Question about SATA/SAS Controller and NIC cards for PfSense


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I'm doing a round of upgrades on the server and I'm looking at a new SATA/SAS controller and maybe a new NIC for PfSense passthrough.

 

For SATA/SAS, I need to get a 16 port SAS due to port/size constraints and I saw the Adaptec ASR-71605 on the compatibility list:

https://wiki.unraid.net/Hardware_Compatibility#PCI_SATA_Controllers

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/401758566615?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

 

Since there's only one topic I can find on this card I just want to check that it's still an OK card when in HBA mode, besides the write cache issue (which doesn't bother me too much).

 

I did read elsewhere people having issues with a 24 port variant, so another reason I'm checking. 

 

For the NIC card, I'm currently using a dual port Intel Pro/1000pt (1 port WAN, 1 port LAN), but I'm wondering whether it's worth upgrading to something like the Intel i350-T4 (or an OEM branded one) or any other recommendations?

 

I would use the 2 extra NICs but I'm generally wondering if replacing the card can improve performance. 

 

Note: I use the Intel Mobo NIC for unraid, the PCI-E card is just for PfSense. My internet is also about 900mbps/150mbps.

 

Thank you.

 

 

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I had an 8 port lsi card and upgraded to LSI SAS2116 card to add more drives.

 

I'm a big fan of the LSI cards, they are recommended by the community on a regular basis and I have had no issue with mine. In fact the one I just retired will be going into a second server that I am building for work.

 

As far as the network card I would make sure your settings are optimized and check your current speed. I think you likely won't gain much speed, unless you do something like link aggregation on the lan side with the extra port. I think the extra ports come in handy for vlans too but not required.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2021 at 12:41 AM, joecool169 said:

I'm a big fan of the LSI cards, they are recommended by the community on a regular basis and I have had no issue with mine. In fact the one I just retired will be going into a second server that I am building for work.

 

As far as the network card I would make sure your settings are optimized and check your current speed. I think you likely won't gain much speed, unless you do something like link aggregation on the lan side with the extra port. I think the extra ports come in handy for vlans too but not required.


LSI would be ideal, but looking around the 16i/24i models, I’m finding the cheapest are allot more expensive where I live and imports (not ideal for warranty reasons).

 

I’ve thought about a HBA expander card but I can’t really fit one in, even with a PCI-E riser card.

 

I’ll double check the settings, but I haven’t had much luck in the past so I wanted to see if the newer NIC might help since I see them recommended over the current one.

 

Update:

 

Decided to give the Adaptec a shot, so far it seems to be working (testing with preclear) but I had to attach a fan to it.

Edited by tech3475
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