[rescue] Small Cheap Linux Board??

Nate nate at portents.com
Wed Dec 9 22:25:39 CST 2009

On Dec 9, 2009, at 10:02 PM, Lionel Peterson wrote:

> On Dec 9, 2009, at 12:14 PM, nate at portents.com wrote:
>> I went for overkill on my home network when I replaced my
>> Linksys WRT54G running Tomato firmware with pfSense running on an Intel
>> Atom ITX board with a quad 1000Base-T card
> What MB are you running? Most Atom MBs have one expansion slot, either PCI
or PCI Express 1x (Supermicro has a 'bigger' board, but you metion a quad
card, so I'm guessing you have one slot)...

Intel BOXD945GCLF motherboard, with a Silicom PXG4U quad gigabit card, which
is a PCI-X card (PCI backward compatible), Broadcom ethernet based.  I changed
the motherboard chipset heatsink to the later, lower-profile one Intel came
out with, to give a bit more clearance above the board, and I have it all
installed in the iStarUSA S3 STORM case, which is only 8.0" x 3.8" x 10.7"
(the case came with a right-angle PCI riser so the quad gigabit card is
parallel to the motherboard).  Now of course a quad gigabit card could exceed
plain PCI bandwidth, however, I know the chances of that happening on my home
network are very slim indeed because I doubt I will ever be taxing all four
ports at the same time.

Rather surprisingly, it only took a month for the motherboard chipset fan
bearings to start making a racket.  Not sure how Intel managed to find such a
lousy fan, but for a week I just disconnected it since the 80mm case fan put a
good amount of air through the case and I wasn't using the onboard graphics at
all with pfSense, so the chipset wasn't really being pushed that hard, and I
could find a suitable replacement.  After a lot of searching I found a 40mm x
40mm x 10mm fan that wasn't absurdly high RPM and claims to be long-lived...
the Evercool EGF-4, which is 3500RPM and 16dBa.  (Do I even need a chipset
fan?  Probably not, but it is winter so I don't really know for sure, and I
might as well play it safe for hotter summer conditions.)

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