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Need help configuring Intel 82574L NIC for better performance
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Kulagin
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Default Need help configuring Intel 82574L NIC for better performance - 02-15-2017, 11:49 | posts: 24 | Location: Virgo Supercluster

On my all other PCs for last ~8 years I always played on external PCI network cards, they always worked better than integrated ones, even considering integrated worked 'just fine'.

But now I bought motherboard without PCI slots, so I had to buy new PCI-e network card. So I bought Intel 82574L CT Gigabit Desktop Network Adapter(PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_10D3&SUBSYS_A01F8086&REV_ 00) to play video games. Integrated NIC on this new motherboard works just fine, but you can always do better than default or integrated.

Here's screens of technologies available to me in NIC's control panel:
http://i.imgur.com/qmfuiTc.png
http://i.imgur.com/n4w9t8y.png

I don't use any kinds of VPNs, routers, modems, etc. Cable goes directly into network commutator of ISP(I believe it's Cisco unless they changed it). If model will make a difference on settings, tell me and I'll get the exact model of the network commutator of ISP. My ISP using DHCP to configure network. I get dedicated dynamic(it's different every time I reconnect) white IP address, so I can setup a server on my PC.

Values of properties:
Quote:
Adaptive Inter-Frame Spacing: Disabled
Flow Control: Rx & Tx Enabled
Gigabit Master Slave Mode: Auto Detect
Interrupt Moderation: Enabled
Interrupt Moderation Rate: Adaptive(other possible values: off, minimal, low, medium, high, extreme)
IPv4 Checksum Offload: Rx & Tx Enabled
Jumbo Packet: Disabled
Large Send Offload V2(IPv4): Enabled
Large Send Offload V2(IPv6): Enabled
Locally Administered Address: Not Present
Log Link State Event: Enabled
Maximum Number of RSS Queues: 2 Queues
Packet Priority & VLAN: Packet Priority & VLAN Enabled
Receiver Buffers: 256(minimum value is 80, max - 2048)
Receive Side Scaling: Enabled
Speed & Duplex: Auto Negotiation(works in 100 MB Full Duplex mode)
TCP Checksum Offload (IPv4): Rx & Tx Enabled
TCP Checksum Offload (IPv6): Rx & Tx Enabled
Transmit Buffers: 512(minimum value is 80, max - 2048)
UDP Checksum Offload (IPv4): Rx & Tx Enabled
UDP Checksum Offload (IPv6): Rx & Tx Enabled
Wait for Link: Auto Detect
And there are more properties in TCP Optimizer(and who knows how many more you can tweak in registry manually):
http://i.imgur.com/PyzTZCx.png
http://i.imgur.com/kEwc4ss.png

Screenshoted values above are defaults for all of the properties.

I tried to read descriptions about these technologies but unfortunately I am unable to set proper values for all of these properties. I don't know how to test those values and when I tweak all of them, sometimes it works faster than default, sometimes slower. I measure it by how fast I get confirmation of a kill in video games such as CS:GO or Insurgency. I also tried to read different guides on the internet and different people suggest to turn off or turn on the exact same properties of NIC, they also explain and both explanations make sense, so I am completely lost what values should I set for these properties.

It would be nice if there was some program to monitor packets and then by seeing how many packets there are, what are sizes of these packets, etc., one could determine proper settings for these properties.

Could someone help me to set proper values for these properties, guys? If you need any other info, don't hesitate to ask, I'll provide as many info as I can. If you know some articles and programs which can help me to determine proper values, please post them here.

Thanks in advance, gurus!

Last edited by Kulagin; 02-15-2017 at 11:55.
   
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Agent-A01
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Default 02-15-2017, 15:05 | posts: 9,422 | Location: USA

That NIC will stop getting driver support soon. Will be discontinued in less than a year.

You should have bought the i210-T1 or something if you had to have one

BTW that intel i219v that comes with your mobo is by far a superior chip in performance and feature set.
That 82574L is almost 10 years old.. Let that sink in.

I recommend you to return it.

As for tweaks, just set optimal in TCP optimizer.
Interrupt moderation rate set to Minimal.

The rest of defaults are good.

Maybe you should replace your wiring to cat6a, cable modem/router because 100mb link means something is old.
   
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Kulagin
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Default 02-15-2017, 15:39 | posts: 24 | Location: Virgo Supercluster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent-A01 View Post
That NIC will stop getting driver support soon. Will be discontinued in less than a year.

You should have bought the i210-T1 or something if you had to have one

BTW that intel i219v that comes with your mobo is by far a superior chip in performance and feature set.
That 82574L is almost 10 years old.. Let that sink in.
I see. Yes, that's not a problem to turn on integrated NIC and use it instead. In fact, I just did it. I bought another one for $4 or something, anyway. Not even worth to return it xd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent-A01 View Post
Maybe you should replace your wiring to cat6a, cable modem/router because 100mb link means something is old.
My ISP doesn't provide 1 GBit/s. So I'll have to stick to 100 mb for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent-A01 View Post
As for tweaks, just set optimal in TCP optimizer.
Interrupt moderation rate set to Minimal.
The rest of defaults are good.
Thanks for suggestions, I'll try these out, but you see, in another thread(this one) people suggest contradicting settings:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mineria View Post
On the nvidia NIC's I disabled all offloading and enabled flow control, since that worked better.
With my current NIC I got offloading and flow control enabled, since those operations are done directly on the cards hardware (it has its own CPU and RAM).
So it means different settings are better for different NICs. What I'm interested in is to know how do I find best settings for my specific NIC and for my specific application?

And after I finish reading just his post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mineria View Post
I don't see the big effect when it comes to pure bandwidth, but pings are definitely a lot lower.
That gives me the best performance for mmo gaming.
Another thing to take note of is the Sidescaling option.
If you got a 1000Mpbs NIC connected to a 100Mpbs interface you will have lower upload than with it disabled, that was something I saw with the NIC's sitting on my board.
Nothing dangerous will happen playing around with the settings, just remember to do some tests in between so you know the effect for your system and use.
I am completely lost. And there are few more posts like that in that thread. And when I open guides on speedguide.net and alike:
http://www.speedguide.net/articles/gaming-tweaks-5812

I have no idea what to actually set, because one people suggest to set some specific setting on and others suggest to set it off or vice versa.

What I determined so far that it isn't good for latency and hit registration in video games to have too many small packets with too many headers, it's better to have smaller number of packets bigger in size.

Last edited by Kulagin; 02-15-2017 at 15:59.
   
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Agent-A01
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Default 02-15-2017, 16:21 | posts: 9,422 | Location: USA

See how long it takes to ping your cable modem.

It will be less than 1ms(unless its old)

So any benefits you read only that you read online will be minimial.
You might get a more stable ping(less fluctuations) but nothing you tweak will be significant enough to matter.

All those options for offloading he turned off are just going to put more load on the CPU.
He is talking about NVIDIA NIC and again those are ancient.
Those improvements he is getting are strictly related to his setup.

In that case you can't assume those tweaks will help you; they won't.


You should ping the first hop (your ISPs first server, aka where your traffic first gets routed through) and do a comparison of before and after tweaks.

You likely see little improvement.

Interrupt moderation will be the main one.

On extreme setting, it will wait several MS to combine packets.
With off it will send every packet interrupt instantly.

The downside is having more interrupts creates more load for system hardware.
Minimal is the best option and will have very little affect on latency, probably something like less than .2 ms.

Quote:
My ISP doesn't provide 1 GBit/s. So I'll have to stick to 100 mb for now.
You said you have 100mbit connection to your NIC.

That has nothing to do with your ISP, that is your LAN speed.
Which means you have a very old switch, cable modem, router etc and you'll likely see more benefits in latency replacing those.
   
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Kulagin
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Videocard: Nvidia MSi
Processor: Skylake@4.6gHz(OC-BCLK)
Mainboard: ASRock Extreme4 OC@145mHz
Memory: Team DDR4@3000mHz 1x8GB
Soundcard: XFi Titanium&Kave Mod 6.0
PSU: Chieftec 700W GPS-700A8
Default 02-16-2017, 09:15 | posts: 24 | Location: Virgo Supercluster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent-A01 View Post
So any benefits you read only that you read online will be minimial.
You might get a more stable ping(less fluctuations) but nothing you tweak will be significant enough to matter.
But it makes a difference. When, for example, I turn off: Inter-Frame Spacing, interrupt moderation, all checksum offloads, flow control, RSS, RSC, DCA, Chimney Offload, LSO, TCP 1323 Timestamps, set buffers to 80, it does shift hitboxes, compared to visible model, so to hit enemy I have to aim at different location compared to default settings, because it does affect latency.

I have no way of proving it, because I don't know another person who would waste a week to test every single setting there. And there are a lot more of settings you can tweak in TCP optimizer and in registry manually AFAIK. And then again, I don't know that much about extrapolation, interpolation and networking stuff to perform this kind of tests. I was thinking of something like this:
https://youtu.be/MPTwGSrjsgo?t=49s

Just turn off, see how it affects hitboxes, record a video, then turn it on, record a video and see how it affected things frame by frame. But video eats up CPU, so tests will be affected by the video recording.

And to have some kind of overlay on top of the image to see proper networking variables:
https://developer.valvesoftware.com/.../Net_graph.jpg

I just don't know if there are this kind of software and what variables I want to track.

What I know for sure is that tweaks make a big difference in fast paced video games, like CS:GO(but not only). And it's much easier to make it worse than to make it better, because to make it worse you need to miss only one setting and to make it better you have to have every setting in the correct state. I'm not saying that difference is like in-between ping 5 and ping 120, but it can make a difference as in between ping 20 and 60. And that's a very big difference. Let's say I have ping 20 and I tweak all settings randomly, ping itself will be the same, but the feeling of gameplay will not be as if I play on ping 20 using default settings. It is very easily to make it to feel like you play on ping 60 and basically just destroy hitreg for yourself by tweaking these settings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent-A01 View Post
In that case you can't assume those tweaks will help you; they won't.
My approach is different: I know I can make it worse by turning off all offloads, set minimum buffers, etc(all from the list above). And if I can make it worse, it means there are a lot of chances that I can make it better. Why? Because what are the chances that default NIC settings are perfect(and the best you can set) for gaming? I would say there are no any chances of that, because in my experience with PCs, default settings are pretty much always bad and you can tweak just some of the settings to make it work much better. It happened to me with every single piece of PC: headphones, monitor, mouse, USB, video card, sound card, CPU, RAM, Motherboard, BIOS, Windows. Some of the tweaks are physical, some of the tweaks are just settings in Windows, but the point is that I was always been able to make it better than default.

And I know I can make a difference with NIC. I just don't know how to make it better and to test it out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent-A01 View Post
You should ping the first hop (your ISPs first server, aka where your traffic first gets routed through) and do a comparison of before and after tweaks.
That's the thing. These settings don't really affect ping itself, like, at all. Maybe it's 2-4 ms but it's in a range of error on default settings. But they definitely affect latency: how fast I will see ragdoll after headshotting a player or where I have to aim compared to model model and compared to previous settings to actually hit player: a little in front of a model(like 0.5 cm on the monitor), right at the player, so by the time bullet hit a player, it will actually be behind a visible for me model, etc.

But yeah, thanks. I will definitely ping first point just to see if ping changes at all when different settings are used.
   
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