I need help choosing hardware for pfsense

  • Hi

    I need help choosing hardware.
    I have the following things.
    1: 2 video streaming server
    using plex and subsonic / madsonic
    as friends and relatives streamed from.

    2: 1 server using wingftp (the name is ftp but uses https)
    as they download and up to (photos personal video etc.)

    3: I play ftp games and need to keep Ping for me as low as possible.
    There are also 50-60 regular clients on the network + 15-20 pc from outside the network streamr movie.
    films stremars is from 300-2500kbps (transcodas)

    my speed is 64.99 mb/11.49mb in real speed (60/12)

    what is needed to keep my ping as low as possible without affecting video streaming?

    Today I have a hp server with 2 x xenon cpu (p4) at 3.2 ghz
    3gig DDR2 frame + 2 gig intel network card.
    it works but my ping rises every time someone streamr movie from about 7 to 40.

    what I'm thinking now is to build a new server for pfsense with either an i3 or i5 4-8 gigs of DDR3 and a good intel card.

    My question is simply is there any difference between using the i3 vs i5?
    which intel card should I buy? Two single or one dual?
    The idea is to use mini-ITX motherboards, but does it matter which?

    Very grateful for any help

    ps I am using google translate so excuse my grammar

    / Chali

  • Don't believe your current router hardware is the issue and replacing it will not likely do any good.  Think you should instead be looking into QoS.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Your current server (2X 3.2GHz Xeon) is easily capable enough for your 60/12 connection.
    If you need to keep ping times low you need to prioritise your game traffic ahead of video streaming. You can do this using traffic shaping.

    The only advantage to building a new box might be to save power or possibly for VPN use (though I expect that machine could probably push 60Mbps of OpenVPN).


    Edit: Exactly what he said ^.  ::)

  • Hi

    but I run gigabit network to 50-60 clients on the local network?
    I have prioreterat qos for gaming, but it does not seem to be enough.

    if I build a new anyway (say, then to save power) but I still want enough power for future fiber (will probably get fiber in the coming year 1000/1000)

    how is it then? should I go for i3 or i5?
    and what other hardware?
    Single or dual Intel network cards

    Thanks again for your help


  • Netgate Administrator


    but I run gigabit network to 50-60 clients on the local network?

    How many interfaces do you use?

    If you will need 1Gbps throughput then yes you will need a more powerful box.
    Any i3 or i5 cpu will handle that. Even a low end Pentium or Celeron Sandy Bridge CPU will push 1Gbps.
    For example: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,45439.0.html


  • There could also be some QoS upstream that you have no control over.  And replacing your router will not change that.

    Here's a good read on the ISP QoS subject:

  • Hello and thank you for answering my question =)

    I have two 24 port gigabit switches + 1 16 port switch Gigbit
    these branches to about 40 different outlets in the house and the rest goes to the neighbor.
    (all are not used) then it's a number of wireless clients that use the 5GHz band with N and ac connection.

    so i3 is good but should I use a dual intel card or two single or something else?

    / Chali

  • Netgate Administrator

    So you have three switches but how many NICs do you have in the pfSense box?
    If you have each switch connected via a different NIC then traffic between them has to be routed by pfSense placing additional load on the box. If you only a single LAN NIC then only WAN<>LAN traffic is routed.

    It makes little difference to performance whether you use single or dual port NICs if you are using PCI-e cards. Single port NICs are usually far cheaper so if you have space for them use that.

    The best regarded NICs are Intel server cards. You don't want to get one that is only recently released because there is a good chance it won't yet be supported by pfSense.


  • Hi

    ok thanks for the answers =)

    I connect the switches outside the router ( from switch to switch)

    but you think it is ok to run on a i3 cpu? (type 3220 or 3240)
    googled a bit on it and it seems that several had problems with i3 and pfsense 64-bit
    I do not know if it whas old i3 or what vertion of pfsense.

    / Chali

  • Netgate Administrator

    There was a problem with the 64bit graphics driver for those cpus with built in gpu but I thought it had been fixed. You may have to run 2.1 Beta to get that. Otherwise just run 32bit. I'd be very suprised if you need more than 4GB RAM.
    Read through the thread I linked to above. That user was able to get his full line speed (close to 1Gbps) using a Celeron G530 which is quite a bit less powerful than any i3.

    I have not built a box that powerful, I can only dream of getting a 1Gbps connection here!  ;)


  • Hi igen

    I got these following components.
    (a bit exaggerated, but should hold for a while)

    Server MB Supermicro MBD-X9SCL-FO. (2xgig nic)
    Intel Core i3-3240 Ivy Bridge - Box
    8-gig ddr3 ram
    80-gig ssd
    And it is water cooled (really cool to say that the router is water cooled;-) )

    Now I'd like to het help finding a good gigabit NICs.
    I understand that intel is preferable but which?
    I would like to have 2-4 extra connections (two cards I guess) . but which have the smallest  laytense?
    (I play fps games and have a movie server that friends and family stream movies from)

    server I used before raised my laytense with 20-25 even when no one streamed movie.
    and I do not want to have that again.

    (old server is this if it helps)

    HP ProLiant DL380 G4:
    2x Intel Xeon - 3,2GHz / 2M / 800FSB (64-bit)
    3 GB DDR2 ECC
    4x 36 GB Hotswap SCSI
    Intel E7520 Chipset
    2x 1 GB nic

    I can't afford like the worlds best nic (the budget is a bitt low)
    I think I can afford around 400-500 dollars for 2 x 2 giga nic but as I said what should I choose?
    (preferably cheaper only they can keep laytense at a low level and be stable)

    I am very grateful for any suggestions (I've been doing and fiddling with this for a long time, and it would be nice to get a solution to it finally)

    Ps: im using google translate so sorry for the poor grammar
    / Sincerely Chali

  • @chali:

    server I used before raised my laytense with 20-25

    Do you mean latency rather than "laytense".

    20-25 what? microseconds? milli seconds? seconds? etc

    It is unlikely you would notice even 25 milli seconds.

  • Hi  :)

    Of course I mean milliseconds (I'll write it next time so everyone understands).

    and yes it is ping / latency I mean.

    for me it is absolutely noticeable whed such increase. (I usually have 20 in ping). but Whatever now, it is not that i am asking , but my question is simply what nic with the lowest latency for the amount I wrote.
    (I'll still build so why not try to get it as good as possible?)

    Which of this do you think is best? (http://www.prisjakt.nu/produkt.php?j=928457,79419,785748)

    ps: I use google translate as usual, so excuse the bad grammar and any errors in abbreviations that may exist.

    / Chali

  • Hi

    I fonde this on the intel site (http://ark.intel.com/compare/50496,50490,50484,50483,50481,50398,50488,50486,50482,50497,50494,50491,50489,22191,22192,50495,50397,50396,49186,49185,49187,49184,59063,59062,59065,59064,68668)

    I'm guessing that the i350 is the best way to go?
    Butt  is 1xt4. Better then 2xt2 cards?

    I have ordered two of these cards I hope it will be good http://www.proshop.se/Natverkskort-(adaptrar-osv.)/Intel-ETHERNET-I350-T2-SERVER-CTLR-2281784.html


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