Gigabit thoughput harware requirements
I want to build a firewall that will be able to push my gigabit network to the limit. I do a lot of large file transfers over the network and most of my machine already have Gb nics.
The firewall will have 4 nics: internet, server, clients and a wifi subnet. Internet will be 24mbit adsl2+with an effective throughput of around 21mbit. I'll do a lot of traffiic shaping on the internet interface and a DMZ between clients and server. also the wifi subnet will use vpn.
What hardware would i need for my firewall on a network like mine?
You need a lot of horsepower for this. First use nics that don't burn too much of your CPU time. Intel should be fine. As the traffic has to pass the PCI-bus you need a really fast one. PCI-X with appropriate cards should perform best. Trafficshaping and VPN is depending on CPU power. pfSense supports multiprocessor systems, so you might want to use more than one processor.
Check out the high-end pci-x and pci-e nexcom boxes. I have a feeling you will want the dual xeon model.