Networking performance with GigE cameras

In order to get optimal performance from GigE cameras while doing CPU intensive tasks you should optimize your network settings. Default settings of many network interface cards will cause high jitter in image transfer times and maybe even frame loss when the processors is under load.


On some computers you might observe high packet loss counts when doing CPU intensive work (e.g. ComputeDisparityMap) during image transfer. This causes significant jitter in transfer times due to the latency for resending packets and can eventually also lead to missing entire frames at rather low frame rates.


The root cause is that the operating systems network stack cannot fetch data from the network card quick enough to get all data from the network card while the camera is streaming image data to the PC. The network card will then drop some packets and the camera driver needs to re-request the missing data packets from the camera after a short timeout period.

Setting network card properties

The problem can usually be eliminated by setting a larger receive buffer size and a larger MTU on the network card.

On Windows you can open the Device Manager and open the properties dialog of your network card. Select the Advanced tab and try to locate properties for the receive buffers and set them as high as possible. Then find an entry for the MTU or ‘Maximum Transmission Unit’ and set it as large as possible. The MTU setting is also sometimes listed as Jumbo Frames. Enable jumbo frames or set their frame size as large as possible.

On Debian/Ubuntu Linux you might be able to query receive buffers using

ethtool -g eth0

(assuming your network interface to the camera is eth0 ). To increase buffers to 2048 then simply run

ethtool -G eth0 rx 2048

You can change the MTU parameter using ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000. Beware that the MTU setting is not persistent across reboots and you need to set it in /etc/network/interfaces or the corresponding location for your distribution to make the setting persistent.


Not all network adapters support setting receive buffer or MTU parameters. This can usually only be done on integrated or PCIe cards which have DMA access to the main memory. Unfortunately we cannot give precise advice how to set the necessary parameters because the available settings and parameter names differ between vendors and even driver versions for the same product. Please contact your network card manufacturer in order to find out how to set receive buffer sizes on your system.

Lowering packet rate from camera

If you cannot resolve the problem via network card configuration you can try to decrease the camera’s pixel clock to lower the packet sending rate or specify a bandwith limit with the BandwidthLimit node. This will decrease the likelihood that the network card buffers overflow when the operating system’s response times to network traffic increase due to high CPU load.


Lowering pixel clock has the side effect of causing slightly higher black level noise in the images.