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10/23/01 Tuesday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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More Ethernet Performance Test Results:
Last Updated: 10/23/2001, 9:50 AM

Yesterday's news had a reader's comments on speeds with Classic and OS X (100BaseT and Gigabit). Rod Paine of Astec sent the results of a series of tests he's run and commented on Gigabit Ethernet performance. Another reader made a good point regarding the hard drive speed limits of the target drive which could limit rates for Gigabit ethernet . Several other reader tests/comments were also received.

" You might want to ask people doing tests to try and setup a 200MB+ RAM disk to do the file transfers.

At 6 seconds for a 150MB file, you are talking roughly 25MB/sec considering the average write performance of hard drives out there, its highly likely to be just capping out the drive.

These are the fastest drives on storagereview.com's leader board.

              Inside      Outside
WD600:        20MB/sec -> 35MB/sec 5400RPM IDE
WD1000:       29MB/sec -> 43MB/sec 7200RPM IDE
Maxtor10k III 35MB/sec -> 54MB/sec 10k scsi
Segate 36lp   45MB/sec -> 60MB/sec 15k scsi

[the IDE articles page here has some test results with drives like the WD 100GB/8MB cache, IBM 75GXP series, Maxtor 100GB, etc. also, tested in Macs.-Mike]

Oh and all of those numbers are READ performance, write performance may be lower...

Since your average drive out there is more likely going to be in the 15-30MB/sec range I'm not surprised to see the gig ethernet capping out at 25mb/sec.

Easiest solution is a big ram disk...although even this will have limitations. Or maybe two FAST raid systems.
-- Jacob Riskin "

" Mike,
One of your readers reported:

    "Next we booted both machines into X.1 [10.1] and ran the same tests but only over IP because of the limitations of X. On 100BT it took :14 and on Gig-E it took a whopping :06 for the same 150MB file!"
    [see bottom of page for reader's full comments/system details-Mike]

Our own tests show that while doing something like using ATTO Tools to test a network mounted volume via 100Mbps will result in about 11MBps, using something more appropriate to test Ethernet speeds with like Helios LanTest will show slightly lower results. Six seconds to move a 150MB file via Gigabit is only 200Mbps and way too slow. This is an issue we've been trying to resolve for many months, since our high-end DTP clients have long since maxed-out 100Mbps Ethernet. Windows Gigabit Mbps speeds are more in the expected range.

We have a number of potential Mac OS X Server buyers, but not if Gigabit is going to slog along at around 300Mbps. We've asked Apple about this, but have had no response.

Here's a copy of our tests which we just updated.
ASTEC Company, Inc.
Mac Consulting Services

Connecting via what network speed and network protocol, results in what kind of real world file transfer speeds?

by Rod Paine
Updated October 22, 2001

Update to the January 13 report, includes PC MACLAN and 1000Mbps Gigabit tests. Shown by order of obtained "Read" speed, from slowest to fastest.

Network  Protocol           Read   Write   Notes

10Mbps   AppleTalk/OS 7.6    759     593  Quadra 700 50MHz 68040 (historic
                                          reference only)
10Mbps   ASIP 6.3.2/AT       817     713  OS 9.0.4 AppleTalk
10Mbps   Snap! TCP           997     953  Snap! Server 1000 via TCP/IP
10Mbps   ASIP 6.3.2/TCP     1033    1098  OS 9.0.4 TCP/IP. Approx. 9Mbps

100Mbps  Snap! AppleTalk    1654    1072  Snap! Server 1000 via AppleTalk
100Mbps  File Share/TCP     1919     980  OS 9.0.4 File Sharing via TCP/IP
100Mbps  File Share/AT      2187    2261  OS 9.0.4 File Sharing via AppleTalk
100Mbps  Snap! TCP          2885    2812  Snap! Server 1000 via TCP/IP
100Mbps  PC MACLAN/AT       2919    1788  PC MACLAN on NT 4.0 (Dell 266/P2)
100Mbps  ASIP 6.3.2/AT      3719    1852  Overly slow write rate (?)
100Mbps  ASIP 6.3.2/TCP     8582    8326  OS 9.0.4 TCP/IP. Approx. 70Mbps
100Mbps  OS X to OS X/TCP   9110    8617  OS X 10.1 TCP/IP File Sharing

1000Mbps OS X Server/TCP 35128 31110 Approx. 274Mbps (This Gigabit data from 3rd party, not from ASTEC. Units involved G4 733MHz and AsantÈ Gigabit Switch. Speed is less than 30% of advertised Gigabit speed of 1000Mbps. Few installations are known to actually reach much above 350Mbps at this point in the Mac/Gigabit's young history. As a point of reference, we have tested Windows NT 4.0 Gigabit on a 4-CPU 833MHz Server at 680Mbps)

Mac OS 9.1 Note - The above 10/100Mbps tests were also run using freshly created boot volumes from the Apple OS 9.1 retail CD (M8081LL/A) and no differences in file transfer speeds were noted when compared to the Mac OS 9.0.4 tests, above.

All Read and Write tests (except 1000Mbps Gigabit tested on G4 733 units) run with shared volume mounted on 1GB B&W G3 450 and tested with Helios LanTest 2.5.2, available at:

The ASIP Server is a 768MB B&W G3 450 running OS 9.0.4 and ASIP 6.3.2. Ethernet is via NETGEAR FS308 100Mbps Switch, with a NETGEAR EN104 10Mbps hub for 10Mbps tests. A Beige (Rev.3) 500MHz 384MB G3 was used for 10 and 100Mbps AppleTalk File Sharing tests, using both its built-in 10Mbps Ethernet and a ZYNX 345 10/100Mbps Ethernet NIC using the Apple Enet driver. All Macs are running OS 9.0.4 plus updates.

The "Snap!" is a Quantum Snap! Server 1000, running current 3.1 firmware.
ASTEC Company, Inc."

" regarding network transfer speeds ...
37 seconds for a 100.3 MB sound file to go from my Umax S900 (G3/500/1MB) with Farallon 100BaseT card to my PC (Pentium III/450) with Intel NIC over 100 Base T ethernet (hubbed).

This is with Mac OS 8.6 and Dave 2.5.x obviously using tcp/ip.
Mac has two Maxtor (Quantum) Atlas 10k2's, PC has my older Seagate Cheetah ... all LVD.
Mark "

" Hi, Mike...
Just a confirmation of your fast ethernet story.

A bit of history...
I had a P3-450 Linux server as my MP3 and File server running the Appletalk file system plugs. Connected to my G4/500Dual, I'd get about 500 Megs copied in 7-8 minutes.

Fair enough. Was fast enough to stream MP3s off of, and copying a standard 30 meg MP3 file took about 15 seconds or so.

Well, I got sick of the loud pentium fans, and purchased a new Quicksilver 733 (I sent you details of fan mods earlier) server. With Appletalk, my filetransfers slowed incredibly! I was getting about 15 minutes or so for that same 500 Meg folder (Office 2001... hehe).

I was really upset. Well, then we all upgraded to 10.0.4. HOLY SLOW FILE TRANSFERS BATMAN! I was going insane. It took me almost 40 minutes to transfer Office 2001 and all its files from the server to the iMac, and to my 867 Quicksilver! I was beginning to think I didn't know how to set up networking.

Then I installed 10.1 on everything...
Whoah! Buddy! :)

Any file under 5 megs or so copies FASTER than it can be duplicated on the hard disk!

With 100BT Switch, and my 3 machines, from or to the server with a 5 meg file is AS FAST AS DRAGGING THE ICON FROM ONE FOLDER INTO THE NEXT! THERE ISN'T EVEN A PROGRESS BAR!

My 500 Meg Folder benchmark? Under 10.1? 28 Seconds. The single 127 Megabyte Quake3 zip file? 11 Seconds.!!!!

I don't know WHAT they did, but thats HELLA fast compared to what I WAS getting from ANY 100BT setup Ive seen on ANY PLATFORM!
Cheers :)
Richard Hunter "

(info from 10/22/2001 news page follows)

"We had some downtime at work and decdided to try some file transfers between two quicksilvers. Both were 867MHz and one had 128MB stock RAM and the other had 640MB. Both drives are the stock 40GB 5400rpm from Apple. We tried all tests with both 100BT and Gigabit connections (different cables) according to Apple System Profiler. Our test consisted of transfering a 150MB Photoshop file between the root level of the machines.

First, we tried filesharing with both machines booted into OS 9.2.1.
On 100BT it took 1:29 to transfer the file while connected over IP.
On 100BT it took 1:02 to transfer the file whiled connected over Appletalk
With Gig-E it took 1:21 over IP and :56 over AT.

Next we booted both machines into X.1 [10.1] and ran the same tests but only over IP because of the limitations of X.
On 100BT it took :14 and on Gig-E it took a whopping :06 for the same 150MB file!

Lastly we booted one machine back into os 9.2.1 and left the other in X.1. Again, we could only connect over IP for these tests due to the X limitation.
For 100BT it took :14 and for Gig-E it took :08

Since a lot of our machines here at work are still on OS 8.6 we decided to see what transfer speeds would be like. The one test we did for that was on 10BT and over IP to X.1.
The time to transfer the 150MB file for that was 2:25.

Just passing on the findings. I can't wait until X is implemented in our environment!
Eric H. "

Normally IP has been faster than Appletalk on my simple networks. I've not tested 10.1 Ethernet speeds, but I've not seen near the rated bandwidth from Ethernet in actual file copies in the past. Another reader however noted he had seen similar rates with his network:

" As for the guy who says he can transfer 150 megs in 14 seconds over 100bT, I believe him Mike. In my studio, I consistently transfer my 100Mb photoshop test file over 100base T Ethernet in just under 10 seconds. Therefore, I assume I could transfer 150Mb files in about 14 or 15 seconds. I use the IP connection to mount my server, and my server is a Mac OSX Server using a RAID 5 with Maxtor 20 gig drives.
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