10g or 1g card for green?

i currently am considering upgrading parts of network to be 10g speed. i have a 1g card in my ipfire box for green network now, and the upgrade will be focused on a file server that is hosting files for a few clients. ipfire green network is plugged into a switch, the file server is also plugged into the same switch.

when i upgrade the server to a 10g nic, will there any performance limit due to the ipfire green card being at 1g? should it be upgraded as well? the ipfire box is running only ipfire, no add-ons, pure firewall with dhcp for green and blue.

with this upgrade, i would also be plugging the server into a switch with 10g ports, likely with at least a couple of the clients plugged into 10g ports on the same switch.

Depends, for for starters, on the zones.
If you have only RED + GREEN, and the network connection on RED is no faster than 1Gb/s, is useless.
If you have more zones than that, 10g on Green might increase throutput if concurrent traffic to green is greater than 1Gb/s.
Don’t forget that changing network cards might not be enough to achieve that speeds. Sustained traffic needs CPU and avoid bottlenecks to be achieved.


CPU and bus speed. PCIe gen III at the very least.

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Short answer, yes you should upgrade.

Long answer follows. If your goal is to allow the file server to deliver files to your clients at speeds significantly above 1 Gbit/sec it’s essential to ensure that all components in the data path can support such speeds. Here’s a checklist to consider:

  1. Server Storage: Ensure that your server’s storage solution, whether it’s an HDD, SSD, or a RAID setup, can deliver data at the desired speeds.

  2. Server Bus: The internal data bus of the server, which connects the CPU, RAM, and other components, should be fast enough to not bottleneck data flow (see below).

  3. Server CPU: The CPU should be capable of handling high-speed data transfers without becoming a bottleneck. A higher network speed might require more CPU processing power to manage the increased data rate.

  4. Server Network Interface: Upgrading this to 10G is already in your plan. Importantly, make sure the ethernet card have enough multiple queues, allowing it to spread incoming traffic across all available CPU cores efficiently.

  5. PCIe Requirements: To ensure no bottlenecks, the server and IPFire machine should have at least PCIe 2.0 x4 for 10G speeds. However, PCIe 3.0 or higher is recommended for future-proofing and optimal performance.

  6. Switches: Ensure that your switch can handle 10G speeds without any performance degradation.

  7. IPFire Green and Red Interfaces: Having the IPFire’s green interface at 1G would become a limiting factor even if other components are upgraded. Upgrading this would ensure no bottleneck at this point.

  8. IPFire CPU: IPFire’s CPU should be powerful enough to process data at 10G speeds. The CPU’s capability should be in sync with the network card’s speed for effective data handling.

If you have not much traffic beetween green and blue or red you not need to upgrade the green 1GBit Nic in the IPFire because the high badwich traffic not flow through the IPFire. Only if there are many many 10G stations that produce too much broadcasts the 1G nic on green can be a bottleneck.

This is correct but the IPFire should’nt in the data path if only the clients, switch and server are on the 10G net, except for the mentioned broadcasts.


I read OP message wrong. Somehow I got in my brain that the 10 Gbit upgrade would be on the red interface and therefore I assumed that there would be also connectivity involved from the WAN.

thanks all for this info, it’s really helpful. fwiw, i have 1g internet and realize this won’t help my internet speeds in any way. i’m looking only for improved local network speeds only, of course.

So which zones does your setup have?

I think a switch capable is going to be your bottle neck.
File server to switch.
Will need 10Gbit switch may have 1 or 2 10Gbit ports.
Most ports will be 1Gbit.

can confirm after some upgrades that the firewall green card is not a limiting factor for traffic between clients. two clients at 10g with a green nic at 1g or 2.5g works fine, with a full 10g speed between the two clients.

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