Is anybody using PC engines


do you have some experiences with this HW : PC engines

I did find this shop TekLager. They are building final product and looks very good. I did also find another shop in EU who is also selling netgate hw but those are more expensive.

I am thinking about to buy APU2E with 2G ram for home lab. I would like to go with openSense.

The PC Engines hardware, even the APU2 which is their most powerful, is fairly lacking in CPU performance compared to other options. It can handle routing and normal firewall at gigabit, but you can’t effectively enable much more.

Protectli is a good choice for performance at value. You can get the hardware a little cheaper if you’re willing to buy direct via AliExpress.

The netgate hardware is a little bit more expensive than its pure performance value because you are directly supporting the development of PFSense. For many that, and the fact that most testing is done on their hardware, is why many people choose it.

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thanks for info about protectli, I did check those HW.
all models using intel CPU and looks it is base on miniITX boards.

TekLager done some interesting comparison

lets say that protectli FW2B or APU2D2 / 4 is what I need and has similar price and probably performance.
FW2B has Intel Celeron J3060 which is probably close to i3-4010U.

The big thing if you ever think you’re going to use a VPN like OpenVPN or IPSec/L2TP is having AES offload on the CPU, which I believe the one in the APU2 series lacks. I know not all of the Protectli models have AES offload, but nearly all of them do. The AES offload is what made the VPN performance difference of “400-800%” in the article you linked.

Note that WireGuard VPN does not use AES and therefore doesn’t benefit from having offload hardware, so if you’re going to go that route then this is a moot point, but I still feel the APU2 offerings are still too limited in raw performance.