What would you choose between these 2 mini-itx fanless systems? (J1900 vs N3150)



  • Ok guys,
    I just wanted to buy a small low power mini-itx system to load my pfsense (which I was using as VM in a Microserver G8 actually)…
    I'm still in doubts between these classical 2 systems:

    which features:
    Intel N3150 CPU
    2 x Realtek RTL8111DL nics
    Mini PCIe Wi-Fi

    vs the well known Qotom Q190G4N-S07

    which features:
    Intel J1900 CPU
    4 x Intel I211AT nics
    Mini PCIe Wi-Fi

    I'm still undecided because:

    Qotom:

    • 4 Intel nics = more performant than realtek ones
    • faster cpu
    • no AES-NI support on CPU
    • older cpu and higher CPU TDP (14nm vs 22nm)
    • support only DDR3 (vs DDR3L so more watt usage)
    • higher consumption (10W vs 4W)

    what do you think?



  • I own the N3150 unit which is very nice, however please read below.

    Others who own this unit reported only one of the 2 realtek NIC's working, I confirmed the same problem on my unit.  I have removed the wireless capability, so detached the aerials and removed the wireless card, replaced it with a dual port i350 intel NIC, and with the intel NIC's I added the unit is superb.

    Someone on kitz forum uses the other unit and he is very happy with it.

    The latter unit is better out of the box for sure, but the N3150 is perhaps better if you willing to add a intel addon card.



  • thank you for information.

    I need at least 2 nics and I'd like to use internal wifi with a repeater…so if it is as you said I couldn't really go with the N3150 chinese box and need to go with the Qotom even if it has the old J1900 cpu..



  • @icest0rm:

    I need at least 2 nics and I'd like to use internal wifi with a repeater

    Don't put a lot of plans on wifi with pfsense…you'll probably end up disappointed. Honestly, between those two, I'd keep looking. The unistorm looks like a HTPC and I don't see any point in buying a new j1900 now that goldmont CPUs are shipping. If you have a solution now and aren't in a rush, just keep looking.



  • @VAMike:

    Don't put a lot of plans on wifi with pfsense…you'll probably end up disappointed. Honestly, between those two, I'd keep looking. The unistorm looks like a HTPC and I don't see any point in buying a new j1900 now that goldmont CPUs are shipping. If you have a solution now and aren't in a rush, just keep looking.

    uhm…thanks for suggestion...i'm actually running a mikrotik board and i'm quite happy with its performance (btw I have an adsl line 20M down / 1M up, so not overkill) but missing the config flexibility of pfsense...but yes, I can wait..



  • @icest0rm:

    btw I have an adsl line 20M down / 1M up

    Well with that added information, performance really isn't a factor. :) Anything remotely modern can saturate a 20M link with openvpn, with or without AES-NI. Price out the qotom and maybe an apu2 for comparison, get whatever's cheaper in your area.



  • qotom is a lot more affordable than apu2 (around 120 eur vs. 250 eur)  ::)



  • APU2 is 180Euro full bundle: enclosure, 16GB mSata SSD, power supply and board.



  • @icest0rm:

    qotom is a lot more affordable than apu2 (around 120 eur vs. 250 eur)  ::)

    well, that's why I said "in your area". if you can get the qotom for 120 including ram, storage, etc., and the apu2 costs more then it's an easy choice. from where I'm buying the apu2 ends up cheaper, but I understand that they aren't as competitive in other regions.



  • @Mithrandir:

    APU2 is 180Euro full bundle: enclosure, 16GB mSata SSD, power supply and board.

    where please?



  • @icest0rm:

    @Mithrandir:

    APU2 is 180Euro full bundle: enclosure, 16GB mSata SSD, power supply and board.

    where please?

    http://varia-store.com/Hardware/PC-Engines-Bundles/APU-2C4-Bundles/APU2C4-Embedded-Box-Bundle-1GHz-4GB-RAM-3x-LAN::29135.html

    It's almost 200E now. Was 180 when I was ordering last week.



  • Of the two, I would get the Qotom Q190G4N-S07. Unless your pushing 100+mbit over vpn I would not thing twice about the AES-NI. Also Intel NICs WILL save you time and hasel down the road. I have had some many issues with realtek nics (esp. multiport cards) doing completely asinine things, its just not worth messing with them in any server/router platform.

    Personally, I got the 2440 Netgate box and LOVE it. Its been rock solid and I know it will be supported 100%


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I am definitely biased but I wouldn't choose either one of those, for a number of reasons.  :-X



  • @jimp:

    I am definitely biased but I wouldn't choose either one of those, for a number of reasons.  :-X

    Care to elaborate a bit please ?

    I'm a pfsense newbie , just considering my first install
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=127036.0

    If i like it , i have been eyebaling the "black" one , as i only need VPN for "home" usage.

    /Bingo



  • would go n3150



  • @messerchmidt:

    would go n3150

    Might do so too , but the "Box" shown has realtek IF's.
    Some users here says that they have problems with getting the 2'nd IF to forward packages.

    /Bingo



  • Have you also taken a look at the Shuttle DS67U ? It is fanless, has got two Intel Nics, and a Celeron 3855U CPU which supports AES NI !    https://ark.intel.com/products/92211/Intel-Celeron-Processor-3855U-2M-Cache-1_60-GHz. This processor is according the benchmarks in the same leaque as the N3160.
    I am considering this one besides the Zotac CI325 but the CI325 has Realtek NICS  :( …



  • @jimp:

    I am definitely biased but I wouldn't choose either one of those, for a number of reasons.  :-X

    thanks jimp, can you please detail the reasons so I can follow you? :)



  • @messerchmidt:

    would go n3150

    I am thinking of buying the n3150, but as someone pointed out, new Intel goldmont CPU's are coming out. Realtek has been proven to work with the current vesion of pfsense but what is the through put? Is it stable gigabit wan and lan?



  • Get the Quotom (disclaimer, I am using one happily).

    AES-NI, according to anything I've managed to read on this forum, is an extremely dubious advantage for your typical smaller scale setup.

    10W vs 6W is utterly trivial in terms of power savings.

    Why buy yourself NIC compatibility problems with the N3150 option?



  • @psensible:

    Get the Quotom (disclaimer, I am using one happily).

    AES-NI, according to anything I've managed to read on this forum, is an extremely dubious advantage for your typical smaller scale setup.

    10W vs 6W is utterly trivial in terms of power savings.

    Why buy yourself NIC compatibility problems with the N3150 option?

    Fair enough.

    But: "AES-NI, according to anything I've managed to read on this forum, is an extremely dubious advantage for your typical smaller scale setup."

    Can you point where please?



  • @Waqar.UK:

    But: "AES-NI, according to anything I've managed to read on this forum, is an extremely dubious advantage for your typical smaller scale setup."

    If your bandwidth is low enough, anything modern can keep up using openvpn. AES-NI is only really a factor if you're doing higher speeds (but: those are becoming more common, which is why it's talked about so much here). If you have no chance to upgrade past a 50Mbps connection for the life of the hardware, it's a non-issue.



  • @lansmurf:

    Have you also taken a look at the Shuttle DS67U ? It is fanless, has got two Intel Nics, and a Celeron 3855U CPU which supports AES NI !    https://ark.intel.com/products/92211/Intel-Celeron-Processor-3855U-2M-Cache-1_60-GHz. This processor is according the benchmarks in the same leaque as the N3160.
    I am considering this one besides the Zotac CI325 but the CI325 has Realtek NICS  :( …

    this does cost around 500 euros here :(



  • @icest0rm:

    @lansmurf:

    Have you also taken a look at the Shuttle DS67U ? It is fanless, has got two Intel Nics, and a Celeron 3855U CPU which supports AES NI !    https://ark.intel.com/products/92211/Intel-Celeron-Processor-3855U-2M-Cache-1_60-GHz. This processor is according the benchmarks in the same leaque as the N3160.
    I am considering this one besides the Zotac CI325 but the CI325 has Realtek NICS  :( …

    this does cost around 500 euros here :(

    I see them on ebay for around 300$  (+ Ram & HDD)
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Shuttle-Ds67u-1-6Ghz-3855U-Bga1356-1-3L-Sized-Pc-Barebone-DS67U-/401281338907

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Shuttle-DS67U-1-6GHz-3855U-BGA1356-1-3L-sized-PC-Schwarz-PC-Workstation-B-HY614-/352003310020

    Not often prices goes up (Recommended retail 226€) , maybe thats wo. VAT
    http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=48834

    This one looks interesting too , dual intel NIC
    But has fans) , and i suppose no CPU.

    Shuttle XPC slim DQ170
    http://www.shuttle.eu/products/slim/dq170/

    /Bingo



  • I have pretty much that exact N3150 box and it has been fine certainly since 2.3, no packet loss issues or other problems that I'm aware of (so far) - I'm currently on the 2.4 development builds.  I've given it a big list for pfBlockerNG to chew on and it's very happy.

    Personally I wouldn't bother with the wifi in your firewall, give that work to a dedicated access point instead.

    Intel NICs are the way to go though, irrespective of if the realteks are (or are not) any good they get a lot less driver support and are likely to be the first thing to cop the flak should a problem occur and they're not top of the pile should a fix need doing as the community mostly use Intel.  Certainly they add some extra overhead to the CPU where the Intels tend to have a lot more built-in capability.

    I went with the N3150 box as I needed an HDMI display output but would have been better off with the J1900 and Intel box in the long run.


  • Banned

    @VAMike:

    @Waqar.UK:

    But: "AES-NI, according to anything I've managed to read on this forum, is an extremely dubious advantage for your typical smaller scale setup."

    If your bandwidth is low enough, anything modern can keep up using openvpn. AES-NI is only really a factor if you're doing higher speeds (but: those are becoming more common, which is why it's talked about so much here). If you have no chance to upgrade past a 50Mbps connection for the life of the hardware, it's a non-issue.

    It could still be useful in low bandwidth applications if you are trying to do a lot with the box.
    In an ideal scenario you would buy just enough machine to do what you need seamlessly, in which case AES-ni would still matter.

    But in reality we just about all have hardware that dramatically outclasses our needs so yeah, then it doesn't matter.
    Most of the modern low end hardware recommended for 50Mbps connections is really powerful relative to those needs, even the cheapest stuff.



  • @Waqar.UK:

    @psensible:

    Get the Quotom (disclaimer, I am using one happily).

    AES-NI, according to anything I've managed to read on this forum, is an extremely dubious advantage for your typical smaller scale setup.

    10W vs 6W is utterly trivial in terms of power savings.

    Why buy yourself NIC compatibility problems with the N3150 option?

    Fair enough.

    But: "AES-NI, according to anything I've managed to read on this forum, is an extremely dubious advantage for your typical smaller scale setup."

    Can you point where please?

    You'll have to do a forum search, or a google search using the "site:pfsense.org" option. There were a fair number of hits.  I looked at this mid last year then stopped worrying about it.



  • Thanks.



  • @chrcoluk:

    I own the N3150 unit which is very nice, however please read below.

    Others who own this unit reported only one of the 2 realtek NIC's working, I confirmed the same problem on my unit.  I have removed the wireless capability, so detached the aerials and removed the wireless card, replaced it with a dual port i350 intel NIC, and with the intel NIC's I added the unit is superb.

    Someone on kitz forum uses the other unit and he is very happy with it.

    The latter unit is better out of the box for sure, but the N3150 is perhaps better if you willing to add a intel addon card.

    Hey, that's pretty interesting, changing the NIC, is there some guide or recommendation how to? :)



  • None of them I want to go with! I personally would bring in the game these two units here also well known working and 100%
    compatible with pfsense.

    till 500 MBit/s WAN
    APU2C4
    16/32/64 GB mSATA
    compex wle200nx or UBNT SR71-E

    over 500 MBit/s WAN
    Jetway NF9HG-2930
    8 GB RAM
    16/32/64 GB mSATA
    compex wle200nx or UBNT SR71-E

    For both or all units "nullmodem cable (console) and USB to Serial Adapter"
    Well know working without any hassle and problems.

    Not the newest products but reliable and stable running.



  • Hi everyone! I'm currently looking for APU2C4 System Board and I have some questions related Varia Store I found few posts ago.

    • I found 4 boxes in different colour (grey, blue, red and black) with different Prices  but without any technical differences. Is there any technical differences between them I did not see?

    • All these boxes come with 4 GB DDR3-1333 DRAM embedded in the system board or must I add the 4GB DDR3 memory in the Shopping Cart ?

    • The box comes with MSATA 16GB memory. Could I think all components needed to boot Pfsense firewall software are embedded in the box or some other component is needed to start the system?

    • And the last and more important question: This is for a very small office, just 4 PC connected to internet DSL of 20MB as much. And the only requirement important is to be able to configure a VPN client to site ( remote access vpn) to connect a laptop from home to a little NAS in this office. I supose this APU2C4 is enough for this kind of needs. Could someone confirm me this last point please?

    Thanks so much for your answers.
    regards,
    Laurent