Suggestions for motherboard



  • Hello to all
    I have read a lot of threads here about suggestions for motherboards capable to run pfsense good. But I am still confused so I decided to post here.
    I have decided to build my pfsense box by myself because I like that. I have understood that Intel nics are a must and if you want to run squid you need a powerful system and large memory.
    So, I will place my pfsense box in a wan 100/100mbit for now (maybe in future will be 300/300) to serve about 100-200 clients. 2 nics are enough to do this job, but I would prefer to have more for future. I was looking for basic motherboards 1150 with 1 nic (very popular and cheap) and then install a pci-e quad nic intel, or motherboard with 4 nics intel integrated (not much popular and a bit expensive), my doubt is this! Power consuming is to consider but isn't very critical factor. Pfsense box will run only squid with external syslog, no VPN needed.

    What do you suggest? Thanks in advance for any reply.



  • ASUS Q87T
    max. 16 GB RAM
    2 x miniPCIe slot
    Intel Xeon E3-12xxv3
    Intel i350 or i354 quad NIC
    Mini-ITX case & 250 Watt CPU

    • mSATA & WiFi card

    This mainboard is supporting a wide range of CPUs from the lower bottom to the higher top.
    So you will be able to upgrade the CPU & RAM.



  • Hello, thanks for the reply.
    I took a look about that mb… and I noticed that there is a realtek nic. I would prefer all intel nics to avoid any possible issues.
    I have searched a lot and I found this mb: http://www.tostarcn.com/prod_view.aspx?TypeId=185&Id=193&FId=t3:185:3
    I think it has a good quality/price ratio, and someone of this community has already tested it with pfsense: https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=109121.0
    I think with 8gb and ssd will work good for that which I need, right?



  • I took a look about that mb… and I noticed that there is a realtek nic. I would prefer all intel nics to avoid any possible issues.

    The Intel i350 or i354 NIC is matching well.

    I have searched a lot and I found this mb: http://www.tostarcn.com/prod_view.aspx?TypeId=185&Id=193&FId=t3:185:3

    This mb will be far away from your explaining in the first post of this thread. I think for 200 users
    and a 300/300 internet line speed you could also go with the;
    JetwayNF9HG-2930 ~$200
    120 GB mSATA ~$80
    M350 case ~$40
    8 GB RAM ~$40
    PSU ~$15

    But this is then once more again more pending on the installed packets and used or offered services too!!!

    I think it has a good quality/price ratio, and someone of this community has already tested it with pfsense: https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=109121.0

    This might be but using it at home in a private network environment or in a corporate network is also
    a sweet and little difference.



  • I am starting to make up an wisp infrastructure and I will have few clients at start, i think around 50-100 max. For sure my network will grow and I can buy some powerful hardware later also, like you suggested. I will use squid mainly and give internet access to clients



  • I am starting to make up an wisp infrastructure and I will have few clients at start,

    Starting at ~$550 and be able to upgrade then is more easy then changing the whole hardware again
    and again and again.

    i think around 50-100 max.

    A sufficient and powerful Switch that delivers PoE+ on top would be a nice part of hardware too in my
    eyes then.

    For sure my network will grow and I can buy some powerful hardware later also, like you suggested.

    With what hardware you will starting with?

    I will use squid mainly and give internet access to clients

    One or more SSDs would be great for Squid as a caching proxy, if you don´t do caching it might be ok
    to start with only one big SSD likes 256 GB or 512 GB.



  • thanks for your reply, I will take in mind that you said about to upgrade hardware. I wanted to start with "cheap" hardware to make high availability also (I should buy 2 of them), so I was pretty intended to buy j1900 box that compared to SG-4860 pfsense box it should handle 8mil connections. Btw I will use external syslog, so no problem with free space on ssd.
    Edit, oh you was meaning caching.. I think 120gb will be enough

    Should you have some other alternative to a ASUS Q87T, other brands.. with also 1 nic onboard, then i will put quad intel nic. Thanks.



  • so I was pretty intended to buy j1900 box that compared to SG-4860 pfsense box it should handle 8mil connections.

    The SG-4860 is inside of a total other range of device then the J1900!

    Btw I will use external syslog, so no problem with free space on ssd.

    This was owed to the Squid usage as a caching proxy and not the syslogs!

    Should you have some other alternative to a ASUS Q87T, other brands.. with also 1 nic onboard, then i will put quad intel nic. Thanks.

    Jetway NF9HG-2930 for ~$200 at amazon.com
    It should handle the load nice and can be set up as a nearly fully UTM device!
    Here is a dual 19" rack mount case for ~60 € that can hold two of this boards with ease:
    Varia-store 19" dual board case



  • This was owed to the Squid usage as a caching proxy and not the syslogs!

    I haven't read pretty well your post about squid, I edited my last post as well saying about 120gb should not be enough for caching?

    Here is a dual 19" rack mount case for ~60 € that can hold two of this boards with ease

    Wow that rack is very cool, thanks for the link!


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