Support for PCEngines APU



  • I hope this is a valid question. Since Netgate is now promoting your own hardware (in the past you guys were promoting the PCEngines APU), will you still continuously improving support for PCEngines' APU's to be fair? I've read that there are a couple of problems when pfsense is used in the new APU2C and I was hoping those get fixed soon before I decide to buy this April when they're already available.

    What are your thoughts in this?


  • Netgate

    I'm not sure what you mean by "to be fair".

    We don't do anything to make the APU/APU2 solution any less than what it is: a solid, inexpensive platform that many people like.  The APU2 has Intel NICs and the Jaguar cores in the SoC support AES-NI, so performance on the APU2 should be very good compared to the APU, which uses Realtek NICs and a SoC with Bobcat cores (no AES-NI).

    This speaks some to the reason I put support in FreeBSD / pfSense for AES-GCM:  Namely, so there would be benefit from AES-NI instructions when using IPsec.  I knew that a forthcoming PC Engines board would have support for AES-NI, and therefore the larger community would receive more benefit from an AES-NI first strategy, rather than focusing on the QuickAssist in the C2000 (which, as you note, is the base for our current products.)  I can tell you that QuickAssist is substantially faster than AES-NI in these applications.

    You should understand that we don't test on APU2, mostly because we don't have one.
    We do test releases on on APU, because, as you also note, we used to sell them.

    If there are problems when pfSense is used on the APU2©, then I've not been told about them.  "Patches Accepted" is the normative response here.

    I hope this answers your question.



  • Got it! Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely buy the APU2 then :)


  • Netgate

    @kevindd992002:

    Got it! Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely buy the APU2 then :)

    Enjoy!



  • @jwt:

    You should understand that we don't test on APU2, mostly because we don't have one.
    We do test releases on on APU, because, as you also note, we used to sell them.

    I emailed PcEngines today about this, and Pascal Dornier told me that they recently sent the pfSense team two samples of their APU2.  Hopefully, the APU2 will get good testing now for future releases.



  • That's right. I was actually the one who sent them this forum thread for them to know that the pfsense team are very willing to test their new APU2 so let's hope for the best :)


  • Netgate

    We don't test each release on all available hardware.  That would be a LOT of work.


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