Mini-itx build vs supermicro atom build



  • I am looking to build a pfsense router and I want you guys to let me what do you think about these 2 builds:

    SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPE-H-D525 (dual core 1.8)
    Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066

    $240

    VS

    GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX
    Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core
    G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

    $275

    both will use same case, psu, have an extra intel NIC for gigabyte board vs 2 built-in the supermicro

    other than the extra wattage on the bottom one, is it worth paying $35 more for the extra horsepower or is an Atom dual core 1.8 sufficient?



  • The Answer to this highly depends on what you wish to do with pfsense. Such as, bandwidth/packages/if you wish to use vpn, etc…

    With that being said, unless you plan on running many packages, or intensive vpn, or you have a huge user base the atom board should be more then sufficient.



  • @ge0rgieee:

    I am looking to build a pfsense router and I want you guys to let me what do you think about these 2 builds:

    SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPE-H-D525 (dual core 1.8)
    Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066

    $240

    VS

    GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX
    Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core
    G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

    $275

    both will use same case, psu, have an extra intel NIC for gigabyte board vs 2 built-in the supermicro

    other than the extra wattage on the bottom one, is it worth paying $35 more for the extra horsepower or is an Atom dual core 1.8 sufficient?

    The 2nd setup will not work.  Sandy Bridge CPUs require a 60 series chipset.  The H55 is for the Clarkdale (LGA1156).  Having more horsepower is always nice but it is not necessary if you're absolutely sure you won't be running features like VPN/ IPSEC, Snort, Squid (at very high throughputs).

    You might want to get the MSI E350IA-45 instead.  It uses the AMD Zacate which is fairly low power and offers a PCIe x16 slot (electrically x4) and you can plug an Intel Dual GBe NIC in it with ease.  Comparatively, not all H55 boards will allow the PCIe slot to be used without disabling the onboard graphics (this is BIOS implementation dependent; the Zotac H55 allows it).



  • The SuperMicro X7SPA-H-D525 is a motherboard I just got, and short of it being a little warm for an Atom, it's very neat.  The SPE is a slightly larger board, not fitting the actual Mini ITX standard.  I'm not sure if there are any other differences other than that, but I had a hard time finding cases that weren't huge (for a desktop firewall/router) that could tell me if it would fit.



  • i am currently running 4 supermicro's and love them but for the price dif i would proly go for the i3 then if you need to upgrade or decide to change hardware down the road you can do a lot more with the i3 then the atom. that would make a nice htpc or workstation if you replace it as a firewall



  • I love my SM X7SPA-HF board. I've have run squid, snort, roardware and site2site openvpn/ipsec… Not alot of traffic as its used for home use. Usally CPU stays at 10% and hitting 40% with heavy torrent downloading while watching netflix... This is over a 50/5 cable connection.  My board is based D510 atom.

    If you go with the SM board, look at either the X7SPA-HF-D525 or the X7SPA-H-D525 boards. They are both mini-itx. So you shouldnt have a problem finding a case for it.. I'm currently a M300-LCD as my case.. Only issue i had with the M300 other then getting the LCD display to work was I needed to find a flexible PCIx riser to use the PCIx slot on the board.

    Also, if you can spring the extra money, go with the HF instead of the H, it offers IPMI which is really nice. You don't need to hook up a monitor or cd drive... everything thru a web/java interface.


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