Tyan Thunder K7 and Gigabit Ethernet cards

Velocet math at velocet.ca
Thu Nov 15 10:44:34 PST 2001

On Thu, Nov 15, 2001 at 05:49:24PM +0000, Nirmal Bissonauth's all...
> Hi all,
> I would like to know if people have been successful in using gigabit
> ethernet(over copper) cards with the Tyan Thunder K7 motherboard. (s2462)
> This has two built-in 3com 100 Base T cards.
> I have tried to use a DLINK DGE-550T card with the latter but without much
> success. Even after disabling the onboard NICs, the card did not work
> properly. The problem is that an interrupt is not set after a DMA
> transmitt (something to do with the APIC I presume). I tried linux kernel
> 2.4.12-ac3 with the latest driver from Dlinks website, but that did not
> make much difference either. I have six of these.

I have a single DGE-500T sitting on a Tyan Tiger talking to an SMC card also
based on the NS82830 chipset. No problems sending data EXCEPT in freebsd.
Soon after alot of data flows bi directionally, the card drops the carrier.
(in fact, any NS82830 card has the same problem.) Or at least the OS tells me
that. I think there's a problem with the FBSD nge driver, but that might be
fixed (I think Im on 4.3 here). With a linux 2.4.13 kernel (cant remember if I
dumped appropriate -ac patches in or not - I usually do) with the appropriate
gbe drivers compiled in I had no problems with dropped carriers except on one
card that was finicky with everything.

But otherwise I've had no problems. You on linux or fbsd?

(How many other people use FBSD for clustering?)

> The cards that I am particularly interested to hear about are the
> 3com Gigabit Network card (3c996-T) or (3c996B-T) or (3c1000-T)
> Intel PRO/1000 Gigabit Server 1000B-T PCI Adapter (PWLA8490T)
> NETGEAR 100/1000Base-T Copper Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (GA-623T)
> Netgear 100/1000BASET 32/64 BIT PCI Gigabit Adapter (GA-622T)
> SMC TigerCard 1000BaseTX 32/64Bit PCI Gb Ethernet Nic (SMC9462TX)

Got a mix and match here of GBE cards here - SMC 9452 (not -62), couple
of ARKs and a Linksys, all based on the 82830 card.

Only one did not work - it would drop carrier as soon as any amount of
data went thru it, but then again Im not using Cat6e here, just Cat5+
cables which worked between all other pairs of cards of my 6 here. 

I find relatively low system/interupt time spent on the 82830 cards, like
2% cpu for sending about 150-200Mbps down the wire and receiving the same
at the same time with avg size 1K packets (gromacs 3.0 d.dppc benchmark.)

Here's an interesting thing that I came across on the link on /. today
regarding FBSD vs LINUX:


    On the Linux side, I attached all interrupts coming from the network
    adaptor to one CPU. With the new TCP/IP stack in the 2.4 kernels this
    really becomes necessary. Otherwise, you might find the incoming packets
    arranged out of order, because later interrupts are serviced (on another
    CPU) before earlier ones, thus requiring a reordering further down the
    handling layers.

Can freebsd do that; sounds like a way to ensure further efficiency.


> Or any other cheap gigabit network cards.
> Regards
> Nirmal 
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Nirmal Bissonauth                 email: nirmal.bissonauth at durham.ac.uk
> University of Durham                      www: http://aig-www.dur.ac.uk
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
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Ken Chase, math at velocet.ca  *  Velocet Communications Inc.  *  Toronto, CANADA 

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