How to know what CPU to use?



  • In my Pfsense I have a core2duo E7600. It works really good but I want to lower the heat in the small room and I also need the space so I want a smaller computerchassie.

    I have compare my CPU E7600 with celeron j1900
    http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/506/Intel_Celeron_J1900_vs_Intel_Core_2_Duo_E7600.html

    What is important for the CPU to perform good?
    Is more core more important than high Hz?

    Maybe a good ARM is the best.

    Can some geek rank what is important and what is less important?

    Like this
    1. High Hz
    2. Cores
    3. Cache



  • @neggard:

    What is important for the CPU to perform good?
    Is more core more important than high Hz?

    Maybe a good ARM is the best.

    Can some geek rank what is important and what is less important?

    Like this
    1. High Hz
    2. Cores
    3. Cache

    First, pfsense is x86 only.  No ARM.  Second, you can't really compare the Core2 Duo to the Celeron; they are different architecture and the per core performance will be different even at the same clock speed.

    The ranking will depend on what you want pfsense to do for you.  If you tell us more about what you expect from your build, we can help you narrow down what you should prioritize.



  • Like this
    1. High Hz
    2. Cores
    3. Cache

    You cannot compare each CPU core against others, like told before, this might be only matching
    in the same range and architecture, likes Intel Atom 520 vs Intel Atom C2000 platform or J1900
    vs N2930 that will be going right.

    As today I would be have a look forward what you want to do and install.
    And then you might be choosing the right CPU for it.

    The best would be something from all, likes a Intel

    • Xeon E3-1200v3/v4 series with 4 cores and @3,0GHz (high end)
    • Intel Xeon D-1500 series (high)
    • Intel Atom C2000 "Rangeley" (high)
    • Intel Celeron G3260T @3,2GHz (top mid ranged)
    • Intel J1900 @2,4GHz (lower end mid ranged)
    • Intel N3700 @2,0GHz (top entry level)
    • APU AMD Jaguar @1,0GHz (entry level)
    • Intel Core Duo (small)
    • Intel Atom D520 (tiny)


  • But what make a CPU good for firewall use.

    I use Geekbench for my desktop CPU
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/4514496

    If you go to that page you se alot of parameters test.
    What parameter is most important for pfsense in standardmode
    What parameters should be good when I use VPN or Squid?

    If we know that, people could choose the right CPU for their system and be more satisfied.



  • But what make a CPU good for firewall use.

    This is like the question; "What is a fast car" so you will be really getting fast and a huge amount of answers
    on this question for sure. But the real point is for for what you want to use the car and where you do this!
    A Mercedes 600 S AMG for 500.000 € will be making you the king of the road, but if you then have to start
    a race against Michael Schumacher´s carbon F1 racing car for around ~ 7,5 million € you will loose for sure.

    What packets you plan to install?
    What is the entire WAN speed?
    1 GBit/s, 10 GBit/s or dark fiber with xyz speed?
    What services, functions and options you might be offering and using?
    For how many users this firewall would be running and with which kind or amount of traffic?
    Should this be a UTM device for your home set up or for a giant company with 600+ employees?

    What is important for the CPU to perform good?

    Would you please first answering the questions above?

    Is more core more important than high Hz?

    In some cases yes and in some cases not!

    Maybe a good ARM is the best.

    There is no ARM port or fork of pfSense.

    Can some geek rank what is important and what is less important?

    For what exactly? What should be done? WAN speed? Needed throughput?
    VPN, Squid, DPI, IDS, HAVP with ClamAV or only a plain firewall.



  • @neggard:

    But what make a CPU good for firewall use.

    I use Geekbench for my desktop CPU
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/4514496

    If you go to that page you se alot of parameters test.
    What parameter is most important for pfsense in standardmode
    What parameters should be good when I use VPN or Squid?

    If we know that, people could choose the right CPU for their system and be more satisfied.

    What makes a CPU good for firewall use is the same thing that makes it good for general computing.  Faster (clock speed) is better, if you're comparing CPUs from the same family.  More cores?  Sure!  You can run pfsense on a server with 32 cores and 512GB of RAM and it will be a very fast firewall.  But that's clearly overkill.

    My most heavily loaded pfsense system is a VM (actually two of them) in a failover pair.  They each have a single virtual CPU running on Intel Xeons in the 2.2Ghz range (they're on different hosts with different CPU familes).  They each have a single virtual NIC.  The hosts have bonded NICs  (one has four 1Gbps, the other has two 1Gbps).  They route traffic between 6 subnets internally and the internet externally.  They  also host IPSEC and OpenVPN tunnels between four sites.  The WAN at this site is 100Mbps symmetrical.  With careful network planning, they are never a bottleneck.

    Once again, figure out your requirements first, and you'll be much closer to an answer.  Choosing hardware for pfsense is not like buying an appliance.  It's a general computing platform that happens to specialize in firewalling and routing.  The Cisco ASAs we use for client VPN access are old and run on (I think) pentium 4 technology.  But they work just fine in the context they were designed for.


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