Asus P8H61-I opinions?

  • I've been thinking about putting together a box based on these components (among others):

    Motherboard: Asus P8H61-I  (Mini-ITX, H61 chipset, one PCIe x16 slot)
    NIC: Intel E1G42ET (Dual port, PCIe x4, 82576 chip, already own it and have tested with pfSense 2.0)
    CPU: Celeron G530

    I like the Asus board because it's cheap ($85) for a mini-ITX and I've seen tests that seem to indicate that it has good idle power efficiency.  The Realtek NIC is not an issue since I would disable it in favor of the Intel.

    My main concern is whether the server NIC will be compatible with this board.  I mean, if the NIC doesn't work, it's not like I can try moving it to a different slot – there's only the one x16 slot.

    By the way, I realize this NIC is huge overkill for my 20Mbps WAN connection.  But, I already have this card, having bought it a year or so ago for a different build that never came together.  Furthermore, I know it works great with pfSense 2.0 since I currently have it running on a i3-540/Gigabyte H55M-USB3 in the x16 slot (This is only a temporary solution, as I need that box for something else, hence the need for a new build).

    So, anyone have any opinions or experience with Asus H61 boards and Intel NICs?

  • Just to follow up:  I took a chance and bought the P8H61-I (ended up going with a Pentium G620).  Works great with my NIC, and the video output is unaffected.  Idling at about 35W at the moment with PowerD turned on.

  • I have almost identical system, the onboard GPU will probably only run at PCI-E 8x with a PCI-E 4x card fitted but that's a non issue really.

    Do you get a high CPU usage in IDE mode? I do for some reason but AHCI fixes it.

  • Yes, the GPU is definitely not an issue since I'm running headless most of the time.  And the Pentium G620's GPU is so feeble anyway that you could probably run it on a x1 or x2 PCIe bus and not notice a difference.

    I have not noticed any issues with CPU usage.  It hovers well under 5% most of the time (it's almost embarrassing how over-spec'ed this box is with a G620, 4GB RAM, an SSD, and a server-grade NIC).

    Actually, now that you mention it, I'm not sure if I'm running in AHCI mode or not.  I'll have to check the BIOS settings.  The dmesg log detects my SATA controller as:```
    atapci0: <intel ata="" controller=""> port 0xf110-0xf117,0xf100-0xf103,0xf0f0-0xf0f7,0xf0e0-0xf0e3,0xf0d0-0xf0df,0xf0c0-0xf0cf irq 20 at device 31.2 on pci0</intel>

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