Attempting to build a pfSense.
Hi, just a heads up this is my first attempt… =]
1. I was reading the forums and reading what to get for hardware-wise for my first pfSense server. So what I gathered is stay away from all sorts of NIC card and stick with intel ones. So my question is that will there any difference in performance with MSI IM-945GSE-A ($180) since it has 2xIntel NIC built-in and Intel BOXD945GCLF2 Atom 330 Intel 945GC ($80) and add a Poweredge Intel Pro1000 Dual Gigabit PWLA8492MT ($60-70) which about 30-40 dollars cheaper.
OR I can just focus on a intel NIC 10/100 card since I doubt my ISP will go higher than 100megs?
2. That Poweredge Intel Pro1000 Dual Gigabit PWLA8492MT card 1 jack is for the internet and the other jack is for the Switch correct and I can disable the on-board realtek ethernet correct?
3. Also will I see a big difference if I get 1gig or 2gigs of ram for the pfSense. It'll be for heavy-home use on 50/20meg line which might be upgraded to 75/25 from rumors (FIOS).
4. With my currently router sometimes I have to power-cycle it to fix minor problems does that exist with pfSense if so how long are the reboots and should I buy a small fast Harddrive. Any recommendation will be great.
There is a post spanning three pages about that mobo http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,13098.0.html
The onboard NICs are probably on PCIe, so if you were really pushing it you might see a performance difference from saturating the PCI bus with your idea. For your needs though I doubt you'll see any difference. Hell, I doubt you'll see any difference between the Intel and onboard Realtek; the more modern Realtek NICs aren't nearly as bad as the 8139 series, and you're not going to be pushing anywhere near 1Gbps through these.
pfSense doesn't need a lot of memory for basic routing. If you're not planning on running squid, ntop or other memory hungry packages, 512MB is more than enough.
If you have to reboot your pfSense because of stability issues, chances are very good that you have a hardware issue. It's just unnecessary.
gigabit nics have more throughput even on non gigabit connections vs 10/100 nics