Tip: Inctel ITX-M9F (J1900, 4x 82583V)



  • Just wanted to give you a heads up on a motherboard I found while browsing AliExpress for a small replacement router.

    The ITX-M9F (some other variants aswell), seems to be an excellent board for pfSense.

    CPU: Intel J1900 Quad Core @ 2.0GHz
    RAM: Up to 8GB (1x DDR3 SO-DIMM)
    NICs: 4x Intel 82583V GigE
    HDD: 1x mSATA, 1x SATA 3GBps
    Expansion: 1x mPCIe w/ SIM slot

    1 COM port at the motherboard, and you can also attach a 12pin cable header to get a VGA port. It supports power either through a DC jack or a 4pin ATX connector. Power consumption should be very low, and it's fanless!

    The only thing I would have liked to see is AES-NI on the CPU, but with a quad core, I think I'll be able to get decent throughput. I am satisfied that I'll get Intel NICs, and the option of adding a mPCIe WWAN card if I want redundancy down the line!

    Pricing is around 125-145USD + shipping, which I don't find very bad. For me, the overall cost (MB + mITX case + power supply) ends up at 169USD (+ 58 USD for DHL shipping), which is less than the Shuttle DS57U retails for in Norway, plus I get two extra NICs, two extra cores and better expandability for router usage.  Spot on :)

    Links:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-ethernet-ports-motherboard-J1900-fanless-J1900-2-5-HDD-inboard-BYPASS-supported-High-performance-Router/32421366325.html
    http://iotsolutionsalliance.intel.com/solutions-directory/itx-m9f-ver11-mini-itx-board
    http://www.inctel.com.cn/product/detail/119



  • I've been searching for hardware for too many hours now. You know getting the most for you buck type of thing, overthinking and all. I tend to overkill just for lols so I set a budget of around 300 EUR. I've been going from intel e3-1230 v2 to quad core i5 LGA 1155 processors down to Celeron J1900. I think this one is the best for my needs and it's not D2550. I just don't want D2550 like for no special reason, actually I want something a little bit better. So yes J1900 I like that one. Pity on the AES-NI yeah.

    I'm thinking of buying some mini sata for the OS and caching. I've read of people using Squid so I am wondering how big of a storage do I need for a decent cache for a home network? In terms of power I only need the 12V brick (right?). Any other tips would be welcome since I'm all new to this. I am guessing you already have your system up and running for a while. Tell me how satisfied you are with the build and maybe something you would have done differently.

    I am planning on getting this case.
    CHIEFTEC MINIT COMPACT IX-03B-OP
    http://www.k24.sk/product/214987/Elektronika/Komponenty_PC/Chieftec_IX_03B_OP_bez_zasilacza.html?product_code=OBCHIX03BOP

    This board got me hooked since the beginning and it doesn't fit in a standard mini itx case. Link below just for the reference.
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/B75-multi-network-port-motherboard-I3-I7-6-Gigabit-Ethernet-ports-ROS-WAYOS-soft-route-B75SL/1930169834.html?spm=2114.01010208.3.1.79q3J3&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_0,searchweb201602_5_10037_507_10032_10020_10017_10021_10022_401_10009_10008_10018_101_10019,searchweb201603_1&btsid=681f6e60-dfe4-44d3-bd91-51d39f63a8e1



  • Hi,

    I ended up getting the following:

    MB: Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI (~69USD after discount and coupons)
    CPU: Intel Pentium G4400 (~74USD)
    RAM: 1x 4GB DDR4 (already owned)
    Case: LC Power LC-1340mi w/ 75W PSU (~53USD)
    CPU fan: Gelid Polar 1U (~15USD)

    Total: 211USD inc shipping.

    Prices were based on what I paid in Norwegian Krone including VAT, so you might get the parts cheaper. I used a lot of coupons for the motherboard (taking surveys is good for something!). Initial price was around 193USD. Dropped the board I linked to as I was able to get a better and more all-round build for less money when shipping and import taxes were considered.

    Very pleased with price, performance and stability. The Gigabyte board is excellent, and support for both ethernet ports were added in 2.3, and installation went like a breeze. CPU supports AES-NI and my OpenVPN performance is peaking my WAN connection (150/150 Mbps) so I am pleased.

    I will probably upgrade to a SSD down the line. The board has M.2 which I can use for future caching. I am caching on a 2.5'' HDD now and it works like a charm, but I want to go for an SSD down the line. The LC Power case included a 75W PSU which works just fine. Case build quality is so-so, but for the price I couldn't be more satisfied. It's not visible, so it doesn't have to be pretty. Had to get a 1U CPU cooler to fit the case as the Intel Stock cooler was around 10mm to tall.



  • Zappza,

    which NICs are on your mobo?

    Recently i purchased: GA-H170N-WIFI for my media PC, on Windows everything works fine.

    However, not sure if pfSense has drivers for nics ( yet ).

    What about WiFi?

    Thanks!



  • Ah, I can't recall the exact models.

    Dual Intel NICs. pfSense is using the em driver for one, and igb driver for the other. Support for the latter was added in FreeBSD 10.3/pfSense 2.3 (Could be a Intel I219-V chip, not 100% certain).

    WiFi is not working. The WiFi chip is an Intel 8260AC, and like most other AC chipsets, support in FreeBSD is not present.

    edit: Found out the chips using pciconf -lv

    em0@pci0:0:31:6:	class=0x020000 card=0xe0001458 chip=0x15b88086 rev=0x31 hdr=0x00
        vendor     = 'Intel Corporation'
        device     = 'Ethernet Connection (2) I219-V'
        class      = network
        subclass   = ethernet
    
    igb0@pci0:3:0:0:	class=0x020000 card=0xe0001458 chip=0x15398086 rev=0x03 hdr=0x00
        vendor     = 'Intel Corporation'
        device     = 'I211 Gigabit Network Connection'
        class      = network
        subclass   = ethernet
    
    none4@pci0:4:0:0:	class=0x028000 card=0x00108086 chip=0x24f38086 rev=0x3a hdr=0x00
        vendor     = 'Intel Corporation'
        device     = 'Wireless 8260'
        class      = network
    

    I don't use WiFi on pfSense, so no biggie for me. You can change the WiFi board if you want to. It is connected via M.2.



  • Thanks for responding.

    I will see if i can find it on google.

    I was thinking about purchasing another mobo, and use it for pfsense, now, i just need to make sure nics are supported.



  • @NEK4TE:

    Thanks for responding.

    I will see if i can find it on google.

    I was thinking about purchasing another mobo, and use it for pfsense, now, i just need to make sure nics are supported.

    Best of luck! This was the only decently priced dual Intel NIC motherboard I found avaliable in Norway. pfSense 2.3 added support for Intel NICs used on the Skylake platform, so this should make the process easier. Here is a link to the annoucement: https://www.freebsd.org/releases/10.3R/announce.html

    Like I mentioned above, the WiFi card can be replaced with another M.2 card, but I haven't found any cards which is supported by pfSense, not that this is important to me at all. VLANs function like a charm, and throughput is excellent.



  • Thanks a lot for that url.



  • i219-v and i211 is what is on my mobo, just checked on Windows.

    Should be good then :)

    tnx!



  • @NEK4TE:

    i219-v and i211 is what is on my mobo, just checked on Windows.

    Should be good then :)

    tnx!

    Yep. When I think about it, I also considered the GA-H170-WIFI, only difference I could find was the chipset. Very small price difference, so I went for the Z170.



  • True that, i just checked on NewEgg, only $20 difference.

    I just gotta  figure out what would be good CPU to get for my Gigabit (down) / 50mbit (up) (Cable/DHCP) connection.


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