Hardware compatibility questions



  • First of all hello !
    By the way i leafed to death when at register i was asked about beeing human.The "Unsure" answer doesnt seem to work :)
    I posted similar to Monowall forum ,but nobody answered ,so here it is.

    Will pFSense work with :
    MSI K9N6PGM2-V2 ,Nforce based mobo with a AMD Sempron LE-140 ,512 RAM and 2 cheap realtek based network cards  or with the Intel alternative combo , MSI G31TM-P21 along a Intel Celeron 430 1.8GHz.
    Which of this 2 is the most compatible with pfSense.I can have both combos at similar prices where i live.
    I intend to use a USB stick as support instead of a HDD to lower power consumption  ,is it ok ?

    I would also like to ask what cheap Realtek based network card should i get ,i m refering at what Realtek chip should be on this cards , is RT 8139D chip ok for example ?
    Are the onboard LAN cards from the 2 mobos compatible with pfSense ?

    I want to use pfSense because i ve already spend almost 300 dollars on 3 useless routers that are not able to do 2 PC-s that game or do P2P with 50 Mb bandwidth they all "die" after some time (i m tired of reseting and restarting ,reflashing and doing all kinds of timeout settings all day long   ).

    Mobo specs :
    K9N6PGM2-V2 -> NVIDIA® MCP61P (6150SE) + Realtek 8201CL
    http://us.msi.com/index.php?func=prodmbspec&maincat_no=1&cat2_no=&cat3_no=&prod_no=1872#menu

    G31TM-P21 -> Intel® G31+ICH7 + Realtek 8103EL
    http://us.msi.com/index.php?func=prodmbspec&maincat_no=1&cat2_no=&cat3_no=&prod_no=1869#menu

    If the onboard lans are not supported i can get a 3-rd LAN card and install it in the PCI-E Slot.
    Thank you in advance!

    LE: Your list doesnt seem to include the Realtek chips supported though some D-Link cards that include some Realtek chips are specified.I also don t know if the USB /SATA controllers on this mobos are at least generically detected seen and used.I hope you will not consider my questions redundant.



  • For 2.0BETA (which I would recommend for home use now)
    http://www.freebsd.org/releases/8.1R/hardware.html

    For home use (and not pushing close to linespeed) this setup with realteks should be fine. And you can always go to Intel cards if you don't like the onboard one. You can probably run this on an dual-core Atom board as well…



  • Thank you for the reply!

    NVIDIA® MCP61P and the ICH7 seem to be supported.
    Practically the AMD platform should be ok as i see.I intend to keep the costs as lower as i can for the project start up and then upgrade here and therei f needed ,RAM and LAN cards wise.

    I m trying to make this custom router for a home with 2 PC-s and add maybe some wireless for some phone in the future.
    My bandwidth is 50 Mb down (around 20-30 Mb in worst conditions)  and around 10Mb (around 2Mb in the worst conditions) up so i dont think i need gigabit LAN cards.Practically i m building this because SOHO routers don t seem to be able to do more than 100 connections without giving me lag in games and dropping bandwidth.Practically they seem to be made for one PC as they dont ship with at least some basic working QOS :)

    What would you choose as network cards here : http://www.sigmanet.ro/Retele/Placi_de_retea/
    I ve used in the past a D-Link 528 T ,but i never was satisfied with it under Windows , strange drivers or conflicts.I could get that again too.
    With the AMD Sempron LE-140 frequency ,the cheapest and lower TDP i could find available i consider i should be ok even if the LAN card dont do offllod pretty well but i m not sure.
    Using only one Intel LAN on the WAN could improove something ?!

    I m trying to obtain a balanced performance over power consumption system ,with minimum costs.



  • well i'm running pfsense 25/2Mbit on an ALIX 2D3, so your PC i WAY faster anyway. If you're getting a board with built-in NIC, try it before you buy a seperate one. Using Intel NIC could improve performace, but mostly in an enviroment where you are loading the lines above, say, 90%.



  • @SeventhSon:

    well i'm running pfsense 25/2Mbit on an ALIX 2D3, so your PC i WAY faster anyway. If you're getting a board with built-in NIC, try it before you buy a seperate one. Using Intel NIC could improve performace, but mostly in an enviroment where you are loading the lines above, say, 90%.

    I rarelly do over 90% ,i m not staying all day long downloading things.My problem seems to be related mostly to simultaneous sessions usually and i really hope pfSense heals that.So Intel cards should not be a must for the moment.
    Thank you for the feedback.



  • Maximum simultaneous connections shouldn't be a problem at all (is a memory issue). Home routers usually have 32MB of RAM or something. So you'll be golden with a "proper" PC with 1GB (or even my ALIX with 256MB).



  • So my custom router would look like :
    Mobo ->MSI K9N6PGM2-V2
    CPU -> AMD Sempron LE-140
    RAM -> 512 RAM or more
    LAN -> 2 cheap realtek based network cards 2XST Lab N-200 (RT8139D) maybe (+ the onboard)
    PSU -> Fortron FSP350-60APN 80 percent efficienecy

    What should i use as storage ,a HDD or can i use a simple USB stick known to be bootable ?
    Or should i use a Delock IDE Flash Module ->  http://www.delock.com/produkte/index.html?gruppe=flash speicher&hgfilter=292
    Or some SD memory into a USB card reader ?
    Which one will work best ?



  • @Zb1R:

    What should i use as storage ,a HDD or can i use a simple USB stick known to be bootable ?
    Or should i use a (Delock) IDE/SATA Flash Module
    Or some SD memory into a USB card reader ?Will it work via USB interface?
    Which one will work best ?

    So which of those can be used to install pfSense on for minimum power consumption ?Is the acces time important ?
    I wouldnt want a moving HDD ,it means noise and more power.I dont have an old one ,and anyway it would be space wasted for few megs.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Those IDE flash drives are expensive. You need at least 512MB to use the current NanoBSD image. Use a CF card in a CF-IDE adapter. Both of those things are cheap and you can easily swap out the CF card if you need to. Also you can easily reflash it in any card reader. They are very low power consumption.

    Steve



  • Thank you for the feedback!
    The strange thing in my case ,is that in my country online stores i can find an adapter and a cf card at almost the same price as a IDE Flash Module :)
    less capacity for the IDE Flash module ,but enough for the pfSense.
    Thanks for the help ,now i have the full picture.
    Nice forum !

    On the monowall forum nobody said a word for few days already :)  
    LE:I have to correct the last statement to be politically correct  ,i finally got some feedback over there too regarding some other issue.Better later than never.


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