Silent-ish PC for Pfsense < 150$, new or used

Well, this might not be the best place on the forum to post this but I can’t seem to find any better.

This will be a very niche configuration and I don’t really have my hopes up.

I used to run a Dell 790 SFF as in the Build Your Own Router video but I just could not stand the CPU fan noise when sleeping in the same room with it.

I migrated to an HP T610 thin client but that has no AES-NI support so it will not be able to run Pfsense 2.5.

I don’t need anything fanless, just something that is really quiet.

I don’t really care about size either.

I want it to have at least one PCIe 2.0 x8 slot, preferably two slots and/or PCIe 3.0 so that I can add a 10Gb card and maybe a multiple 1Gb card. That means no J3455 ITX systems although I think the mATX ones can handle it.

I can get along with a single 1Gb RJ45 system right now as I am running the thin client using a VLAN for WAN (no need for multiple Ethernet interfaces ATM).

Best part of it is that I live in Europe. That means steep prices for importing stuff from the US or Asia and limited availability and/or higher prices than in the US. That translates to the used market as well.

A DDR3 system would be so great because I have lots of spare DDR3 DIMMS sitting around.

I don’t mind Frankensteining the thing, I tried to search for cooler/fan mods for the Dell 790 but to no avail.

The biggest problem though is the budget. Sadly I cannot spend more than $150 on a router.

Thank you in advance and bring it on.

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$8 over your budget. Is passive, takes DDR3 but also needs storage.


No PCIe expansion though :confused:

Dammit, missed that together with the based in EU part.

Let me check some EU based sellers.

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After reading through your post several times, a few things:

  1. Why not have 2 NICs in your PFSense box and put the rest through a switch? Gigabit switches are super cheap (like 30€ for 8 ports from reputable brand).
  2. Your budget and your goal are hard to get in order (Found an used Server that ticks all boxes, except for budget (miss by 30€) and quiet (1U))
  3. Cheapest 10G NIC I could find is 99€, are you sure you balanced your budget correctly?


  • ASUS J3455M-E - Micro ATX board with Intel Celeron J3455 (I know you said can´t handle it, but budget)
  • Just use whatever used frankenstein-machine does PFSense, slap a dual port 1G network card in there, then use a switch (like the Netgear GS308 or better) to handle the network.
  • ASRock J4105M has one 1G NIC on board, then you just need one add in NIC and a switch to call it done.

Oh I am sorry, I said I would add 10Gb and maybe multiple 1Gb NICs in the future so that should not be in budget.

I already have a VLAN capable switch and I am using one 1Gb interface on my pfsense thin client for both LAN and WAN so I don’t need two RJ45 NICs now or in the future.

I need PCIe 2.0 x8 so that I can add a 10Gb card to connect my media server. At some point, I am going to relocate my media server: I will have to run a cable from the 4th floor of my building all the way to the basement and I want that to be 10Gb fiber. I don’t want to run a CAT5E with it because it is bulky and I don’t want to buy a noisy 10Gb SFP+ switch nor I have the budget for it.

J1900 is not AES-NI.

Cheapest new/small option I can find is $185 shipped. Note you will need to add RAM and storage.

If you need full-sized PCIe slots at <$200 you’ll need to buy used. Check craigslist and eBay.