Main performance difference between Alix2D13 and Netgate FW-7541 BTO?



  • Hi everyone,

    I have been waiting for long time for the new Alix boards to come but it's not so I am now considering the Netgate boards. I am wondering what sort of performance advantage does one get from using the mentioned Netgate over Alix2D13. Price is almost 4x and I am wondering if it's a wise investment.

    I am also wondering what other alternatives are available that provide same number of ports that Netgate does and bring the same amount of power.

    I have read the specs but I like some input from experienced user as this will go in production environment that has to be flawless like the Alix board is performing.

    Thanks,


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @torontob:

    I have been waiting for long time for the new Alix boards to come but it's not so I am now considering the Netgate boards. I am wondering what sort of performance advantage does one get from using the mentioned Netgate over Alix2D13.

    To put it shortly: Tons
    It's a much faster architecture, loads more RAM, gigabit ports, and lots of other bells/whistles

    @torontob:

    Price is almost 4x and I am wondering if it's a wise investment.

    I'd say yes. Even when the APU does finally materialize in mass production, the 7541 will still run circles around it. Maybe not once the APU moves to a different CPU, but then the 7541 still has Intel NICs and the APU has Realtek.

    @torontob:

    I am also wondering what other alternatives are available that provide same number of ports that Netgate does and bring the same amount of power.

    Unless you're building your own, not many. Even if you build your own you'd have to get a used 4-port Intel NIC to come close in price. Those aren't cheap. You can sometimes find system pulls or other brands cheaper but you get what you pay for in that area.

    @torontob:

    I have read the specs but I like some input from experienced user as this will go in production environment that has to be flawless like the Alix board is performing.

    Shouldn't have any other problems there.

    While you're waiting for the APU to come to market, there are also more Atom platforms coming that are going to blow everything away entirely. Things like QuickAssist are going to change things dramatically.



  • I still think the bells and whistles are few and far between. This is what I rolled a while back.

    Intel DQ77MK, 140$
    i3 3220, 110$
    16GB of low profile ram, 75$
    8GB SLC Advantech sata DOM, 38$
    NC364T (same Intel 82571's as the nc360t and actually both are just Intel NIC rebrands), 61$
    The above totals to 424$, leaving you size/noise considerations.

    I chose:
    Silverstone SG02, 65$
    Seasonic S12II 620W, 65$ (had this laying around)
    That's 554$ for a fully functional system

    I added a Silverstone NT06-Pro on top of that for cooling overkill.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    So your assembled setup totals $554. The Netgate FW-7541 is $679. You only cut $125 off the cost, and that's with used/refurb hardware, plus you don't get the support you'd get from Netgate or the assurance that the hardware functions properly as a unit. Also, not a 1U formfactor and fanless. Plus I'm not sure where you got some of your numbers but the NC364T can easily run 2x-3x that much even for a refurb/pull.

    It may end up a bit faster but for many it's just not worth the hassle to track all that down. If a part goes out you have a number of different suppliers or hardware manufacturers to track down in order to get an issue resolved rather than just one. If you have spare parts or spare staff to deal with that, it may make sense but again, for the fairly small cost difference it's a big advantage to not have to deal with all of those headaches on top of all the system building/integration/testing that is already done for you in the case of a device like the FW-7541.



  • Thanks JimpP

    Folks who think that the FW-7541 is all we'll ever offer as Netgate or ESF are … wrong.  ::)



  • I, for one, am looking forward to seeing more options in between Alix2D13 and FW-7541. For me, more memory than 256MB, medium performance, 3 or 4 NICs, fanless, 12V DC direct supply option, lowest possible power consumption.
    And I really like the nanoBSD image format, with 2 boot slices. That makes for very reduced risk during upgrades - it is so easy to switch back. When there are bug-fixes that I know are good for me I can easily run a beta or prerelease knowing that it only takes a couple of minutes to go back.



  • This might be a stupid question but can you fit two FW-7541 side-by-side in 1U?

    It's possible with the Alix and was possible with one previous Lanner product (it seems they "lost" the feature with their current line)…

    While the FW-7541is definitively more powerful, it would "eat" 1U more in the datacentre if you want a pair of them.