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Old July 17, 2010, 12:19 PM
steers's Avatar
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Default Project: Guardian - Mini-ITX FreeBSD Firewall

Hey guys, I've got the building bug again, but this time I felt the desire to go with smaller form factor, lower-power parts. To justify building another computer, I've decided that I'm going to configure it as a perimeter firewall, router and VPN appliance for our network. I'll either be going with a distribution like pfSense, or maybe just straight FreeBSD and configuring it from scratch. In any case, below is what I've got planned as far as hardware:
  • Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Mini-ITX motherboard
  • Core i3 530
  • Silverstone Sugo SG06B
  • Kingston SSDNow V II 64GB
  • Kingston HyperX 2x2GB DDR3-1600
  • Corsair H50 w/ TFC Triebwerk (low-speed, 61CFM)
  • Intel PCIe Desktop Gigabit NIC
As far as naming goes, since it's gonna be a firewall, I think I'm gonna call it Bob. You know, to mend and defend and all that jazz

Anyway, I've picked up the case, mobo and CPU from Canada Computers, so I'm just gonna fiddle around with those today before I order the rest. Stay tuned though, this is a cheap one so it'll probably be done pretty quick. Since it is so cheap, I think this is gonna be the build I take my foray into modding with. I'm actually considering sleeving the power supply and painting the case, so I guess we'll see what happens with that





Update:
Just playing around with all this tiny hardware is weird. I mean, just look at the size of this case:



Not only that, but the motherboard itself makes the case look huge!





So, the plan is to mount the radiator for the H50 up front on the main intake. It seems there's enough room up here even to do a push/pull, though I doubt it's necessary for this build



Seeing Bill's most recent worklog really made me want to try out one of those UN Design mounts for the SSD. Especially since I don't plan on using an optical drive in this build (and thus also must remove the internal 3.5"/2.5" bays). Luckily I've got plenty of room for it over in one of the unused expansion slots.



Man, it's like the motherboard doesn't even make a splash.



Thinking I might try my hand at sleeving with this crappy little pack-in power supply. It's 80Plus certified at least, but I'm really not worried about power demands so much with this machine

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Balthasar - Loop: EK Multi 150 > MCP655 w/X-Top2 > Feser X-Changer 360 w/3x Panaflo 68cfm (push) > Heatkiller 3.0 > EK-FC275 > EK-FB Classified
Caspar - 2x Xeon E5504 | SuperMicro X8DAi | 12GB DDR3 | Radeon HD4850 | CM ATCS840
Melchior - Rev. A MacBook Pro | 2.0GHz Core Duo | 2GB DDR2 | Radeon X1600

---
Bob - Core i3 530 | Gigabyte H55N-USB3 | 4GB DDR3 | Corsair H50 w/ TFC Triebwerk | Silverstone SG06

Last edited by steers; July 22, 2010 at 02:47 PM.
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Old July 17, 2010, 12:53 PM
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Update:
Drilled the 3/16" hole for the bracket and got that installed, so I threw a bunch of the hardware back in the chassis to take a pic. Things are starting to shape up pretty nicely. Unfortunately, the longest Home Hardware sells 6/32 screws is 2", so it looks like I'm shopping online for em. Ah well, I need to order some Techflex anyway.

Yeah, I've decided I'm definitely going to be trying my hand at uni-sleeving with this power supply. I need to cut down the cables anyhow, so I figured what the hell. Techflex may not be the best, but it's cheap and comes in blue to match (most of) the build. Maybe if I find I have an affinity for sleeving I'll consider handing Nils my shopping list, but not this time I don't think.

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Balthasar - Loop: EK Multi 150 > MCP655 w/X-Top2 > Feser X-Changer 360 w/3x Panaflo 68cfm (push) > Heatkiller 3.0 > EK-FC275 > EK-FB Classified
Caspar - 2x Xeon E5504 | SuperMicro X8DAi | 12GB DDR3 | Radeon HD4850 | CM ATCS840
Melchior - Rev. A MacBook Pro | 2.0GHz Core Duo | 2GB DDR2 | Radeon X1600

---
Bob - Core i3 530 | Gigabyte H55N-USB3 | 4GB DDR3 | Corsair H50 w/ TFC Triebwerk | Silverstone SG06

Last edited by steers; July 25, 2010 at 09:08 PM.
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Old July 17, 2010, 01:35 PM
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That is quite the hardcore router.
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Old July 19, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Without disclosed purpose I would assume this will be nice Media PC build.
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Old July 19, 2010, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor_f View Post
Without disclosed purpose I would assume this will be nice Media PC build.
It most certainly would, especially in conjunction with the server I built not too long ago (a month I think it was ).

Just as with the server, this computer is going to be primarily a learning tool for me. I work with embedded-level networking and FreeBSD every day at work, so I figure that by bringing that sort of system into my home network, practical mastery could be achieved. I am short a few gigabit traffic generators to test it out though
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Balthasar - Loop: EK Multi 150 > MCP655 w/X-Top2 > Feser X-Changer 360 w/3x Panaflo 68cfm (push) > Heatkiller 3.0 > EK-FC275 > EK-FB Classified
Caspar - 2x Xeon E5504 | SuperMicro X8DAi | 12GB DDR3 | Radeon HD4850 | CM ATCS840
Melchior - Rev. A MacBook Pro | 2.0GHz Core Duo | 2GB DDR2 | Radeon X1600

---
Bob - Core i3 530 | Gigabyte H55N-USB3 | 4GB DDR3 | Corsair H50 w/ TFC Triebwerk | Silverstone SG06
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Old July 23, 2010, 10:54 AM
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So all the parts have arrived already (yesterday, actually), which just leaves me with a few more things to do before I go about cramming everything in that little box. I did a test-fit with the H50 and the Triebwerk, and it's going to be an interesting task getting that to fit in proper.

I'm going back home this weekend and I'm bringing the chassis back with me. Need to drill a hole in the base to affix the SSD mount, and I need to pick up some beastly 6/32 screws so I can properly mount the Triebwerk on the rad. I'll be posting some more updates on Monday, most likely.
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Balthasar - Loop: EK Multi 150 > MCP655 w/X-Top2 > Feser X-Changer 360 w/3x Panaflo 68cfm (push) > Heatkiller 3.0 > EK-FC275 > EK-FB Classified
Caspar - 2x Xeon E5504 | SuperMicro X8DAi | 12GB DDR3 | Radeon HD4850 | CM ATCS840
Melchior - Rev. A MacBook Pro | 2.0GHz Core Duo | 2GB DDR2 | Radeon X1600

---
Bob - Core i3 530 | Gigabyte H55N-USB3 | 4GB DDR3 | Corsair H50 w/ TFC Triebwerk | Silverstone SG06
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Old July 25, 2010, 09:58 PM
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I'm curious, will you be overclocking? If so, please tell us how it is on an ITX board. Very nice build!
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Old July 25, 2010, 10:16 PM
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Don't bother with Techflex sleeving its crap.

It works for more of a temporary solution, but the weave isn't that tight and stuff shows through very easy.
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Old July 26, 2010, 04:52 AM
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all considering the lack of need for alot of processing power, he probably wont OC it just so he keeps the heat and power consumption down. however considering the H50, he may be.
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Old July 26, 2010, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
Don't bother with Techflex sleeving its crap.

It works for more of a temporary solution, but the weave isn't that tight and stuff shows through very easy.
Dag. Well, I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and order from MDPC then. At 7.95 EUR/10m (~$0.32/ft) it's only $0.03/ft more than techflex anyway (plus shipping). Especially considering all the cables I'll be sleeving will end up being a foot or less, that's not bad at all.

I'm not in a huge hurry to finish this, so I'll probably even wait until I finish sleeving before I get er running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bissa View Post
all considering the lack of need for alot of processing power, he probably wont OC it just so he keeps the heat and power consumption down. however considering the H50, he may be.
With the H50 I'd say I definitely have the headroom for overclocking, but the primary reason I went with it was to get around the 78mm max cooler height. I've never been impressed by low-profile coolers, so I figured the H50 was a great compromise in that regard. The one oversight I made was the length and rigidity of the tubing, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem since they do seem quite flexible and resilient. I'll see what options I have once I get it running, but I think I may opt for stability and power efficiency over speed this time around.
__________________
Balthasar - Loop: EK Multi 150 > MCP655 w/X-Top2 > Feser X-Changer 360 w/3x Panaflo 68cfm (push) > Heatkiller 3.0 > EK-FC275 > EK-FB Classified
Caspar - 2x Xeon E5504 | SuperMicro X8DAi | 12GB DDR3 | Radeon HD4850 | CM ATCS840
Melchior - Rev. A MacBook Pro | 2.0GHz Core Duo | 2GB DDR2 | Radeon X1600

---
Bob - Core i3 530 | Gigabyte H55N-USB3 | 4GB DDR3 | Corsair H50 w/ TFC Triebwerk | Silverstone SG06

Last edited by steers; July 26, 2010 at 06:09 AM.
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