X86 hardware recommendations: WiFi card, etc.

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Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 19:33    Post subject: X86 hardware recommendations: WiFi card, etc. Reply with quote
I would like to build an x86 box for dd-wrt and I'm looking for hardware recommendations. The most important detail for me is a high end WiFi PCI-e adapter -- it has to support AP mode (which, I assume, means it has to be compatible with hostapd).

One that I looked at is:

ASUS 4x4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100 PCIe Adapter (PCE-AC88)

However, I am not sure if that one has a proper Linux driver. What advanced and high performance WiFi card is best for dd-wrt?

My plan is to run openvpn client on this device. I have gigabit cable modem Internet service. For the fastest vpn, I suspect I'll need an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU. I plan to use this Ethernet card:

Intel Ethernet Server Adapter I340-T4 1Gbps RJ-45 Copper, PCI Express 2.0 x 4 Lane

I know the question of hardware recommendations has been asked here in the past, but when I checked answers like the ones below, some links were no longer valid, and I assume the hardware recommendations are out of date, so I'm hoping to get up to date recommendations by asking a new question. Any advice is appreciated.

DD-WRT Forum :: View topic - NOOB - H/W recommendations for DD-WRT & VPN - PC Engines https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=305823

Joined: 18 Dec 2013
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 17:25    Post subject: Reply with quote
You can even build a high end router from a Dell Studio 540 motherboard. The Onboard Ethernet works great with DD-WRT.
Then you can just slap in a Duo core E7500 or a Q6600 or Q9550 CPU in it. Then put 8GB ram onto this system.

Next Buy a PCI-E realtek RTL8168C/8111 card for the LAN connection then from there use a good gigabit switch for all your computers you have.

Next you want to buy a PCI-E Atheros 9k or 10k series WIFI adapter. Those are super cheap and I think Brainslayer did say dd-wrt only supports Atheros wifi adapters. So you want the AC/N/G/B card you may need to buy a pci-e adapter since it will be a mini PCI-E card. which ebay has.

I used this system for my NAS too. I have all the SATA ports used up with 2TB drives on them. Bought the drives for $45 each.

Then you need to download the full version of DD-WRT when this is assembled. It will show a string for the key in the web gui and which you go to the dd-wrt shop and get a key to activate the full version for about $22. The full version is the only one that supports wifi. The free version does not.

Most of this stuff will be on Ebay super cheap and I have been running this Dell studio 540 for a year now with the latest BIOS applied. It has a E7500 cpu which only gets 100% used when we are writing to the NAS drives over the network. I do have a few Q6600 CPU laying around I might swap it in to see if it makes it work faster.

Joined: 18 Sep 2006
Posts: 387
Location: Leipzig, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 22:41    Post subject: Reply with quote
the asus adapter will not work right away, brainslayer might have the drivers, but its untested with retail client broadcom wifi modules ...

look out for Qualcomm Atheros QCA9880 / QCA9882 and QCA9980 and QCA9982 Chipset minipci-express modules ... Sparklan, Compex, Bointec brand might be an option ...

you will need also minipci-express to pci-e adapter cards and pigtails and dualband antennas if you use a ordinary desktop system.

pcengines APU is also a good and power efficient optionm pceninges aPU will support up to 140~150mbps openvpn speed at 256bit AES ...
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