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Processor's Raw Power vs Usage in Respects to pfSense.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping i can word this properly, so if it's still not clear just leave a comment im an idiot and what it is im not being clear about. ;-)

Anyway, I have a pfSense box, and im currently running a socket 478 (dont laugh) P4 3.06GHz HT, the CPU usage is generally around 0%-1% but might occasionally spike to ~25%. Im wondering is it more efficient for me to run a slower Celeron based CPU and have it run at a higher usage or to keep with my current setup.

Basically, Is a more powerful processor running at a lower clock more efficient then a slower processor running at a higher usage?

If you want specific models i have the:

P4 3.06GHz HT /533(Currently Installed)
Celeron 2.60GHz /400
P4 2.40Ghz HT /800 (not sure if compatible with my MB)

The workload doesn't need hyperthreading, im running it in my house as my home router. I do have Antivirus, SNORT, and Web Caching running but these i cant believe will require enough to make it worth while to keep the P4. I've been seriously considering bringing down the box just to swap to the Celeron as it really only has maybe 24 devices at any one time at home, between Cell phones, Tablets, Roku, Computers, as well as my customers computers. So i really believe i can drop to the Celeron, also I currently only have 3 of my 4 total interfaces configured and in use. WAN, LAN, Firewalled Internet Only Interface (ie Public WiFi).
 
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post #2 of 16
Old wimpy vs brawny cores.

If your pfSense is barely squeezing a 1% of the server most of the time, means it's idling. You want the processor with the lowest idle power consumption, as it is what will do most of its time.

Those spikes are probably mostly irrelevant to the power consumption of the system if they are 'occasional'.

I'd say use the Celly.
   
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
My thoughts im just looking to lim along with this until i can get another box with more RAM available to the caching.

Was just wondering if anyone else would have any other perspectives on it.
 
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post #4 of 16
Even if there's a difference in power usage, it's going to be minuscule.
    
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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest_Inc View Post

I'm hoping i can word this properly, so if it's still not clear just leave a comment im an idiot and what it is im not being clear about. ;-)

Anyway, I have a pfSense box, and im currently running a socket 478 (dont laugh) P4 3.06GHz HT, the CPU usage is generally around 0%-1% but might occasionally spike to ~25%. Im wondering is it more efficient for me to run a slower Celeron based CPU and have it run at a higher usage or to keep with my current setup.

Basically, Is a more powerful processor running at a lower clock more efficient then a slower processor running at a higher usage?

If you want specific models i have the:

P4 3.06GHz HT /533(Currently Installed)
Celeron 2.60GHz /400
P4 2.40Ghz HT /800 (not sure if compatible with my MB)

The workload doesn't need hyperthreading, im running it in my house as my home router. I do have Antivirus, SNORT, and Web Caching running but these i cant believe will require enough to make it worth while to keep the P4. I've been seriously considering bringing down the box just to swap to the Celeron as it really only has maybe 24 devices at any one time at home, between Cell phones, Tablets, Roku, Computers, as well as my customers computers. So i really believe i can drop to the Celeron, also I currently only have 3 of my 4 total interfaces configured and in use. WAN, LAN, Firewalled Internet Only Interface (ie Public WiFi).

I'd keep it the same, your not using even close to enough cpu to worry about it. Power savings won't even be worth it IMO to bother purchasing an old CPU.

If you think a Pentium 4 is bad...our PFsense box at my work is running on a slot based Pentium 3 rolleyes.gif
post #6 of 16
Where are you watching the CPU usage? CLI or WebGUI?

The WebGUI graphs take quite a bit of CPU power to create.
    
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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oedipus View Post

Even if there's a difference in power usage, it's going to be minuscule.

Between processors of the same family yes. But have a look a this review:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article28-page4.html

Idle power consumption is 71W for a 478 system which is quite alot. Being used as a pfSense router, it is likely on 24/7. So even if it only drew 80% of that figure it is still quite high and makes a case to invest some money in a cheaper low power atom system, as it could potentially pay itself off in a few years. Power can be pricey where I live, and dropping from lets say an idle of 60W to 15W would net me NZD$80 dollars in savings a year alone. Give the appliance a life of 4 years and thats $320 which is more than enough to build an atom based pfsense router + wifi.

Just some food for thought. As for the buisiness running a P3 pfsense router, I would be now considering the total cost of ownership, maintanence and reliability of that and potentially putting forth a business case to have that remedied. Just my 2c.
Edited by mitchtaydev - 3/18/13 at 1:03am
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swat565 View Post

I'd keep it the same, your not using even close to enough cpu to worry about it. Power savings won't even be worth it IMO to bother purchasing an old CPU.

If you think a Pentium 4 is bad...our PFsense box at my work is running on a slot based Pentium 3 rolleyes.gif

I wouldn't have to purchase anything i have all the parts laying around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

Where are you watching the CPU usage? CLI or WebGUI?

The WebGUI graphs take quite a bit of CPU power to create.

I'm watching it in the WebGUI, but eb=ven there it normally idles around 0%-1%, on occasion when im downloading windows updates across multiple machines into squid for cache does it hit 50% or so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchtaydev View Post

Between processors of the same family yes. But have a look a this review:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article28-page4.html

Idle power consumption is 71W for a 478 system which is quite alot. Being used as a pfSense router, it is likely on 24/7. So even if it only drew 80% of that figure it is still quite high and makes a case to invest some money in a cheaper low power atom system, as it could potentially pay itself off in a few years. Power can be pricey where I live, and dropping from lets say an idle of 60W to 15W would net me NZD$80 dollars in savings a year alone. Give the appliance a life of 4 years and thats $320 which is more than enough to build an atom based pfsense router + wifi.

Just some food for thought. As for the buisiness running a P3 pfsense router, I would be now considering the total cost of ownership, maintanence and reliability of that and potentially putting forth a business case to have that remedied. Just my 2c.



I'm currently looking at taking my old AMD 939 motherboard and setting that up as my pfSense system as it has 4 PCI, 1 PCI-E 16x, 1PCI-E 4x, and 1 PCI-E 1x. I'm looking into occupying the PCI slots with Intel Gig Nics and adding a raid controller to the 16x slot as i have a spare perc 5 laying around and a pile of spare Sata drives i can setup into a raid 5 or 6 with a hot spare for the web cache. Also looking to add a HIFN Acceleration Card to help with VPN access and pull it off the CPU if i find that the 3800+ X2 is struggling. Im also looking at upping my ram from 2GB in the current setup to 4GB. I might look into the performance and power draw of my 939 chips and will probably use the most efficient setup.

I know your all going to call me crazy but i get borred and like to play with this type of stuff. I'm not use i can get by with an atom system as i dont see any with any respectable number of expansion slots and im not running soft nics when i have a pile of hardware based Intel nice just laying around. but please voice any ideas or concerns.
 
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post #9 of 16
I'm going to be honest. I have pfSense on a WatchGuard Firebox II, which is a 200Mhz Intel P1.

I run/ran a dual WAN business behind it, I never saw anything near your CPU usage. I have a 70Mbps ISP too.
    
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

I'm going to be honest. I have pfSense on a WatchGuard Firebox II, which is a 200Mhz Intel P1.

I run/ran a dual WAN business behind it, I never saw anything near your CPU usage. I have a 70Mbps ISP too.

This is the list of packages i have installed:

bandwidthd
Dansguardian
Dashboard Widget: Antivirus Status
Dashboard Widget: HAVP
Dashboard Widget: Snort
dns-server
Filer
HAVP antivirus
imspector
netio
Notes
OpenVPN Client Export Utility
pfBlocker
RRD Summary
Sarg
snort
squid
Strikeback
widescreen

I have squid caching just about everything under 600mb. but i cant think of what else would be tasking the system so much.
 
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MacBook Pro 6.1
(16 items)
 
Server
(19 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 Q720 Asus ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1GB DDR5 12 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 7200RPM & Seagate 750... Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17.3" LED LCD Factory 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Factory Factory Logitech G9X Mine 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro 6.1 17" Intel HD Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
4 GB DDR3 1067 MHz Hitachi HTS545050B9SA02 HL-DT-ST DVDRW GS23N Factory 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Mac OS X 10.6.8 17" LED Factory Factory 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Factory Factory None Factory 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Abit IP35 Pro PNY VCQ290NVS-PCIEX16-PB Quadro NVS 290 256MB 64-b G.Skill F2-8000CL5D-4GBPQ 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Dell Perc5/i Samsung HD204UI Seagate Constellation ES SAS Drive Model: ST310... Hitachi Deskstar 
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Western Digital WD1002FAEX Black Western Digital Black 2 x ASUS DRW-2014L1T Corsair H50 
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Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard x64 ASUS VK222U Black 22" 2ms Logitech G15 (Original) - U.S. Dvorak Layout Enermax INFINITI EIN720AWT 720w 
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