Optimizing Ethernet Adapter Settings for Maximum Performance

 There are several things that you can do to optimize the throughput performance of your Ethernet adapter to ensure maximum performance.  These settings are not required to operate your FLEX-6000 Signature Series SDR. Below is a collection of suggestions for optimizing your network adapter.

1. Update Your Network Drivers

Making sure that your network adapter drivers are updated is the single most effective way to ensure maximum performance.  Check to see if your computer manufacturer has updated network drivers for your PC.  You can also update network drivers by identifying the adapter manufacturer and model number and downloading the most current driver for your adapter and installing it as per the manufacturer's instructions.  A detailed description of how to do this is beyond the scope of this HelpDesk article and is not an activity that our technical support team supports.

2. Do Not Allow Windows to Power off the Network Adapter

Windows will power down hardware devices in order to save power.  Powering down the Ethernet adapter can result in the connection between the FLEX-6000 and the SmartSDR for Windows client to lose connection.  There is a device-level power management setting that will prevent this from happening.

  • Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Device Manager.
  • Now expand Network Adapters, right click on the Ethernet device and click Properties.
  • In the window that appears, click Power Management and un-check the option Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.

3. Green Ethernet or Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)

EEE also referred to as "Green Ethernet is a set of enhancements to the twisted-pair and backplane Ethernet family of computer networking standards that will allow for less power consumption during periods of low data activity. The intention was to reduce power consumption by 50% or more while retaining full compatibility with existing equipment. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), through the IEEE 802.3az task force, developed the standard. The IEEE ratified the final standard in September 2010.

Consumer Ethernet switches that support EEE will automatically adjust their respective power-saving settings so that they match, but some Ethernet switches do not perform this mutual adjustment properly, resulting in poor throughput performance and dropped packets.

If your Ethernet switch and Ethernet adapter support EEE, turning it off on both the PC NIC and the Ethernet switch has shown to eliminate data errors and occasional device disconnects in some cases.

In Windows, the EEE setting is associated with the network adapter hardware

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Double-click Network adapters.
  3. Right-click the network adapter you want, and then click Properties.
  4. On the Advanced tab, Look for energy-saving options and make the appropriate changes you want.

For changing this setting on an Ethernet switch, refer to the Ethernet switch specific power saving options and make the appropriate changes you want.

4. Ethernet Adapter Performance Settings

There are a variety of settings which may be available for your PC's network adapter that can improve throughput performance.  These settings are associated with the network adapter hardware

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Double-click Network adapters.
  3. Right-click the network adapter you want, and then click Properties.
  4. On the Advanced tab, Look for energy-saving options and make the appropriate changes you want.

Below is a description of these options and what they do.

Maximize all adapter buffers and descriptors - Set these values as high as possible for maximum performance. On PCs with limited physical memory, this may have a negative impact as send buffers consume system memory. On most systems, however, the maximum setting can be applied without significantly reducing available memory.

Receive Buffers: The buffer size of system memory that can be used by the adapter for received packets, which can be increased to help improve the performance of outgoing network traffic, but it consumes system memory.

Transmit Buffers: The buffer size of system memory that can be used by the adapter for sending packets, which can be increased to help improve the performance of outgoing network traffic, but it consumes system memory.

Receive Descriptors: Sets the number of Receive Descriptors that are allocated in the host memory and used to store the received packets. This can be increased if performance of received traffic is lacking.

Transmit Descriptors: Sets the number of Transmit Descriptors that enable the adapter to track transmit packets in the system memory. This can be increased if performance of transmission traffic is lacking.

 

Settings and Parameters to Disable

Turn all "offload" options OFF -  In almost all cases performance is improved only marginally when enabling network interface offload features on a PC. Offloading tasks from the CPU to the network adapter can help lower CPU usage on the PC at the expense of adapter throughput performance. 

Disable Interrupt Moderation / Set Interrupt Moderation Rate to OFF - This feature groups packets together and sends them as a batch.  It can be responsible for sluggish tuning of the radio.

Disable Flow Control - It sounds counter-intuitive to disable flow control, but TCP has it's own flow control mechanism and if an occasional UDP packet gets dropped, it has no appreciable impact on the performance of the radio.

If your network adapter has the following adapter settings, set them as follows:

Disable Receive Side Scaling
Disable Adaptive Inter-Frame Spacing
Set Enable PME to DISABLED
Disable Packet Priority & VLAN
Disable Jumbo Packet

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