Great New Egg Deal





  • Well crap. It has a Marvell Ethernet controller so you would have to use proprietary drivers from Marvell. That sucks but it is still a heck of a deal if you pop an Intel Server NIC in there.



  • I found the same case on new egg as an open box special, 2GB of Kingston RAM and a E5200 Wolfdale 2.5Ghz Dual Core for $177 dollars with shipping included.

    It seems like such an overkill for a router… I almost want to use it for something else... maybe an virtualization server.

    Considering this is the same cost as some single atom solutions how can I go wrong?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    For that price vs performance I'd probably replace my aging unix workstation with that, and put pfSense on the older (and proven reliable) machine.

    I do have a nice tax return coming…  :-\



  • @g4m3c4ck:

    Well crap. It has a Marvell Ethernet controller so you would have to use proprietary drivers from Marvell. That sucks but it is still a heck of a deal if you pop an Intel Server NIC in there.

    FreeBSd supports a number of Marvell NICs; see http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.1R/hardware.html The list includes the 88e8056 which is on the K45. In the URL I gave you can generally just change the FreeBSD version number to see the supported hardware for another version. The list is not exhaustive in that there devices that are supported but not listed there.



  • i I am running the latest snapshot and it will detect the Marvell NIC. However, the drivers do not support VLAN. :o( However, I did notice Marvel did have freebsd drivers on their website. Maybeh I will give em a shot.



  • The FreeBSD man page for the driver (msk) says it supports hardware VLAN tag stripping and the FreeBSD vlan man page says msk supports VLAN.

    Based on past experience I'd say there is a pfSense file that needs to be tweaked to say msk supports VLAN. But off hand, I can't remember the file and I don't have time to look for it right now.



  • Looks nice and compact.  I'm currently looking for a machine to replace my broken pfsense (an old Dell workstation that gave about 3 years non-stop service as a firewall) and this might be it!

    However, when faced with small form factor PC, the first thing that comes to mind is:  will it be able to run 24x7.  How log before one of the components finally burn out and since everything is integrated, will I be able to replace it easily?

    The integrated ethernet port might not be an issue if I can pop in a quad ether into the available slot.

    BTW, hi all.  First time poster, long time pfsense user/admin.



  • Well the good thing about the case is that any Mini-ITX motherboard should pop in with out a hassle. It has a 60W Power supply and so far it handles my dual-core without an issue. However, I have not put the outside casing back on until I find a suitable 92mm fan to put in the case to keep temperatures down to my liking for a 24/7 box. I am an old OC'er so I am very picky even on non-OCed machines. The issue with having a single integrated port can be solved with VLANs once I can get pfsense to realize the Marvel chipset has the capability. I even have tried to get VLANs to work with a spare Intel Desktop card but either the latest pfsense snapshot or my POS linksys smart(stupid) switch is the issue. I can pull an IP from my modem across the VLAN but I will not allow traffic to pass. I gave up after 4 hours of trying and used both NICs individually.



  • @g4m3c4ck:

    The issue with having a single integrated port can be solved with VLANs once I can get pfsense to realize the Marvel chipset has the capability.

    Try editing /etc/inc/globals.inc, look for the line beginning "vlan_long_frame" => and add "msk" to the list of interface name strings.



  • Thanks man that worked great. I have VLANs working with the Marvel NIC which allows me to use the PCI slot for Wifi. I have to admit this system is WAY overkill for my current network but the price was soo low that I can not see paying two to three times more for a lower powered solution. Maybe I can turn it into a Virtualiztion server and run pfsense as a VM  ;D



  • Slightly cheaper and less power-hungry to go with Atom:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811234020
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121359
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231052

    The Atom 230 board is a little cheaper, but it's got the world's worst NIC, the Realtek 10/100. The 330 is a few bucks more but is faster and has the Realtek GigE that's not nearly as terrible. Still, if you had room, you could drop an Intel GigE card in the PCI slot of the 230 board.

    I'm shocked at how cheaply you can do this really, and with Atom power usage shouldn't be all that much more than the embedded stuff like ALIX. Price is pretty much on par, but performance probably much better. Very cool.



  • For reference, I've built a few of the following:

    • Jetway Atom 330 board
    • Jetway 3x Gig-E daughtercard
    • 2GB DDR2-667
    • 8GB SLC Compact Flash
    • 120W PicoPSU

    … and they draw 24W when sitting idle and about 26W when working it hard.  If you dropped the RAM to 512MB and stepped down to the Atom 230 board you could probably get that down to about 20W when loaded.



  • @jasonlitka:

    For reference, I've built a few of the following:

    • Jetway Atom 330 board
    • Jetway 3x Gig-E daughtercard
    • 2GB DDR2-667
    • 8GB SLC Compact Flash
    • 120W PicoPSU

    … and they draw 24W when sitting idle and about 26W when working it hard.  If you dropped the RAM to 512MB and stepped down to the Atom 230 board you could probably get that down to about 20W when loaded.

    What kind of case are you putting that in? I might just build one of those!



  • My remote box & testing box are in Mini-Box M200 cases.  My redundant systems here at the main office are in a Travla C147 (dual Mini-ITX in 1U).

    I was thinking about migrating my test box to the new Mini-Box M350 case because they claim it's the smallest yet and it has all those cool vent holes but it doesn't have a CF reader (so I'd have to switch to a USB drive or an IDE DoM) and, once you look at the specs, it's actually larger than the M200.

    EDIT:  If you do get the M200 and stuff it with the parts I mentioned, here's a tip.  Remove the fan from the northbridge (making the board fanless) and then flip the case fan around so that it sucks in air and blows across the CPU & NB.  Next, go into the BIOS and enable the smart fan settings (leave the defaults).  With those changes made the system runs almost completely silently (you can hear a little fan noise when within a couple feet but that's it) and hovers around 80F for the CPU & 100F for the case.  Running the fan at full blast only brings it down to around 75F for the CPU & 90F for the case.



  • Do you know if the atom that big of an upgrade over the Via C7 1.5 Ghz chip?  I've been looking at the different jetway boards..

    I'm thinking I'll go with this case: http://www.mini-box.com/M350-universal-mini-itx-enclosure  (the universal enclosure)

    Thanks
    Chance



  • Couldn't say for sure as I've never used a C7 chip.  I know that clock for clock they are faster than the Atom, so if you're considering the 230 then the C7 would be faster, but if you get the 330, you've got two physical cores at 1.6GHz each.

    Also, heat-management tip #2, if you get the Jetway 230/330 board you'll notice a small 2cm square Intel chip without a heat sink, right next to the CPU & NB.  That chip, unaided by any passive or active cooling, will run at about 65C in the M200 case.  However, drop four copper BGA RAM sinks on top and reverse that case fan as I mentioned earlier and now you're looking at 28-30C.  That change also dropped the case ambient temp about 5F.

    http://www.xoxide.com/enzotech-bmr-c1.html



  • How have you found the reliability of the Jetway boards? I've heard some horror stories, but I'd be willing to give one a shot in a non-critical spot if someone will vouch for them. Normally I stick to Intel/Gigabyte/ASUS/Supermicro exclusively.



  • @ktims:

    How have you found the reliability of the Jetway boards? I've heard some horror stories, but I'd be willing to give one a shot in a non-critical spot if someone will vouch for them. Normally I stick to Intel/Gigabyte/ASUS/Supermicro exclusively.

    I've got 4 in place (three production systems and one test box) here at work.  The two in the main office run CARP for my two WAN links (failover) and run an IPSec VPN to my second warehouse which is also running an identical JetWay system (though only one).

    I too heard bad things about them, but the reputation seems unwarranted, at least thus-far as I've had no issues (aside from the fact that the daughter card for the additional three NICs blocks the second serial port header).  I ended up buying these because the only alternative I could find for a Mini-ITX board with 4 onboard Gig-E NICs was from some small specialty manufacturing firm that wanted $600 each (not including processors, ram, etc.).

    iperf tests between the boxes shows available bandwidth of around 280Mbit/s, though that obviously will be lower if you're running NAT or IPSec.  My IPSec tests were limited to about 35Mbit/s for a single tunnel with a single client running a test (SMB transfer from file server on other end).  I'm not sure if the software used for IPSec is multi-threaded, particularly with only a single tunnel and a single client, so it's possible that the test was only using one core on the 330.



  • I've got a couple jetway systems.  I love them.  infact, they make a mini-itx that takes a 4 nic daughter board that's pretty cool too.  I've never had a problem with jetway products but i have a friend who received a DOA board…he just returned it and hasn't had a problem since.  That happens with ALL manufacturers though.


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