Performance with Intel i218/i219 NIC

Last change on 2020-09-28 • Created on 2020-06-04

Low performance with Intel i218/i219 NIC

Problem

With kernel version 4.15 a fix in the e1000e driver has been introduced: https://github.com/torvalds/linux/commit/b10effb92e272051dd1ec0d7be56bf9ca85ab927

This fix slighly slows down DMA access times to prevent the NIC to hang up on heavy UDP traffic. This impacts the TCP performance.

Workaround

In order to regain full transfer speeds, you can turn off TCP segmentation offloading via the following command:

ethtool -K <interface> tso off gso off

There is currently no fix available / announced that allows offloading TCP segmentation to the NIC without sacrificing performance.

The following error message can be ignored:

Cannot get device udp-fragmentation-offload settings: Operation not supported

Older ethtool versions try to disable a feature not present in newer kernel versions. Nevertheless deactivating the TCP segmentation offloading will still work: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=898907

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