[Guide] JDM's Mini-ITX pfSense builds

I never built a device but keep looking into something. every time I look at old used equipment for the task I find a few dollars more gets a new device with more power effecient hardware. I think I want to make a N100 processor based device using the ASROCK N100DC-ITX board. Embedded N100 processor, one PCI 4x slot (I think typing from memory) one M.2 NVME slot uses standard DDR4 ram.

Using a 2 port 2.5GB NIC, and 16GB of ram and the board I was around 225 for a new router/gateway device that is probably overkill but is only clicking 12 or so watts to run. the cost pays for itself in one year I think.

Should probably just look for something like a Prodesk 400 G4 or similar and add in whatever NIC you want. It’s going to be less and use approximately the same energy. Will also have full bandwidth slots which can’t hurt.

Granted, this IS a thread about building your own and on itx but, if your primary motivation is the total draw, no sense in throwing money after the n100

OK so what draw through would a prodesk 400 or similar system run? I figure it can’t possibly run any lower than 40W. a N100 based board with ram, the NVME, the NIC should come in around 20W.

so let’s say 20W savings, 24x7x365. For me power is 0.12KwH.

so 20W per day, 24 hours x 7 days x 365 = 1,226 KWh * 0.12 = $147. Roughly.

So prodesk with Nic and probably more or new ram etc - 120 once in your hands, give or take.

N100 board thing, ram, nvme, nic - 240-260, or get a netbox from ali express, or amazon… (topton, cwwk, etc). also around 250 but more than 2 ports. after the first year of electric use - cost comes even or better, and after that it’s just gravy.

The Prodesk? Something like 12-20w, not sure.

So I have to admit after typing that I got the maths wrong. Note despite how the phraseing goes. 24,7 365 math wise it’s just 24x365

so 24 * 365*20W = 175.2Kwh leading to 21 dollars a year.

ok so 5 year payback, roughly

As a router how much underload do you think it would run most of the time with IDS/IPS active? I have to imagine it would be 50% load most of the time.

A pfsense box based on a Prodesk 400 G4 is at about 1% cpu utilization at any given time, far as I’ve seen.
Don’t know about continual IDS/IPS but at the same time is that actually a thing you need?
Additionally, % cpu utilization will not correspond directly to % power draw. There isn’t a lot of sense in trying to drive down power utilization in a system that’s going to run in the neighborhood of 12-20w

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doubt it I mean to be fair I’m replacing an edge router that does the job I just want to run a better router with adblock and other features.