Thin Client For pfSense?

  • I have a 1U server with a Xeon 3070 (Socket 775), 4 GB DDR2, and dual Gigabit NICs. pfSense works flawlessly on it, easily managing my 300 / 300 MBPS connection without breaking a sweat (Sure does beat the stock router's pathetic 120 MBPS even though I pay for the full 300). Before I tidy up my networking closet and essentially root the server by zipties, I want to know if a smaller, quieter, cheaper, more efficient alternative exists, more specifically used HP Thin Clients from eBay, and even more specifically, the HP T610 Plus with the PCI-e port. I've got a spare Intel gigabit NIC and a bunch of RAM for it, but would it still be able to handle my 300 / 300 connection? I haven't seen any reports of people reaching over 100 MBPS because that's just their internet speed that they pay for.

    I would imagine the limiting factor, if any, would be the processor. It's an AMD "me too" Atom at 1.65 GHz (SPECS). It is dual core and 64-bit, but would it be able to handle the throughput of gigabit ethernet? It's only got 1 MB of cache, although I'm not sure if that matters in a router's scenario.

    I would really like to know if a $50 investment (yes, I'm broke) would be worth it for a router solution that could be better in every single way, unless it would be insufficient for the speeds I want to reach.

    Bottom Line: Does anybody with a Thin Client setup with pfSense have speeds upwards of 300 MBPS?

  • No. The APU2 is the closest, but even there you'll be starting to hit the limits.

  • nit picking terminology

    "Thin client" does not indicate what a device is but how it is used. I assume you actually meant something more like "microcomputer". A thin client is a device designed to be able to remote to another computer, like a terminal to a mainframe. Of course there is overlap with modern "thin clients" hardware capability and what you're attempting to do, but technically pfSense is not a VM system to which thin clients attach. So no, there is no thin client for pfSense, but you may be able to re-purpose some thin client hardware to run pfSense, but at this point, it is no longer a thin client.

  • @johnkeates:

    No. The APU2 is the closest, but even there you'll be starting to hit the limits.

    Would the CPU be the bottleneck?

  • Read this topic. it's able to handle 500/500 on a single gigabit interface (it has only 1 LAN port) as a "router on a stick" using VLANs. Using actively several of these deployed in corporate environment - pretty reliable too.

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