ITX Board For PFSense - Choice of Two?

  • I'm looking to upgrade my pfSense box so that I can run the 64-bit version of pfSense. Current board is based around an Atom N270.
    I've narrowed it down to two boards based on price, power consumption and UK availability.

    In the blue corner we have the ASRock AD2550R/U3S3

    In the red corner we have the Supermicro MBD-X9SCAA-L-O

    Both are quite similar in terms of processing power, maximum memory and choice of NICs (Intel 82574L)

    That ASRock has PCIe (1x), and lots of SATA ports. It's fractionally cheaper too.
    The Supermicro board looks to be more energy efficient using the N2800, and will run from a 12v DC power source. That said the only expansion is a 32-bit PCI slot.

    Has anyone here got any experience with either of these two boards? I'd like to get something installed and stable within the next week or so.

  • The choice was narrowed down further by lack of availability on the part of the SuperMicro board.
    I'm happy to report that I have pfSense 2.2 running on the ASRock AD2550R/U3S3.
    Running stably for over 12 hours now with some IPSec gateway connections and an OpenVPN client.

  • why did you go with the older atoms?

  • Price, I'm sure.  Glad its working.


    I've pushed upwards of 32,000 pps (Unfortunate routing accident) through this hardware with an intel quad interface NIC.  Handled it like a champ.

    Read this warning though: BEFORE you connect the onboard lan ports to an internet connection, for the love of all that is good, please connect the dedicated BMC ethernet port, update the BMC to the latest firmware, then disable BMC access through eth0 and eth1. Save yourself from getting hacked. By default the BMC controller is exposed through the onboard ethernet ports!

  • My broadband connection gives 5.2 Mb/s down and 0.8 Mb/s up, ergo this hardware is more than suitable!!!
    It's difficult to justify spending more.

    I'm more than happy with the performance of it thus far.