Recommended Settings for Intel Network Adapter Drivers For V8 Systems
It has recently come to our attention that some newer servers, particularly ones running Intel Core i5 and i7 series processors, demonstrate slower than usual network performance when running Retail Pro Version 8.X. The symptoms that have been most commonly reported are:
- Reports performing slower on new networked workstations where there is more than one workstation in RPRO
- Slower filtering on new networked workstations where there is more than one workstation in RPRO.
Following a review of a sampling of new systems we have isolated the root cause of this issue. The problem goes back to some new performance features available on newer Intel network interface drivers used with systems that have bundled Intel network interfaces. The instructions below describe the new settings and give our recommendations on how to load and configure the latest drivers on to your Core i5 or i7 series system in order to optimize it for the best V8 performance. These optimizations are only necessary if you are using V8. Version 9.X is not subject to the performance problems that 8 Series encounters when using these drivers under their default settings as the problem is primarily related to the way flat files are handled in multi user environments.
Recommended Settings for Intel Network Adapter Drivers
Recommended settings for Intel?s network adapter drivers (latest version) that get installed on machines with Intel Core i5 and i7. These changes must be done on BOTH file server and client workstations. In order to access them you have to install drivers using Intel?s installer, not Microsoft?s ? it makes more advanced settings available. At the moment Intel?s driver installer is of version 17.4 (assembled 10/17/2012).
How to locate the drivers:
In the ?Find by category? section select:
2)Product family ? Ethernet components;
3)Product line ? Ethernet controllers;
4)Product name ? select model of your Ethernet adapter.
You can locate the Ethernet PHY chipset model in the device manager. For example, this screenshot indicates that computer is using Intel 82578DM Gigabit Network Connection adapter, so the proper model on the Intel?s site should be ?Intel 82578 Gigabit Ethernet PHY?
The settings that you need to turn off:
Advanced page: interrupt moderation: DISABLED
Advanced: Large Send Offload Version 2 (IPv4 and IPv6): DISABLED
Advanced: Performance Options: Properties: Interrupt Moderation Rate: OFF
Advanced: TCP/IP Offloading Options: Properties: UNCHECKED for all entries
The reason why some settings need to be turned off is because while they improve a network throughput and decrease CPU utilization for bulk transfers under heavy network utilization (i.e. sending large number of LARGE packets in a rapid succession) they introduce extra network latency (a packet takes longer to be delivered from one computer to another, and it is more pronounced for small packets than for large ones). As a result, 8-series Retail Pro cannot utilize the network at maximum speed because it is sending a very large number of very small packets to the file server every time it has to access a file shared between more than one instance of RetailPro or its tools on multiple computers across the network (every read request from a shared file requires at least 6 small packets to be sent across the network).
Older versions of Intel?s drivers did not have these features in them, and older chipsets, apparently, were using the older drivers. That?s why it looked like it was a problem with a chipset or a processor ? it was, in reality, a difference between drivers (older machines used drivers of version 9.xxx while newer machines used 11.xxx or 12.xxx). New optimization features and performance improvements (turned on by default) in newer drivers had a hidden toll in increased network latency, which can cause slow down for applications that use high number of small packets at a high rate.