Help on specs for a quiet, PFSense build for 1G Fiber

I am having to replace an older box I was using for my pfsense box. Initially using a older gen i5 (can’t remember which ____ bridge version it was, think Sandy) that had AES-NI, with an addon NIC that gave me the two necessary ports. Sadly the cooler went out on it (was about time, I have had this one for years, it was time for something in the watercooler to give out) and I figured now would be a good time to get something that sips considerably less power and potentially has a smaller footprint to boot.

I have no issue building my own rig, just would like some advice on what is the (technically) lightest version of processor I could use that could get me AES-NI and manage a gigabit connection without losing any speed. Or more of interest, is there a website like the Intel Ark set for AMD that shows all the included instruction sets? I could figure something out on ebay from there, but finding out if there is support for newer instruction sets would be a boon.

Does i3 vs. i5 make a difference in being able to access the full speeds of my connection, or would there be any loss when adding on any type of security? (Part of the reason I went pfsense over off the shelf router was loss of speeds when adding on network security and the like)

Thanks in advance.

HP 290 or HP S01, IMO. Either will be plenty for gigabit fiber.


Either of the new Alder Lake Celeron G6900 ($42+ list) or Pentium Gold G7400 ($64+) would be great—especially if you’re going to do any filtering. Unfortunately, even the least expensive FCLGA1700 motherboards are over $100.

Alder Lake Celeron Matches i9-10900K in Single-Core Benchmark

Totally a waste of money for this project.

What is the Dell equivalent to the S01 ?

There really isn’t one, not at the same price point at least.

Pulled the trigger on a HP S01, should have it here soon. Looking forward to dropping my current pfsense install for a smaller, sleeker, less power hungry device.

Think I’m going to install Unraid on the box, install some spare hard drives I’ve got laying around and actually finally have a nice little NAS laying around, could also probably have some fun with that, especially if I can work some plex and transcoding into that rig…

Always something to look into.

1 Like

I would keep Pfsense as a dedicated appliance.

Oh, absolutely.

What I meant by “drop my current pfsense install for smaller sleeker” is to replace my old desktop (custom built i5-6600k) for the HP S01, which will fit in the slot so much better (as well as be better on that small section of my apartment for heat generation and such).

Since I’ll now have a decently specced desktop sitting around though (with a plethora of SATA ports and such), I can then revamp it (install the hard drives I have laying around, use the two SSD’s that I have installed in that rig currently as cache drives) into an unraid box and actually use the hardware that is laying around in it (32 GB ram, i5-6600k processor, a couple of NVidia GPU’s, etc etc)

Might even be able to upgrade the ram in it if I can cannibalize the other retired desktop I have laying around… time to ponder.

So network will look like att stuff > HP S01 > netgear switch > “all the things”