Small and Silent PFSENSE build recommendations

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by Ch33rios, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. Ch33rios

    Ch33rios Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    6
    I've had my Ubiquiti ER-X for quite a while now and while I really like its price point and general ease of use, I'm looking to get back into pfSense for something that really provides me with a bit more customizability and power when it comes to my primary home routing device. That being said, I'd really like to use something thats small/compact, compatible with future AES-NI required pfSense builds, and is relatively silent+power efficient.

    I've recently been eye-balling the QOTOM devices that seem to be popular on Amazon but was looking to see if perhaps I should just roll my own mini-ITX build with a pico-PSU for minimalist size.

    Anyone have any advice they can give on a super small pfSense build that's compliance with its future AES-NI requirement? Thanks!
     
    #1
  2. herby

    herby Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    41
    Not trying to dissuade you from pfSense as I'm sure it will have better versatility, but you might be interested in the upcoming EdgeRouter 4 or 6 in beta now.
     
    #2
  3. EluRex

    EluRex Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    70
  4. rubylaser

    rubylaser Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    229
    I just built a pfSense box with the little brother of that CPU. I picked up (2) 2GB sticks of RAM for $5/each and an IBM I340-T2 for $14.99, and I have a great low power pfSense box for less than $100 (I already had a 60GB SSD, Mini-ITX case, and PSU). As an FYI, I went from an Edgerouter Lite-3 to this.

    ASRock J3355B-ITX Intel Dual-Core Processor J3355 (up to 2.5 GHz) Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo - Newegg.com
     
    #4
    EluRex, epicurean and T_Minus like this.
  5. Ch33rios

    Ch33rios Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    6
    Cool! What case do you have? I cant seem to decide on one that fits my want for a super small footprint so it will either (1) fit in my little media/wire alcove or (2) not look ridiculously garish on my closet wall (yes its still gotta be somewhat bearable.
     
    #5
  6. mmo

    mmo Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2016
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    168
    #6
    rubylaser and T_Minus like this.
  7. wiretap

    wiretap Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    82
    I would recommend going with a Jetway build.. it has dual Intel NICs onboard (pretty important for stability and drivers) for WAN+LAN, and supports AES NI for the new version of pfSense upcoming that will require it to run. This is passively cooled as well, so zero noise. It has mSATA for OS + Squid Cache, and a mini-PCIe slot if you want to add a guest WiFi hotspot. The NUC sized form factor is nice to save some space.
    Amazon.com: Jetway JBC313U591W-3160-B Intel Braswell Celeron N3160 Dual Intel LAN Fanless NUC Barebone PC: Computers & Accessories

    I have one of these, but don't run pfSense on it yet. I'm currently using a Jetway N2930 with 4x Intel NICs, until the AES-NI requirement kicks in.
     
    #7
  8. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    6,792
    Likes Received:
    1,460
    Wow $230 and you still have to add a SSD and RAM, and only get 2 ports...
     
    #8
  9. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    424
    It's one of the only newer CPU version with intel NIC x 2 and fanless, wait till you see the price of similar from supermicro etc !!
    I did a lot of looking a while back but in the end decided not for me, I also didn't like potential outages, reliable was priority 1, I am not saying any issues with that hardware just don't know.
     
    #9
  10. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    6,792
    Likes Received:
    1,460
    @Evan I can only assume you're referencing @wiretap link as you didn't quote me, or anyone in reference to what you're replying too ;) ;)

    Would really like to have seen 4 ports!!
     
    #10
    Sound2005 likes this.
  11. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    424
    @T_Minus yes I was, was lazy as it was just next in the flow.

    My head is telling me to buy a fortinet fg-61e for my own use going forward for my FW needs... expensive but actually the commercial solution seems the easiest.
     
    #11
  12. wiretap

    wiretap Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    82
    For me, the integrated Intel NICs make the difference. I wouldn't run Realtek LAN on a gateway device if someone paid me.
     
    #12
  13. epicurean

    epicurean Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    20
    I got this ASROCK board , Asrock IMB-181-L Socket LGA1150 Q87 chipset Mini-ITX

    And paired it with this cpu, SR1BT - Intel Xeon E3-1220L v3 1.1 GHz 5 GT/s LGA 1150 CPU US free shipping

    I already had the cheap SODIMM, and a nice mini itx case which I got from Amazon, Amazon.com: IN-WIN Mini Tower Case BQS656.DD120BL: Computers & Accessories . Case was pricey, but it just looks so nice :)

    This setup replaces my Edgerouter ER8

    PS - oops forgot I also got a cheap HSF, although not sure if its really needed , Amazon.com: Zalman CPU Fan Cooling CNPS7000V-AL(PWM): Computers & Accessories
     
    #13
  14. mmo

    mmo Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2016
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    168
    The MB looks like only support Intel® Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Celeron® (Haswell).
     
    #14
  15. Marsh

    Marsh Moderator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,099
    Likes Received:
    950
    I have 8 of these Tyan S5533 boards , I used it everywhere, from NAS to Firewall.
    Tyan S5533GM2NR-LE Mini-ITX Mainboard Intel (1)Socket LGA1150 | eBay


    It has 2 Intel I210 + dedicated IPMI network port, full remote KVM support
    It supports Intel Xeon E3-1200 v3 & 4th Gen. Core i3-i5 series processors.
    Put in a regular lowly Pentium to I5 CPU, it would do everything you want.

    Can't wait for cheap E3 v3 CPU to flood the market.
     
    #15
    Jon Massey likes this.
  16. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    6,792
    Likes Received:
    1,460
    Not disagreeing there... Intel NICs here too :)
     
    #16
  17. epicurean

    epicurean Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    20
    Actually the Asrock board supports the Xeons too, I checked it up on their website.
     
    #17
  18. poutnik

    poutnik Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    13
    I don't know how easy it is for you to get one of the PC Engines apu2 systems, but they are small, silent and run extremely well. I'm running in total 3 of them, the oldest one is something like 10 years old (at least two generations old). I don't see myself using anything different if I have to deploy another one.
     
    #18
  19. rubylaser

    rubylaser Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    229
    That's why I just added a dual port PCIe Intel NIC instead. I don't use the onboard Realtek NIC at all[emoji1]

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
    #19
    T_Minus likes this.
  20. mackle

    mackle Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    34
    I love the form factor of the A2SAN-L (although way too pricey for me) - the two onboard NICs mean the case can be super small too.

    Anyone know of a smaller case than the ML05b, that supports a low profile NIC, 2.5 drive & a pico-psu? I'm weighing up just going 2u, if I can get a case sub-$50, but size-wise they're overkill (and the j3355b mobo is slightly too tall for 1u).
     
    #20
Similar Threads: Small Silent
Forum Title Date
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Help! I’m building a small FreeNAS server Nov 6, 2019
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Recommended HW for small but demanding company Sep 30, 2018
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Looking for help in building small NVMe storage based system Apr 9, 2018
DIY Server and Workstation Builds diy low power small footprint server guides Jan 10, 2018
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Small/cheap ESXi homelab server Oct 28, 2017

Share This Page