NIC with Onboard CPU



  • If one was to find a NIC with an onboard CPU, would this be utilized by the firewall or bypassed like a Windows machine does by default?  Would there be a way to "disable offload"?

    Is it worth the extra expense and trouble?

    Thanks!  ;D



  • It depends on the particular NIC, and the FreeBSD drivers available for it.

    The offload features of Intel Gigabit Server NICs (em), Broadcom NetXtreme (bge) and Broadcom NetXtreme II (bce) NICs are employed by FreeBSD by default. You can disable these features using ifconfig - for example, to disable the RX checksum support on the primary NIC of my pfSense machine, I could issue the command ifconfig bge0 -rxcsum



  • thanks!

    Guess my next question would be- Is it better to offload or let the card do it?

    System by system I would suppose…



  • I (and somebody I know who's spent far too long working with large ISPs) have had mixed success with TCP offloading.  When it works, it's great.  But I've had lots of strange situations where it breaks things and identify that ToE is the cause can take a while.  Intel cards seem to be better in that regard.


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