Help: Braswell dual-lan motherboards?

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MortyNO
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Help: Braswell dual-lan motherboards?

Post by MortyNO » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:30 am

Dear all,

I read the "Braswell motherboards" thread, but didn't quite find what I am looking for -- I'm looking for an Intel Braswell mobo with 2 LAN ports, preferably powered by an Intel ethernet chipset.

The closest I've been able to find is the Supermicro X11SBA-LN4F (way too expensive) or the Asrock IMB-154 (kind of could work, but only Realtek NICs).

Has anyone seen something better -- Braswell, or other very low power x64 core, dual Intel NICs, preferably DC power input?

Thanks!

Jay_S
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Re: Help: Braswell dual-lan motherboards?

Post by Jay_S » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:40 pm

Found your thread searching SPCR for "braswell". I don't have a great answer because this also has Realtek NICs, but Zotac recently released their CI323 fanless barebones mini-system. Newegg has it in stock @ $150. Not bad, considering dual LAN, Intel 802.11ac WLAN, IR, power brick, and fanless.

https://www.zotac.com/us/product/mini_p ... ci323-nano

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6856173128

Highlights:
  • FANLESS
  • Intel Celeron N3150, 6W TDP, 4C/4T, 1.6GHz, up to 2.08GHz, AES-NI!
  • 2 x 204-pin DDR3L-1600 SO-DIMM slots
  • 2.5" SATA site
  • 1 x USB 3.0 type-C (front)
  • 2 x USB 3.0 (1 front, 1 back)
  • 19V/40W DC-in (appears to include AC Adapter)
  • 2x Realtek gigabit NICs (based on driver description)
  • Intel 802.11ac WiFi & Bluetooth (based on driver description)
  • IR receiver (based on driver description)
it's the only jib I got, baby

dev_guy
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Re: Help: Braswell dual-lan motherboards?

Post by dev_guy » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:24 am

I would be cautious of the Zotac NUC-style units. If you read the reviews of the single NIC version there are a lot of complaints about UEFI, BIOS, other firmware issues, units being short lived before having hardware failures, etc. You get what you pay for. See:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... llFullInfo

The Asrock industrial boards are more appealing but sadly a lot of their Braswell models are either not available and/or are single NIC. And I think most are Realtek.

Perhaps the most promising are Braswell boards from Jetway. This one has Realtek NICs but they have many other boards with Intel NICs so I expect they will expand their Braswell offerings soon enough. This isn't widely available yet either but promising:

http://www.jetwaycomputer.com/NF591.html

This is a few months old now, but worth skimming through if you haven't already:

http://linuxgizmos.com/round-up-12-bras ... tx-boards/

And, depending on who you want to believe, Realtek NICs are not as bad as some make them out to be. You might lose 5% or so throughput, and certain esoteric Intel-specific features might not be supported, CPU load might be a bit higher, but they generally work fairly well. If they didn't they wouldn't be so ubiquitous. Realtek also tend to be lower power. Some of the Intel NIC chips intended for server use run hot and are power hungry.

CA_Steve
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Re: Help: Braswell dual-lan motherboards?

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:41 am

dev_guy wrote:I would be cautious of the Zotac NUC-style units. If you read the reviews of the single NIC version there are a lot of complaints about UEFI, BIOS, other firmware issues, units being short lived before having hardware failures, etc. You get what you pay for. See:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... llFullInfo
I wouldn't be that harsh about the CI320. Yeah, the BIOS is not intuitive and I couldn't get mine to upgrade from Win7 to Win10. However, it was rock solid for the 7-8 months I used it as an HTPC. I passed in on to a friend who's using it as a linux-based router and it's working great for him.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

dev_guy
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Re: Help: Braswell dual-lan motherboards?

Post by dev_guy » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:17 pm

CA_Steve wrote:
dev_guy wrote:I would be cautious of the Zotac NUC-style units. If you read the reviews of the single NIC version there are a lot of complaints about UEFI, BIOS, other firmware issues, units being short lived before having hardware failures, etc. You get what you pay for. See:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... llFullInfo
I wouldn't be that harsh about the CI320. Yeah, the BIOS is not intuitive and I couldn't get mine to upgrade from Win7 to Win10. However, it was rock solid for the 7-8 months I used it as an HTPC. I passed in on to a friend who's using it as a linux-based router and it's working great for him.
I'm just offering they don't have a very good reputation among many at Newegg, Amazon and on various forums including the pfSense forum. They especially seem to have trouble getting their BIOS correct and with premature hardware failures. If you can get around the BIOS/compatibility and other weirdness they're probably okay for occasional use. For 7/24 use for at least a few years, however, it might be worth spending a few dollars more for something better. The Zotac NUCs have every last penny shaved out of their design.

I also stand corrected, the Jetway NF591 is available from Newegg for $189 and it has dual *Intel* NICs. So that might be the perfect middle ground that meets the OPs requirements. It's way better than a low-end NUC or consumer-grade motherboard and still quite a bit cheaper than the Supermicro:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813153302

Jay_S
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Re: Help: Braswell dual-lan motherboards?

Post by Jay_S » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:18 am

dev_guy wrote:the Jetway NF591 is available from Newegg for $189 and it has dual *Intel* NICs.
The Jetway NF591 has Realtek NICs according to both Newegg and Jetway:
http://www.jetwaycomputer.com/NF591.html

There are some other barebones options around $200. The Shuttle DS57U, for example, is $215 from Newegg. It's Broadwell (dual-core Celeron ULV) instead of Braswell, but it does have a pair of Intel NICs (Intel i211 and i218LM). It's marketed as a digital signage / industrial PC, so in theory it should be more durable than the Zbox.

Techpowerup and guru3d have reviewed it. Their power measurements are quite different: 12w vs 15w idle :: 17w vs 35w load (?!). The Broadwell-U CPU should stomp on Braswell from a compute performance point of view; whether that's worth 2x power consumption is up to individual applications.
it's the only jib I got, baby

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