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Custom Router Question(s)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Alright, well I need a project to occupy myself, so I was thinking about building a custom router from the ground up. Power usage is a big thing for me, as is silent (preferrably fanless) operation. I've been doing alot of looking into the Atom, but the NB turns me off. The via nano looks great, but it's too expensive. I stumbled upon some older technology (AMD Geode) and found this. First question. Is 500MHz w/ 1GB of ram fast enough to run my router? Second question. Can I make a router that uses a USB ethernet adaptor rather than a NIC. I know drivers may be an issue, but I wonder if I can get the correct drivers (or write them myself) will i be able to use a USB device as an output for my router. I really love the size of pico-itx, and this seems to be a fanless design that doesnt even need a traditional PSU. Thoughts, suggestions, fears. Any hel is appreciated.
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post #2 of 9
It is nano-ITX.

Yeah, a 500MHz Geode is enough for light weight router distros. This is probably Geode's most common use today.

You need to check compatiblity for the USB NIC with each distro. Also, the actual NIC might be pretty poor. In that case, your CPU may not be able to drive the NIC to its rated speed.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
It is nano-ITX.

Yeah, a 500MHz Geode is enough for light weight router distros. This is probably Geode's most common use today.

You need to check compatiblity for the USB NIC with each distro. Also, the actual NIC might be pretty poor. In that case, your CPU may not be able to drive the NIC to its rated speed.
I'm hoping to run pfsense or m0n0wall.

I'm going to start with an xp-2100 system that I have laying around, but I want something that is cooler and more energy efficient.

I just love me a good itty bitty system.

I may just go with an atom, even thoughI really like what you sent me, just need soemthing passively cooled.
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The Overmind
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwaterH4ck3r View Post
I'm hoping to run pfsense or m0n0wall.

I'm going to start with an xp-2100 system that I have laying around, but I want something that is cooler and more energy efficient.

I just love me a good itty bitty system.

I may just go with an atom, even thoughI really like what you sent me, just need soemthing passively cooled.
The 945 chipset isn't passively cooled.


Just get a 600RPM 120mm fan for that mITX box and mount it above the mobo. It'll be inaudible.
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post #5 of 9
That's enough to run pfSense or m0n0wall, and yeah USB NIC bad idea. I highly doubt you could find drivers for it, and if you did then the performance would be lousy.
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bviper View Post
That's enough to run pfSense or m0n0wall, and yeah USB NIC bad idea. I highly doubt you could find drivers for it, and if you did then the performance would be lousy.
THen this would be no good for a router sine i can;t get a second NIC in there. Back to the drawing board. Again...

I may just have to track down another pentium m system when i get ready to actually do this, unless the atom z-500 series is out by then, and maybe passive.
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post #7 of 9
Custom router. Hm... correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't you outprice a dedicated router? Look at http://www.dd-wrt.com/shop/catalog/ for some really nice boards designed especially for routing. These aren't x86 so they might not support m0n0wall or whatnot, but they still run linux!
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The Mark I
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by switch.dota View Post
Custom router. Hm... correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't you outprice a dedicated router? Look at http://www.dd-wrt.com/shop/catalog/ for some really nice boards designed especially for routing. These aren't x86 so they might not support m0n0wall or whatnot, but they still run linux!
Excluding the fact that all of those are more expensive than the box I just bought, ($99 USD shipped) they only serve one purpose, whereas this box I purchase can easily morph into a router/NAS or router/media extender with little effort or cost.

Thanks for the input though
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The Overmind
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post #9 of 9
Price aside (that's why I don't have on yet, heh), they ARE actually routers with NAS support. They literally have all the features of your posted example, but are networking-oriented (2NIC/piece), have expansion slots and also come with routing software, boxing and power supply (injector).

let us know how your new Geode board holds up to expectations! I'm not aware of any performance figures on it, sans some biased reviews.

BTW, you could easily expand it with a Mini PCI network adapter, or fill that slot with a wireless card (for an 'inside interface') and use the wired port as 'outside'.
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The Mark I
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