CF or IDE hdd ?

  • I'm going to be testing out a simple pfsense machine shortly and want to get some opinions on moving parts vs non-moving parts.

    From reading I understand there is an embedded solution (mini) or a P2/P3 system.  Please do chime in your opinions or research here on the two options.

    From my understanding:

    Embedded solution:  low heat, low power consumption, low (if any) moving parts.  The bad thing is that the components, although not propreitary, generally cannot be fixed.  This solution is also more money in the beginning to acquire the hardware than a P2/P3 system.  Estimate:  $250

    P2/P3 solution:  fairly low heat, medium power consumption, more moving parts.  The bad thing is that components are old and used with more moving parts means more heat and higher likely-hood of failure.  Estimate:  $50 + $20 for dual NIC PCI Intel card

    Is this correct information?  If going the P2/P3 solution are you better off with a IDE to CF adapter so that you are running from a CF card or what are the pro's and con's there?

    Any comments/opinions/chime-in's are appreciated!

  • You can get a bit of the best of both worlds by going for a mini-ITX type setup with everything passively cooled.  This means that you're using off-the-shelf kit (so it can be fixed/replaced easily) but power consumption and heat are low.  The flip side is that purchase prices are higher, and CPU power will be lower (for passively cooled).

    I'm running an FX5620, which is a custom case running a fairly standard motherboard, but off of a Microdrive rather than either CF or hard disk.  That means that I get the low noise/power/heat of a CF based solution, but can add packages as you can for a hard disk solution (as, that's what it is).  The lifespan is probably less than that of a hard disk, but so far so good ;)

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