ASRock NUC BOX-J6412

What do you think about this NUC for IPFire?

The Intel Celeron J6412 CPU is quite new (2021) and powerful, many others are still from 2016 or 2014 (e.g. AMD GX-412TC).

Comparison: AMD G-Series GX-412TC vs Intel Celeron J6412

Downside is it only has 2 Ethernet ports (enough for me) and they’re from Realtek.

Base price is about 250 EUR + 30 EUR for SO-DIMM 16 GB DDR4-3200 (2x 8 GB) (we could use only one slot but then we won’t have dual channel) + 10 EUR for a SATA 6 Gb/s, M.2 2280 120 GB SSD would be about 290-295 EUR with shipping.

I have some reservations about those network cards due to their unclear specifications. Particularly, it’s unclear to me whether they possess more than two queues. My concern is that without this feature, the computational workload distribution may not be optimal - that is, it may not be distributed evenly across all CPU cores. This could potentially lead to a bottleneck.

When it comes to my personal choices regarding future hardware purchases for IPFire, high throughput is a top priority. I plan to upgrade my network to handle significantly higher speeds. To accommodate this, I’ll be looking for hardware specifications that include network cards with multiple queues. Additionally, the hardware should support a PCIe bus with a version of at least 3.0.

I guess you mean Receive-Side Scaling (RSS)?

The datasheet says:

The RTL8111H/RTL8111HS supports Receive-Side Scaling (RSS) to hash incoming TCP connections and load-balance received data processing across multiple CPUs. RSS improves the number of transactions per second and number of connections per second, for increased network throughput.

While this description doesn’t specifically state multiple queues are in use, the described functionality does imply their presence. That makes it unlikely to introduce a bottleneck. Nice. I completely missed that.

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