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Question 3C574 and CPU utilization 

Forum: 3Com PCMCIA Ethernet Adapter Issues
Date: 2000, Jul 18
From: Derek Glidden dglidden

I had to replace the 3C589 that's been working great in my laptop for the last couple of years because the stupid dongle broke. I decided to stick with 3Com and buy a 3c574. (Specifically the 3CCFE574BT, according to the packaging.)

I'm having a strange issue with it that I'm not sure is normal or if there is something else going on.

The card itself works fine, but CPU utilization is directly proportional to the amount of network traffic, and the best performance I can get out of the card is slightly less than the 3c589 was capable of doing, probably because the CPU is at 100% load at just under 10Mbps speeds. The 3c589 did not have this problem - under full load, CPU utilization was virtually nonexistent.

The machine is running Kernel 2.2.16 and I had been running PCMCIA 3.1.15, upgraded to 3.1.18 and both have the same performance characteristics.

This is a Toshiba Satellite 4015CDS with the Toshiba ToPIC97 card controller in it. There is also a 3Com/Megahertz 56K modem pccard plugged in that is not being used for anything.

I'll gladly post kernel messages if anyone thinks they're necessary, but I want to reiterate that the card, other than using a lot of CPU time during network activity, appears to be working just fine.

If this is a known issue with either the card or the laptop chipset, I would like to take the card back and exchange it for a DLink 10/100 card, which is $100 cheaper and also has a "Ready for Linux" sticker on the box. (I didn't get that to begin with because I had had such good luck with the other 3Com card.) Is this a recommended course of action? (i.e. I'll have a lot better luck with the DLink card than the 3Com, or they're both going to suck CPU time the same way, but at least the DLink card would suck for $100 less?)

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