Best Quad NIC
Newbie here. I am looking at building a brand new pfSense box for my home network. Additionally, I am going to be using the box for VLAN routing (as I would like to implement VLANs for network segregation). I will be using the onboard NIC on the motherboard for the WAN connection, and need a quad NIC which will be trunked via 802.1q to the switch to provide sufficient bandwidth for all the VLAN traffic that needs to be routed through the box.
From my readings, choosing the wrong NIC can completely destroy performance (particularly due to interrupts from the NIC to the CPU). Could anyone suggest the best quad NIC to purchase to avoid this kind of problem?
Since I am buying all the hardware new, I would also welcome any suggestions on other specs for the box (motherboards, CPU, RAM, etc.).
Thanks in advance for any advice.
I use Intel Pro/1000 PT quad network cards. I go for the low profile ones like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/INTEL-EXPI9404PTL-INTEL-PRO-1000-PT-QUAD-PORT-GIGABIT-ETHERNET-SERVER-ADAPTER-/121173288932?pt=COMP_EN_Servers&hash=item1c367da7e4#ht_660wt_1161
I've never had an issue with these, they just work.
Generally speaking the newer cards like PRO ET or i350 based ones are also fine.
The main advantage over the trusty PT is that they suck less power and thus don't need either heatsinks or steady airflow.
Just be reminded that you will likely have to do some minor loader.conf.local tuning to get all ports working.
It's normal with pfSense and FreeBSD, just follow the doc on the Wiki and you should be ok.
I'm using an i350 at home and it works fine.
I've posted a more general question about hardware specs (http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,67351.0.html) and would certainly welcome your feedback there too!