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Date:      Tue,  7 Feb 1995 18:20:42 UTC+0100
From:      Javier Martin Rueda <>
Subject:   PCI/VESA peripherals for FreeBSD 2.0
Message-ID:  <598*/S=jmrueda/OU=diatel/O=upm/PRMD=iris/ADMD=mensatex/C=es/@MHS>

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Hi. I'm about to purchase a 486DX2-66 PC to install FreeBSD 2.0 in it and
use it as a server for NFS, printers, etc.

Among its requirements, I have to use a fast SCSI-II controller, and a fast
Ethernet network adapter. I want to use either PCI or VESA cards for those
two, as I think that will be the fastest. Am I right? Would EISA be faster?

First of all, I remember someone posted a few months ago the hardware used
for freefall (24 Gb of disk, 90 MHz Pentium, PCI,...). Can someone e-mail me
that again, please?

Regarding VLB SCSI controllers, I've used and tested the Adaptec 2842 VLB
with a Conner CFP-1060S drive in a 486DX-50, and IOZone reports about 1.5-2
Mb/sec for writing and 2.5-3.3 Mb/sec for reading (I've excluded figures
that are too high for reading speed because of the Unix cache).

Regarding PCI SCSI controllers, I haven't tested any.

I'd appreciate that someone e-mail me the speed report generated by iozone
with different SCSI controllers, specially the PCI controllers supported by
FreeBSD (Buslogic 946c and NCR 53810). Is the Adaptec 2940 supported
already, or support isn't ready yet? By the way, what does the 2940 have, so
that it is about 4-5 times more expensive than the NCR, for example?

With respect to Ethernet adapters, I have no experience with VESA or PCI
ones. The release notes list a lot of network adapters supported by FreeBSD,
but they don't say if they are ISA, EISA, PCI or VESA. Does that matter?

For instance, I've seen VESA network adapters that are compatible with
NE-2000. Does that mean that they can be used with FreeBSD just as if they
were 16-bit ISA cards, but much faster?

Again, I would appreciate reports of people who are using PCI or VESA
network cards with FreeBSD, specifying the brand and model, and benchmark
results, if available.

Thanks in advance. If I get any reports (I hope so :-) ), I will post a
summary here, just in case there are other people in the same situation.

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