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.

1 Like

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

1 Like

How loud is the build? I also see that you have a couple noctuas not in the build list. Did you have those lying around? I’m looking at options for pfSense and it looks like it’s coming down to this or a Dell R210ii off ebay.

It’s practically impossible to hear this build in my current setup. I bought the Noctuas after to reduce temps. I’ll stop being a lazy ass this weekend and get around to updating the build list.

This probably isn’t the best place to ask, but are you using IDS/IPS? Do you think this build would kneecap a connection like yours? I just got Gigabit internet.

You’ll be fine. I have gigabit as well. The processor isn’t having any issues. You may want some more RAM but that’s it.

I haven’t set up package inspection yet.

I know I keep bothering you but I’m buying parts and just curious exactly which Noctuas those are. NF-A4x20 PWM or NF-A4x20 5V PWM.

You’re fine buddy. No hassle, we’re here to help. You don’t want the 5V. They’re not supported in this circumstance. So just the regular PWM.

How did you mount the fans? Did you have to take the front panel off? I’m putting mine together, but I’m kind of stuck on that.

Also what settings did you use for Fans? Would you mind taking a screenshot of your bios? My CPU fan was spinning at first, but now it’s stopped and has me freaked out. I think the settings are off, but I’m not sure.

Took a picture from my phone

Yeah, you have to take the front panel off to mount the fans. That’s also the time you should mount your rack ears to the rear.

My Fans are on default bios settings.

Any updates for us on this build?

Yes but I have some heavy cable management cleanup that I need need to do in my rack first. I’ll update next week.

Are you able to add a HDD or SSD to this build with the intel NIC installed? Based off the pictures I’d assume not, but figured I’d ask.

You should be able to fit two SSDs, but not HDDs.

1 Like

Thought so. Also, why did you have to move the rack ears to the rear of the case? Or was I misunderstanding your answer to Digital_Addict ?