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TOR slowing down other network services

I am running a tor exit node and have been doing some testing on bandwidth consumption.  The tor server is running linux and is also used for TorrentFlux - a web based torrent management application. 

The issue I'm noticing is while I'm downloading a torrent that is coming in at about 1mb/s and I stop the tor service, the torrent downloads at 4mb/s.  The tor service is correctly using 40kbps of my bandwidth but it seems to be limiting the bandwidth of other services.  Is this possible?

A few other environment factors:
 - my firwall is a pretty old machine with a very slow NIC
 - my tor server NIC is very cheap [<$10]

Could anyone give me some insight about what they think might be going on?

Thanks in advance...

Rochester TOR Admin
running server torroc01