4-port NIC recommends, PCI-e X4 or X8



  • I would like to put together a router than can handle Gigabit LAN-LAN, and  100+ Mbps WAN-LAN.  I'll do a single VPN connection, and use traffic shaping.  My internet right now is only 20/2 Mbps, but 50/10 is available.  Plus room for expansion is wise as my neighborhood is likely to see further speed increases.

    I am trying to spec a 4-port LAN card.  The Intel E1G44HTBLK, which is 8250 based, looks to be quite the performer including a direct PCIe 2.0 interface in the chipset, not relying on a PCIe bridge chip.  And it is priced appropriately at $340.

    Are there more-reasonably-priced alternatives to get me 4 ports and still retain the ability to handle wire-speed traffic within my LAN?  I have a RAID server on this network, and can saturate Gb ethernet pretty easily.



  • 1. I don't believe that NIC will actually work unless you build a driver yourself.
    2. The PT cards should work out of the box.
    3. Unless you have a reason to push LAN-LAN traffic through pfSense, you're better off just using a switch.



  • I was under the impression that the newer Intel cards (E1G44HTBLK) were supported in 2.0 as it was based on FreeBSD 8?



  • @jasonlitka:

    3. Unless you have a reason to push LAN-LAN traffic through pfSense, you're better off just using a switch.

    I would likely apply QoS based on DSCP tags to LAN-LAN as well as WAN-LAN traffic for a mixed voice/data network.  Can you be more specific about why I would not want LAN traffic going through pfsense?



  • @mhab12:

    I was under the impression that the newer Intel cards (E1G44HTBLK) were supported in 2.0 as it was based on FreeBSD 8?

    The 8.0 (and 8.1/8.2) HCL says 82576 is the newest supported.  That might not be accurate though.

    @lifespeed:

    @jasonlitka:

    3. Unless you have a reason to push LAN-LAN traffic through pfSense, you're better off just using a switch.

    I would likely apply QoS based on DSCP tags to LAN-LAN as well as WAN-LAN traffic for a mixed voice/data network.  Can you be more specific about why I would not want LAN traffic going through pfsense?

    Because any traffic that is LAN-LAN will seriously drag down your system.  It takes a LOT of power to push 1000Mbit/s through a box.  You're better off using vLANs and an L3 switch to keep your local voice & data traffic separate.  Keep the pfSense box out of the way so it only has to deal with LAN-WAN traffic.


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