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  1. #1
    Untanglit
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    Default z4 appliance processor

    I've hunted through the forum and not found what I'm seeking. I'm hoping someone can answer my query: What processor is used in the z4 appliance please?

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja Jim.Alles's Avatar
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    Default

    Intel Celeron Quad Core
    from:
    https://www.untangle.com/shop/z4-appliance/
    jcoffin likes this.

  3. #3
    Untanglit
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    Thank you for your reply Ninja. I note that states an "Intel Celeron Quad Core" processor. What I'm seeking, please, is which Celeron Quad Core processor. For instance, is it Intel J1900 or other?

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    Oct 2019
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    I looked around for this info a while back and I couldn't find it either. Very interested in a Z4 myself due to the reduced power consumption compared to my 12 year old PC I have Untangle on now.

    However, it looks exactly like a Qotom Q190G4N-S07 which has a Intel Celeron J1900. This by no means proves anything, so draw your own conclusions from this.

  5. #5
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    You're going to find that all appliance vendors hide that data, especially when selling stuff everyone else can buy off the shelf. What you're paying for is a warranted and supported platform. If you want to do all that yourself, then you get to do the testing yourself too.

    Because let's be honest here, you don't want to know what CPU is there, you want to know what platform it is so you can go buy direct and save a few bucks.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  6. #6
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    I mean there's lots of reasons one might want that info. They might just be trying to get a baseline of what level of CPU performance is needed to deliver the 500Mbps that Untangle says the Z4 can do. If they're a hobbyist like myself, that warranty support is not super important, they might just be trying to figure out if an old laptop is sufficient. They also might be younger with an abundance of free time to make things work, but no budget.

    As I get older and more financially secure, things like the Z4 definitely appeal to me more. Just buy the thing that is guaranteed to work so I don't have to think about. Last weekend I reinstalled Untangle and had to do a motherboard swap because the video card I had available in that board just wouldn't do video out with Untangle after the installer finished so I had no way to do the initial config.

    There's also the tech in the Z4 that's worth considering. The J1900 that's probably in it is from the end 2013, it's oooooold. It's highly likely there's a tech refresh coming sooner than later. At $300 it would take me 8.5 years to recoup the investment in power savings on a Z4. So for me, spending that much on old tech is not worth it, but when there's a refresh I might be one of the first to buy it so I down size the appliance in my house and get maximum longevity out of it.

  7. #7
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    You cannot compare CPU/RAM statistics between appliances, they're useless comparators. The real magic lies in the mainboard's circuitry.

    So no, you cannot use the stats from an appliance to see if the random junk in the box in the garage will work. It's just not he same problem. Also that random junk doesn't have the benefits of the custom main board in the appliance... which is a massive variable you cannot get the details to compare. Normal PC builds requires more CPU / RAM to do the same job relative to any appliance.

    Also, the appliance will last 10 years give or take without input, Untangle's sys reqs have gone down with time. So again, the process you're advocating is busted. It just flat doesn't stand against reality.

    So again, you're looking for system specs so you can feel better about not buying an appliance, to cheap out... meanwhile you're thinking the "old" CPU design is deficient, when ti isn't... and doesn't conform to the power consumption reality you're talking about either.

    I build and test appliances for a living... I'm not trying to be hostile here, I'm trying to be clear that there is more going on than you can get from a spec sheet. None of this is usually taken into account by the average customer, and only brought up by hobbyists that only have a toe in the water in experience. Providing that data is actually a disservice to these people too... because it leads to poor decision making.

    I will however say this as well... Qotom, and longevity do not belong in the same sentence. I will also point out, that you're here asking questions, which elevates you personally above much of this.

    P.S. Because Untangle is based on Debian 9 at this time, you need OLD! Debian 10 will be with us with Untangle v15.1, but it's still not EFI ready... so you're still going to need OLD.
    Last edited by sky-knight; 05-09-2020 at 09:19 AM.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  8. #8
    Newbie
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    I don't see why we can't compare different CPU specs among different boxes running untangle. It's just Debian upon which they're running their own sauce. Comparing the specs between NGFWs wouldn't be fair, say a PA-220 and Z4, because they're running entirely different software. While Untangle may be running custom boards, I don't think they're too custom given that we can install Untangle just about any commodity hardware. Untangle is written with what seems to be heavily multi-threaded java, so it at least doesn't fall into the trap of needing high single threaded performance. Low speed, multi core systems should be just fine. And I never said there's anything wrong with the old CPU, it clearly works. I'm running on a 12 year old Q9550, it also works fine. But tech moves on, there's always newer things. The Z4 will be replaced eventually, I think sooner than later. I will give you that old hardware and linux tend to get along better than it and new hardware. Debian 10 totally supports EFI though.

    I'm just saying, that if you don't need the warranty and support from untangle, I can see why a hobbyist would be trying to compare specs to something they could cobble together. If you want to run a business though, just buy the Z4. Running a business on old, out of support hardware is a recipe for misery.

  9. #9
    Untangle Ninja
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    Search around the forums, there a a few threads that go a bit deeper. Things like pcie versions, lanes and server boards vs not. And it does seem to just work. But you seem to want to future proof your system. It wont happen. I can remember thinking when I added a second 10 meg hard drive I would be set for life. LOL

  10. #10
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Yep, all router OSs benefit far more from PCIe configurations, and how the memory bus integrates than they do anything else. The issues in that space amplify with the bandwidth requirements passing through the device. CPU and RAM are comparatively cheap and easy. Yet which NIC chipsets are at play, and how they are sunk into the PCIe bus directly influence CPU and RAM consumption while in operation.

    In short, no desktop, or server based build will ever be as efficient as an appliance.

    This is also why laptops are generally a terrible idea, simply because USB connected devices will always be deficient at gigabit velocities. (Can't forget, SATA is gigabit!) And yes, as you've noticed Untangle threads REALLY well, so the more cores you can throw at it the better usually, and those cores don't need to be all that powerful. As a general rule, CPU is latency, RAM is throughput. But the latter is modified heavily by bus limitations.

    And old "out of support" according to whom? Intel's CPUs in these things are setup for a 15-20 year life cycle, all of which is handled by the manufacturer's legendary support of Linux.

    All of this is just demonstrating more ignorance, not that I can blame anyone on this because it's far too easy to fall into the trap of oh... well it's just "this". No... it isn't. If it was there would be a ton more players in this game, and yet... there aren't. And there are TONS of systems out there that are decades old, and still working just fine. So in the end, it boils down to "does it work?" Yes or No?

    Critical detail: Debian 10 supports EFI, but Untangle v15.1 based on Debian 10 will NOT. I'm not clear as to why, only that it was mentioned there are some issues due to Untangle's customization of the Debian kernel. It's important to note that while Untangle is based on Debian, it is NOT Debian. Yet more complexity in this conversation. Perhaps we'll finally see Untangle support EFI in v15.2.

    Oh, and thanks for being a reasonable skeptic. I'm always half terrified when I post this stuff people are going to blow up, because they do... all too often. It's nice to communicate with someone that has a working mind, is actively learning, and simply trying to understand. It's far too rare, and I for one appreciate it, so thank you.
    Last edited by sky-knight; 05-09-2020 at 10:45 PM.
    gedavids likes this.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

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