Can this hardware handle gigabit ? How's the power consumption ?


  • Current PFsense box specs:

    Core 2 Duo CPU E8400 3.00GHz
    4GB RAM
    2x Intel Gigabit NICs
    1x Realtek Gigabit NIC (currently got dual WAN, non gigabit. If I get gigabit, this won't be used anymore)
    64GB Sandisk SSD

    Pulls a decent amount of power though. Around 45W - 54W. (UPS shows 63W - 72W total for all network equipment but with the pfSense system off, my modems, switch and access point suck 18W).  Not too much power draw but definitely not 6W like the hardware on the PFsense store.

    CPU also tends to run around 52C. Not as quiet as I would like tbh.

    The only packages I run are Snort and PFblocker NG.

    Is this system OK for gigabit ?

    Worth replacing for some compact ultra low power system for the energy savings ?


  • How much do you pay for electricity?

    A more modern system will idle around 20-30W, or if you're going embedded 6-10W.



  • Ok so let's work it out
    10w = 240w per day
    240w x10 = 2400w
    2400x3 = 7200w per month or $1.30 or so per month @ 18c/kW

    The difference between your current and new basic hardware (i3) is about 20-30w (call it 25)
    The savings therefore would be circa $3.25 per month.

    Therefore in a year you would save about $38 or so. You could probably bump this saving up to about $55 with a 10w system.

    Is this worthwhile? Depends on how soon power prices go up/whether there are times of >54w load


  • Is this system OK for gigabit ?

    You should try it out at first and if it is not matching your needs you can think about to buy another system.

    Worth replacing for some compact ultra low power system for the energy savings ?

    Have a look to the;

    • ASUS Q87T
    • Gigabyte Q87TN

    – mini-ITX
    -- max. 16 GB RAM
    -- real PCI 2.0 x4 Slot
    -- 2 x miniPCIe for WiFi and mSATA
    -- Many CPUs are support on that board for update or upgrade

    Not really importand for you with which board & CPU combo you will go in the near future, but you
    should think about to get a modern Intel Dual or Quad Port NIC that is able to be used in any other
    kind of pfSense box.


  • It would be in the 45w-70w range depending on your power supply. I had for a while a machine with an e8400, a cheap Acer m-atx motherboard with igp and a couple of ddr2 slot both filled with an 1GB single rank ddr2-800, an intel pro/1000 pt dual and finally an v300 ssd. It pulled 54w while idling. I did some math, in my country energy cost roughly 0.2€/Kwh so each watt cost 2€ per year after some calculation. I did a quite complex excel file to take into consideration every variables, so I'm pretty sure. You can expect almost 110€ per year on electrical bill or 9€ per month if you prefer. Of course, your mileage may vary a lot depending how the electrical bill is calculated then the cost of the energy per Kwh, I bet it would cost less but not enough to don't take into consideration to buy brand new low power parts as I just did. Replacing the cpu+mobo+ram combo and then the psu with an old 500w+ 80plus I already had it dropped the power consumption at just 20w. At worst. I can go further with a pico psu or a brand new psu, but right now I'm quite satisfied, I save more than 70€ per year whit much more power available.

    Ciao.