Intel 82574L GbE LAN & MSI IM-945GSE-A

  • This I probably a dumb question, but here it is anyway.  Does anyone know if the Intel 82574L GbE LAN is supported? I saw the 82574 listed under the em(4) driver and assume it is supported.  However I'm not sure if that driver supports the entire 82574 series or just the original 82574.  The version im interested in has the "L" at the end.  I'm looking at purchasing the new MSI IM-945GSE-A motherboard and worry about NIC after my experience with the realtek 8110 series found on the Jetway j7f4e1g2. The specs on the board can be found here … cat_no=388.

    Thanks for the help and sorry for the dumb question,

  • I've ordered the board a week ago but it's on backorder status.  Once I get it, i'll let you know if 1.2.1 recognizes it.  This seems like it'd be a great board as it has the low power 945gse chipset instead of the power hog 945gc that all other atom boards use.  Too bad you can't use 945gse with the dual-core atom 330.

  • Thanks for the response and I look forward to find out how it works for you.

    My thoughts exactly.  I'm amazed at the horsepower they are getting out of low power consumption chips.  On top of that it doesn't use a crappy realtek LAN card. It would be great if it does work because one can transfer between green and blue at gigabit speeds and its onboard and not taking up the one and only pci slot  ;D.

    I'm also looking for a mini PCIe Wireless N LAN card to go with it.  I'm new to wireless on board a pfsense box so I'm not sure what to expect and what hardware to look for.  The only thing I know for sure after my jetway pfsense box died, a linksys 54G router doesn't have the guts to handle what I throw at it.

    Good luck with the board, 

  • I've ordered one of these from orbit micro. Looks like a killer board. I'll be posting my success with it when it arrives.

  • An optimist! ;)  I like…  Look forward to hearing how awesome it is.

    Good luck,

  • Just got the board in, loaded up my SODIMM plugged in her, no joy! ack!

    Both 82574L nics are not found, although it did find my ubiquiti wireless card.  Now the searching on the forums begin..

  • Hmm… no interfaces found using 1.2.1, but looks like 2.0 alpha see both NICS em0 and em1.  Guess this is a good reason to start testing on 2.0 alpha..

    33_viper, there are no wireless "N" cards or drivers that I'm aware of that work with pfSense, you may need to stick to good ol b/g speeds for now..

  • Just an update on the MSI 9830 aka 945gse Intel Atom mini itx board. So far this board is running smoothly on 2.0 ALPHA, got both nics plus my wireless Ubiquiti XR2 card, single Corsair 2GB SO-DIMM installed, squid, squidguard, and few other reporting packages.  Install ran smoothly off my USB DVD drive.

    I'm using a PicoPSU the 120w version with a 110W DC brick and it pulls about 18w (w/notebook HDD) on my kill-a-watt meter.  Probably could get that a few watts off if I was using a smaller switching power supply, board runs cool with no fans..  I can't imagine this thing pulling more than 30w so a small DC brick is probably all you need.

    If you need "N" wireless speeds, just set your wireless router as an access point.  It won't be doing any routing so it should work okay.

  • Thanks for the update.  I'm glad its working for you.  Too bad 1.2.1 doesn't work on it.  Did you compile 2.0 Alpha or just do an upgrade from 1.2.1?  18 watts is awesome!!!  Sounds like an impressive little board.  I might have to get me one or two of these.


  • I didn't compile 2.0, just downloaded the full install .ISO and installed it the same way as 1.2.1.  So far no the Alpha runs pretty stable for my home use.  I think the board should work with 1.2.1.  I didn't troubleshoot too much but it almost appeared there was some mismatch error due to 2 identical nics in the system.

  • It shouldn't care.  I'm using a 4 port dlink NIC which shows up as dc0, dc1 dc2, and dc3.  They are running together well.  The only problem I have is I cant get bridging to work so the card works like a switch.  From what I understand, it is a known issue with 1.2 and 1.2.1.  For now, I am happy with it since I use one port as DMZ and another for servers and the last for my LAN.  I would like to build a pfsense box that has a multi-port NIC working as a single LAN for travel.  It is probably a driver issue.  If you get board and want to experiment, try typing in em0 and em1 on a fresh install and see if it accepts.  Also, check which driver it is using in 2.0 and check 1.2.1 for that driver.  I am kinda bummed that they aren't using free BSD 8 for 2.0 alpha.  That upgrade would with a lot of hardware out there.  However, if 2.0A accepts your NICs, your set.  I think next month I will have to get me one of these boards.

    I don't currently have wireless N.  If I invest in a wireless card for my pfsense box, I wanted to upgrade for my next laptop since my current laptop is getting old and slow for my needs.  I would like to find a PCI-E wireless N card and have a supporting driver.  I think im SOL on both the PCI-E and driver fronts for now.  With any luck, 2.0 will solve one of those problems.

    What are you using for a case and how is it's cooling?

    Keep us posted,

  • Anyone in the UK found this board yet? Dying to get rid of my Jetway.

  • As a alternative Cheesyboofs I find this MI800F board interesting , but I haven't yet found a local reseller maybe you will have better luck in the UK.

  • Also looks just the ticket but unfortunately equally elusive in the UK. Have mailed them to ask for a UK reseller.

    Cheers Perry.

  • Before I purchase either the iBASE MI800F or the MSI IM-945GSE-A can someone please confirm with no shadow of a doubt that the Intel 82574L GB NIC that comes with these boards will work under 1.2.3 (FreeBSD 7.1)


  • yes works great under 1.2.3 I am running the ms im-945gse-a board 3.5 hd and its pulling 24 watts
    heres the hardware info:
    Kernel Version  FreeBSD 7.1-RELEASE-p2 #0 Tue Jan 27 09:41
    Distro Name FreeBSD
    Processors  2
    Model Genuine Intel(R) CPU N270 @ 1.60GHz
    CPU Speed 1.6 GHz
    PCI Devices

    • atapci0: Intel ICH7 UDMA100 controller
    • atapci1: Intel ICH7M SATA300 controller
    • ehci0: Intel 82801GB/R (ICH7) USB 2.0 controller
    • em0: Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Connection 6.9.6
    • em1: Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Connection 6.9.6
    • em2: Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Connection 6.9.6
    • isab0: PCI-ISA bridge
    • pcib1: ACPI PCI-PCI bridge
    • pcib2: ACPI PCI-PCI bridge
    • pcib3: ACPI PCI-PCI bridge
    • uhci0: UHCI (generic) USB controller
    • uhci1: UHCI (generic) USB controller
    • uhci2: UHCI (generic) USB controller
    • vgapci0: VGA-compatible display
    • vgapci1: VGA-compatible display
      IDE Devices
    • acd0: UJDA720 DVD/CDRW/1.00
    • ad4: Seagate ST380815AS 4.AAB (Capacity: 78.18 GB)

  • Thanks ‘grandrivers’

    FYI - UK pfSenser’s I have been in touch with and they can get the iBase MI800F board but it will retail at £266.50+VAT  :o  “ I know, that’s what I thought”

    But I found this company selling the IM-945GSE-A for £161.55 with stock available. I have to say I think this is the perfect motherboard for a pfSense firewall and will be purchasing one ASAP.

  • Grandrivers, I am curious. Did you add an additional Intel NIC with the same chipset? I definitely want this board. I was leaning towards the MS-9832 because of the dual core Atom Processor but hearing about the Realtek issues I am thinking twice. Does anyone know if the Realtek issues will be resolved? Is it a issue isolated to FreeBSD 7.1?

    I wish there was a Atom N330 Board with 2 Intel Gbe(heck if I am wishing why not three?)!!!

  • Stick with Intel NIC's and save yourself any grief - trust me I learnt the hard way,11913.0.html
    Ideally if you can afford it you would have just one Intel server grade NIC and a GB VLAN switch. If not as many Intel NICS as you can afford or fit, under FreeBSD anyway but you will have to pay for it which ever you choose. Since I changed my setup and stopped using the Realtek's my set up has been rock solid. I was sceptical that it could just be down to the NIC's giving me all that grief but time has proven me wrong.

  • yes i added a third INTEL nic into it all three nic do require 7.1 as the freebsd base though

  • I don't know about the realtek 8111C, but the 8110 SC finally works under 1.2.3.

    You are running the same exact setup as me with the mobo and dlink NIC.  1.2.3 handles all the features of the motherboard fine to include the NICs.


  • I have disabled the Realtek's and am just using 1 Intel GB server NIC with VLAN's

  • Well I installed my MSI IM-945GSE-A last night and despite a couple of teething issues I am in and working fine. The NIC's do indeed work fine under 1.2.3 (thanks grandrivers) and the throughput is fantastic.

    I was getting a lockup at boot when the 6 serial ports where discovered - "I know, who needs 6 serial ports" so I disabled the four internal ports and kept the two external ports.

    It then stopped at the mountroot> prompt. For some reason although my microdrive is set as IDE master it will sometimes be detected in the BIOS as IDE slave meaning I have to type ufs:ad1s1a rather than ad0s1a to get it to carry on booting. As I know my microdrive is a known quantity I suspect this to be a firmware bug with the motherboard and it has only done it twice.

    On the whole I am very please with this board, low powered and fanless with dual Intel Gb NIC's what more could you ask for. The only downside is the cost, I ended up spending 190 odd pound but it was more than worth it.

  • Where did you buy your MSI IM-945GSE-A from?  I was about to pull the trigger today, and it's either on speical order or available in may.

  • Note this price is without VAT and delivery.

  • Just some more feedback on this board:

    I am now over two weeks in with this board and I can say it has performed perfectly. My old fanless Jetway board still required a fan in the 1U Casetronic Travla C158 60W case I have as the chipset use to get so hot it would lockup in this case, this board however does not get hot and does not lock up.

    The IDE master/slave problem I mentioned was tracked down to my card reader and microdrive in the end and hard setting it to slave cured the problem.

    If you want a guaranteed stress free mini-itx install you could do allot worse than purchase one of these boards.

  • the only thing I wish could get sorted out is hbmon so we could see the temp and other monitoring info seems like the bootup is a little slow but defiantly no deal breaker would also make a nice nas once frenas gets based off of 7.1 freebsd  and this board is a little hard to come by must be popular

  • Hi,

    I'm also thinking in buying the MSI IM-945GSE with 2 NIC's. But the only stable download of pfsense I see is the 1.2.2 based on  FreeBSD 7.0.

    • did anybody test the 1.2.2
    • where can i download 1.2.3
    • should I emideatly try 2.0Alpha??

    I need squid, squidguard, Darkstat, DHCP and the Captive Portal.

    greetings from belgium, Sascha

  • You need v1.2.3, get an ISO from here.

    It is fine for production IMHO, I'm using it now if you read the thread fully.

    Don't go for v2.0a yet because when you are testing new hardware you need a (known good) stable OS so if you run into any problems you can easily rule out the OS. Once you are happy with the hardware (which you will be) then you can try the more buggy Alpha release of v2.0.

  • Thanks a lot for the link, will test it as soon as the MB has arrived.

    greetings from belgium, Sascha

  • Cant' believe I didn't see this sooner, I am also a lover of this board :) It's a great platform for PfSense.

  • Would anyone be able to recommend a low-power PSU and/or a 1U/2U mini-ITX case for this MSI board?  Would this board work with a standard micro-ATX case?  Your help is very appreciated.   I was originally planning on using an AMD Lima processor for a new build but quickly realized this approach will conserve a lot of energy and hopefully cost up front.

  • I have mine in this case - it comes with a 60W external silent PSU. This case has space for an extra PCI card so is wider than it needs to be but is very thin so I have mine squeezed in a scanner shelf under a desk.

    Casetronic Travla cases aren't cheep but they are VERY good quality, but in truth you could fit this board in any mini-itx case it has no fan and nothing to stick out - hell even the memory fits flat on the board!

  • Thanks for the help with the case.  The Casetronic you've linked is pretty much the perfect fit for this board in terms of scalability and cost.  If only it were rackmount…nothing the mod squad can't fix.  ;D

  • This hardware looks interesting for my first pfsense box (I've been using m0n0wall so far). I'd like to put a slimline DVD reader in it and run pfsense live with settings on a CF card. The reason for running live is to reduce sound from a hard disk, but I guess I could use an SSD drive for that.

    A question regarding that Travla case:
    It seems no CF card reader is included with the case, what kind of reader would you recommend together with this motherboard?

    By the way, running pfsense live - is it a good idea?

  • Just as a heads up Logic Supply FINALLY has these boards back in stock (I just ordered 2 more) for those in the US:

    I snagged a couple of those with 2gb RAM and this case: for ~$270 shipped each.

    They also have a dual core atom board from MSI that uses the Realtek RTL8111C Gigabit chipsets (Should be supported in 1.2.2 if i read right but don't hold me to it) if you'd rather:

    I think the dual intel LAN cements this board as a great platform.. will do some power testing soon here and get that up as well..

  • Anyone have any kind of CPU Temp monitoring available for this board?? I'm on 1.2.3 and saw this: didn't know if waaay down at the bottom the temp utility could work with any ATOM proc or if it was chipset based…  It's the only thing I really wish I could get with this..

  • hi my board wont work ? i have download the pfSense-1.2.3-20090422-0357.iso.gz extract and burn. but when i comes to sio:2 type 16550A it stop and hangs what can the problem be ?

  • try reducing the number serial port in the bios i also selected to only use 4 usb ports

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