on,  i was however using both ports on an intel pro 100 + dual adaptor.  perhaps them sharing an IRQ is not the most performant scenario…

    3C905cx/onboard intel 865G:
    almost a 600kbit/sec increase in speed without polling.
    with polling on i noticed an approx 100kbit/sec drop in speed again.

    there is no difference in speed at the 15Mbit range between these 2 sets of nics. both seem to perform great when you have the appropriate hardware...

    Is polling only meant to increase performance when you have IRQ issues in a system?

    Thanks again for everyone's help!

  • Polling prevents the system from getting blocked by interrupts. As long as you are not hitting such situations frequently I would not use polling.

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