Additional GB-Ports on APU with mPCIe?



  • Hi everybody!

    Has anyone successfully added additional Gigabit Ports to the APU via mPCIe Card?

    I tried a Jetway Intel Dual NIC (ADMPEIDLA) which doesn't physically fit in the APU's mPCIe Slot as some components on the bottom of the card are to big.
    Then tried a delock 95237 (Realtek 2x 8111E) which fits but doesn't work.

    Any experiences with card(s) that do fit and work?

    Thank you in advance!
    Harry


  • Netgate Administrator

    What didn't work? Did it appear but not have a driver attach? One of thee mini-PCIe slots on the APU is actually an mSATA slot, are you sure you didn't use that?

    Steve



  • Hi Steve,

    first of all: thanks for your response.

    A little late, but I wanted to let you know what my outcomes were (finally):
    After I've updated the APU FW to the latest Beta, the deloc card was recognized by pfS at once and I'm now able to configure and use the additional 2 nics without any problems.

    Cheers,
    Harry



  • Hi Harry,

    I also first tried a Jetway Intel Dual NIC (ADMPEIDLA), which doesn't fit. Then I read your comment here and I bought a delock 95237. I updated my APU 1D4 to Bios-Version 140708. At boot-up I can see something like:

    re3: <realtek 8111="" 8168="" b="" c="" cp="" ddp="" e="" f="" pcie="" gigabit="" ethernet="">port 0x1000-0x10ff mem 0xf7704000-0xf7704fff,0xf7700000-0xf7703fff irq 17 at device 0.0 on pci7
    re3: Using 1 MSI-X message
    re3: turning off MSI enable bit.
    re3: Chip rev. 0x4c000000
    re3: MAC rev. 0x00000000
    re3: Unknown H/W revision: 0x4c000000
    device_attach: re3 attach returned 6

    similar to re4

    But I still only can configure re0, re1, re2, like it was the same before I inserted the delock-card. If I try to assign re3 as well as re4 to opt2, it says “Invalid interface name”. Any idea what I do wrong? I'm unfortunately not familiar with BSD nor with pfsense up to now.
    The card is inside the mPCIe-2-slot.

    Thank you in advance!
    Carcharodon</realtek>


  • Netgate Administrator

    The driver has returned '6' when it tried to attach which means it hasn't attached. As the error message says the driver doesn't recognise the hardwear revision. What pfSense version are you running? What are the chips used in the NIC? As reported the driver knows about 8111 versions B-F but there some some 'G' versions about.

    Steve

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=65355.msg365871#msg365871



  • Hi Steve,

    thank's for your fast response. I started with pfSense 2.1.5. In the meantime I have solved the problem. After I installed pfSense-memstick-serial-2.2-Beta-amd64-20141114-0717.img from the snapshot repository, both, the Delock 95237 as well as the Jetway Intel Dual NIC (ADMPEIDLA), are working and I have up to now an APU 1D4 with 7 NICs, great!
    The Jetway Intel Dual NIC (ADMPEIDLA) worked since the Bios-Upgrade under pfSense 2.1.5 without need to install pfSense 2.2 Beta. It was just a problem to fit the card onto the board. I carefully lifted the clips with a small screwdriver on top of the card.

    Another question upcomming: How to figure out, which NICs are the fastest?

    Beside that question the topic can be closed as "solved".

    Thank you very well!! It made my day. :-*

    Carcharodon


  • Netgate Administrator

    @haunted:

    I have up to now an APU 1D4 with 7 NICs, great!

    Nice.  ;D

    The Intel NICs are fastest by some margin. GruensFroeschli reported being able to push 650Mbps with Intel NICs and 2.2. The on-board NICs will not manage >500Mbps. Others have reported closer to 350Mbps in real world conditions.

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=59555.msg405522#msg405522

    Steve



  • Is this the same card with another OEM name?

    http://www.commell.com.tw/product/Surveillance/MPX-210.htm



  • Dear Pishfry

    As I know, it isn't the same card. It looks very different and even the main chip (Intel I210 versus Intel I310) is different.
    I got my card here, where you can have a look:
    http://www.cartft.com/catalog/il/1500
    If you nevertheless buy and test the card, please tell us about your experiences.

    Carcharodon



  • I am interested in this idea. Most of my offices only need 2 (small office, single LAN+WAN) or 3 (medium office with LAN + 2 WAN) network ports. So in the past Alix2D13 was good and now the APU is even better. It is nice to have the same main board in all places, if possible, so sparing is easy. But in some offices there are 2 WAN plus a couple of LAN, thus needing more network ports somewhere. Rather than bothering with a separate VLAN switch and having to have recovery procedures and spares for that, it would be nice to have an APU with 5 network ports available.

    Can you share more details? Like what case have you mounted it all in?

    And reading the thread I am a little confused about which card fits best, and which card works best?

    Can you give a summary of your testing and experience?


  • Netgate Administrator



  • Dear Phil,

    I constructed a new case cover for the standard enclosure, which fits for both different cards.
    http://250kb.de/JaLap0L
    The Delock 95237 fits best, the Jetway is somehow tricky. Which card works best I have still to figure out.

    Carcharodon



  • A little bit late and only for the archives if some one is stumbling on this thread over Google.

    Here is a case shown that can house a PC Engines APU board and has two more spare outs for
    two more GB LAN Ports, that truly can be gained by installing a miniPCIe card connected to two
    GB LAN Ports. It adds also enough space for a 2,5" SSD.
    PC Engines APU case
    2 Intel GB LAn Ports from miniPCIe



  • Hi all,

    I create a 5 port network appliance with the following parts last week (mainly based on this thread):

    • pcengines APU 1d4

    • Delock 95237 Dual Port Gigabit Adapter

    • 320 GB Harddisk (asa storage for proxy package)

    • The mentioned APU case from Calexium

    You can find my report here: http://streuspeicher.de/2015/08/building-a-5-port-network-appliance-with-pcengines-apu-1d4-and-pfsense/
    Spoiler: It works, but needs some manual hardware modifications to get the NIC and case play together. pfSense works fine.

    Hope this helps.
    Norbert



  • Hello Norbert,

    I know also another Dual Port solution that is fitting better in the case, but I don´t know any
    seller of this parts! Its a pity but no where in Europe I was found something like this;

    And only one tip at least, please check the thermal cooling situation of this case, the PC Engines APU
    boards are using a part of the case for colling down the cpu and if this parts would be not sold with the
    case or board to you, you will need to fix it now, please before a damage occurs.

    Please read the full story here: PC Engines APU board cooling instructions

    Picture Source Nexcom



  • Yes, that card would have surely made things easier!

    The cooling should be ok. I followed the instructions you posted and the case had a marking inside to place the alu heat spreader.
    You never know, but I think this aspect should be ok.

    Thanks for your comment!
    'Norbert