First Pfsense router- would like input

  • Well im a building a pfsense router out of a combination of new and old parts to save money and would like your input.

    I can get a great deal on a opendox MSI Wind Board D510 for around US$60. i have 2x1gb drr2 800 ram sticks sitting around and a power supply too.  i have a new unused gigbit NIC from another server i built but did not need. and throw in a Kingston SSD 8GB. total comes to about US$100 + shipping

    do you guys think this will work well? its for my home network so low end traffic, mostly xbox and pc gaming, video streaming (youtube), most users connect over wifi, and i would like to use VPN (main reason for building this router), i have  25/25mbit internet connection. and i will have a freeNAS server up and running in a week or two and maybe a VM server with in the year (money permitting)

    i also have 2x2gb ddr3 ram stick if you guys think a different board would be better.

    i want to try to keep this build under US$150 as best as passable.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Memory will not be problem. 2Gb enough for anything at that throughput.

    I can push ~50Mbits OpenVPN with my Pentium-M 1500. If you compare that with the D510 cpu mark scores you should have no problem Even if you assume that it may not share the load across the two cores very well the D410 is only marginally slower than the P-M 1.5:

    What NIC is on board the MSI?
    Stick to Intel if possible.


    Edit: Having read through that chart there seem to be some highly suspect results. You should still be fine though.  ::)

    Edit: This looks less encouraging:

    The performance of a single core Atom is about half that of a Pentium M of the same clock rate.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Looks like Databeestje has already done extensive testing on a D510 board:,27780.0.html


  • ok thanks, just wanted to know i wasn't putting money in to something that would not work. the on board NIC of the Wind is a Realtek 8111DL. the second NIC i have is also a Realtek, would you recommend i get an intel one or will it be fine for my use.

    Im not so worried about the VPN performance as the main user will be me and maybe one other person (rarely and only light use), the real reason i want it is so when i go on a trip i can get to my freeNAS easily.

    thanks again

    EDIT: would you recommend i go with the released version or should i just go with 2.0, how hard is it to upgrade pfsnese, is it just uploading the install files to the web interface or is it putting in a cd with it on and selecting upgrade??

  • Netgate Administrator

    A quick forum search shows a number of people using that NIC. Typically Intel NICs are better supported with fewer bugs. You'll probably have no problems with your Realtek NICs. Some of the older 10/100 ones were pretty flaky.  ::)

    pfSense 2.0 is now RC1 and is quite stable. I use both 1.2.3 and 2.0 here for very light duties. I'm running 1.2.3 on the box that other people rely on for their Facebook access, if it goes down I get complaints!

    There's a lot of nice new features in 2.0. If you do I recommend running the actual RC1 release, not one of the daily snapshots, unless you have a specific problem that has been fixed. The snapshots, while generally very stable, will contain new code and may contain new bugs.

    Upgrading in 2.0 is simply a matter of pressing the upgrade button in the GUI.


  • ok thanks

    i will see if it works with what i already have before i spend more money but if i have problems i will get an intel replacement.

    is it really that easy to upgrade,  ;D thats great.

    im going to buy the board and the drive and hopefully build it next weekend.

    thanks again

  • ok so the board i was going to get sold before i could get it so would you recommend any other ones preferably inexpensive.


  • what do you guys think of this board?  BIOSTAR IPV10-IA

    i can get it for about 150 and it has two gigbit NICs, i can use other components i already have, a 250gb hdd, 2x2gb ddr3 ram sticks, 450 80+ PSU, etc.


  • Netgate Administrator

    If you have a choice I'd go with Intel NICs over almost everything else.
    You won't need more than 1gb of ram, 10gb HD and, with an atom, a lot less than a 450W PSU. So those components would probably serve you better in a different system.

    All these things seem expensive to me. I'm running an old Watchguard Firebox that I bought from Ebay for £40. It has 3x Intel Gbit NICs and 6x Intel 10/100 NICs. It has wireless, via an old mini-pci card I had and after a few mods consumes ~40W.


  • @poplap120:

    what do you guys think of this board?  BIOSTAR IPV10-IA

    i can get it for about 150 and it has two gigbit NICs, i can use other components i already have, a 250gb hdd, 2x2gb ddr3 ram sticks, 450 80+ PSU, etc.


    It will work.  As will many other Pineview D510/ D525 boards.  Intel NICs are very much preferred.

    You could go for some other board and grab an Intel PWLA8492MT dual-GBe PCI NIC from eBay for a song (US$30 with free shipping).

    Most of the Atom boards will feature a PCI slot anyway and the MT card comes with both full and half-height brackets.

  • all the other hardware is what i have laying around from past build/upgrades.

    well if you guys could recommend a board that is under US$200 for total cost (i already have, 2x2gb DDR3, 2x1gb DDR2, 450w PSU, 250gb hd, gigbit Realtek PCI nic, also have2x256 DDR SOD but i dont that will work with much ::) )

    like i said it doesn't need to do much with the most intensive task being 1 or 2 VPN connections, although it would be nice to have a total of 3 nics (including the pci one i have) so i can have WAN, LAN, LAN (wireless).


    EDIT: i also have a old core2duo as well but the mobo it was in is fried so i would need a new one of thoughs

  • im going to go ahead i order the board i listed. hope it all works.  ;)

    Thanks again for the support.

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