case recommendation mini-itx
Hi all, just starting on my first pfsense build. I have a mini-itx board (https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Q1900DC-ITX/) Quad core 1.3 GHz with 8GB RAM that I was planning to re-purpose from an HTPC for this build. It currently sits in a silverstone case with an audio receiver form factor.
I am a home user, will be running openVPN for all internet traffic except a few IP and device exceptions, and my internet speed is currently 40Mbps down, 10 up. Probably will not be more than 75 down in the next 4-5 years at which time I'll build something new, if I need to. Wireless will be handled by a couple of home routers -> access points. router will be connected to a 24 port switch. Ideally will run a USB external hard drive off the router for local backups, but flexible on this - can hook it up to my NAS if router won't work (I'm coming from an ASUS/Merlin world)
Three questions to get me going:
- Is this a suitable board for pfsense based on my use?
- I assume I need two NICs - can I use the onboard plus a single NIC card, or do I need to go with a dual NIC card such as this https://www.amazon.ca/Ethernet-Realtek-Standard-Brackets-SD-PEX24041/dp/B00O1AEFLK/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1WXKUEBQMROA5&keywords=dual+nic+card&qid=1582294529&sprefix=dual+nic%2Caps%2C255&sr=8-4
- Can you recommend a decent mini-ITX case that will fit the board plus one card plus one SSD? No need for fancy. it will be buried under the stairs.
Thanks in advance for your help!!!
- avoid realtek network card if you can,it is the cause of many problems, they are not very good for freebsd/pfsense
search for intel, better if it's dual nic, this way you don't have to use the integrated network card if it's a realtek, you only have one PCI-E 1x so take it in mind when you order the network card
- idk take what you like the most / what is less expensive, small ssd are now very cheap
tiwing last edited by
Thank you! and also thx for the advice on intel based cards. I do have a 128GB SSD already that I used for the HTPC. Still hoping for some reco on a case from anyone with a similar setup. thanks!
I also linked the wrong board. very similar specs though https://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/AM1H-ITX/
except it has one 16x slot
then you can search for a quad port, you never know what the future holds...
NollipfSense last edited by NollipfSense
@tiwing It will be difficult to recommend a case as it depends on variables such as taste, budget, etc...although you said nothing fancy. Here's an eBay search result: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=mini-itx+enclosure&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=1&_osacat=0&_odkw=mini+pc+enclosure
Also, I seconded what Kiokoman said regarding the Intel NIC. The 128GB SSD is good...two would be even better for ZFS mirror.
akuma1x last edited by
@tiwing I would go cheap, like you said, it's hidden under the stairs.
or, this one is rather large, but highly rated:
tman222 last edited by tman222
Here's another recommendation for a Mini-ITX case:
I have the ML06B and have been pretty happy with it. Keep in mind that for case like this (and probably for some of the other Mini-ITX cases too), you'll need an NIC with a low profile bracket because of the small form factor.
One can find good deals these days Intel i340 NIC's - it's a solid quad port card.
Hope this helps.
All very helpful, thank you for the suggestions! I've taken the advice here and have put together a working system in an old large case for the moment - 4 port intel card, mirrored zfs 128 SSDs. Still deciding on the case but will prob be one of the ones linked here. Before spending, wanted to ensure I could make it work how I wanted, with VPN set as default gateway, "kill switch", and an alias that contains all the stuff I want to always bypass the VPN. Last piece to sort out is high availability - not because I need it, but because I can :) So far so good though, this is a wonderful piece of software once you get past the pretty steep learning curve for networking noobs. Thanks again!
Edit: I think I actually settled on this case https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B015IYLSFS/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=AECIPMEQNVKO2&psc=1 - it came up in recommended when I was clicking around and seems to check all the boxes. small size, fits a single low profile card...
riften last edited by
For mini-ITX I use this: Thermaltake Cube
Reason being, they have 1x200mm fan so they are almost silent, are not too large, and it's easy to get the front off for cleaning. I've got a Gigabyte board with a Kaby I3 and everything stays nice and cool. The top, sides, front and bottom come off quick if you need to work in there, it's cake.
I even have my ESXI host in one, with 2 spinners and 4 SSDs running 6 vms. They sit side by side in a bedroom and I only hear the slightest woosh. PCI cards use standard height brackets BTW.
tiwing last edited by
Ohhhh I like that! Thanks for posting!