Virtual Network Card Performance

John Allison

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2018
Gateshead UK
This is probably common knowledge to many people, but I'm trying to find out what the differences are with the performance of virtual network cards Proxmox supports.

E1000, VirtIO, RTL8139 and vmxnet3

I have a mix of windows & linux clients, and currently using a mix of all these, except for the vmxnet3.

But which is the fastest, and why?
If the guest OS supports it VirtIO should always be the fastest - since it doesn't need to emulate hardware.
Thanks Stoiko.
I ask because we have a bit of a complicated situation where we have a VM running Virtual Box 5.2 inside Ubuntu 1604. When using RTL any virtualbox VM works fine, but when using VirtIO it suffers massive performance problems.
So if virtio is faster, then i guess our problem must be with the vbox config?
Hey John,

Hmm - my guess is that paravirtualized drivers (vbox-nic) on top of paravirtualized drivers (kvm-virtio) is something, which is not tested too heavily and that there might be regressions lurking. Put shortly if it works satisfactory with RTL - stick with it. (I would also try e1000, since intel drivers are usually a bit better tested, but again - if a setup works for you - no need to change that).

Apart from that - of course dropping one virtualization layer (e.g. by running the vbox guest directly on PVE) would definitely more performant, but I suppose that's not possible in that case?


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