Cheap build for learning purposes.



  • Hello all,

    I'm a student looking to get into network security as a branch of my college program.
    Student loans don't leave a lot of money for decent hardware so I've included my options, any help would be greatly appreciated.
    (All prices are in Canadian pesos, har har har)

    I understand that on-board nics may cause issues so I will be purchasing a few HP NC360T nics to compensate.
    These cards are pcie x1 but from my understanding they will fit in the x16 slots just fine and operate as intended.

    My network size will be 10-15 devices.
    FreeNAS and EXSi boxes will sit on network but not intended to face outward.
    From ISP it is 50 mbps down / 10 mbps up.

    Any questions that can help with this I will gladly answer.

    Background: 2nd year Computer System Technology (CTY) student at Seneca College (Toronto)

    ==EDIT 08/12/2016==

    Unit purchased ended up being:

    ThinkCentre M58 (type 7360)
    Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E5700 @ 3.00GHz
    2GB DDR3 RAM
    No HDD / No OS

    $20 In Toronto at time of purchase.



  • On board Realtek NIC's can cause issues. On board Intel work fine. The $19 Lenovo option has an on board Intel NIC, plenty of memory and will handle a decent connection speed. That would be my choice.



  • @Jailer:

    On board Realtek NIC's can cause issues. On board Intel work fine. The $19 Lenovo option has an on board Intel NIC, plenty of memory and will handle a decent connection speed. That would be my choice.

    I was leaning towards that option as well, I have a bin of salvaged DDR2 ram that I can use to boost the performance and maybe implement Snort/Squid.
    Fingers crossed that it matches the ram included, more so that the unit is still available…



  • @gbl88:

    I will be purchasing a few HP NC360T nics to compensate.
    These cards are pcie x1 but from my understanding they will fit in the x16 slots just fine and operate as intended.

    Actually, they're PCIe x4, but they do work in x16 slots just fine.  I have one in my build in an x16 (physical, x4 electrically) slot and it works perfectly.