My build - Intel D915PBL motherboard, Pentium 4

  • Intel D915PBL pfSense Box

    Sharing details of my build, now that it's working!  The goal was to have something with at least 3 PCI slots and to build it for ~$100.  It's running pfSense 2.0.1.

    Intel D915PBL Motherboard (Just $14 NOS)
    Intel Pentium 4 3.0Ghz/800mhz/1MB CPU ($6 or so on Ebay)
    2GB DDR2 (already had)
    160GB IDE Hard drive (already had)
    SATA DVD-RW drive (already had)
    32MB nVidia PCI-E graphics card of some sort ($8 or so on Ebay)
    2x Intel PRO/100 NICs (Intel 82559) (already had, pulled from old Dells)
    Cisco Aironet 802.11A/B/G Wireless PCI Adapter (Atheros chipset) (already had)
    Case ($20 cheap deal)
    Seasonic Power Supply ($42)
    Silenx cooling fans ($20 or so for both)

    Total cost: Around $110 - $115 or so with shipping.

    Hard drive had to have main partition set to ~4GB.  Once I figured that out, it runs perfectly.

    The Intel PCI NICs work flawlessly, which was expected.  I haven't tried the onboard NIC, but it is recognized.  I connected an Alfa AWUS036H (RaLink chipset) USB Wi-Fi adapter, and set it up as WAN, and then setup the Cisco Aironet adapter as OPT1 to use as a WAP.  Didn't test it very long, but it seemed to work okay while I used it, so it seems okay with my wireless adapters.

    The machine runs "headless", You can see the console running in a window on the laptop to the left via the serial port.  I had intended to run the machine without a video card once it was all installed, but it won't boot without one, hence the cheap 32MB video card.

    If I went with cheaper fans and a cheaper power supply I could probably have knocked $30 or so off the cost, but with the Silenx fans and Seasonic PSU it's fairly quiet, which is nice, and more reliable I'm sure than with a $15 PSU.

    Lots of thanks to everyone who contributes to the forums and other online documentation, as well as to the authors of the Definitive Guide.  I've learned a lot in a very short period of time!

  • Nice recycling of components :)

  • Nice build!

    I did the same thing with an old Dell OptiPlex GX150 that I snagged for $10 at an auction.

    Pentium III/933
    512MB of PC133
    HDD was missing.  Added a 6GB ATA HDD (out of an OLD Power Mac G3) (free)
    Added an Intel PWLA8391GTLBLK PRO/1000 GT GigE PCI network adapter on LAN side ($34 Amazon)

    350Mbps throughput from this little thing.  Amazing given this box is under a gigahertz and is single core with a 133Mhz bus.

    The WAN side is using the on-board 3Com 3C905B Ethernet adapter, but my cable link is only 10/2, so it isn't saturating the NIC anyway.

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