Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?



  • I'm just curious if it will really make a difference if I build my own little pfsense box or buy one.

    It is for home use, but I do run a small business and will be running network cables throughout the house with 20-30 cables total. There are several video streams that could be going on simultaneously. I run an unraid server on the network that is transcoding often, downloading, running vms, several thin clients around connected to the vms, etc… I have a separate wireless router, so I don't need wireless functionality and I also have an external switch as well for all the additional network cables I'll be running.

    I currently have vpn enabled on my pfsense build, but have not added modules/apps to pfsense.

    This is the build that I created a couple years back. I'm not sure that the prices are still accurate. I believe that it is probably a bit overkill, but I'm curious on opinions.

    M350 case - comes w bracket for 2.5" drive $40
    A1sri-2758 or 2558 processor ( get mini-itx version) $330
    8GB Ram $40
    PicoPsu - 80w - $25
    40mm noctua fan w low noise adapter
    Noctua NF-A4x10 Flex (40x40x10) $17
    Intel S3500 SSD 80GB $100
    Full install on a high-end SDXC card (Samsung Pro) in a low-profile USB adapter
    32GB - $20
    Low profile adapter - $10?

    Edit: I already run pfsense on a old computer I have and have had it running for years and love it. You guys have helped me through some good configuration setups as well with it.

    Would it be better for me to build something like the above mentioned, get something from the pfsense store, or is there a good piece of hardware out there that I can buy that would be better geared toward a router that I can repurpose instead of a really old dell desktop?



  • Am on the camp of build-yourself doesn't save$ you anything, is for people who enjoy the process and want to have total control of what goes into the box.

    Since you already have an old box, you know whether if was over-built or what not and make adjustment.

    Buying from Netgate affords direct tech support, if u don't have time playing I.T. while doing your business.



  • It seems the Qotom may be the way to go since it is already all in the package and appears to be upgradeable to a certain extent.

    Is there a particular version I should get and do they work with the latest pfsense?



  • Is this the one you're referring to? https://www.amazon.com/Firewall-Appliance-Gigabit-Celeron-Barebone/dp/B0741F634J/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522363158&sr=8-1&keywords=q355g4#customerReviews

    Does it run well and most importantly reliable/stable and is it a PIA to setup (finicky with things)?



  • Thanks!



  • You can buy these minisys-like boxes from ProtectLI who's a reseller in Amazon, based in the U.S., you do pay a premium but reduces your shipping time and most importantly real english, real tech local support, the feedbacks in Amazon confirm, and because it's shipped by amazon, well, nobody does zero-pain return like Amazon, at least in the U.S.

    I have a 2-months old minisys-4 (hardware version 3, I found out) and am fairly contend with it, install hardly PITA. I did bought it barebone because I don't trust Chinese Ram/SSD, and threw it my own Crucial/Sandisk.  Upgradable? Ram and storage that's it.  This should not be of any concern because this box will be dedicated to firewalling, you are not going to suddenly play 3D game on it, and the packages most likely you are adding in the future is not gonna suddenly render what you have obsolete.  Only thing is, if you are thinking of going gigabit in the near future, get an i3-class as mentioned and you are all set.  If you are like some folks here who start throwing proxy, WIFI, Samba blah-blah at it, like hey, I got plenty of CPU this box here! and you are adding more failure points to your FW, Mr. Trump, I QUIT.



  • Don't forget about the PCEngines APU2.  You should be able to put one of those together for less than $200.  Not as powerful as those Qotom systems, but they're still good systems.  I think they can only handle up to about 600-700MBit connections though.



  • My LAN is gigabit all around except my current PFsense box, which is really the choke point of the system. It is super old hardware and one of the nics in it is absolutely super slow. I can't recall, but it is pretty awful.

    I don't really see myself running any other software on pfsense other than what comes with it stock. I just like it because it is so configurable, however I would like the option to be able to run other programs/apps/whatever you want to call them on pfsense if I did see a need. Would the i3 version suffice for this or should I bump up to the i5?

    I do have my current PFsense box running on VPN.



  • @Live4soccer7:

    My LAN is gigabit all around except my current PFsense box, which is really the choke point of the system. It is super old hardware and one of the nics in it is absolutely super slow. I can't recall, but it is pretty awful.

    I don't really see myself running any other software on pfsense other than what comes with it stock. I just like it because it is so configurable, however I would like the option to be able to run other programs/apps/whatever you want to call them on pfsense if I did see a need. Would the i3 version suffice for this or should I bump up to the i5?

    I do have my current PFsense box running on VPN.

    I built my own pfSense router based on J3355B for $106.68 – granted, I already had a 1U case that came with a PSU. But even if you add a picoPSU it would add about $10-$15. If you need a rackmount case then there is plinkUSA.com. Cheapest 1U rack case that will fit the J3355B is for $45. Or you can browse your local craigslist and get any case for about $10-$25 and replace whatever internals with a J3355B. It will handle gigabit WAN easily. What is your ISP speed currently? As long as you don't require more than 200-300Mbps over VPN, J3355B should serve your needs well since you mentioned you don't intend to run too many packages.

    That's when buying most of the components NEW except the NIC. Totals up to $112.82 + case – the cost shouldn't go beyond $150 even if you buy a new case. There might be other non-rackmount cases that might be cheaper too and since as you mentioned, you have been using pfSense on super old hardware, this should feel like a great upgrade for the price.



  • @Inxsible:

    @Live4soccer7:

    My LAN is gigabit all around except my current PFsense box, which is really the choke point of the system. It is super old hardware and one of the nics in it is absolutely super slow. I can't recall, but it is pretty awful.

    I don't really see myself running any other software on pfsense other than what comes with it stock. I just like it because it is so configurable, however I would like the option to be able to run other programs/apps/whatever you want to call them on pfsense if I did see a need. Would the i3 version suffice for this or should I bump up to the i5?

    I do have my current PFsense box running on VPN.

    I built my own pfSense router based on J3355B for $106.68 – granted, I already had a 1U case that came with a PSU. But even if you add a picoPSU it would add about $10-$15. If you need a rackmount case then there is plinkUSA.com. Cheapest 1U rack case that will fit the J3355B is for $45. Or you can browse your local craigslist and get any case for about $10-$25 and replace whatever internals with a J3355B. It will handle gigabit WAN easily. What is your ISP speed currently? As long as you don't require more than 200-300Mbps over VPN, J3355B should serve your needs well since you mentioned you don't intend to run too many packages.

    That's when buying most of the components NEW except the NIC. Totals up to $112.82 + case – the cost shouldn't go beyond $150 even if you buy a new case. There might be other non-rackmount cases that might be cheaper too and since as you mentioned, you have been using pfSense on super old hardware, this should feel like a great upgrade for the price.

    Thanks! I may just go this route. My ISP speed is only 50mb/s, so quite slow. How does this setup compare to the i3 or i5 of the qotom machines? I don't need a rack mount, a simple ITX case for this should work just fine.



  • Thanks! I'll probably go with your $150 setup or the qotom setup if this doesn't pan out. Hard to say no to $25 if it'll work. It has two LAN ports in the back as well :)

    I looked locally to find a used mini itx case to help keep costs down and I found one with everything it. I may even be able to use what's in it for the entire setup. I have an offer in of $25 lol. It has an intel core i3, but that's all the info I have on it minus basic ram, hdd info.



  • You might also want to make sure that i3 supports AES-NI so that it's future proof.



  • Thanks! He didn't accept my initial offer, but said he would take $50 and I get a 250W power supply that's separate from it that I could use for something else, so still not a bad deal since it is a case, board, and the board is loaded with the necessary components to run a small computer. Anyways, i asked for the CPU and Board Model.

    Gigabyte GA-H77N-WIFI
    Intel Core i3 3225

    Let me know what you guys think?



  • It isn't AES-NI. How big of a deal is this? It's an 1155 socket, so sure there has to be a processor I could replace it with if needed???
    Does the newer version of pfsense require AES-NI?

    https://ark.intel.com/products/65692/Intel-Core-i3-3225-Processor-3M-Cache-3_30-GHz

    Here is the board: https://www.gigabyte.com/nl/Motherboard/GA-H77N-WIFI-rev-10#ov

    It looks like I would have plenty of CPUs that I could choose from that would fit the LGA 1155 Socket and be capable of AES-NI: https://ark.intel.com/Search/FeatureFilter?productType=processors&SocketsSupported=LGA1155&AESTech=true

    It looks like each port is able to run full 1gbps as they advertise 2gbps if you "pair them together". Hopefully that means they would each be capable of fullduplex.



  • @Live4soccer7:

    It isn't AES-NI. How big of a deal is this?

    The deal is non-AES processors will become obsolete to pFsense in a year time.

    Can upgrade CPU? as long as the new AES capable CPU uses the same socket. CAVIAT, there was Intel CPU refresh back in 2014? which required some Mobo to BIOS update before you can upgrade the CPU.

    Isn't building your own fun?



  • Haha. I don't mind it. Especially if I can get it and all related hardware in a nice package for about $50 with an extra 250W power supply that I can immediately repurpose for something else.

    These are the LGA1155 chips with AES-IN, so plenty of options and they are all prior to 2014, so probably won't have to mess with bios, which I would mind anyways.
    https://ark.intel.com/products/65692/Intel-Core-i3-3225-Processor-3M-Cache-3_30-GHz

    The current version of Pfsense doesn't require AES-IN? My machine is updated to the latest version at this time and I'm 100% certain my current processor in my pfsense setup isn't AES-IN.

    With all that said, it looks like that ITX board/setup should work just great for what I want and have plenty of power and expandability.


  • Netgate Administrator

    pfSense 2.4.X (the current version) does not require AES-NI.

    pfSense 2.5+ will require AES-NI or some other AES offloading. There is no hard timetable for that but it will likely be at least a year.

    We have committed to continuing to support 2.4.X with security updates for 1 year following 2.5 release so there will be no sudden requirement to replace all your hardware overnight!

    There are plenty of 3rd gen i5 options with AES-NI.

    Steve

    Edit: typo



  • @stephenw10:

    We have committed to continuing to support 2.4.X with security updates for 1 year following 2.5 release…

    Sorry, but I don't buy that anymore.
    Exactly the same was said about 2.3 (the last version supporting NanoBSD and/or 32bit HW) but, if memory serves me right, it was short after 3 months that it was de-facto obsoleted. JWT explicitly announced NO updates for Meltdown and Spectre for NanoBSD installs / 32bit hardware.

    2.4.0 was released October 12, 2017 and received patches and fixes up to version 2.4.3
    2.3.5 was released October 31, 2017 and got one maintenance release on December 14th, 2017 since.

    To be fair, there are snapshots of a 2.3.6 development branch on the server.
    But I would neither want to run a rather old 2.3.5 nor a development branch on an internet facing device in production. This means that hardware, not capable of running a full 64bit pfSense install, is obsolete only 5 months after initial 2.4 release. That's somewhat different than a year, isn't it?

    Expect the same focus shift after a 2.5 release. Only buy AES-NI capable hardware today. And if you like pfSense then buy it from netgate's store (or one of their resellers).


  • Netgate

    “JWT explicitly announced NO updates for Meltdown and Spectre for NanoBSD installs / 32bit hardware.“

    I announced no such thing. The mitigation’s aren’t available yet for 32-bit.

    What Steve said is exactly right.



  • @jwt:

    I announced no such thing. The mitigation’s aren’t available yet for 32-bit.

    Well…
    @https://www.netgate.com/blog/an-update-on-meltdown-and-spectre.html:

    By Jim Thompson
    …snapshots including the fixes will only be available for pfSense® 2.4.x and amd64 architecture.

    "only 2.4.x and amd64 architecture" does explicitly mean: no 2.3.x, no 32bit, no NanoBSD, not even in the future.

    You never said something like" these fixes are for 64bit FreeBSD only and therefore can be implemented in the 2.4.x branch only. When/if such code is available for 32bit FreeBSD we will update the 2.3.x branch accordingly."


  • Netgate

    "only 2.4.x and amd64 architecture" does explicitly mean: no 2.3.x, no 32bit, no NanoBSD, not even in the future.

    Incorrect, it doesn't "explicitly mean" that at all.  It's just how you chose to parse it.

    While I understand how you got there, so I will say it explicitly, when those mitigations are available from FreeBSD (upstream), assuming they occur well enough before the October deadline for 2.3.x that we can bring them in, we will bring them into pfSense for 2.3.x as well.

    Let's be 100% clear:  If 2.4.x supported i386 today, there still wouldn't be any Spectre / Meltdown mitigations.

    KPTI mitigations aren't even available for Ubuntu yet.  See this: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/KnowledgeBase/SpectreAndMeltdown/TechFAQ, but note:  "However, even with KPTI support, a 32-bit x86 kernel cannot use PCID or INVPCID, so the performance impact will be severe."



  • Thanks for clearing this up, Jim.
    Actually, the 32bit versions are not my main concern. NanoBSD is. Unfortunately, that's only available in 32 bit flavour.

    Edit: corrected. Thanks.



  • @jahonix:

    NanoBSD is. Unfortunately, that's only available in 32 bit flavour.

    Shit! There actually was a 64-bit NanoBSD install?  Upgrading 64-bit NanoBSD from 2.3 to 2.4

    How could I miss that? Would have solved quite some issues for me "back then".
    New installs will be (full) 2.4.x now anyways and existing installs on 32-bit hardware give a reason to contact clients and install new devices after years of service.



  • Hi, how exactly were you able to fit the NIC adapter into the 1u case? I don't see any way how even a low profile adapter would be able to be slotted into a 1u case.

    @inxsible said in Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?:

    @Live4soccer7:

    My LAN is gigabit all around except my current PFsense box, which is really the choke point of the system. It is super old hardware and one of the nics in it is absolutely super slow. I can't recall, but it is pretty awful.

    I don't really see myself running any other software on pfsense other than what comes with it stock. I just like it because it is so configurable, however I would like the option to be able to run other programs/apps/whatever you want to call them on pfsense if I did see a need. Would the i3 version suffice for this or should I bump up to the i5?

    I do have my current PFsense box running on VPN.

    I built my own pfSense router based on J3355B for $106.68 – granted, I already had a 1U case that came with a PSU. But even if you add a picoPSU it would add about $10-$15. If you need a rackmount case then there is plinkUSA.com. Cheapest 1U rack case that will fit the J3355B is for $45. Or you can browse your local craigslist and get any case for about $10-$25 and replace whatever internals with a J3355B. It will handle gigabit WAN easily. What is your ISP speed currently? As long as you don't require more than 200-300Mbps over VPN, J3355B should serve your needs well since you mentioned you don't intend to run too many packages.

    That's when buying most of the components NEW except the NIC. Totals up to $112.82 + case – the cost shouldn't go beyond $150 even if you buy a new case. There might be other non-rackmount cases that might be cheaper too and since as you mentioned, you have been using pfSense on super old hardware, this should feel like a great upgrade for the price.

    @live4soccer7 said in Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?:

    @Inxsible:

    @Live4soccer7:

    My LAN is gigabit all around except my current PFsense box, which is really the choke point of the system. It is super old hardware and one of the nics in it is absolutely super slow. I can't recall, but it is pretty awful.

    I don't really see myself running any other software on pfsense other than what comes with it stock. I just like it because it is so configurable, however I would like the option to be able to run other programs/apps/whatever you want to call them on pfsense if I did see a need. Would the i3 version suffice for this or should I bump up to the i5?

    I do have my current PFsense box running on VPN.

    I built my own pfSense router based on J3355B for $106.68 – granted, I already had a 1U case that came with a PSU. But even if you add a picoPSU it would add about $10-$15. If you need a rackmount case then there is plinkUSA.com. Cheapest 1U rack case that will fit the J3355B is for $45. Or you can browse your local craigslist and get any case for about $10-$25 and replace whatever internals with a J3355B. It will handle gigabit WAN easily. What is your ISP speed currently? As long as you don't require more than 200-300Mbps over VPN, J3355B should serve your needs well since you mentioned you don't intend to run too many packages.

    That's when buying most of the components NEW except the NIC. Totals up to $112.82 + case – the cost shouldn't go beyond $150 even if you buy a new case. There might be other non-rackmount cases that might be cheaper too and since as you mentioned, you have been using pfSense on super old hardware, this should feel like a great upgrade for the price.

    Thanks! I may just go this route. My ISP speed is only 50mb/s, so quite slow. How does this setup compare to the i3 or i5 of the qotom machines? I don't need a rack mount, a simple ITX case for this should work just fine.



  • @t1a said in Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?:

    Hi, how exactly were you able to fit the NIC adapter into the 1u case? I don't see any way how even a low profile adapter would be able to be slotted into a 1u case.

    The NIC goes in horizontally.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Yeah, exactly. You use a riser and fit it at 90° to the slot on the board.

    Check out any 1U device that can fit an expansion card Such as:
    https://www.netgate.com/docs/pfsense/solutions/xg-1537/io-ports.html#with-4-port-intel-1-gb-ethernet-expansion-card

    Steve



  • @stephenw10 My apologies, I was a little unclear with my wording of the question. Using your J3355B type soc and a 1u case that fits the mini-itx board, it's still possible to get the nic adapter fitted in? I wasn't aware they had riser type cards for these socs to be able to fit it horizontally like you mentioned. I didn't want to get a 'cube/tower' like case.



  • @t1a a simple 1:1 riser card is pretty generic (e.g., https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAE7R5YV3774&cm_re=riser_card--9SIAE7R5YV3774--Product) there are also flexible cable versions if there are geometry issues. Multiport risers may have more compatibility issues. You should be able to get the riser wherever you get the case.



  • @t1a Correct. They go in horizontally using a riser card.

    A couple of things to consider:

    • You need a right angled riser or a ribbon card
    • You need to know how big your 1U case is. For example if you 1U case ONLY supports Mini-ITX, then a single angled riser/ribbon would suffice. But if your case supports mini-ITX & microATX, then apart from angled riser/ribbon, you will also need a riser extender to reach that open gap in the case where the card will fit.
      Something like this:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/PCI-EXPRESS-PCIE-8x-x8-Riser-Card-Extension-Adapter-for-1U-2U-Low-Profile-NEW/281044270981?hash=item416f8b3f85:g:mF8AAOxyDvxQ3vK9

    Or get a ribbon riser with extra long length. I trust hard chips better than ribbons because 1U cases already have less space, and ribbons seem to clutter up the space too much.



  • @inxsible - thanks for putting together the parts list which gave me the incentive to build one. I used a Thermaltake Element Mini-ITX case and went for the ASRock J3455B-ITX Intel board that was $10 more. Had it running for a few days with the case's 220watt power supply until the picoPSU arrived.

    The issue I'm having is a little noise out of the 12V 20A 240W AC/DC Power Adapter so my question is what are you using for a power supply? I have an email in to the PS's vendor but have not heard back yet. We have used this type power supply in the past, (granted not 240watt unit) and had never heard any noise coming from them. other than all is good, thanks again for the parts list



  • @s762 said in Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?:

    @inxsible - thanks for putting together the parts list which gave me the incentive to build one. I used a Thermaltake Element Mini-ITX case and went for the ASRock J3455B-ITX Intel board that was $10 more. Had it running for a few days with the case's 220watt power supply until the picoPSU arrived.

    You are welcome.

    However, if the case already came with a PSU, why did you go on and invest in picoPSU? And that too a 240W one? I don't think I ever saw a 240W picoPSU on the mini-box site. Did you buy this off of ebay/China? If so that might be the cause of the noise. Even the largest adapter on mini-box.com is only 192W.

    My advice would be to just continue using the Thermaltake case PSU.



  • Question, did you change to the Pico psu because it's More efficient? This site for Pico psu had reviewed a few adapters as well.

    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=207

    s762 said in Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?:

    @inxsible - thanks for putting together the parts list which gave me the incentive to build one. I used a Thermaltake Element Mini-ITX case and went for the ASRock J3455B-ITX Intel board that was $10 more. Had it running for a few days with the case's 220watt power supply until the picoPSU arrived.

    The issue I'm having is a little noise out of the 12V 20A 240W AC/DC Power Adapter so my question is what are you using for a power supply? I have an email in to the PS's vendor but have not heard back yet. We have used this type power supply in the past, (granted not 240watt unit) and had never heard any noise coming from them. other than all is good, thanks again for the parts list



  • @inxsible & @t1a yes sometimes I’m pretty good at wasting money. Without the purchase of the extra PS & Pico could have knocked off another $54 and would have came in around $150. I didn’t even know what a Pico PSU was until I followed inxsible's link but once I seen it on eBay I reckoned it would take less power and provide silent operation.

    To compare the two I metered out the pfsense box with the standard 220 watt PS and then with the Pico rig. The standard PS with the board & SSD was using 15 ~16 watts which is great but the Pico setup now has it at 10.5 ~ 11 watts and more importantly (to me) provides a silent operation except for the noise that was coming from the 12V 20A 240W AC/DC power supply.

    The good news is I stumbled 12V 6.7A 80W AC/DC power supply that I took off my Drobo (NAS) from our computer graveyard that is now out of service. The plug length on the Drobo PS is a fraction shorter than the 240watt supply but it fits in there snug and is now providing silent operation which was also part of my goal. I’m still waiting on the vendor to get back to me on the problem PS, figure I'll give them 24 hours to reply back but its getting returned either way. IMO its always good to go higher on watts/amps but if the 80 watt does the job I’ll just call it a day. Again thanks for the parts list and Devs making pfsense available.

    (edit typo)


  • Netgate Administrator

    Interestingly the PicoPSU proves that it is not always better to go higher power capability.
    Switching power supplies often operate waaay below their rated efficiency when run at, say, 5% of rated load. It's better to have a correctly sized power supply. Even the 80W supply is operating at low load if the whole system is consuming only 11W. I'd stick with that. ☺

    Steve



  • @s762 said in Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?:

    The standard PS with the board & SSD was using 15 ~16 watts which is great but the Pico setup now has it at 10.5 ~ 11 watts

    Consider the 5W increase in usage and multiply that by the electricity cost at your home. It will take years to recoup that $54, I am sure.

    @s762 said in Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?:

    IMO its always good to go higher on watts/amps but if the 80 watt does the job I’ll just call it a day. Again thanks for the parts list and Devs making pfsense available.

    Not quite. Look into the efficiency ratings of the PSU. Check at what load, they are the most efficient and go with those figure. Most PSUs tend to be most efficient at around 70-80% load. So if you buy a 1000W PSU and put a load of 10 watts, you are actually making it worse.

    A 80W picoPSU definitely is more than sufficient for the setup you have. I intended to go with a 80W picoPSU. Only reason I didn't was because I had this 1U supermicro case with a 300W 80+ Gold rated PSU lying around.

    so in my case, if I use the picoPSU -- it will be more efficient -- but at a cost which doesn't justify me purchasing a new PSU because I have one lying around.

    As a side note: I am thinking of moving to a picoPSU -- and then re-purposing that 1U for a ESXi server with 4 disk RAID array. I might have to look for a new 1U chassis too in that case.

    plinkusa.net has some 1U chassis for $45 -- and a 200W PSU for additional $45 --- Not sure if picoPSU is still worth it though because an 80W picoPSU + power brick from mini-box sells for 36.50+shipping. But for $8.5 more, I get 3 Molex and 3 SATA connectors vs 1 in the picoPSU + Plus I don't have to worry about the length of the cable-- whether it will reach my 2.5" PATA drive. Also the 80W picoPSU has a 20 pin ATX plug, whereas my board J3355B has a 24 pin ATX plug.

    Decisions Decisions....


  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    @inxsible said in Is it more cost effective to build my own PFSENSE box or just buy a small one?:

    Decisions Decisions....

    Just buy a netgate unit and be done with it ;) I love to tinker as well... But when it comes to building or supporting the company that provides you with the software you love.. Why would you not just buy a unit from them - its a win win win for everyone involved..

    They provide units that are energy friendly and good performance.. While it might be a few $ more.. You know its been tested, you know its supported and if any problems you can work directly with the company that does the software your running on it, etc.

    I have run pfsense on VM for years and years.. And love that about it.. But if your going to do hardware - pick a unit that does want you want that they sell and there you go - decision made ;)



  • And what do I do with the J3355B based build that I already have?

    I was just thinking of moving it in a different case, that's all.


  • Rebel Alliance Global Moderator

    Run whatever on it.. There are bajillion things to do with a box like that..



  • @inxsible Got it and point taken. Just to clarify my comment where bigger is better let's say you have a choice between a 12V/5 AH or a 12V /7 AH battery for use in a USP unit or alarm panel or emergency lighting station. For that I’m going to take the higher rated Amp Hour all day long. Same for car battery with a higher CCA rating or electrical panel for your home. Having the extra in reserve for those instances will do no harm. Of course sticking a 200amp electrical service in a 70 year old 800 sq. foot home is probably overkill so there’s that too. I think we could agree in some cases bigger is better but not in all cases as you pointed out.

    In any case glad to hear you confirmed my new found 80W PS is a better choice. What I’ve just noticed after switching from the case’s original 220watt PS to the Pico setup is the board is system is running a bit warmer. With the original PS that came with the ITX case the temp was always between 36 to 38.0°C and now with the Pico setup its hovering between 42 to 43.0°C which is still good according to pfsense’s default "Zone Warning" presets so not going to panic yet.. The only answer I have for that is fan from the original PS was keeping a nice flow of air going across the board to assist with the lower temp.

    Thanks again for the part list and feedback, all is good. My next objective is to see if I how much uptime I could rack-up without a reboot. We all need goals right..