- CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2667v4 with Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black
- Mainboard: Machinist MR9S (find on eBay)
- RAM: 16GB (4x4GB) Kingston DDR4-2400 Registered ECC
- Chassis: NZXT H440 Black
- Power: EVGA 1050 GS
- WAN: 10Gtek X540-10G-1T-X8 10GbE RJ45
- LAN: Mellanox ConnectX-2 10GbE SFP+
The chassis and power supply were the previous of each in Mira before I upgraded to the beQuiet Dark Base 900 and EVGA 1000 G6. The former was to get more space for HDDs. The latter was because I upgraded to the RTX 3070 and needed additional PCI-E connectors but couldn’t find my original cable kit. The power supply is overkill for this use case, but at least it’s being put to use again.
I chose the Machinist mainboard after learning about it through the Craft Computing YouTube channel. Specifically the below video, which also made my decision on the CPU.
The mainboard supports everything you’d expect from an X99 mainboard, including “Above 4G decoding”. It does NOT support bifurcation, at least that I could find, but you might be able to mod the BIOS to include that – at your own risk, of course. So I’m not going to be buying another one of these for my NAS unless I need more than 64GB RAM for some reason.
But I will eventually buy one for upgrading my virtualization machine later this year since it supports up to 256GB RAM (8x32GB) and the E5-2699v4 (22 cores/44 threads), which will make for one hell of a home lab. I might even consolidate the NAS and virtualization together to one box. Not using TrueNAS SCALE’s virtualization, but putting TrueNAS in a VM, which would require going back to Proxmox since VirtualBox does not support PCI passthrough with version 7.
As mentioned previously, using ECC RAM isn’t required here, but it’ll help merely because of how much bandwidth will be going through this. Plus the price (at the time I bought it) was only 10 USD per stick on eBay brand new. So… why NOT use it?
So for now, this is the form this router will take. It’ll be interesting to see how long this will last, and I anticipate hopefully not needing to do any hardware changes on this unless there is some incompatibility with OPNsense. Which shouldn’t happen unless the FreeBSD developers go off their rocker and start removing support for older hardware from their operating system.
* * * * *
Consider this kind of a lateral move. I pulled the MR9S board for the Machinist MR9A Pro MAX (buy it on eBay). It’s a slightly smaller motherboard with only four (4) DDR4 slots instead of 8, but still able to operate in quad-channel. The MR9S will be going into my virtualization server, so keep an eye out for that. (Update: Check that out here.)