I need hardware recommendation

  • I've been ruining my pfsense box within proxmox VE (4GB, 1 core, 2 tp-link cards with PCI pass-through), sadly it's not stable and I can't debug what's going wrong since I can't access the hyperviser without network.

    figured that it's a better investment of my time to just build a dedicated pfsense machine, here is what I expect from it to do:

    1. wan: 1Gb connection (currently 200Mb, but I'm upgrading soon).
    2. lan: 6-8 machines, and about a dozen of VMs (from 2 hypervisers).
    3. wirless: 8-10 devices.
    4. vpn: usually 1 connection, but for future proofing, I'd like it to be able to support up to 5.
    5. packages: squid, squidguard, dynamic DNS, Avahi, snort, darkstat.
    6. power: as low as possible.

    I have one of 3 systems in mind (I'm also open to other suggestions):

    System 1 (Cheap)
    CPU: AMD Athlon 5350 (Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H (Gigabyte link)

    System 2 (Mid)
    CPU: i3-4350 (Ebay link)
    Motherboard: Asus H97M-E  (Asus website)

    System 3 (High)
    CPU: i5-4440 (Intel-Ark)
    Motherboard: Asus H97M-E  (Asus website)

    whatever system I go with will include:
    RAM: 8GB
    NIC: 39Y6138 IBM INTEL PRO/1000 PT (Ebay link)
    Wirless: TP-LINK TL-WDN4800  (Amazon Link)
    HD: cheapes SSD I'll be able to find (can I even use a USB stick ?).

    I know that i5 is an overkill, but the way I see it is it's only 8% more expensive than the i3. And i'm afraid the AMD system will not be powerful enough, or not future proof (does the cpu even have AES-NI ?). But from the other hand I have a hard time justifying spending that much money for a firewall (but the builder in me really wants to).

    What do you guys think, can I safely go with the AMD system, or just get the i5 ? - I'm also open to any other suggestion. Also, can someone recommend a good case for the build, and a nice lcd panel for lcdproc.

    Thank you.

  • Look into the TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 before you get it. I have it and am having trouble getting it to show in the wifi AP selection. Some other people are having trouble with it as well. I'm ok with computers, but this has got me stuffed.

  • NIC: 39Y6138 IBM INTEL PRO/1000 PT.

    Just FYI: that gave me a lot of problems in my two machines. I ended up returning them and buying original Intel cards.

  • Vision -

    If in fact you do go with the "cheap" build I would love to hear about how it went. Since these Athlon's have a 25W TDP and AES-NI acceleration it seems like they'd useful.

    I'm hoping Fry's has another deal with a bundle for these. They had a Athlon 5150 + Board in Seattle for 49.00-ish a couple weeks ago I missed.


  • Netgate Administrator

Log in to reply