(Update 04-25) DFI DT122 (AMD RX-427BB) Industrial ITX T730-a-like; $99 shipped w/ 8GB

nxsfan

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Jan 2, 2017
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For pfsense how loud are these boxes?
Out of the box they are too loud to have running in an office or similar. The CPU and PSU fans are quiet but the case intake fan is very loud. It is simple to unplug the case fan (or mod it) and I doubt you would have thermal issues if you were running in a room temperature environment.

I have been running pfsense on one of these (with an extra intel pci-e nic) for three months and it has been perfectly reliable.
 
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nxsfan

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Nice work mimino. Did you try flashing your box yet? The BE-170 in this box appears to be identical to the BE-171 minus the soldered on DC connection. I'm having some trouble using the AFUDOS utility.

I made a FreeDOS boot stick and put this AFUDOS.EXE and the BIOS on there. Invoking:
- `AFUDOS.EXE` or `AFUDOS.EXE /h` results in a hang with no output and I have to hard power off.

MD5s
AFUDOS.EXE: 91739a55b3584dfdad2631deb8928c0d
BE17XB8A.15A: e260635bc60af883e024befafd8020de
 

mimino

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Nov 2, 2018
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Yas, I did flash it the moment I got it. The only issue I ran into was that I had to use the '/GAN' option. Without it I was getting the "Secure flash function is not supported on this file" error. Apparently this option is gone from the newer AFUDOS versions, but the one I referenced still has it.
 

nxsfan

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OK. The problem was using HIMEM plus advanced features under FreeDOS. When I chose the most basic environment AFUDOS worked great.

Here was my flash command: afudos.exe BE17XB8A.15A /P /B /N /K

I did make a backup of the original BIOS although it won't let me attach it here.

The only difference I can see in the BIOS is the IOMMU option under the GFX Configuration sub-menu. I haven't tested IOMMU functions correctly yet but will update once I do so.
 
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FasterZcar

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Jan 18, 2019
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OK. The problem was using HIMEM plus advanced features under FreeDOS. When I chose the most basic environment AFUDOS worked great.

Here was my flash command: afudos.exe BE17XB8A.15A /P /B /N /K

I did make a backup of the original BIOS although it won't let me attach it here.

The only difference I can see in the BIOS is the IOMMU option under the GFX Configuration sub-menu. I haven't tested IOMMU functions correctly yet but will update once I do so.
Just looking for a bit of clarity, so you flashed the bios image posted by mimino in post #44 on the DFI BE170 motherboard that's found in the DFI DT122-BE?
 
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erik29gamer

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Jan 28, 2019
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Just looking for a bit of clarity, so you flashed the bios image posted by mimino in post #44 on the DFI BE170 motherboard that's found in the DFI DT122-BE?
Just want to confirm that I also flashed the above BIOS and everything is working fine!

Also poked around with UEFI Tool and AMIBCP, didn't see anything else obvious that could be unlocked (though I have almost no BIOS modding experience). UBU shows updates for almost every UEFI module, though I haven't tried flashing anything thats gone through that yet.

Edit: decided to just go for it. Updated all EFI modules other than network because the intel one gave an error and I decided to play it safe. Flashed with AFUDOS and everything is still functioning fine.
 
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arglebargle

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Quick note for anyone struggling to boot a FreeDOS USB to update -- I was unable to boot until I switched storage and video OPROM to "Legacy Only" in the CSM settings, otherwise the machine just hung trying to boot FreeDOS.

Also, I went ahead and patched all of the firmware and microcode with UBU except the Intel LAN code, there was a note that the GUID was only compatible up to a version below what UBU offered. I'm testing now, I'll upload the patched BIOS if it's functional and if anyone else is interested.
 

Ozymand

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Oct 17, 2014
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I'd be interested. I'm currently setting one up as a pfSense router and populating one of the serial ports (knocking out one of the blanks) so I can console in if I need to troubleshoot.
 

nxsfan

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I'd be interested. I'm currently setting one up as a pfSense router and populating one of the serial ports (knocking out one of the blanks) so I can console in if I need to troubleshoot.
I haven't tested it out but doesn't the realtek nic include some form of management console?
 

arglebargle

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I've got a machine on the way minus the heatsink so I had to go looking for compatible replacements, if anyone has a need for one in the future I ordered one of these. The motherboard uses a mPGA989/socketG2 compatible mount pattern so there are other options out there I'm sure.

Edit: The HS above is incompatible, the stock heatsink has an 1/8" protrusion in the center to make contact with the CPU die. I don't see any copper replacement options at this point.

I'm going to see about replacing all of the fans in my two boxes with quieter options, I'll post results when I do.

I'm starting to really warm up to these versus the HP T730, they're a bit noisier but the added space inside the case is great if you want to jam in extra storage and the fact that they're basically half the cost doesn't hurt either.

I'd be interested. I'm currently setting one up as a pfSense router and populating one of the serial ports (knocking out one of the blanks) so I can console in if I need to troubleshoot.
Alright, I'll post it to Google drive later today. I got Proxmox up and running on mine yesterday and it's been perfectly stable and functional so far.

I haven't tested it out but doesn't the realtek nic include some form of management console?
Yeah, these include IPMI (edit) AMD's DASH and support console redirection to either the network device or a serial port.

Edit: It's not standard IPMI, they support AMD's DASH IPMI-a-like system. I don't know much about working with this except that the only client I can find for it is Windows only.
 
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Ozymand

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I haven't tested it out but doesn't the realtek nic include some form of management console?
I had not realized it could redirect a management interface through the Realtek; the original intention was to bring over my Chromebook with USB-Serial dongle and serial in using Secure Shell for management. Now that's something else I'll need to look into for administration. Thanks!

I'm starting to really warm up to these versus the HP T730, they're a bit noisier but the added space inside the case is great if you want to jam in extra storage and the fact that they're basically half the cost doesn't hurt either.
I'd strongly agree with that sentiment. These appliances offer strong value and having the additional computational headroom allows me to add features like pfBlockerNG natively.
 

arglebargle

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Yeah, I picked up a second DFI from another forum member and I think I'm going to put my T730s up for sale.

I want to look at power draw comparisons again, I think I managed to get my HPs down to ~18W idle with no add-in NIC and between 24-27W with efficient 10Gb cards. I'm idling around 30W right now with a broadcom NIC in my DFI. 5-6W won't break the bank or anything, it's just impressive just how efficient the HP machine is.

Edit: Actually, in hindsight, the extra power draw on my DFI is probably the extra SSDs. Oops.

Edit: It looks like these use standard FlexATX PSUs after tearing one of mine apart.
 
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arglebargle

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Here's a copy of the IOMMU UEFI image with (almost) all of the device firmwares and microcodes updated. I skipped the Intel NIC because of warning messages stating that the latest firmware isn't compatible with the device. If anyone wants to test patching the latest Intel NIC firmware in and see what happens be my guest.

mod_BE17XB8A.7z

Additionally, here's a copy of the unpacked UEFI setup in case anyone wants to go fishing for disabled BIOS options that we might be able to patch in ourselves.

If you feel like attempting to hack on the UEFI yourself here's some info: [TUTORIAL] XPS 15 9550/9550 BIOS Advanced Options
 

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max88

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Jun 10, 2016
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Out of the box they are too loud to have running in an office or similar. The CPU and PSU fans are quiet but the case intake fan is very loud. It is simple to unplug the case fan (or mod it) and I doubt you would have thermal issues if you were running in a room temperature environment.

I have been running pfsense on one of these (with an extra intel pci-e nic) for three months and it has been perfectly reliable.
Where is the intake fan? Evilbay pics only show CPU and PSU fans.
 

arglebargle

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I don't have an intake fan on mine, I'm pretty sure both the PSU fan and case fan are exhaust. I'm going to see about replacing both with something quieter sometime soon.
 
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StammesOpfer

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Mar 15, 2016
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Where is the intake fan? Evilbay pics only show CPU and PSU fans.
Bottom left side of the picture. It goes through the side panel.
Edit: Exhaust not intake fan but it is the case fan that is not the CPU or PSU fan.
 
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