Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 24 Jun 2019.
I wonder if this iteration would be a viable base for a firewall..
"increased power requirements - handled by the switch to a USB Type-C connector rated at 3A"
Friggin' USB-C! Why not a nice, simple barrel connector? Come on, guys!
Only one Ethernet port, but you could add a USB 3.0 to Ethernet dongle to one of the two shiny new blue ports for a second and enjoy near-full throughput from both simultaneously. There's certainly plenty of CPU grunt to handle it!
To be fair, I can think of a few things I want a Pi with more oomph for, so I imagine I'll pick one up regardless of what I end up doing with it.
My main concern is throughput. I feel like I'm going to be either totally fine (circa 200mb/s connection) and a 4 is going to be over-spec running open-wrt, or it's going to be sprinting everywhere and trying to die.
I'd definitely assume the former: I've been able to push ~980Mb/s through the on-board gigabit Ethernet without difficulty, although I haven't tried adding a second Ethernet port (I've got a USB 3.0 dongle somewhere, so I might give it a shot if I find time), and even with the CPU going balls-out on all four cores you don't start to see thermal throttling until over the three minute mark.
Worth the faff? By the time you get the pi, PSU case, usb to Lan I think the cost would be comparable to buying a cheap qotom mini pc that was built with this specific function.
However the true gigabit LAN and shiny usb 3.... Thats really temping to make a couple of SSD based nas units for backup end points scattered around the house, hell if I can figure it out, maybe one at my parents place syncing too!
I'm something of a firewall rule Nazi, so I typically want everything being scanned, a whole host of countries and TLD's being dropped, and a very restrictive outbound policy - It's not unheard of for me to have more rules than a "proper" firewall can handle - Hence the concern with the RPi. Eh. I want a Pi running the Java crap for the Unifi kit when the time comes (because ew, java. Don't want that near my PC if I can help it), so even if it runs like a three legged dog as a firewall I can easily repurpose it.
Aye, the faff is definitely a consideration to make - But the network stuff will be all new from the outset, and there will already be an Anker powerbrick in the mix for the PiHoles, so buying one with a couple of 3A outputs won't be a challenge.
To be honest, the current thinking is a Pi 3/3b/4 running the Java crap and PiHole, with everything else (AP's, switch, firewall) being Unifi so I can use one interface to mangle it all instead of several. PiHole's not withstanding.
But if I buy a Pi4 and it can run openWRT well enough for my liking, then I might go that route instead. Eh. It's all something for future me to worry about. Current me doesn't have the money to go knobbing it all on Pi's and network gear.
I did grab a qotom 4 nic mini box a while back.
Plan was to use it as a firewall / Docker box for some micro services. Got as far as installing esxi, Debian and docker on it and then RL said no time to play!
But how well does it overclock? Do we need to strap a 5V Noctua through gpio?
1.75GHz on CPU and 600MHz on the GPU but would require active cooling.
Nup, you can get away without active cooling - but it will throttle after a couple of minutes of sustained CPU load. I'm hoping to see the 1.75GHz wall lifted, too - it's not thermal *or* power that's limiting it there, it's an internal clock divider that ends up slashing the performance in half the second you go over. Got my fingers crossed for a future firmware update to resolve that, but it won't be top of the list of post-launch priorities.
Always fancied tinkering with a pi but i have absolutely non idea what i'd use one for.
Mind you this has got me thinking about a nas, i need one anyway.
Two USB 3.0 hard drives, Ethernet cable, you've got yourself a low-power, low-cost, decent-performance NAS. Albeit one that requires three plug sockets for power, unless you fancy getting smart with a big 12V adapter and a 5V regulator...
Pimoroni already have a fan shim that is controllable by a Python service so that the fan only kicks in once the CPU temp reaches toasty.
GH, do you think if you have a good quality Pi PSU and two SSD's rather than rust spinners a Pi could power that via just the USB's?
Yup: the extra 0.5A on the USB Type-C input is mostly for supporting peripherals, and I know I've had one bus-powered SSD hanging off the USB 3.0 ports without difficulty - can't see two stressing it out.
Would the throughput be enough for 4 x 3.5" SATA drives in a NAS assuming they were powered externally?
Yes and no. Yes, in that all your USB ports are no longer sharing a single USB 2.0 lane to the SoC; no, in that only two of the four ports are USB 3.0. You could use a USB 3.0 hub, but you'd end up being able to use one specific drive and any one of the other three simultaneously before they'd start competing for bandwidth.
Shame, it would be perfect for what I had in mind, I'll keep looking.
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