Dual port Intel PCIe x1 card


  • I am looking to put together a pfsense system and was wondering if the following LAN card would work:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/INTEL-82540-Double-Chipset-Gigabit-Dual-Port-PCI-e-Network-Adapter-1000M-Card-/151726955194?hash=item2353a19aba

    I haven't come across any other PCIe x1 cards with dual intel ports, except for this other one, which is a little too pricey.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Dual-Port-PCIe-X1-Gigabit-Desktop-Adapter-Intel-82580DB-HL580T-/251592085662?hash=item3a940e909e

    If the first dual card does work, then I could put together a fairly decent system using a J1900 board which costs around $60-80. This still works out a lot cheaper than other quad core boards with dual (or higher) Intel NICs.

    Thanks.


  • The both cards are located in China and also you should know that there is many fake crap on the
    market! If you receive a cheap card and this will be then not really running as expected you should
    be not complaining over the pfSense, then it would be a good deal!

    Over Amazon.com you can get a refurbished Intel Quad port card for ~$50!
    And this is then a refurbished one, but real from Intel.


  • Got to say I agree with Frank. Those are some shady cards..


  • There has been talk of those cheap chinese intel nics before. Search the forum and elsewhere. Feedback is that they generally work fine, but long term is anyone's guess.
    A 4x or 8x card will also work fine in a 1x pcie slot but that assumes your slot is open ended or you can fit a converter and/or cable.


  • I trimmed the back of a x1 slot on an itx board and was able to put the usual dual Ethernet (x2) card into it and it works just fine. This is a system that doesn't have the processor to really push the full bandwidth of the card (q1900) so I haven't ran into problems with throughput.


  • Ok, thanks for the feedback guys. I will take a different direction with this.


  • Please take my advice cautiously. If we have users here using them then maybe they are fine. I tend to over-engineer things.


  • No worries… I appreciate the advice. I was on the fence about using some unknown card from China, and my biggest concern was around dual gigabit bandwidth over PCIe x1.

    The only reason I was stuck on that was because I was trying to fit what I needed into my limited budget since most of the boards I was looking at were in the 60-80 range, and they all pretty much only came with Realtek NICs onboard. Unfortunately all those boards also had PCIe x1, which made finding an Intel card that would work with it pretty much impossible. I was also set on getting a decent quad core for future proofing.

    To stay within my budget and still get the best bang for my buck, I ended up ordering a one of these boards which has a PCIe x16 slot (only up to x4 speed though):

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/QC5000-ITXPH/

    it's a quad core AMD with a 15w TDP processor and I believe it also supports AES-NI. I also ordered a used HP NC360T NIC from Ebay for about $13 shipped. If that card doesn't work out well, I can order a different one and still stay within a decent overall budget.

    That should hopefully allow me to run as many packages as needed and not break too much of a sweat (and still maintain lowish power consumption).


  • @ytn:

    I also ordered a used HP NC360T NIC from Ebay for about $13 shipped. If that card doesn't work out well, I can order a different one and still stay within a decent overall budget.

    That was exactly what I was going to recommend! Bought a few myself recently. It's got an Intel 82571 chipset, it's cheap and works great.
    I updated the boot image firmware with this: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/19186/Intel-Ethernet-Connections-Boot-Utility-Preboot-images-and-EFI-Drivers

    If you're not going to boot from that card I don't think you'll need it.


  • Great… thanks for the link! I am pretty happy to have found that card for such a low price... I just hope it's in good working condition :-)

    I am just waiting for my hardware to be delivered now... just finished placing the order this morning.

    I currently have a temporary pfsense setup going on a really old Jetway board with VIA nano CPU (running both Realtek NICs), and am having some issues with that system (aside from the constantly annoying whining of the CPU fan), so I can't wait to get the new box going!

    Will update this thread once I have the new setup up and running (or not).


  • I think this was a good read regarding bandwith of PCIe. Some info surprised me after reading it.

    http://www.tested.com/tech/457440-theoretical-vs-actual-bandwidth-pci-express-and-thunderbolt/


  • @Phishfry:

    I think this was a good read regarding bandwith of PCIe. Some info surprised me after reading it.

    http://www.tested.com/tech/457440-theoretical-vs-actual-bandwidth-pci-express-and-thunderbolt/

    Thanks.. I did read up on the PCIe bandwidth stuff which is another reason I scrapped the idea of trying to get dual gigabit NICs working on a x1 lane PCIe slot. Max bandwidth is 250GB/s in each direction , which is exactly how much is needed for dual Gigabit LANs. I didn't want to take chance of running into issues (due to overhead and potentially other problems).

    Even though I most likely will never saturate the bandwidth on dual gigabit NICs, it's just nice knowing I will have the headroom to do so if given the opportunity :-)


  • @ytn:

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/QC5000-ITXPH/

    That's exactly the board I recently bought, now I would be interested to know if you can get the serial port working on this thing if you have the opportunity to try it out. Only difference is that I am runnning Linux with pfsense virtualized.


  • @thermo:

    @ytn:

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/QC5000-ITXPH/

    That's exactly the board I recently bought, now I would be interested to know if you can get the serial port working on this thing if you have the opportunity to try it out. Only difference is that I am runnning Linux with pfsense virtualized.

    I am guessing you're not using VGA? I haven't tried using the serial port as a console before… I'll give it a try when I get the new system setup.


  • I'm using vga but I don't like having to lug  a monitor and keyboard each time I need to troubleshoot. Having a working serial console would remove that requirement.


  • A serial console requires more than a working serial port. There must be a bios option for "Console Redirection" for pfSense console. The bios redirects the VGA signal to the serial port so you must have support in the bios.


  • I'll clarify. I'm running Linux with pfsense on kvm. I want a linux console on serial. I'm not bothered about getting bios messages, only grub onwards.


  • My bad. I figured I would save you the hassle if the board don't support Console Redirection you could waste alot of time trying. Does that particular board offer Console Redirection in the bios? I have had platforms where Console Redirect was added to later BIOS's….


  • @ytn:

    @thermo:

    @ytn:

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/QC5000-ITXPH/

    That's exactly the board I recently bought, now I would be interested to know if you can get the serial port working on this thing if you have the opportunity to try it out. Only difference is that I am runnning Linux with pfsense virtualized.

    I am guessing you're not using VGA? I haven't tried using the serial port as a console before… I'll give it a try when I get the new system setup.

    I got my new machine up and running and really like the board. It's dead quiet, and total power draw (at the wall socket) is a hair under 20 watts. I am using a pico PSU which I had lying around. I have a 120mm fan drawing air in and an 80mm fan taking air out. Both are set to "quiet mode". Can't hear anything from the machine and haven't run into any problems so far.

    Will load up a couple more packages next and see how it goes.

    I didn't get a chance to mess around with the serial console yet… will let you know when I do.