Hardware question, absolute newbie



  • Please be gentle, i am absolute newbie.

    this will be my first time ever to try pfsense. I am looking to build my own box. Will this combination work:

    Asrock H170M-ITX/DL plus intel i5-6600T

    I plan to put this in a M350 mini itx box. Am I still able to add another ethernet adapter if i wish?

    My main goal is to have a home gateway for openvpn client with private internet access. I have a 200M/10M cable internet.

    I am hoping to setup squid/squidgard for content filtering as well.

    I am currently using an netgear R7000. It is obviously very inadequate. i only get 20-30M down.

    thanks a lot in advance



  • Asrock H170M-ITX/DL plus intel i5-6600T

    Are you owning this hardware or will you buy it.

    I plan to put this in a M350 mini itx box. Am I still able to add another ethernet adapter if i wish?

    I think in the M350 you wont be able to insert an additional PCIe card, likes the mostly mini ITX cases
    are so close that no PCIe brackt or slot is there.

    My main goal is to have a home gateway for openvpn client with private internet access. I have a 200M/10M cable internet.

    In Q1/2016 the PC Engines is launching the new APU2 board that will be much more sufficient and
    comes with intel ports and AES-NI support also with ECC RAM on top. Would be much more power
    saving but also powerful enough to handle what you want.

    I am hoping to setup squid/squidgard for content filtering as well

    Jetway NF9HG-2930
    This board will do the job for you.

    I am currently using an netgear R7000. It is obviously very inadequate. i only get 20-30M down.

    Install DD-WRt or OpenWRT on it an then use it as an WLAN AP.

    Alternatively you could use this ones also instead.
    Jetway JBC390F541AA-19-B
    Supermicro Barebone SuperServer SYS-E200-9B



  • Thanks Frank for taking the time answering.

    I don't any of these. I am just planning. I have researched for a long time. I have looked into the various jetway barebones and supermicro superserver. I have also looked into supermicro Rangely boards as well.

    My understanding of openvpn is that it is a single thread process. So, single core performance is more important than the number of cores. My narrowed list of CPUs included i5-3470T, i5-4570T, i5-6500T or i5-6600T. Based on these CPUs, there is only limited number of boards available.

    I5-6600T and tell above mention ASRock H170 board cost about the same as supermicro c2578 board. Atom CPU has poor single core performance. I thought I would be better off with an core CPU.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't find any openssl speed benchmark for these CPUs.

    I know there are lot issues with NIC support from pfsense. I don't whther this board and/or cpu will run pfsense without any issue.

    Thanks again, Frank.



  • @tigs:

    I know there are lot issues with NIC support from pfsense.

    I don't think that's true.  I've been using pfsense for about 10 years and have yet to run into a NIC that is totally unsupported.  That said, some perform better than others, and that's the reason you'll see Intel NICs recommended.

    But, the hardware listed on the ASRock H170M-ITX/DL is pretty new, so check the supported hardware list to see.  https://www.freebsd.org/releases/10.1R/hardware.html#support



  • I5-6600T and tell above mention ASRock H170 board cost about the same as supermicro c2578 board. Atom CPU has poor single core performance. I thought I would be better off with an core CPU.

    Please don´t forget in time now the pfSense WAN Part is single core threaded, but this will be not
    for ever so and if this will be changed at someday the C2758 will be a real bomb for pfSense!!!

    • AES-NI support
    • Intel QuickAssist
    • DPDK over AVX/AVX2 register

    Also the Intel i5-6600T & 8 GB DDR3-1600MHz & SSD, mSATA or M.2 SSD would do the joby perfectly
    but not silent.



  • @BlueKobold:

    Please don´t forget in time now the pfSense WAN Part is single core threaded

    Apparently no longer true:  On pfSense 2.2 and later, pf(4) is multi-threaded and can utilize multiple processors, as can the other system daemons, interrupt processing, and other tasks.

    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Does_pfSense_support_SMP_(multi-processor_and/or_core)_systems



  • Apparently no longer true:  On pfSense 2.2 and later, pf(4) is multi-threaded and can utilize multiple processors, as can the other system daemons, interrupt processing, and other tasks.

    If PPPoE will be used at the WAN interface, it is single threaded and not multi core threaded!
    And many peoples are using PPPoE to connect to the Internet.



  • @BlueKobold:

    I5-6600T and tell above mention ASRock H170 board cost about the same as supermicro c2578 board. Atom CPU has poor single core performance. I thought I would be better off with an core CPU.

    Please don´t forget in time now the pfSense WAN Part is single core threaded, but this will be not
    for ever so and if this will be changed at someday the C2758 will be a real bomb for pfSense!!!

    • AES-NI support
    • Intel QuickAssist
    • DPDK over AVX/AVX2 register

    Also the Intel i5-6600T & 8 GB DDR3-1600MHz & SSD, mSATA or M.2 SSD would do the joby perfectly
    but not silent.

    Thank you, Frank and @whosmatt

    I bought the supermicro mini ITX C2758 board with 8G of single strip Kingston ValueRAM for now. I have a spare SSD drive. I am anxiously waiting for them. This will be my Christmas project. I have been reviewing the recipe thread.

    I have one question. I have a spare M350 mini ITX box. It has a 60W (12v, 5A) AC-DC adapter + 20-pin PicoPSU board. The CPU is rated at 20W. do you think the power adapter is adequate? The has is equipped with a 24-pin connector. Which 20 pin on the board should I use? I guess i can experiment, but i don't want to damage it.

    Thanks



  • I bought the supermicro mini ITX C2758 board

    Would be also my first choice for building a strong firewall todays.

    with 8G of single strip Kingston ValueRAM for now.

    Kingston Value RAM is one of the best you can get your hands on this days, nothing fancy
    with heat spreaders on it, but still and good working! Please don´t forget that the C2758 is
    only accepting ECC RAM on it. At www.servethehome.com was a detailed report over this board
    and they were trying out to use non ECC RAM and the board was not working as expected.
    DDR3L-1600MHz would be the best at this time.

    I have a spare SSD drive. I am anxiously waiting for them. This will be my Christmas project.

    Congratulation, later if the DPDK and QuickAssist part will be integrated in the pfSense code, I think we will
    see how much powerful this board really is.

    I have been reviewing the recipe thread.

    There you will be able to dig out many informations about your project.

    I have one question. I have a spare M350 mini ITX box.

    For sure it was the right way to go for your with the C2758 board.

    It has a 60W (12v, 5A) AC-DC adapter + 20-pin PicoPSU board. The CPU is rated at 20W.

    This might be the ugly part of the project, I will more tend there to have a look on this named above thread
    for getting the best results out for you! Electric power supply can be different from each country to country
    we are all living in. So the best would be to have a look on the posts where peoples are reporting about the
    Pico PSU variant they are using and also the external PSU than too.

    do you think the power adapter is adequate?

    I cant tell you anything about it, have a look at this thread and then go and buy a adequate one.
    Better as burning or bricking the brand new board, related on avarice. Then better building step
    by step and having real fun later with it.

    The has is equipped with a 24-pin connector. Which 20 pin on the board should I use? I guess i can experiment, but i don't want to damage it.

    Me too, and there fore I would be better have a look on that "build thread" and gather out informations
    to get adequate equipment or PSU.

    From what I was remembering they were talking about Pico PSU with 4 Pin and something else like
    197 Watt external PSU. But this might be even first be interesting if I built my firewall new again based
    on that board or one of the new Intel Xeon D-1548 platform or a similar board.



  • A 20-pin ATX connector can be plugged straight into a 24-pin motherboard socket, leaving pins 11, 12, 23, and 24 unconnected. The four pins that you are leaving open are just redundant lines for higher current capability. The power connector is polarized, so it's difficult to insert it wrong into the header unless you force it really hard. Nevertheless, double check that pin 1 goes into pin 1.

    I use a PicoPSU-80 to power my A1SRI-2558F build (with only only RAM & 1 SSD installed)



  • I use a PicoPSU-80 to power my A1SRI-2558F build (with only only RAM & 1 SSD installed)

    Would you be so friendly and tell us more? What kind of external PSU (12V, ?Watt) you are using?

    For a Supermicro A1SRI-2758F-O I was reading something like that:

    or

    M350 mini ITX case
    PicoPSU 160Watt

    This is sold together and/or as spare parts each for another one! But what kind of external PSU
    is needed to run this I also really don´t know.



  • @BlueKobold:

    Would you be so friendly and tell us more? What kind of external PSU (12V, ?Watt) you are using?

    For a Supermicro A1SRI-2758F-O I was reading something like that:

    or

    M350 mini ITX case
    PicoPSU 160Watt

    This is sold together and/or as spare parts each for another one! But what kind of external PSU
    is needed to run this I also really don´t know.

    I am using the SC101i case and PicoPSU-80 + 60W Adapter Power Kit.

    I am not that impressed with the case, since the psu (connector) and behind that the memory module are sort of almost blocking the fan. But so far it stays cool nonetheless



  • @reilos
    thanks for enlighten me.



  • @BlueKobold:

    @reilos
    thanks for enlighten me.

    No problem. Good luck with your build!
    Have a nice weekend!


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