RE: Multia UDB Hardware Questions

Steven W. Decato (swdecato@mbay.net)
Tue, 19 Nov 1996 15:31:23 -0800

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Our tests involved 2 Pentium 100 machines running Linux 2.10 wired =
directly to each other via a crossover cable (send->receive, =
receive->send) "point-to-point". Using the crossover cable, no other =
machines are on the network, so traffic is not a consideration. We used =
3COM595 100BT cards PCI cards. The software simply transmitted packets =
of various sizes and measured performance. We tested using straight =
sockets and MPI. Our tests revealed a maximum throughput of 2.5 =
megabytes per second. However, we noted that CPU load was nearly 100% =
so the assumption is that the process is CPU bound. We will do more =
testing to determine if a faster CPU will give faster performance. If =
so, how much faster? We also have a dual Pentium machine we will be =
doing testing on. Another variable to consider is the card itself. PC =
magazine noted in a recent article that the 595 cards do have a tendency =
to load down the CPU. I suspect this is why 3COM is now selling the =
Etherlink XL 10/100 cards (3COM-905TX).

I have a UDB 166 but haven't included it in the testing yet because of =
the 10BT limitation. I note, however, that someone is using an SMC =
100BT card in their machine, so I'll try to include testing on the UDB =
as well. I have been generally disappointed with the performance of the =
166 since the CPU load rises very quickly compared to the Pentium 100's.

Steve
swdecato@mbay.net
Computer Science Department
Naval Postgraduate School

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