Help Selecting Hardware



  • Hi all, I've been testing PFSense on my virtual environment, and I love the power that it can bring to my network. I would like to mount a system to use in my network but I don't what to go over board with my budget. I would like to keep it as cheap as possible, around 200 USD (give or take).

    My Network:

    • 2 Laptop's
    • 1 Desktop
    • FreeNAS Server
    • 2 Media Centers

    What I would like to get from pfsense:

    • Gateway on my 100Mbit Service
    • Connect to my 1Gbit LAN network
    • OpenVPN to my network

    What I don't need:

    • Wireless Capable

    What Hardware would I like:

    • Small System, as small as possible with the above assumptions.
    • Small PSU to fit small case
    • 1 WAN Port and as LAN Ports (I would like to have 5-8 port's, but if that would make my system bigger, I can be happy with 2-4 and connect the pfsensse to my switch.

    Questions:

    • What is the best way to install PFSense? Hard Drive? Size? I have some laying around.
    • I would like to make a LACP Link Aggregation to my freenas, is it better to let that on the switch side? or

    Thank you for all your help
    Best Regards
    Soloam



  • I like installing on a HDD or SSD. With 2.1 new feature of a RAM disk for logs and such, and SSD won't die as fast.
    I put together one off newegg for around $280USD.
    Search in newegg for Jetway AMD. It uses realtek nics, but with your internet speed, it should be fine.



  • This little box works great http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856205007 and should fit your budget…

    Uses Broadcom NIC's. The only issue I've had with it was that the fan was louder than I wanted. I think you could just unplug the fan, but I ended up replacing it with this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RD0RDU/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and it is nearly inaudible.



  • Hello, thank you for your replay!

    I was planing something more more modular, like:

    MB: Intel DQ77KB
    CPU:Intel G530 CPU 2.40 GHZ
    RAM: 4 Gb DDR3
    HDD: 40Gb 2.5'' HDD
    Case: M350 Universal Mini-ITX
    AC Adapter: 90W

    Will it work?
    Will the processor do the job? Can I save some bucks in the processor and still be able to do all that I what? Witch processor
    Will the processor work with stock coller? or should I replace it?
    Will the Ac Adapter do the job?

    Thank you.
    Best Regards
    Soloam



  • I have a very similar home network situation to what you are describing. My uplink is not quite as fast, but I have a lot more machines and streaming appliances than what you list. I'm also running squid and dansguardian (which you didn't list).  I have never had an issue with an Atom processor (and I've tried several) keeping up. For a while I was using a Core2 duo - which should perform similar to the CPU you are looking at.  I never taxed the Core2 Duo (not sure I ever saw 10-20% CPU) and I never noticed any better performance with it over an Atom.

    From other posts I've read on the forum, the thing that might drive your CPU is the VPN. Others could give you better info, but it probably depends on how many VPN connections you want to run concurrently and the VPN throughput that you expect.

    BTW… if you are going to get a 40GB drive, you might consider just picking up an SSD of similar size. If you ever install squid, you'll see much better performance,. It's also quieter, cooler, and draws less power...



  • Thank you for your reply!

    One thing that I forgot to mention was that I would like to use the Antivirus of the pfsense, squid and havp! Will that still be ok?

    Thqe 2.5'' hdd is because I already have one,  and I'll save some bucks!

    Best regards
    Soloam



  • Well…. nothing scientific, but at various times I've tried turning on clam in Dansguardian or using HAVP standalone. For both solutions, on my 2.6ghz Core Duo there was a noticeable lag on large pages and things like PDF documents (although you could argue not to scan PDF's). Ultimately I decided not to use either...

    Perhaps someone else could let you know how well they work on more substantial processors.



  • Hello all, at the moment I'm going to make my order, my system will be:

    MB: Intel DQ77KB
    CPU:Intel G530 CPU 2.40 GHZ
    RAM: 4 Gb DDR3
    HDD: 40Gb 2.5'' HDD
    Case: M350 Universal Mini-ITX
    AC Adapter: 90W

    I would like to:

    • WAN Port at 100Mbit, probably more in the futher, but for now that is wat I get
    • Gigabit LAN
    • OpenVPN
    • Squid
    • Antinvirus

    Will my system work without any problems? I prefer to spend some more money now to be safe and further proof, that spend more in replacing hardware.

    Thank you all
    Best regards
    Soloam



  • Hello, can any one help me? I would like to order my hardware but I don't what to order witout some recomendantion. Will my harware work?

    Is the Intel Pentium G2130 Dual Core CPU better to pfsense that the Intel Celeron G530?
    Will the stock coller fit the M350 Case?
    Is 30Gb SSD (like the Sandisk) space enough for the pfsense?

    Thank you
    Best Regards
    Soloam



  • @soloam:

    Hello, can any one help me? I would like to order my hardware but I don't what to order witout some recomendantion. Will my harware work?

    Is the Intel Pentium G2130 Dual Core CPU better to pfsense that the Intel Celeron G530?
    Will the stock coller fit the M350 Case?
    Is 30Gb SSD (like the Sandisk) space enough for the pfsense?

    Thank you
    Best Regards
    Soloam

    Yes, that Pentium CPU is considerably faster than the Celeron.  It will probably use less power as well.

    I have no idea.  I don't know what the stock cooler looks like.

    30GB is plenty, but I've no idea what Sandisk SSD you're talking about.  Any modern SSD (read: designed in the last few years) is fine, though I'd recommend the 80GB Intel DC S3500 because it includes power-fail protection and has very consistent performance.  If you're willing to skip that, I've had very good luck with the Samsung 840 EVO.  Despite the use of TLC flash, I've found them to be very reliable, even in write-intensive applications (such as a scratch disk in Photoshop).  Those will run you about $100 and $80 respectively.  I don't have any experience with SSDs cheaper than that so if those are out of your price range I'm going to leave it to others to make recommendations.



  • Thank you for your reply! I'll probably replace the processor by one pentium!

    Is the g2130 a good bet to my target functionality?

    Best regards
    Soliam



  • @soloam:

    Thank you for your reply! I'll probably replace the processor by one pentium!

    Is the g2130 a good bet to my target functionality?

    Best regards
    Soliam

    Yes, that CPU would have no issues with 100Mbit/s of OpenVPN + Squid.  I can't speak to your budget though.  Your original post said $200 and that CPU alone will burn through $75.  Add in another $150 or so for that DQ77KB motherboard (you know this is discontinued, right?) and you're already over your limit and that's not counting the RAM, SSD, case, and power supply.



  • I extended the budget so that I can have a system that will serve all my needs!

    But do you have a better recommendation? That setup eas made based on Google and researching the forum! That board is very recommend by several users!

    Do you have a better setup or cheaper solution?

    I like that board because of the Onboard power supply and dual intel nic!

    Thank you for your help!
    Best regards
    Soloam



  • @soloam:

    I extended the budget so that I can have a system that will serve all my needs!

    But do you have a better recommendation? That setup eas made based on Google and researching the forum! That board is very recommend by several users!

    Do you have a better setup or cheaper solution?

    I like that board because of the Onboard power supply and dual intel nic!

    Thank you for your help!
    Best regards
    Soloam

    The board is a bit quirky in that not all Mini-PCIe cards seem to work (notably, some of the the dual port i350 cards floating around) but other than that it's a solid performer.  The largest issue is that it is discontinued, so there aren't likely to be BIOS updates and if you need a replacement for some reason it's likely to be hard to find.

    The onboard PSU is nice, I forgot about that, so that would save you a few dollars, but that is a requirement of any Thin-ITX board.  You might want to take a look at some regular Mini-ITX board + a PicoPSU.  The cost may be lower or about the same, but you'll get a bit more flexibility long-term.



  • The main reason to go for this board was the 2 Intel NIC, but now with version 2.1, that doesn't seems to be a big problem. Can any one make some advice one a good solid Mini-ITX main board? One that in the end is superior to the Intel DQ77KB.

    The processor and memory I will get second handed from a friend, it will cost me around 60$USD for a Intel G2020 and 2x2Gb DDR3 1333Mhz. Good deal?

    Best Regards
    Soloam



  • @soloam:

    The processor and memory I will get second handed from a friend, it will cost me around 60$USD for a Intel G2020 and 2x2Gb DDR3 1333Mhz. Good deal?

    That's a different processor than you mentioned earlier.  It's about 10% slower than the G2130 but should still be a solid 20-25% faster than the Celeron you mentioned.

    The deal isn't bad.  The CPU+Heatsink is about $70 and the RAM is another $40 or so if you were to buy new.  If you've got to get your own heatsink (call it, $20 for a decent one) then the deal isn't quite as good, but I'd probably still get it.



  • My biggest problem is selecting the mobo. Like you said, the intel dq77kb is outdated, should I use a different model? My only requirement is the dual NIC and the price nor far from 100USD.

    thank you for your help
    Best Regards



  • Any one tested any of these:

    ASRock  H81M-ITX
    GIGABYTE GA-H87N-B
    Zotac H87ITX-A-E
    MSI Z87I

    Thank You


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