Doing a pfSense router PC, how does this CPU look?

So I am buying a computer that has a older xeon CPU:

Looks like a TDP of 80w.

I mainly want some feedback on the power usage, what do you guys think?

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It's not going to be the cheapest box to run from electricity costs, but it should be great performance-wise. I mean the official pfSense boxes use Intel Atoms, which are slower than death.

If you can get the computer cheap, maybe math out the cost to run and see how long it would be before the costs add up to more than a more efficient machine? If it takes many years for the total cost to overcome the cost of a more efficient machine I think it'll be just peachy.

Having said that, electricity is pretty cheap altogether.

It's $120 for the whole PC, even has a valid Windows 10 key which is worth a bit there.

In my town, after the first 500 kWh, it costs $.08073 per 500 kWh. Which isn't too bad, so it may be a worthy investment.

$0.08073 per 500 kWH, or per one kWh? Per 500 kWh would pretty much be stealing.

I just did some math, if the Xeon machine was using 100 watts 24/7 at the cost of $0.08073/kWh, it would take about 924 days to add up to the initial cost of the basic $299 pfSense branded box, not including the cost to run the pfSense branded box. If the pfSense box was using 15 watts 24/7 it would bring it out to 1087 days to break even.

I honestly don't know exactly how many watts either machine would use so the calculations would change, but the lower the watts used by the Xeon machine the further out the break even point would be.

I'll msg you the cost sheet, but yeah, it's a small town so it's pretty low cost her energy wise.

Besides, because it's powerful, I can turn it into something else in the future.

Yeah, it looks like you'd get at least two full years going on three before the total cost surpassed the Atom even if the Xeon is full throttle most of the time (it shouldn't be with pfSense).

And like you said, you can use the Xeon for other things too since it's more powerful. I wonder if it would be possible to strap together pfSense and something like FreeNAS at the same time. Would be nifty to keep all network and related stuff all in one unit.

Was just thinking the same thing. I'd have to figure out some kind of virtualization solution, but I've only doing virtualbox/hyper-v, seems a little complicated to do a pfsense/nas combo, haha.

You don't want to have your main router running on the same metal as your NAS (for reliability, maintainability and security reasons).

For pfSense, one option is to use an ALIX board. A reasonably competent ALIX setup can be had for around $175 (board, case, power supply). A board like this typically consumes less than 10 watts from the wall.

If all you need is a stable ethernet router (and you don't specifically need the functionality of pfSense): there are other options available at cheaper price points (hint: Routerboard/Edgerouter).

The Xeon will be idling most of the time with pfSense, wasting tens of watts of power. That chip is more suitable for a FreeNAS media box (since it has ECC support, and enough grunt to run Plex).