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Re: NAPI, e100, and system performance problem

To: jamal <hadi@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: NAPI, e100, and system performance problem
From: Andi Kleen <ak@xxxxxx>
Date: 22 Apr 2005 20:30:04 +0200
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 20:30:04 +0200
Cc: Greg Banks <gnb@xxxxxxx>, Arthur Kepner <akepner@xxxxxxx>, "Brandeburg, Jesse" <jesse.brandeburg@xxxxxxxxx>, netdev@xxxxxxxxxxx, davem@xxxxxxxxxx
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On Fri, Apr 22, 2005 at 02:18:22PM -0400, jamal wrote:
> On Fri, 2005-22-04 at 19:21 +0200, Andi Kleen wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 22, 2005 at 08:33:15AM -0400, jamal wrote:
> [..]
> > > They should not run slower - but they may consume more CPU.
> > 
> > They actually run slower.
> > 
> Why do they run slower? There could be 1000 other variables involved?
> What is it that makes you so sure it is NAPI?
> I know you are capable of proving it is NAPI - please do so.

We tested back then by downgrading to an older non NAPI tg3 driver
and it made the problem go away :) The broadcom bcm57xx driver which
did not support NAPI at this time was also much faster.

> > Now before David complains this was with old 2.6 kernels and I dont have
> > time right now to rerun the benchmarks, but at least I dont think
> > there was ever any patch addressing these issues.
> > 
> It would be helpful if you use new kernels of course - that reduces the
> number of variables to look at. 

It was customers who use certified SLES kernels.

> There is only one complaint I have ever heard about NAPI and it is about
> low rates: It consumes more CPU at very low rates. Very low rates

It was not only more CPU usage, but actually slower network performance
on systems with plenty of CPU power.

Also I doubt the workload Jesse and Greg/Arthur/SGI saw also had issues
with CPU power (can you guys confirm?)

> You are the first person i have heard that says NAPI would be slower
> in terms of throughput or latency at low rates. My experiences is there
> is no difference between the two at low input rate.  It would be
> interesting to see the data.

Well, did you ever test a non routing workload?


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