pfS_WAAAT i5-3470T / Intel VT1000 / 1U Rack Mount Firewall/Router

Build is being modified.

  • CPU Cooler
  • Chassis Fan
  • Removed a PCI-E Extender

Stay Tune for Update. Deliveries expected by Saturday.

Objective: To find a better solution to handle my WideOpenWest Gigabit (1000 Down/50 Up) connection with the following features without setup hassles than my USG:

  • OpenVPN Hosting
  • DuckDNS
  • VLANs
  • Ad Blocking
  • Traffic Logging

I originally started out looking for a 2U chassis to use with my Gigabit GA-7TESM serverboard that’s currently sitting in a box doing nothing, but my search of 2U chassis immediately resulted in chassis costs that didn’t justify the project, so I started the search for a 1U solution.

Using JDM’s Mini-ITX pfSense guide, I got started building my 1U firewall. Though the push is to either build in/on a SFF Case/Test Bench I wanted it to be rack mountable so it could join the other toys in my new “OverRunner Rack” COZisBack's OverRunner Rack [WIP] instead of sitting on a shelf.

Going 1U did bring on a challenge. The chassis I selected had very little clearance to fit the Titan CPU cooler and I immediately ran into an issue figuring out how I was going to connect the PCI-E Intel Quad Port NIC. The Intel PRO/VT1000 manual states that a PCI-E x4 slot is required for proper functionality. If you start a search on Amazon for x4 extension cable you’re going to find results of a bunch of junk or severly overpriced cables, so stepping up to a x16 cable was my first thoughts. I found a quality cable, but it was so nice that it didn’t fit. So I went back the chassis page on Amazon and started reading what people were using as a solution. I found a guy that was using a PCI-E riser (straight) and a 90 degree PCI-E riser. After searching through Amazon I was able to find parts to mirror his setup.

To be continued…

Temps Update From BIOS

CPU Fan Speed: 1041 RPM

  • CPU Temp: 74°C
  • PCH Temp: 70°C
  • RAM Temp: 53°C
  • VR Temp: 54°C

Update: I recommend a modification to my setup.

I’m switching up the CPU cooler due to the the lid of the chassis pushing down on the fan and you can hear it contacting the heatsink.

I’m switching to:

Go with a 90 degree riser. Remove the lower bracket and slide the PCI-E directly into the 90 degree riser instead of another extension. 1 less piece to worry about.

Hey @COZisBack, color me stupid but how did you get the 16x 90 into the 4x slot on the MB? I don’t see any notches in the riser and the female connector on the MB has a solid back.

The 4x 90 you listed sits too high to align with the NIC in my case (different model than yours) but the 16x look a bit more low profile and may work if they’ll fit the MB connector.


The Intel DQ77KB has open ended x4 PCI-E.

Not mine. Unless I’m missing something simple. Here’s what I have.

Yeah, not exactly sure why ours are different.

Configuration update. I’ll get around to updating the post above tomorrow, but here’s our new temps:

CPU Fan Speed: 1434 RPM
System Fan Speed: 1785 (New)

CPU Temp: 54°C
PCH Temp: 48°C
RAM Temp: 39°C
VR Temp: 40°C