New install on HP Compaq 6300 SFF (i3-3220)



  • After fiddling around with Virtualbox and kvm (no vt-d or IOMMU hardware, sadly: https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=98445.0), I bought an ex-lease HP Compaq 6300 Pro SFF to run pfSense bare metal.

    Specs are i3-3220, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive. I took the i350-T4 I'd been using in my vm box and it works great in the new machine, using igb drivers. Although it was an e-bay cheapie, it's got the silk screenied 'Intel' logo, Delta chips and even came with both half and full size PCI brackets.

    I've disconnected the unused DVD-drive to save a few watts and will chuck in a spare 128GB SSD in due course to save a few more watts. I'm now also looking around for a fanless power supply which will fit in the SFF chassis and keeping an eye out for a cheap/used i5-3470T as the AES-NI functions would be nice for my openVPN server (although the i3 will be more than capable of brute-forcing AES-256 for just me as occasdional road-warrior).

    So far the CPU is always 1-2%, and I've increased the mbufs to 1,000,000 as recommended. May look at using snort, squid/dansguardian and HAVP/clamAV in due course. pfSense is such a great piece of software - so easy to configure and tailor to one's needs, such a responsive GUI. I won't be going back to a SOHO/consumer router anytime soon!

    :)



  • You know… you could put ESXI on that, and use it for other things..

    oh and 128 gb is entirely overkill for pfsense even with squid etc, my pfsense vm is only using 4.7gb on my ESXi server.



  • @Keljian:

    You know… you could put ESXI on that, and use it for other things..

    oh and 128 gb is entirely overkill for pfsense even with squid etc, my pfsense vm is only using 4.7gb on my ESXi server.

    Heh - don't tempt me re: ESXi - I like the look of the Q75 chipset for vt-d, but the i3 is only vt-x. Besides, I've got it all running so smoothly, and must now resist the urge to tinker :)

    Yup - the 128GB is WAAAY overkill, but it'll be a spare drive in a few days anyway, as I need a 256GB upgrade for my laptop, so the 128GB would otherwise be gathering dust. Or I could be altruistic and give it to my father-in-law to speed up his desktop machine….



  • @sos:

    @Keljian:

    You know… you could put ESXI on that, and use it for other things..

    oh and 128 gb is entirely overkill for pfsense even with squid etc, my pfsense vm is only using 4.7gb on my ESXi server.

    Heh - don't tempt me re: ESXi - I like the look of the Q75 chipset for vt-d, but the i3 is only vt-x. Besides, I've got it all running so smoothly, and must now resist the urge to tinker :)

    Super easy - export the config using the backup option, then install under ESXi, restore from backup, then reset the network interfaces to vnics.. done..

    probably do it in under 10 minutes..



  • Probably 9 - I've already got the back up config saved ;)