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Mini PC ideas - mulitple NICs req'd

By timseanpreston ·
Tags: Hardware
Wondering if I can put everyone's collective wisdom and vast experience to bear to source a niche-y system configuration.

I'm looking for a mini PC (think Intel NUC or Lenovo M Series Tiny) that has either 5+ plus embedded (LAN-on-board) GbE NICs or a PCI/e expansion port to install a 4-port GbE card? The idea is to combine a PC with a switch (grouping/assigning the ports using pfSense running on VMware). Would like to keep the cost in the ballpark of an Intel NUC + 8 port managed GbE switch (i.e. Netgear GS108E), so ~$600 CAD ($450 USD).

So far the only hopefuls I have found are Supermicro's E300- @ ~$700 USD, and a bunch of Chinese Schenzhen-made (Iwill, Tometek, etc.) products that 1) don't inspire confidence given the too-good-to-be-true specs (IBOX-501 N13) and comparative price (~$350 USD) and 2) present an issue with customs when shipping the units internationally (give the recent imposed tariff unpleasantness from various countries).

Here's the wish list:
- Intel Core i3 preferred (ESXi-compatible Atom series secondary option)
- 16 GB RAM at least
- At least 5x GbE NICs total (5x LOB or 1x LOB + 4x GbE on PCI/e expansion)
- Fanless preferred (like Intel NUC NUC7i3BNHX1) but not a deal-killer if fan-cooled
- Size is a factor; the smaller the better (the E300- is pushing it)
- Max budget $500 USD/unit
- Preferrably sourced from a non-tariffed country to avoid shipping/logistics, added cost problems
- Good source/supplier stability/reliability as stock levels would need to meet my demand

What do you think? Possible?

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Mobile server?

by wahldog84 In reply to Mini PC ideas - mulitple ...

Were u looking to integrate poe into the Gbe switches? What is the end goal? Like a robot server? If you would want to message me we could possibly collab and i could use my pcb printing knowledge and parts inventory to supply your needs

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Mini server?

by wahldog84 In reply to Mini PC ideas - mulitple ...

Are you attempting to integrate POE into the Gbe switches to power motors or somethhing of the like? Are the switches going to be static input/output or network connections?

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