[Solved] Network bandwidth available to PMS

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[Solved] Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Hi all,

EDIT: skip to the bottom couple of posts for resolution. Homeplugs were the source of all my problems. Hard wired Cat5E into gigabit DLink DIR-655 has sorted everything.
EDIT: the first question I should probably ask is: what do people with gigabit networks see PMS syncing with their PS3 at?


I've used these forums for support for ages, but never actually signed up. I thought I should seeing as a) I have a question I cannot find an answer to and b) hopefully I can feedback from my own experiences in order to help others. I use PMS as my main media server from Windows 7 for PS3 over a gigabit network. The PC is connected to my router via gigabit homeplugs. I am currently at v1.71, but this issue has been around since back in 1.3 era versions iirc. My NAS holds nearly 1TB of media, however this is split over many folders across 4 different shares. PC is running on older Q6600 CPU with 4GB memory on IP-35 Pro mobo. Windows 7 is x64.

My issue is this:

PMS syncs the network speed significantly below the speed my network can deliver. I want to understand why this is happening and whether it is the cause of my slow browsing speeds in the library (I have tried recreating the library and starting the database from scratch, but that hasn't helped)

Code: Select all
Address /192.168.1.64 has an estimated network speed of: 73 Mb/s


With the homeplugs being the limiting factor in my network, I can copy files between my PC and Nas at approximately 16MB/s, which is fine for what I require. Read speeds are a bit quicker. Without the homeplugs the write speeds can reach 24MB/s - the limiting factor at that point is the chipset in my ReadyNAS Duo. But 16MB/s is average with homeplugs. Now, I have tried auto-negotiation and I've tried forcing the PC, D-Link DIR-655, ReadyNAS Duo and the PS3 to all be 1000Mb full-duplex. The NIC on the PC shows 1.0Gb, the PS3 shows 1000Mb as does the DLink and the NAS. PMS still won't sync at anything past 73Mb/s (sometimes lower).

I have;

  • Updated my PC chipset drivers
  • Updated my NIC drivers (Marvell Yukon Generic Gigabit)
  • Configured all hardware to run at 1000Mb full-duplex
  • Confirmed that all cabling in my setup is Cat5e (the fact that the existing setup transfers files between PC and NAS above Cat5 speeds proves that but I'm adding it here for clarity
  • PMS is set to use the gigabit PCI card and NOT the onboard 100MB card
  • I have set the maximum network speed to 0, which should mean unlimited

The 73Mb/s sync speed is suggestive of it believing it is only able to sync at 100Mb/s. I occasionally get stutter on playback of larger size files, and browsing the library takes an age despite having enabled the media library and scanning the shares in PMS.

My conclusion at this point is that it is either a setting or configuration I've missed in PMS, or the gigabit NIC on the PS3 is crap. I know I can copy (read) files from my NAS to my PC via the DLink router at above 16MB/s (its around 18 to 20), which shows the network between these is working as expected. The fact that PMS shows the lower sync speed to the PS3 suggests its the PS3. I am yet to test the Xbox sync speed via PMS, but as Xbox has 100Mb NIC I'm not expecting any significant figures. I guess if that syncs at around the same speed I can say that yes, the PS3 doesn't appear to be capable of the supposed gigabit speed I've configured it for...


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I love using PMS and the browsing issues have been causing me issues for some time (including the 2006 error which appears when it seems to 'time out', and again the sync speed in the log made me think whether the bandwidth was the issue). Be great to sort this out.


Thanks for reading this far.


Alex
Last edited by Doovde on Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:43 pm

Several subsequent re-sync's now sync at 56Mb/s. Thats the equivalent of wireless G speeds. Hmmm.
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Re: Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:09 pm

I've found some articles which talk about PS3 users finding that their NIC's do not sync at full speed... investigating further.
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Re: Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:27 pm

Going to swap out the ethernet cable between the PS3 and the DLink, in case it is faulty.
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Re: Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:13 pm

I have swapped out the blank ethernet cable between the PS3 and the router for a branded cable with Cat5E printed on it. I have tried both auto and 1000mb full-duplex (and half) and its made no change. It would appear at present then that the PS3 is limiting the connection. That piece of Cat5E just came off another PC which had a gigabit link speed.

I guess I should have started the thread with, 'what do people with gigabit networks see PMS syncing with their PS3 at?'
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Re: Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:33 pm

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5727&start=10

This chap didn't see anymore than 7MB/s, which is what I'm getting at max as well effectively (at good times).

Not sure on the validity of this post, but http://forums.anandtech.com/archive/ind ... 50999.html suggests that the PS3 is locked down to no more than 6MB/s for copying... I cannot access the link he posts to on the ps3 community boards.

However, http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/ ... -p/7725757 3rd post from bottom states he can see a 500mb/s sync rate within PS3 Media Server itself... which I sure as hell am not seeing.
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Re: Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby meskibob » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:05 pm

512Mb/s reported in the trace log using half-duplex going through an unmanaged gigabit switch.
Direct playback from PMS through the PS3 can utilize that full bandwidth, but copying to the PS3 gets limited by the PS3's harddrive write speed.
73mbps is pretty good for homeplugs, and they can change in performance depending on electrical usage. But note that the bandwidth reported by PMS in the trace is a simple packet ping calculation, not a realistic bandwidth evaluation.
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Re: Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:14 am

Thanks meskibob for the reply.

I will try the PC connected directly to the router. The one thing I forgot to mention is that they are gigabit homeplugs. They don't perform at anywhere near the speeds you'd expect which is why 16MB/s is the maximum write speed I get. They've been moved all around my house including being in the same room on less than 3 meters of cabling between sockets. I'd have thought that despite the homeplugs getting 16MB/s write speeds that I'd see better than 73Mb/s (about half the available read speed) read from PMS, even if it is only a quick packet ping calc... unless the homeplugs are creating additional latency which skews the result. I'll remove the homeplugs from the equation and see how I fare then.

Appreciate the explanation.

Alex
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Re: Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:04 pm

RESOLVED: after a whole bunch of testing, the steaming issues were being caused by the Belkin HD Powerline homeplugs. Despite being 'gigabit' ready, they always were slow. Could be the wiring in my 'new' house (the company who made it had some dubious workmanship at best) but forum posts about these were not great. Various firmware updates solved nothing.

I stuck in some brand new Cat5E cable, 10m from ebay @ £1.89, and PS3 is now syncing with PMS at 512mb/s. I read somewhere that steaming used the network layer compared with file transfers in Windows that were application layer in the OSI model. Anyway, hard wired ethernet seems to have resolved the speed issues. I knew it would be better, but I never thought the powerlines would perform that badly with streaming.

Cheers

Alex
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Re: [Solved] Network bandwidth available to PMS

Postby Doovde » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:56 pm

To note, this seems to have also fixed my caching issues. I had issues with the P3S taking an age to browse and display all my folders from PMS. This has always been a problem. Since changing the powerlines for direct ethernet into the D-Link and after the first library browsing via PS3 taking the usual long time, subsequent access to the library has enumerated the library directories incredibly quickly.

All my issues with PMS have been caused by homeplugs between the PC and the PS3.
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