New to pfsense, suggestion please :)



  • I've choose a computer to build and wondering if it's compatible for pfsense. Gonna create a strong router which can  handle all of my pc's (teamspeak 3 servers, game servers, etc etc :)

    Intel® Core i5-3570K
    ZOTAC Z77ITX-A-E (Mini ITX)
    Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600MHz 4GB CL9
    OCZ SSD Agility 3 Series 2.5" 60GB
    In-Win BK644 Special Edition Black

    What you guys think? Is it a good selection or not? Will it work with pfsense or not?



  • I'm not sure if it's going to be 100% compatible as I don't know the exact specs of the board (NICs, wi-fi adapter, etc.) but it looks like a serious overkill for a firewall/router build.



  • @oldassgamers:

    I've choose a computer to build and wondering if it's compatible for pfsense. Gonna create a strong router which can  handle all of my pc's (teamspeak 3 servers, game servers, etc etc :)

    Intel® Core i5-3570K
    ZOTAC Z77ITX-A-E (Mini ITX)
    Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600MHz 4GB CL9
    OCZ SSD Agility 3 Series 2.5" 60GB
    In-Win BK644 Special Edition Black

    What you guys think? Is it a good selection or not? Will it work with pfsense or not?

    I am always glad to share my rig and I do think it is adequate for you: ;D
    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,45439.0.html

    For the storage, I am now using a 4GB USB Flash drive instead of a harddisk/SSD.
    The space should be more than enough in most cases.



  • Overkill!!!

    I would put my money on server grade hardware or at least less gaming stuff.
    Also that board uses Realtek NIC's.

    nexusN rig is a good example.



  • @tirsojrp:

    I would put my money on server grade hardware or at least less gaming stuff.
    Also that board uses Realtek NIC's.

    nexusN rig is a good example.

    What do you mean? Server grade hardware?

    Whats wrong with realtek nics? You refering to the networks port it uses? It has 2 internet ports if thats what you're refering?

    Sorry if I'm noobish :(



  • @oldassgamers:

    @tirsojrp:

    I would put my money on server grade hardware or at least less gaming stuff.
    Also that board uses Realtek NIC's.

    nexusN rig is a good example.

    What do you mean? Server grade hardware?

    Whats wrong with realtek nics? You refering to the networks port it uses? It has 2 internet ports if thats what you're refering?

    Sorry if I'm noobish :(

    Gamer hardware isn't always engineered towards the best stability in the world.  They often go for whiz-bang looks and squeezing every bit of performance possible, which you don't need in a router people are depending on.

    Server hardware, on the other hand, is engineered towards not breaking/failing.  Server manufacturers go for function over form, focusing on picking hardware and designs that keep a server running well in various environments.

    Of course, there's some crossover, but the gaming world often sees hardware turnover in the range of 1 to 2 years, servers are usually expected to run for 3 to 7 years, and their hardware is designed with this in mind.

    Now, there's the middle ground, good workstations, usually by OEMs, like Dell and HP.  Their business models (Optiplex in Dell's case) are often pretty good machines that should (aside from the capacitor issues of a few years ago) last quite a long time, maybe requiring a BIOS battery replacement.  My old Dell Optiplex GX100, which is about 10 years old now, works great as the router for my house, it's an old PII series Celeron.

    Realtek is known for having poorly performing networks chipsets, so people shy away from any Realtek based NIC for a router/firewall, since network is its primary goal.

    Also, I'm not a fan of OCZ SSDs, in general.  I know there's certain models in certain date ranges, but I can't be bothered to keep up with nor would I depend on the current lists to be fully accurate, so I stay away from OCZ SSDs.



  • Here is my build [1].
    Very similar to nexusN's build, with the following differences, AFAICT. Went with a mini-itx motherboard and used a dual port NIC [2]. Using quad NIC [3] now.

    Realtek NICs tend to have problems with the BSDs, drivers wise from what I've read here on the forums. And also depends how the Realtek chips are implemented, which also makes a diferrence. The Realtek 8111E in the motherboard I used has worked fine for me for wifi, so YMMV. I would chose Intel NICs given a choice.

    [1] http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,44269.msg229700.html
    [2] http://ark.intel.com/products/50494/Intel-PRO1000-PT-Dual-Port-Server-Adapter
    [3] http://ark.intel.com/products/49187/Intel-Gigabit-ET2-Quad-Port-Server-Adapter



  • Short answer: Intel nic's are way better than Realtek.

    Your hardware selection looks like a gaming or htpc rig. Get an Intel or Supermicro board with intel nics, use a low TDP cpu, ignore features like overclocking, use ECC ram when possible…

    Check nexusN post, I think is  a good example for starters.



  • Thanks for all reply. I'm currently googling difference between realtek and intel nic's.

    I'm struggling on what hardware is the best, I'm learning by reading all of your comments.

    It would be a blaste if you could be so kindly and visit my teamspeak 3 server and contact me, so we can talk about hardware for server/router performance. Would be fantastic.

    I'll send out the Teamspeak 3 server ip here:
    ts.oldassgamers.com:9987

    Contact oldassgamers in the server, that's me.



  • Question 1:
    How did you know that modecard ZOTAC Z77ITX-A-E  is using realtek for ethernal port?

    Question 2:
    The best option for me would to build my own computer (much cheaper). I need to learn about modecard, which one is good for what, and so on. Any guidance?



  • @matguy:

    good workstations, usually by OEMs, like Dell and HP.

    Just as a not-so-minor semi-O/T note:  HP's workstations these days are made by what used to be Compaq.  Compaq had a hideous reputation among engineers because their boxes were spec'd and built to maximise Compaq profit, not minimise customer COO.  Customers gradually figured that out.

    I have a very high-end HP dual-Opteron workstation sitting at my feet that's only 5yo yet has shed so much functionality off its house-branded Tyan motherboard that it barely works at all.  I bought it because I lost my mind for a moment and forgot that HP wasn't doing their own workstations anymore.



  • @oldassgamers:

    Question 1:
    How did you know that modecard ZOTAC Z77ITX-A-E  is using realtek for ethernal port?

    Driver list from Zotac.



  • @MMacD:

    @matguy:

    good workstations, usually by OEMs, like Dell and HP.

    Just as a not-so-minor semi-O/T note:  HP's workstations these days are made by what used to be Compaq.  Compaq had a hideous reputation among engineers because their boxes were spec'd and built to maximise Compaq profit, not minimise customer COO.  Customers gradually figured that out.

    I have a very high-end HP dual-Opteron workstation sitting at my feet that's only 5yo yet has shed so much functionality off its house-branded Tyan motherboard that it barely works at all.  I bought it because I lost my mind for a moment and forgot that HP wasn't doing their own workstations anymore.

    While every OEM has their lemons, and while Compaq was absorbed in to HP, Compaq's main "issue" models were their home marketed machines, which were crap, certainly.  A lot of HP home machines were crap too.  Both generally made pretty good business class machines, usually.  No offense to AMD processors, but a lot of machines built around them, especially around the launch of a particular CPU architecture had issues as motherboard manufacturers caught up, it's an artifact of the relationships with the motherboard manufacturers and QA processes.  There's a reason Dell took so long to put out AMD based machines, and they're not their primarily marketed machines.  Again, please let me state this again, I'm not attacking AMD nor the products they make, just that the support chain of motherboard manufacturers seem to take a while to start making good and stable motherboards after an architecture launch.

    I have 3x HP DC7700P machines at home, they're super great.  I use 2x for a VMware vCenter cluster and one for a gaming machine for a friend (had to replace the power supply, didn't fit right, had to drill a screw hole.)  I also have an XW4600 that I use as my primary machine.  Loaded it with a Perc5 RAID card from a Dell server and 4x 15k RPM SAS drives, those with some big GeForce card on the stock power supply and it's great and stable and fast.  Oh, and 8GB of ram, technically it'll take 16GB, but those are some expensive sticks of older RAM since it's DDR2.

    Anyway…

    I'll adjust my statement, "good workstations with Intel processors, usually by OEMs, like Dell and HP."

    I'll admit that Dell had issues with a lot of their GX270's from bad capacitors, but they were -very- good about replacing motherboards and extended the warranties on a lot of them to cover machines that failed outside of the warranties.  They had cap issues with GX260's and GX280's as well, but not nearly as widespread.  I have a couple GX270's that had their motherboards replaced, one of them is my media server with 6x 1.5TB drives on the stock power supply, works great.


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