Thoughts on Celeron J3455, Atom E3950 and fitlet2


I am looking at the Mini Appliance, but have come across the fitlet2, which can be configured with a four core, low power Celeron J3455. That CPU seems to have approximately 40% better multi-threaded performance than the AMD GX-412TC, but doesn’t support ECC memory. The Atom E3950 is also available, with about 30% better performance than the AMD GX-412TC and it does support ECC memory. Of note, neither the J3455 or E3950 support SMT (hyper-threading), so it won’t be affected by disabling SMT. It is close in price, but slightly cheaper than the Mini Appliance, depending on how it is configured. The fitlet2 with J3455, 8GB RAM, 64GB SSD, and four port NIC is $321.50 (US).

If I go this route, I will donate at least the difference in cost to the IPFire project.

I would appreciate any and all opinions or experiences.

Thank you.

Well it turns out that the fitlet2 motherboard doesn’t support ECC memory, even though the Atom E3950 does.

As for other hardware, Protectli, etc, it seems that almost all of them use Intel processors, and as such, don’t support ECC memory.

What do people here think about the importance of ECC memory for a firewall/router?

ECC memory is mainly useful for file servers - are you going to install NFS or Samba on IPFire ? All Ethernet packets should be checksumed on arrival.

You might be better off with the Mini Appliance, which uses industrial grade components.

Fitlet2’s are amazing pieces of engineering. I have two E3950 one used for a firewall and one used for a home server. I can’t recommend them enough, you can’t imagine how small they are until you actually have it in your hands. They’re also built like tanks intent for industry use and they make great firewalls.

I do recommend if you’re based in the US waiting for the fitlet2 to show up from compulab on amazon. You can get barebones ones for either $179 (j3455) or $199 (e3950) shipped prime. There are several resellers on there that mark them up significantly. They had been restocking every 90 days or so, at least pre-covid.

I cant say anything to the fitlet but with other Atoms (N3160 or J1900) we had serious problems with the Interrupt handling of the Nics. So the whole network loads runs on one core.