Opinion of Hardware



  • Although, less than ideal, should be a reasonable box for my first pfsense build?  Thanks.

    Product Dell OptiPlex 7010
    Operating System 32-bit Windows 7 Pro
    Additional Software Microsoft Office Starter
    Chassis Small Form Factor
    Processor 1x Core i3 (i3-3220) 3.30 GHz
    Memory 2GB (1x 2GB)
    Hard Drive 250GB (1x 250GB)
    Optical Drive DVD
    Video Intel Integrated Graphics
    LAN 10/100/1000 (I plan to purchase an intel NIC, hoping to find a cheap half height one on ebay)



  • The CPU is ok, maybe a bit overpowered. It burns up to 55W you don't need.

    You know that your Windows and Office editions got to hell if you install pfSense on that HDD? It's not a programm you run additionally (except for in a hypervisor…) instead it takes over your PC.
    Disconnect the DVD drive as it's not needed anyways. Installation is done via USB thumb drive easier than burning an install iso.
    Try to get an Intel dual-NIC. They are cheap when bought used.

    Edit:
    look here as well, similar Optiplex and question for NICs
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=124818.0



  • For your first foray into pfSense that hardware will be fine.

    Everything that jahonix says is right on the money, but I'll add that if you're just getting your feet wet with pfSense, use your existing hardware.  Learn the software.  If you find that you like it, then worry about investing in something that is quieter/ lower power/ takes up less space.  None of that matters as far as functionality.  Your existing desktop will make a kick-ass pfSense firewall, even if it is a bit power hungry. $20 or so will get you a used but perfectly functional Intel based server NIC that will do great in your current hardware and perhaps in a future build as well if you decide not to go with an embedded platform.  Happy tinkering!



  • sufficient for most uses

    you may wish to add ram if you want to run squid+squidguard



  • I have the exact same CPU on VMware hosting 2 vms (pfsense and Ubuntu BIND DNS/DHCP) with barely any load on the CPU. My load average is 0.34, 0.24, 0.17

    Have squid, squidguard, suricata, pfBlocker smoothly routing a 155/25 WAN connection.