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 From:  "Chris Bagnall" <m0n0wall at minotaur dot cc>
 To:  "'Chris Buechler'" <cbuechler at gmail dot com>, <m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch>
 Subject:  RE: [m0n0wall] PIX vs m0n0wall testing -- requesting input (was: Re: [m0n0wall] Re: Re: Re: to Wrap or to Soekris that is my question? What about VIA?)
 Date:  Sat, 18 Dec 2004 17:41:54 -0000
> I just spec'ed a Biostar, 128 MB DDR, and a Sempron 2200+ 
> CPU, from newegg.com at $285.50 USD, not including shipping.  
> Add a two port NIC off ebay at probably $25, and a IDE to CF 
> adapter at about $20, and you have a $330 USD box.  Oh, and I 
> forgot a heatsink, so add another $15, so $345.

Looking at it from the Soekris perspective, let's go with the cheapest unit
available:
net4501-30 with case: $181
Power supply: $16
Optional vpn1411 (quite important if you're running VPN over WLAN on one of
the extra interfaces and not all your clients can support WPA encryption):
$68
Shipping to UK: $35 - $50 (according to the website)
Total: $300 - $315

Those Biostar SFF boxes include the Heatsink/Fan combo, by the way :-)
There's really not much difference between the two.

> But, you're 
> missing one of the main benefits of the WRAP/Soekris 
> platform.  No noise, very low power consumption, no moving 
> parts to fail.  On that box, you lose a CPU fan or PS fan, 
> and you're dead in the water.  Given my luck with PC fans in 
> general, I don't like that risk.  :)

I agree with you on the no moving parts argument.

Most of the m0n0wall (and IPCop, before I discovered m0n0wall) installs I've
deployed at clients' premises have been in the celeron 300 - 433 range,
often built from retired machines. Those CPUs seem to run reliably without
active cooling at all provided you've got a decent sized heatsink on them (I
tend to find the ones that come free with Athlon processors work rather well
and since most of the new machines I build for people get Thermalright
heatsinks on them anyway, I usually have a few spare).

In many cases it's perfectly safe to take the fan out of the power supply
(or at least 7v it for reduced noise). In fact, the m0n0wall behind me is a
celeron 433 with a passive heatsink and no fan in the power supply. It's run
100% stable since I switched from Freesco to m0n0 at the start of the year.
Many of my m0n0 deployments also have no moving parts, just accomplished in
a different way. ;-)

> You could also say a WRAP or Soekris using 1/10th the power is good
> for the environment.  :)   (might not be 1/10th, but it's a lot less)

Last time I had a decent meter, I did actually test the power consumption of
the celeron box I use for m0n0 here at home. Turns out it was drawing about
the same as the gigabit switch sitting next to it - around 54W. Don't know
how that compares to the WRAP/Soekris offerings, but I wouldn't have thought
there's much in it. Of course, the Biostar + Sempron 2200+ system would
obviously consume substantially more...

I fear I might have stirred up a hornet's nest here, for which I apologize.
;-)

Regards,

Chris
-- 
C.M. Bagnall, Partner, Minotaur
Tel: (07010) 710715   Mobile: (07811) 332969   ICQ: 13350579
AIM: MinotaurUK   MSN: minotauruk at hotmail dot com   Y!: Minotaur_Chris
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