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Hardware for a SW Router Build

Last response: in Systems
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August 30, 2010 2:35:11 PM

Hello all,

Bear with me while I explain the situation and what I want to do:

For my small Home-network I am looking to build a software router box either from existing hardware I have or to buy it new. I will likely go with Astaro (the Software Router).


The requirements are basically gigabit lan/wan (either buy buying 2 NICs or buying 1 and using the onboard networking on the MoBos).
There is another thread here explaining the background in more detail if interested (basically that a poor router is older and annoying me). If you want to see that here is the link.

What I currently have is two older PCs lying around:

The first is an SN95G5 shuttle PC. The most I could find out about it was from this review. It has a Marvell Yukon 88E8001 Gigabit Ethernet chipset already built in. And it has 1 AGP and 1 PCI slot.

The 2nd is an older desktop model with a COMPAQ EVO W4000 WORKSTATION MOTHERBOARD. It has 3-5 PCI expansion slots.

In both of these cases I am assuming PCI means PCI 1.0.

I would like to have a gigabit LAN and WAN connection, but would either of these PCs be able to make full use out of it?
From what I read the PCI slots share a bandwith limit of 133 MByte/sec (read on wikipedia).
In the shuttle review it is mentioned that the onboard gigabit controller shares bandwith with the PCI slot as well.

Can anyone verify my hypothesis? In the expansion slot I would plug a gigabit NIC (or 2 in the case of the desktop). Otherwise these PCs both meet the specifications for a software router.

More about : hardware router build

August 31, 2010 12:13:41 PM

Is anyone able to help with this issue/question? I would rather not cop out a few 100 for a completely new system (unless necessary).

Perhaps I am not in the correct forum section, although it is basically about building/rebuilding some hardware.

If anything is unclear please mention it so I can explain it better.
September 3, 2010 1:29:25 PM

After looking into it, I decided it is likely not worth using a system or parts that are almost 10 years old. I will just build a new one.

Can anyone help me pick out some cost effecient parts?

What is needed:

The minimum specs listed are as below, but since I am a small Home user you can use those as the "system to get":

IntelTM Pentium 4 @1.5 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 20 GB hard disk drive and above


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sooner the better

BUDGET RANGE: The most cost effecient solution possible.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Software Router.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: No peripherals needed.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Europe

PARTS PREFERENCES: No Pref

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: N/a

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: 2 NICs will be needed. PCI-E 1x MoBo type preferred.
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September 3, 2010 3:59:54 PM

Just curious as to why you are doing this? Why not just use a hardware router? You can have a single PC that cats as a NAS + Firewall + server (that directs traffic, basically, everything goes through this system) instead of just trying to create a software based router.
September 4, 2010 9:37:54 AM

Well, the reason is I have several PCs attached to the network here at home. Some gaming, some light use and a few with P2P running. My current router is on it's last legs and after spending a few days/weeks browsing router reviews none of them seem all that stellar performance wise (handling many connections mainly) for less than 100+ Euros.

It would also be an interesting little project.
!