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Old 27th February 2017, 9:38 AM   #1
crimsonmind Thread Starter
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Default pfsense hardware recommendations

Hi All,

I have an old PC that I have running as a pfsense router. It has seen its day and not handling the load and in turn making our internet unusable.

As such I am looking build another purpose build box (instead of repurposing and old desktop), so I would like some suggestions on a motherboard given these specifications:
  • ITX
  • Dual onboard Gigabit NICs
  • PCIe with high bus speed
  • looking to install an Intel i3 chipset
  • minimum of 2 years old (doesn't have to the latest)
  • $100-$150 max price range (see previous point)

As it is going to be a router it doesn't need to be seriously powered, so the last or generation before that chipset will be fine.
Other hardware I will be using
  • 60G SSD
  • 8Gig RAM
  • 4 port Intel PCIe NIC card
  • low power Power supply

Appreciate your input

Thanks
S
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Old 27th February 2017, 10:22 AM   #2
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Intel D2550 AIO with 4 ethernet ports $129 USD delivered ( or +$25 for an extra 2 ethernet ports)

I'd just pickup a small pre built unit and save your parts for another project tbh. There are plenty of mini PCs with a single ethernet port for < $100.
I'd spend a bit more and get a multi port version though...
4 port, ready to go for $165USD

I have a J1900 based unit at home. Running a 100mbps cable internet, hundreds of thousands of firewall rules (thanks pfBlocker) ~100 openvpn clients and server to a half dozen openvpn connections (ontop of squid, dns and everything else it does)... Sits around 10 to 20% usage
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Old 27th February 2017, 12:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, I'll take a look at those suggestions.

With the pfsense hardware, I have been led to believe they don't cut it under a decent load? so i wasn't keen on going that direction. Can you advise differently?

the theory was to be able to have a machine I could use later for something else, in the event I take pfsense out of the network.

S
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Old 2nd March 2017, 2:46 PM   #4
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An alternative would be an edgerouter lite... they're about $150aud, and it'll almost certainly outperform a pfsense box...
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Old 4th March 2017, 7:30 AM   #5
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Quadbox, I have looked at the Edgerouter lite, it's great hardware I agree. But I'm not sold on the software.
I've read around and can't find anything solid that says you can run pfsense on Edgerouter. If I had a solid answer on that I'd get it on a heart beat.

Cheers
S
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Old 14th March 2017, 9:28 PM   #6
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I'm currently in the same boat, I am looking at building a pfsense machine, that is low in power consumption overall and that will cost me less than 300AUD as I can get my hands on a pre-built for 300.
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Old 15th March 2017, 2:33 PM   #7
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I ended up buying one of these from Aliexpress
NEW Mini pc X86 4*Lan Qotom-Q190G4N with celeron J1900 quad core 4*usb VGA firewall Multi-function router
https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/...Id=32785346279

I purchased the 8G RAM 128G SSD version for $215 plus delivery, totalling $250.

So far so good, I've run up the config and its working fine. I'm yet to load test it, but from all reports it handles 1000x more than I will throw at it with regular use.

Cheers
S
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Old 15th March 2017, 2:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsonmind View Post
I ended up buying one of these from Aliexpress
NEW Mini pc X86 4*Lan Qotom-Q190G4N with celeron J1900 quad core 4*usb VGA firewall Multi-function router
https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/...Id=32785346279

I purchased the 8G RAM 128G SSD version for $215 plus delivery, totalling $250.

So far so good, I've run up the config and its working fine. I'm yet to load test it, but from all reports it handles 1000x more than I will throw at it with regular use.

Cheers
S
here's a working link

https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...598483952.html
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Old 17th March 2017, 6:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsonmind View Post
I ended up buying one of these from Aliexpress
NEW Mini pc X86 4*Lan Qotom-Q190G4N with celeron J1900 quad core 4*usb VGA firewall Multi-function router
https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/...Id=32785346279

I purchased the 8G RAM 128G SSD version for $215 plus delivery, totalling $250.

So far so good, I've run up the config and its working fine. I'm yet to load test it, but from all reports it handles 1000x more than I will throw at it with regular use.

Cheers
S
Yeah, I've done quite a bit of digging around and I worked out that it's going to cost around 200-250AUD easily, to build something that will consume minimal power, that's with an AM1 board, a 25W CPU, 150W PicoPSU, 16GB mSata SSD etc and some of this stuff has to be sourced from China.

I could easily put together a pfsense build out of my spare parts laying around in my room but the only issue with that is, it would chew the electricity running 24/7.

I can't seem to find any J1800, J1850, J1900 or J2900 by Intel to buy locally here either, otherwise any of those would be a decent option too.
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Old 17th March 2017, 9:16 AM   #10
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Considered virtualising it? If you have enough grunt on your PC (and it's always on) create a VM to do the task.
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This is literally the worst advice on the internet, ever.
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Old 17th March 2017, 1:42 PM   #11
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http://www.pcengines.ch/newshop.php?c=4

Specially their new APU:

http://www.pcengines.ch/apu2c4.htm

Done.

Tiny, tiny footprint, <12W draw. only 3 Ethernet ports though, but if you are desperate, you can add a USB one.
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Old 17th March 2017, 2:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martini.txt View Post
Oops, thanks mate.
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Old 17th March 2017, 2:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travisty View Post
I can't seem to find any J1800, J1850, J1900 or J2900 by Intel to buy locally here either, otherwise any of those would be a decent option too.
All of those models are pretty old now. The modern equivalent would be boards like this with J3160 or J3710: http://www.umart.com.au/umart1/pro/P...d=9&sid=280476
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