Is my hardware good enough for my home network?



  • I'm looking to turn my old gaming pc into a pfsense router.
    The specs are

    i3 2100,
    16gb ram,
    150gb HDD

    My modem would be going through the onboard ethernet port on the pc and my lan would be going through a Intel Gigabit CT PCI-E Network Adapter EXPI9301CTBLK.

    I know the cpu and ram is good enough but what about the ethernet card and hdd instead of an ssd?
    I read online that hdd would be better because I want to do web caching and all of those writes would destroy my ssd.
    Will any hdd cut it or do I need a high rpm one for better performance? My hdd right now is a seagate 150gb 7200 rpm hdd.
    Also, if I go the hdd route, will I need to defrag it?

    Is the network card good enough? I have 1 desktop on ethernet and 8 wifi devices

    Is my onboard ethernet connection going to be the bottleneck of the internet?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Is my onboard ethernet connection going to be the bottleneck of the internet?

    Impossible to say since you didn't say what it is. If it's gigabit - even if it's realtek - probably not.

    Run the drive until it croaks.  Just be sure you have a good config backup on your desktop.  Reinstalling and restoring to a new hard drive on the same hardware literally takes just minutes provided you have the install media and the config backup.

    The only thing that would concern me about your setup is power consumption.



  • Realtek GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit). Thats my onboard.

    What do you mean power consumption?
    Do I have a good enough psu to handle it? Mine is 650W.

    Or do you mean itll run my electricity bill up for constantly being powered?


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    I'm talking about the amount of power used just to be a router. You certainly don't need a 650W power supply. If it has a GPU I'd yank that too and just use the on-board VGA.



  • Well I do have an OEM system with an intel pentium 4 524 cpu and 1gb of ram.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    In general the older the system the more power it consumes. Almost invariably when you look at processing power over power consumption. Not saying it's wrong to use the hardware, just saying what I'd be wary of.



  • its overkill for a home network.

    to avoid problems, i would add a set of single intel lan pcie cards

    or a dual lan card such as: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Intel-Gigabit-Dual-PORT-GIGABIT-ETHERNET-PCIe-NIC-Card-EXPI9402PT-NC360T-/171993184025?hash=item280b97b719:g:cc4AAOSwwbdWQZJs

    from ebay

    the realtek cards may work, but rather than being annoyed by them, pick up an intel product.

    make sure you have the slots for it.



  • Do I have a good enough psu to handle it? Mine is 650W.

    Puh, that´s hardcore!!! Maybe you have less to pay for your electric power likes me here in Germany,
    but for a 550 Watt PSU I (we) have to pay something around ~550 € for a whole year, only for that device!!!!
    Bit for a Intel C2758 8 Core Atom based pfSense box only ~239 € for each year and this is silent then!!!

    So lets do a count:
    550 € x 5 years = 2250 € only for the electric power of this device
    250 € x 5 years = 1250 € for the electric power of this device

    If I buy now a full featured and really good sorted pfSense box

    • Intel C2758 board
    • PSU & mini ITX Case & fans
    • Samsung840 Pro SSD 250 GB
    • 4 x 4 GB DDR3-1600MHz ECC RAM
      = in total: ~900 €

    I saved than something around ~350 € for electric power and get the Hardware for free after 5 years of usage
    compared against the 650 Watt machine! So it was a good idea to ask for that thing in my eyes.



  • Quote

    Do I have a good enough psu to handle it? Mine is 650W.

    Puh, that´s hardcore!!! Maybe you have less to pay for your electric power likes me here in Germany,
    but for a 550 Watt PSU I (we) have to pay something around ~550 € for a whole year, only for that device!!!!
    Bit for a Intel C2758 8 Core Atom based pfSense box only ~239 € for each year and this is silent then!!!

    I'm afraid your argument has a few flaws.

    Just because you have a PSU  capable of 650W that does NOT mean the system it's attached to consumes 650W of power unless the system requires that much power.

    For a closer analysis of your real needs, look at http://powersupplycalculator.net/.  You'll probably find the minimum power supply recommended is around 200W (or less) so a 650W power supply is plenty of overkill.  I would guess your actual consumption would be around the 100-150W mark depending on what's in the box.

    As far as comparing to an Atom based unit, your box definitely consumes more power, but on the order of 2-3 times more than the C2758 not 10 times as suggested by Blue Kobold.



  • @divsys

    We have here in Germany also some websites (written in german) that are able to tell you
    what you have to pay for one device if it is running 365/24/7 and so it might be different
    from the websites you are using with a focus more on the cost matching your country.
    So for sure this can be different each from another one surely.

    But a 650W PSU compared to the given power from this box or hardware is nonsense in
    my eyes, I drive also a Intel Xeon E3-1285v3 and be happy with a 200W PSU, but compared
    to the delivered power from this box, the one from the @kicker892 is far far away from.



  • But a 650W PSU compared to the given power from this box or hardware is nonsense in
    my eyes, I drive also a Intel Xeon E3-1285v3 and be happy with a 200W PSU, but compared
    to the delivered power from this box, the one from the @kicker892 is far far away from.

    Sorry, I have no idea what point you're trying to make here.

    You could put a 1200W PSU on your system that needs 200W, it still only draws 200W.

    You just have LOTS of unused power capacity available for future expansion (1000W worth).


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