Yet another hardware check request thread

  • hi all,

    any input would be greatly appreciated… i'll try to make it simple, but this is a home setup...

    internal clients: 5
    external (vpn) clients: 2
    wan connection: 300mb up/down fiber + 2mb backup cable
    outgoing openvpn sessions (strongvpn, etc): 3
    incoming openvpn session (mobile clients, road warrior): 2
    caching dns
    wan load balancing
    traffic shaping

    i'm in between on whether to go cheap with an atom setup or spend for i3/i5

    atom: or

    i3/i5: or

    one final question, i'm thinking about upgrading the fiber to 2gb down/1gb up... could atom still handle?

  • Get the i5 at 2.7ghz.  (or more)

    I'm normally on the conservative side when it comes to what I think people might need, but in this case, sounds like you plan to use it hard.  Lots of processor and ram will be good.

  • @Journer:

    i'm in between on whether to go cheap with an atom setup or spend for i3/i5

    I'll throw this out because it sounds like you care about cost… you could get a used SFF HP or Dell off of eBay for a lot less money and put an intel dual port card into it. For example, you could find an I3/I5 in the $200-$400 range. If you wanted to skimp a little, the Core2 duo falls in between the Atom and I3 in terms of performance and would only run you around $100-$150.

    The obvious downside on the SFF boxes is they are not as small, draw a little more power,  and will make a little noise. I suppose it depends on where you live, but I doubt you'd ever equal the cost difference (vs what you listed above) in power consumption!

    Just search for "SFF i3", "SFF i5", "HP Z200", "HP DC7800", etc..

  • thanks guys… so it seems like i'm going to need more power than an atom...

    i thought about SFF, but I'm also quite conscious of power consumption... i live in japan an energy isn't cheap.  so thats why i was thinking atom/mobile to begin with.

    Also, some of these SFF don't have expansion slots, so not sure how I would fit more cards in it.  Going to need at least 3 ports to start with, possibly 4-5 in the future.

  • I've used a lot of SFF Dells over the years but now I'm using HP boxes. Better internal layout for the power supply and drives, run a lot cooler and several PCIe slots available, 4 in the 7900 series and lots of refurbished units coming off commercial accounts.

  • If you are going to have 2Gps downlink then I wouldn't recommend anything but an i5 or higher. i3 maybe able to support it, I haven't seen anyone testing more than 1Gpbs on i3 yet. Forget Atom.. it doesn't stand a chance.

    Since you are looking for OpenVPN, Snort and Squid.. go for at least 8GB RAM (4 or 6GB would do too but RAM is cheap) and add a decent quality SSD drive for the caching.

  • My HP DC7800 with a Core2 Duo E6550 draws around 38 watts at idle. It has 4 gb of RAM, an Intel SSD drive and everything else is disconnected. I would think (perhaps others can confirm) that an i3 or i5 would draw a little less power. For example, the HP Z200? Also, I believe most of the HP SFF boxes have 4 expansion slots in a mix of PCIe or PCI (depending on model).

  • Yup.. I do recollect reading it a few times on forums that i3/i5 are better in power consumption than Core2 Duo series.

    Wonder if there will be a day when the CPU would consume 1W(or less) and be like a million times faster than the current series.. lol  :D

    We are kinda amazed with LEDs saving us so much power.. so why not CPUs .. hehe

  • Yes - They will, CPUs will go 3D soon also with optical interconnects on die and system on a chip will become the rule vs. the exception. 
    Soon after that, your computer will say "hello - nice to see you again" to you when you use it, and it will mean it.

  • Cool.. it would be a life saver for all the nerds with no life and on the verge of commit suicide. Finally some says "its nice to see you again"..  HAHAHA

  • Without nerds, there would be no need for this forum :o

  • Sorry .. didn't know you were one of them !! .. ROFL … just joking here  ;D

  • I'm a heathen nerd…  Its rare but they exist.
    I split my time between stuff like this and...  Lets just say my skin burns if I get to close to holy ground.
    Its a by-product of constantly being abandoned here and there in Asia by Uncle Sam all my life.
    Now - Back on topic or the moderators will ban us for life.
    I agree with your hardware recommendations.  He will have a need for speed. 
    A lower spec system would be bad for these purposes.

  • If you are going to 2G/1G down/up then maybe this will do, I know it is not a SFF nor embedded nor i3/i5 but should do the trick.

    SUPERMICRO 2 x L5320 Xeon QC 1.86GHz 8GB RAM 160GB HDD Server Half Depth.  link -

    See this thread for additional info, not the same subject but has above server and additions for a small office.,65983.0.html

    The power supply is 280watts.  The additional NIC and riser links are on the above thread.

    Hope this helps,  btw what is the cost of the 2G/1G in japan.  Envious.

  • thanks!

    keasley - it's 5000JPY/mo or about 50USD/mo.  it costs about 300usd to setup, but they have a campaign to make it free w/ 2yr contract :)

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