State of MBT-2220/MBT-4220?



  • I'm looking for a reasonably affordable replacement for a defective SG-2220.
    The official Netgate Minnowboard series looked perfect but my local distributor doesn't and won't carry it. Ordering from USA would add tax and custom fees.
    I read that they weren't launched due to a HDMI issue that was fixed in 2.4.4, does this mean they are a supported appliance now? Will they ever be?
    I want to support Netgate but there seems to be a big hole for x86 devices below the SG-5100.
    My old SG-2220 seemed perfect for my basic tasks plus openvpn + squid + suricata + pfBlocker/DNSBL.
    I know that the SG-3100 exists and should be sufficient at this moment in time but I'm not sure about the next 4-5 years.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @goodthings said in State of MBT-2220/MBT-4220?:

    I read that they weren't launched due to a HDMI issue that was fixed in 2.4.4, does this mean they are a supported appliance now?

    Yes, now that we have addressed the HDMI issue sufficiently, they are fully supported as pfSense appliances. They do not ship with pfSense installed, but they do come with a credit-card shaped USB drive with the CE installer pre-loaded on it.

    @goodthings said in State of MBT-2220/MBT-4220?:

    I want to support Netgate but there seems to be a big hole for x86 devices below the SG-5100.

    We have another device coming that will be closer to the SG-1000/2220 in terms of power. We'll have some details on that soon, but nothing is public yet.

    @goodthings said in State of MBT-2220/MBT-4220?:

    I know that the SG-3100 exists and should be sufficient at this moment in time but I'm not sure about the next 4-5 years

    If the 2220 was fine the 3100 should be more than enough.



  • Interesting.
    Do you happen to know if any European distributor sells the MBT-4220 or are these generally only sold directly by Netgate?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @goodthings said in State of MBT-2220/MBT-4220?:

    Interesting.
    Do you happen to know if any European distributor sells the MBT-4220 or are these generally only sold directly by Netgate?

    Not off the top of my head, but if you ask sales@netgate.com they would be able to tell you for sure.



  • i replaced a sg2220 with a mbt-4220 and the switch over took all of maybe 15 minutes

    you will be very happy with your purchase. i am



  • I bought an MBT-4220 a couple of weeks ago, and am about to replace my DIY atom-based pfSense router with it today.

    I did have some stability problems but I think it may have been due to imported settings from my other system that weren't compatible. If I do a base install of pfSense and just use it like that (I put my work laptop behind it for a business day), it's stable. But just today while writing up this response, after importing my settings from another system, it locked up on me again.

    Is there a "best practice" list of settings such as thermal/crypto settings, powerd, any tunables, etc. for this specific board? It appears that the following work fine (but I haven't A/B tested anything yet):

    • AES-NI CPU-based Acceleration
    • Intel Core CPU on-die thermal sensor
    • Enable PowerD, Hiadaptive


  • i have aes enabled.

    temp die enabled. with the fan unplugged. it stays around 56c

    mine is on adaptive and stays around 6-700Mghz and runs 2 openvpn tunnels with no issues



  • @bcruze I was seeing higher temps with the fan unplugged, so I sourced a 35x35x20mm heat sink, search for LPD35-20B by Alpha Co. It works great.

    In fact I got a lot of 10 on eBay cheaper than I could find one shipped anywhere else. Seller wanted $12 plus $6 shipping, I used the “make offer” function and offered $11 total shipped and he accepted.



  • @bplein

    if at anything above adaptive mine did go up about 10 degrees



  • @bcruze Yes, I had mine on Highadaptive. I tested with the fan unplugged (stock heatsink) by loading up the processor, one core at a time, and wasn't comfortable with it going up into the 70C+ range. With this 20mm tall elliptical fin heat sink (with the case sitting on its side with rubber feet attached) the temps are quite sane.



  • Looks like they dropped the price on the MBT-4220 by $100 (list) and $50 under the prior "sale" price. https://store.netgate.com/MBT-4220-system.aspx

    So it looks like I overpaid by $50 for it. ☹ Maybe they can send me a consolation prize.



  • I've recently purchased and configured from scratch my first pfSense box using the MBT-4220. It's been running well for about a week now and I'll have a few weeks further to evaluate it and tweak it. This MBT-4220 is a great replacement for a quite old FreeBSD system I've not upgraded in years.

    For home use this is more than adequate and meets my needs:

    • DHCP pools and static mapping
    • OpenSSH user shell
    • OpenVPN connection for family mobile devices
    • traffic mapping using ntopng
      *Queing
      *Squid/squidguard

    Many of these things I configured by hand in the past but now have everything in a nice little box. Wifi access is provided by a separate wifi router.

    I've read about replacing the fan with a heat sink so I'm investigating that as a possible upgrade.

    For home the cpu runs 4-10% depending on activity and ntopng. Load averages are about 0.24 with a video stream running. Temperature with the fan is about 38-40°C.

    Configuring OpenVPN for my family's phones and PCs is pretty simple. It's been good to add squidguard on the OpenVPN interfaces so I can filter out the trackers and ads (and other unwanted content).