J7F4K1G2ES alternative



  • I've been running pfSense 1.2.1-TESTING-SNAPSHOT for two years on a J7F4K1G2ES based machine. This setup has been rock stable and I haven't managed to push the CPU usage above 50% on my 100/30 connection (I only use NAT, firewall, DHCP and OpenVPN). Here is a blog post I wrote about this setup a while ago.

    However I'm now about to expand my network and I'm planning to build a second pfSense machine for another location. At first I thought about buying another J7F4K1G2ES board but then I thought technology must have moved forward in the last two years.

    Is there any passively cooled ITX boards with dual gigabit NIC based on a more modern hardware available?

    The only one I have found so far is the slightly expensive MSI IM-945GSE-A.



  • Supermicro makes this X7SPA-H

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/ATOM/ICH9/X7SPA.cfm?typ=H

    But it will be in the same price range as that MSI.



  • @mrbostn:

    Supermicro makes this X7SPA-H

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/ATOM/ICH9/X7SPA.cfm?typ=H

    But it will be in the same price range as that MSI.

    Thanks for the tip, that really is an interesting board. The D510 CPU could come in handy if I start scaling up the number of OpenVPN clients.



  • That board could probably do a lot more than other Atom boards due to the Intel Nics.

    By the way-not to get off topic did you make use of the VIA Padlock at all?



  • @mrbostn:

    That board could probably do a lot more than other Atom boards due to the Intel Nics.

    By the way-not to get off topic did you make use of the VIA Padlock at all?

    When I installed the machine I did a clean pfSense 1.2.1 beta install and applied the old "embedded hack". Haven't had a thought about padlock (didn't know it existed until you mentioned it).

    How would I go about to enable it?

    PS. I won't be staying on the 1.2.1 beta much longer. I recently ordered a SATA disk-on-chip module and I'm planning to do a full install of pfSense 1.2.3 on it.



  • From what I gather-padlock is built into the via cpu.

    I don't know much on how to get it going but from what I gather it might work out of the box with the full install of 1.2.3.

    I read VIA Padlock accelerates AES encryption-hence helps any site to site vpns you have. Not sure if it can work with any OPENVPN roadwarrior clients, but that would be great if it could.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4WZPA_enUS328US328&q=padlock+accelerates+aes&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=



  • Be weary of the 82574L NICs.  I've not tested them with pfSense but they typically don't work unless you install the newest batch of drivers from Intel, making them dead out of the box on Windows, OpenSolaris, and most Linux distros that haven't been respun within the last couple months.


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