PC Specs Small ad hoc SOHO firewall

Purchase or Last Upgrade Date
Jan 19, 2022
Estimated Value ($)
$600
Form factor
Desktop
Brand & Model
Custom PC
Installed OS
Win 11 & Pfsense.
CPU (Processor)
i3-10325
RAM (Memory)
2x8GB DDR4-2666
GPU (Graphics)
玄人志向 GT1030 2GB (GDDR5)
Motherboard
Maxsun H510-ITX Challenger
Storage
ADATA XPG SX8200 PRO 256GB
About
Extra device (other purpose)
Keyboard and Mouse
Philips SPT6314 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
My computer protection
Cylance Smart AV.
SysHardener.
NordPass and NordLocker.
Internxt Drive.
Hitman Pro.

Cleo

Level 4
Thread author
Verified
Well-known
May 25, 2020
156
Hi MalwareTips,
I need hardware advice. I'm hoping to put together a PC to act as a SOHO firewall. It will run in a class room and will be taken home during school holidays for Roblox use.
I have a couple of existing parts which I would like to integrate if it turns out they are compatible.
cpu) Intel i3-10325
mobo) Maxsun H510-ITX Challenger
gpu) 玄人志向 GF-GT1030-E2GB/LP/D5
m.2) ADATA XPG SX8200 PRO 256GB
If my i3 isn't compatible, I can get a cheap i5-10600K but I'd rather not so as to keep cooling requirements lower.

The build would be ideally suited to a nice ITX case - I'm not glued to any in particular but I do like IQUNIX designs. Prefer prices under 350USD for the case.
The smaller the better.

I don't mind taking out the GPU and using a network card during school term as the chip is technically an APU but I'm also open to a managed external switch.

OS during term will be Pfsense if I can wrap my head around the install and Win11 during holidays. I wouldn't mind getting a separate Win 11 gaming drive to swap in when needed.

What's a good option for the networking aspect? How does a 4 port Intel network card sound? Would that create much heat? The internets max is 120/60mbps.
If I use a managed switch into the mobo's single ethernet port will that overload it? H10 is a budget chipset.
The likely wired network load isn't going to be that high. A 4K TV, a laptop and a NAS will be all. Its not going to be a Wi-Fi access point.

I'm also after RAM sticks and a PSU if there are any good suggestions but they probably won't matter.
Thanks.
 

JoyousBudweiser

Level 14
Verified
Top poster
Well-known
Aug 22, 2013
688
How many devices you want to control using your SOHO firewall? is it just 4K TV, a laptop and just Nas? if so the power overhead of using a dedicated pc ( approximate of 200W to 250W) is just waste of money. Get a Netgate 1100, it will be much more economical (5W) to run and you can add a cheap switch to increase the LAN ports plus it will only cost as much as a good 4 port intel LAN card.
 
Last edited:

Cleo

Level 4
Thread author
Verified
Well-known
May 25, 2020
156
How many devices you want to control using your SOHO firewall? is it just 4K TV, a laptop and just Nas? if so the power overhead of using a dedicated pc ( approximate of 200W to 250W) is just waste of money. Get a Netgate 1100, it will be much more economical (5W) to run and you can add a cheap switch to increase the LAN ports plus it will only cost as much as a good 4 port intel LAN card.
How many devices you want to control using your SOHO firewall? is it just 4K TV, a laptop and just Nas? if so the power overhead of using a dedicated pc ( approximate of 200W to 250W) is just waste of money. Get a Netgate 1100, it will be much more economical (5W) to run and you can add a cheap switch to increase the LAN ports plus it will only cost as much as a good 4 port intel LAN card.
That’s an excellent solution but no fun.
I’m going to tinker and recycle so I’d still like to know how to get a solid working machine as outlined. It must have some kind of basic Win 11 seat potential. I might expand the switching load later and virtualise pfsense.
 

Cleo

Level 4
Thread author
Verified
Well-known
May 25, 2020
156
In the end I just decided to use it as a Win11 PC for when I visit home. I got a bad false positive from Cylance so they are out on the naughty step for a while. I'm using K7 with SecureAPlus now. I wasn't able to get the GPU I had planned as ark-pc.co.jp wasn't friendly with my VISA card. The Intel UHD 630 is fine for desktop work. It runs very cool and silent. The ADATA drive was replaced with an Intel 670p 1TB. I settled on a X12STN-E for my baby pfsense box.