So what started as a total impulse buy when I saw the Intel DQ77KB drop to $50, ended up being a complete pfSense for about $116 based mostly off parts suggested by JDM.
I currently run pfSense virtualized via ESXi and it works just dandy, but I’m tired of cleaning out cat hair (I never wanted the cat in the first place) & dust in my server and killing the internet for the rest of the house.
Need, meet Opportunity.
So the parts list:
|Motherboard||Intel DQ77KB Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard||$50.00||eBay|
|CPU Cooler||ARCTIC Alpine 12 LP||$8.99||Amazon|
|RAM||4GB 2x2GB DDR3 PC3-10600 1333MHz 204PIN SODIMM LAPTOP||$8.45||eBay|
|SSD||Samsung 16GB mSATA||$6.65||eBay|
|Case||Goodisory 0.6mm SECC Mini ITX Black Chassis (05)||$22.90||Amazon|
|Power Supply||Dell 65w laptop charger from a broken Latitude e6430||$0.00||Work|
Since I’m doing absolutely nothing fancy with networking at home, the 2 ports on the motherboard were all I needed, so I was able to save a few bucks on a non 1u case or having to buy a dual or quad port NIC.
Idle power usage is about 19.4 watts, and a client doing a speedtest makes this box peak around 27 watts. It’s dead silent, and the power light is a soft blue (and plugging in the power light is optional )
I didn’t bother with the IO shield because it’s half height and this case is meant for a full IO shield, but whatever.
I tucked a little bit of the wire into the front panel space. To the right is a space for a 40mm x 10mm case fan, but this setup is barely warm, though putting the case sideways seemed to give me better thermal action.
From the broken donor laptop that netted me the free power supply, also netted me 2x 4GB sodimms, so even though I bought the 2gb sodimms I ended up not using them. I’m well aware that 8GB of ram on a pfSense box that’s only ever going to route and see VPN duty, is very much overkill. But it was free so why not?
Also, the CPU is also a bit overkill, but it was super cheap.
Thanks @JDM_WAAAT for making this happen via all of your research - I appreciate it man.