Upgrading my APU2C4 pfsense box

Upgrading my APU2C4 pfsense box

What’s a good alternative build to an APU2C4 pfsense box? I will be using it in my home. I use 2 x 24 Unifi switches in total. I have LAN, Guest, Management, and CCTV vlans. I have two wireguard site to site tunnels and one nordvpn openvpn tunnel, so I need an AES-NI cpu too. I would like to try Suricata IDS/IPS too. My Internet speed is 800/800 and and will probably want to future-proof and go with 2.5GbE ports if it makes sense (or is it too much)? Maybe, a total of three ports too just like the apu2c4. I don’t really use any other heavy packages aside from wireguard but it would be great to have a bit of a legroom.

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I like the HP 290 and HP S01. You can always switch out the NIC for whatever speed you’d like.

Does vipoutlet frequently restorck the S01?

Wyse 5070 (J5005) with secondary gigabit or 2.5 gigabit card

6W idle, total cost ~$120

i use this one: Mini Pcie Network Card M.2 A+e To Rtl8111f Gigabit Ethernet Card Single Port Rj45 Ethernet Network Card - Pc Hardware Cables & Adapters - AliExpress

even better: https://m.tb.cn/h.fuDC3zq?tk=tVI22nGPNYK
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=617615388521 (new link if above doesnt work)

(try superbuy if cant get shipped to your country)

Thanks but I don’t intend to use a non-Intel NIC with pfsense. Also, the second link you posted does not load for me, for some reason.

Then the PC’s above or the Acer in the Tech deals thread would be a good fit if power is less of a concern.

If you want Intel only, the extended version allows for a low profile PCI-e slot which can be used with a dual or quad Intel card.

The secondary cards have Intel options but the built-in is Realtek.

The link works for me but maybe its because I’m logged in, added a non-mobile link and a superbuy link that doesn’t require being logged in

I am still running a Dell R210II with a quad core xeon & 8gb of ecc ram an a 64gb ssd i aded a dul port 1gb nic but i am fixing to upgrade to a 4port 2.5gb Nic & We are a Heavy use home with lots of Tech 3-4 Dual Xeon servers 10gb network for all the servers as well as a 1gb our ism only has a 400 X 20 speeds well i have a 27u server rack that is full Plus 3 high end gaming pc’s (12 cores n one & 6 in the others) I have a lot of packages running on pfsense ad blocker,snort,an some others i cant remember right off & its worked great for 2 years ish & i have about 200+ day uptime as of today & it just works & its Very inexpensive now days

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FWIW I was in the process of specing out my replacement for my APU2D4, ordered parts and then it was killed by lightning/surge. Kinda sad I loved the thing. It just had issues meeting the ability of my 1.25Gbps broadband.

Anyhow this week I am supposed to have a HP T740 thin client delivered. Will be installing a IBM 81Y9993 Mellanox ConnectX Dual Port 10GbE Adapter Card and then will probably drop proxmox on it (8GB ram but will probably buy 32GB) and it has a 120Gb ssd. I will likely run Pfsense and if I can, I may try to get my MT7915 wifi adapter working(may have to run an openwrt vm too) that was in my APU, though I havent had a way to test if it survived.

Can the T740 accommodate a half-height PCIe adapter without any mods?

Yes, it has a PCIe Gen3 x8 riser that terminates in a x16 slot. HP used it for a GPU and perhaps other things. Pix here HP T740 Thin Client Review TinyMiniMicro with PCIe Slot - Page 2 of 4 - ServeTheHome they have used several nics in it and some people have even gotten 64Gb ram to work in it over in the servethehome forum. They suggest keeping the wattage to about 10w which covers a lot of good cards now. Good video review Thin Client w/ NIC for VMs and Firewalls HP T740 - YouTube (sorry to plug another site) and that video is what sold me on trying to find one cheap. They sell around 700-1200 new. Used on ebay you can get them as cheap as $277. They show video footage with a MCX4121A-ACAT installed and it has about 4mm to spare between the interior end of that card and the nearest daughterboard. That card is rated Typical: 9.6 watts Maximum: 15.0 watts and has 2x 25GbE SFP28.

I have purchased an adapter ( M.2 (NGFF) key A/E/A+E to Mini PCI-E Adapter with FFC Cable Case | eBay ) in the hopes of getting wifi running, ideally with an MT7915 but if my card is fried I will have to order a new one and meantime run one of my old AIRETOS AEX-QCA9880-NX if the adapter works.

I am very likely going to remove this from its chassis and mount in a 2U case along with my cable modem. After the lightning last week I realize having them in a chasis thats purposefully earth grounded might be a bit safer for myslef. LOL

EDIT: A link to a copy of the recycling disassembly guide for the product, gives a lot more shots of the interior. t740disassembly_deskto_2019812224034327.pdf - pCloud

Thanks for the detailed response! It’s indeed a very nice thin client. However, I don’t know if it’ll perform better than a sub-$100 AIO SFF desktop in terms of pfsense. Right now, I can get an HP ProDesk 400 G4 with an i3-7100 and 4GB of RAM at $75 shipped. That’s just me though and I could be wrong.

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Either will be a great router. So its down to personal preference. I needed something with >1Gbps ports since I have 1.2 Gbps service from xfinity that tests out around 1.34-1.4Gbps.

Right. For the ProDesk 400 G4, adding an SFP+ NIC will make it a multiGig router as well.

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Ahh see, when I googled it real quick, I did not note there was a Mini and not Mini version. Guess which it fed me first? The mini. So I thought it didnt have any slots. Interesting. That should work well for you at a great price!

Also I thought of this thread last night when I got an email from Aliexpress. Another device I had considered but ruled out as too new/unknown was this;

And a teardown you may need google translate for 路由器评测_R86S软路由拆机和小包测试 – 股票与金融

It has a LOT of great potential. My concern was it appears to be from a new not established company. Still I almost pulled the trigger on getting the GW-R86S-G3 ( chart of models 1 page down R86S Soft Routing Multi net port, Intel mini host N5105 8GB/16GB 10 Gigabit fiber port 2.5G| | - AliExpress )version. I still might, the 10 Gigabit version looks like it would be a lot of fun to test.

Ahaha, that’s what I thought.

Oh wow, that’s a cute but powerful router if it can handle 2.5GbE and 10GbE! Like you, I’m a bit skeptical with new companies. I’m sure it will work but BIOS support with these is almost non-existent.