Intel Celeron N3160



  • https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Mini-PC-Celeron-n3160-Quad-Core-Network-Security-Control-Desktop-Firewall-Router-Mini-Computer-2-GbE/2656187_32762870006.html?spm=2114.8147860.0.0.1if2sF

    Intel n3160, 2x Intel NIC, barebones: $182 + free S/H

    Seems powerful enough for heavy SOHO use.

    Wondering if anyone has tried these? For another $100 you can add Wi-Fi, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD by yourself (or pay extra $134 for them to do it, only 4GB RAM). Info on the website is somewhat inconsistent between the configurator and the text.



  • It is a very interesting machine, I'd love to see test on its crypto acceleration capabilities. The SoC has 4 cores, can run fanless and has a TDP of 6W and can even be reduced to 4.5W. The only thing is that it seems it does not have 2x Intel NIC as you indicate but it says "Gigabit Ethernet NIC Realtek RTL". I do not know if Realtek drivers are going to be an issue with pfSense. Apart from that looks like a perfect device for a small but capable pfsense system.



  • The only thing is that it seems it does not have 2x Intel NIC as you indicate but it says "Gigabit Ethernet NIC Realtek RTL".

    The page says both.

    LAN:4 x RJ-45 port - 4* Intel WG82583

    and down below:

    Network card  Realtek RTL Gigabit Ethernet NIC

    Some clarification from the seller is in order.



  • @KOM:

    The page says both.

    LAN:4 x RJ-45 port - 4* Intel WG82583

    and down below:

    Network card  Realtek RTL Gigabit Ethernet NIC

    Some clarification from the seller is in order.

    The best thing is for the vendor to clarify, but I suspect the Intel reference is a mistake inherited from the previous celeron model with the same case: https://m.es.aliexpress.com/item/32714820537.html See how that one has 4 ports just like the text says instead of the two of the new celeron n3160 model?

    In any case, even if it has the realtek chipset, now that realtek has been recently bought and the new owners have open sourced the drivers, shouldn't realtek chipsets be much easier to support?



  • I've been looking at the N3160 too, but the offerings from aliexpress seems like a gamble sometimes.
    I looked at some other alternatives:
    Jetway JBC313 with dual Intel I211: http://www.mini-itx.com/~JBC313
    GIGABYTE N3160TN with Realtek NIC's: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5905
    I've used Gigabyte motherboards with Realtek NIC's before without problems. (for home use with 250Mb/s WAN)



  • The Jetways were my first choice as well. I also found the US link for the above (UK) link, listed for USD 219 barebones.

    http://www.mitxpc.com/proddetail.php?prod=JBC313U591W-3160-B

    Sadly, it is out of stock right now. I'll wait.



  • shouldn't realtek chipsets be much easier to support?

    It's not that they're hard to support, it's that they're not built as well as the Intel NICs.  Intel generally gives better throughput.  Realtek offloads some stuff to the system CPU whereas Intel handles it onboard.



  • @KOM:

    shouldn't realtek chipsets be much easier to support?

    It's not that they're hard to support, it's that they're not built as well as the Intel NICs.  Intel generally gives better throughput.  Realtek offloads some stuff to the system CPU whereas Intel handles it onboard.

    This was all true, a decade ago. The freebsd drivers have been less reliable than other OSs on the same hardware, but I think that's finally under control. At this point complaining about realtek is more habit than reality.



  • @VAMike:

    …  At this point complaining about realtek is more habit than reality.

    Really? Do you have anything to back it up? Several recent posts on this forum suggest better stability under load and higher throughput with Intel NICs.



  • @kss18:

    @VAMike:

    …  At this point complaining about realtek is more habit than reality.

    Really? Do you have anything to back it up? Several recent posts on this forum suggest better stability under load and higher throughput with Intel NICs.

    '

    Other than running systems with realtek nics for years with no problems? Putting all nics into bins of "intel" and "realtek" is just silly. An i211 isn't an i350 or an x552; some are better than others. On the flip side an RTL8111G isn't the same as an RTL8111A or an RTL8139. Starting at about the 8111G level the rtl cards have about as much functionality as a low end intel nic. Yeah, you can do even cooler things with a high end server part, but that generally isn't the choice on offer in a low cost sbc (and at that point it's not about "intel" vs "realtek", it's about "consumer grade" vs "server grade"). That said, for low speed routing there's zero advantage in the functionality of the high end server part.



  • @kss18:

    The Jetways were my first choice as well. I also found the US link for the above (UK) link, listed for USD 219 barebones.

    http://www.mitxpc.com/proddetail.php?prod=JBC313U591W-3160-B

    Sadly, it is out of stock right now. I'll wait.

    its back in stock & by far the best specced out so far. in for one. thank you



  • realtek were problematic for me using FreeBSD 9.3 on intel haswell generation hardware.

    I found with offloading enabled tcp would misbehave, speed's did not ramp up properly etc.  It was fine with offloading disabled.

    Otherwise it will work but wont handle as high workloads as intel cards, this is not necessarily due to the hardware but simply the drivers lacking multiple features that help the intel cards, one of the most important been interrupt moderation.

    I cannot say if things have improved with FreeBSD 10 and 11, as I added a intel card to the realtek machine and all my other server's use intel already.


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