@valnar said in 2020 home build or buy?:
I have a 200/10Mb cable circuit and run pfSense on a PCEngines APU2C4 (new one is APU2E4). It's more than powerful enough and barely sips electricity. I run Plex through it just fine. It can handle 500Mb+
Concur. I just installed pfSense on a PC Engines APU2E4. I don't have gigabit fiber WAN yet (currently just 25 Mbps ADSL) but there are plenty of credible reports that the APU2E4 will push 500 Mbps (unencrypted) without optimization, and 950-1000 Mbps with a couple of minor tweaks.
The APU2E4 has a few specs that make it especially pfSense-friendly:
AMD Embedded G series GX-412TC, 1 GHz quad-core CPU WITH AES-NI support.
4 GB of ECC RAM
Up to 120GB internal mSATA (not CF card) storage
3 Intel i210AT ethernet ports. (The i210AT has double the number of transmit/receive queues vs the closely-related-and-more-common i211AT.)
DB9 / RS232 serial console port
2 x USB 3.0 ports
Completely fanless, and very low power draw, around ~6 watts idle ~10W max. Compare that to using a random old desktop or server PC which could draw easily 30W-40W idle, maybe much more depending on configuration.)
Very compact (about 6" x 6" x 1" thick)
Very competitive price point
If you enjoy spending hours to days messing around with random old hardware, trying to figure out whether the ethernet interfaces in it are a) compatible with BSD b) reliable in general c) performant enough to allow pfSense to shine as it should, and mucking around with BIOS-related boot quirks, etc, by all means, dig around in your closet or go to Goodwill or a flea-market.
If you want a smoother, easier pathway to a decent-performing and reliable pfSense community-edition install, go with a well-known hardware vendor with recent good compatibility reports.