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SubjectRe: The good, the bad & the ugly (or VM, block devices, and SCSI :-)
On Wed, 31 Oct 2001 18:29:25 +0100 (CET) Gérard Roudier <>

> > A29160: symbios:
> >
> > cd read without nfs-load: cd read without nfs-load
> > 2998,9 kB 3619,3 kB
> > 3168,2 kB 3611,1 kB
> > 2968,4 kB 3620,2 kB
> >
> > cd read with nfs load: cd read with nfs load
> > 1926,2 kB 3408,1 kB
> > 2123,4 kB 3395,2 kB
> > 2539,4 kB 3605,1 kB
> > 2631,9 kB 3605,8 kB
> >
> > [...]
> > My personal opinion: Justin has work to do.
> Agreed here. Justin should write a clean SCSI access method for Linux for
> free as he did for FreeBSD. :-)

Just to make that clear: its not that I am in the position of _expecting_
anything. I only want to give a clear hint what (according to my limited
knowledge) the problem might be, and who could possibly solve it.

> Just considering the CD read thoughtput differences, we cannot get any
> useful information that applies to software driver differences from your
> report. Given the very low throughput it involves (about 3 MB/s) compared
> to the capabilities of the controllers (160 MB/s), the results should be
> explainable by something related to difference in configuration or to some
> hardware or kernel weirdness.

Well, what more can you expect from me, than the simple truth that the config
is the _same_ for both tests and the only thing I am doing is exchange the
scsi-controller (and therefore the used kernel-driver within the compiled
It is pretty clear that U160 cannot be reached by the CD-drive, because it is
located on the scsi-2 connector (50 pin internal). It is a TEAC CD-532S which
has (to my knowledge) not even wide-scsi but 8 bit data transfer). It is
specified as being 30x, so should have a max throughput of 4500 kB/s (150 kB/s
x 30). The values (at least symbios) are obviously not that far off, taking
into account that 30x means "somewhere on the disk we reach 30x" and not
"through the whole disk we have 30x".
The only difference I can confirm is in TCQ-depth being configured to 8 on
adaptec and 4 (!) on tekram. I reduced the tcq-depth on adaptec from 256 to 8,
a) 256 doesn't work out anyway. I got switched back to 128 during workload
according to the driver
b) even 128 makes "feelable" latency during heavy I/O and concurrent
shell-typing stuff.
c) choose therefore 8, because the _old_ aic7xxx driver used 8, too, and was in
my opinion better in terms of latency _and_ throughput (but didn't compile any
more in some 2.4.x kernel, that's why I _had_ to switch over)

some additional infos:
Motherboard Asus CUV4X-D, 2 x P-III 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM


Attached devices:
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 08 Lun: 00
Vendor: IBM Model: DDYS-T36950N Rev: S96H
Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 03
Host: scsi1 Channel: 00 Id: 02 Lun: 00
Vendor: BNCHMARK Model: DLT1 Rev: 391B
Type: Sequential-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Host: scsi1 Channel: 00 Id: 03 Lun: 00
Vendor: TEAC Model: CD-ROM CD-532S Rev: 1.0A
Type: CD-ROM ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Host: scsi1 Channel: 00 Id: 05 Lun: 00
Vendor: TEAC Model: CD-R58S Rev: 1.0P
Type: CD-ROM ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Host: scsi1 Channel: 00 Id: 06 Lun: 00
Vendor: HP Model: C1537A Rev: L005
Type: Sequential-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02

/proc/interrupts (tekram):
0: 77797 76618 IO-APIC-edge timer
1: 3127 2991 IO-APIC-edge keyboard
2: 0 0 XT-PIC cascade
5: 74 83 IO-APIC-level HiSax
8: 1 1 IO-APIC-edge rtc
9: 4651 4171 IO-APIC-level EMU10K1, eth0
10: 16563 16459 IO-APIC-level sym53c8xx, sym53c8xx, eth2
11: 62677 62214 IO-APIC-level eth1, nvidia
12: 8842 8772 IO-APIC-edge PS/2 Mouse
14: 143 29 IO-APIC-edge ide0
NMI: 0 0
LOC: 154305 154182
ERR: 0
MIS: 0

/proc/interrupts (adaptec):
0: 5967 5266 IO-APIC-edge timer
1: 209 192 IO-APIC-edge keyboard
2: 0 0 XT-PIC cascade
5: 9 6 IO-APIC-level HiSax
8: 1 1 IO-APIC-edge rtc
9: 183 175 IO-APIC-level EMU10K1, eth0
10: 2309 2172 IO-APIC-level aic7xxx, eth2
11: 3532 3468 IO-APIC-level eth1, nvidia
12: 920 1103 IO-APIC-edge PS/2 Mouse
14: 124 48 IO-APIC-edge ide0
NMI: 0 0
LOC: 11124 10979
ERR: 0
MIS: 0

And yes: eth2 is exactly the device where the nfs-load is coming from. This is
unintentional, it just worked out this way, but equal for both contestants.
And no: unfortunately I cannot manage to come to a config where the scsi-IRQ is
singular, I tried hard today, but the network is in fact a 4-port tulip card
which makes a pci-bridge and the irqs behind the bridge tend to do whatever
they like. In fact I moved the irq for the scsi-controllers via bios, but guess
what: eth2 followed wherever I went.
Keep in mind, even with no network traffic adaptec performs bad.
Ah and another thing, I tried _several_ adaptec controllers (even a 29160N),
all the same results.

> I cannot believe a single second that the
> difference is due to the software drivers.

I can. I did a whole lot of such tests during my former job for a company
producing scsi-controllers.

> Thanks, anyway, for your report.

Well, as already said, take it as a hint that your part of the story performs
pretty well.


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