Part 1: Hardware Review
First let's review my previous build:
- Intel Xeon E3-1260L 45W TDP LGA155 - $36 Ebay
- Silverstone Tek Super Slim Profile CPU Cooler - 21.99 Amazon
- Intel DQ77KB LGA 1155 Mini-ITX Motherboard - $45 Ebay
- 8GB 2x4GB DDR3 PC3-10600 1333MHz 204PIN SODIMM - $19.99 Ebay
- TCSUNBOW MSATA Mini PCIe 120GB - $25.99 Amazon
- Genuine E1G44HTBLK INTEL I340-T4 QUAD PORT NIC - $44.99 Ebay
- T POWER UL Listed (19v 65w-90w) Ac Adapter - $19.99 Amazon
- iStarUSA D Value D-118V2-ITX 1U Rackmount Mini-ITX Server Chassis - $51.99 Ebay
- Noctua NF-A4x10 PWM (2x) - $27.90 Amazon
- Electop 4 Pack Case Fan Y Splitter, PWM Cable 4 Pin 1 to 2 Converter (4 pack) - $8.99 Amazon
Originally I wanted this box to do a lot: route, VLAN,IDS/IPS, adblock (via pfblockng). It did everything I asked of it, though the only thing I never got around to was setting up IDS/IPS vis suricata. Now I don't really care about IDS/IPS. I really just want a stable router as I've run into another issue: overheating. I'm not sure why it's over overheating. I'm not sure if dust has gotten in the HSF (I've blown it out) or the Intel NIC card is too hot. The chassis I chose in retrospect isn't that great as it doesn't have great thermals. And if I'm going to rebuild I certainly don't want 40mm fans running at full speed.
So what are my goals this build:
- Power draw
In this iteration I've decided to take a radical departure. Instead of using a traditional CPU/Motherboard combo I've opted for an Intel SoC (System on a Chip). I'm looking at the ASROCK J4125B-ITX and ASROCK J5005-ITX, although I"m leaning towards the J4125B-ITX as it has a larger PCIe connector leaving me with more NIC options. Both of these are 10W CPUs. Since the J4125B was released in Q4'19 and the E30-1260L was released Q2'11 I wanted to compare performance to see how much performance I'm sacrificing. Here's the Passmark comparison. Surprisingly only a 26.4% difference. Passmark rates the E3-1260L 2.4Ghz as 4080 and single core as 1424, where the J4125 rates at 2984 and single core at 1169 (a 17.9% difference). I believe the E3-1260L surpasses so much in the top mark as it has hyperthreading where the J4125 does not have hyperthreading.
As far as SSD and Memory go I'm planning on using a traditional SATA Crucial BX500 200GB SSD and 16GB Crucial DDR4-2400 17CL SODIMM kit. I have to brag because I got them both for $8 a piece. A savings from retail of roughly $85.
As far as chassis, PSU and NIC go I'm not sure. I'm considering upping to a Rosewill RSV-Z2700U since I have 2Us free in my 6U network rack. Though I do want to add sliding rails for easier access. Also for NIC I'm considering going to an i350-T4. I'd love to put an x540-T2 in it but I don't know if the motherboard can handle it. I'd love to be ready for >1GB internet, but more than likely it'll be time to rebuild by the time that happens.
So after much wracking of brains I decided on a chassis and power supply. I picked an Athena Power RM-1U100DM and paired it with a SuperMicro PWS-201-1H. I got the Chassis for $138 from Newegg and the PSU for $64 from Ebay. I could have gotten the PSU from UK for $20 cheaper, but I didn't want to wait 2 weeks for shipping.
This should put my build at roughly $350. I was hoping to keep it under 300, but considering what a an equivalent NetGate pfsense appliance costs it's still a good deal. I think the chassis I picked this time should be better since it has 4 40mm fans (I know it's not going to be super quiet), but the PSU should be pretty quiet.
The NIC should be in by Thursday. The J4125B-ITX should be in on Monday. The PSU should be in sometime between Sat, Jul 23 - Wed, Jul 27. Not sure when the chassis should be in. I also bought some half height brackets for the NIC.
The Supermicro PSU does not work with this chassis. Two problems: 1) The psu does not fit the chassis. None of the holes to screw in the PSU line up. It looks like it's designed only to work with Supermicro chassis. 2) The power cable (20 pin) doesn't reach to the motherboard.
I was able to spin up the 4x 40mm fans to see how loud they are and honestly they aren't that loud. This is going to be about as quiet as my current build. The HSF on the old build was the loudest part (especially when the fan is unbalanced and makes a clicking sound).
So I eneded up changing it out with a Flex PSU, specifically a FSP Group FSP250-60FAG. It's a desktop PSU designed for small form factor cases which also happens to work for 1U cases. That actually makes my build slightly cheaper and in line with my previous build. The PSU I got for 23.99 bringing the grand total to about $305.