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Favorite cheap multi-GBE SBCs for use as router/firewall appliances

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A number of cheap SBCs that run limux have multiple gigabit lan ports. They all are very energy efficient, and have GPIOs and have basic connectivity options. But the rest vary a lot.

Do any stand out for good wired networking capabilities when used as a software router/switch?

I dont know much about how the various CPUs perform in that usage scenario.

Presumably they all have GPIOs and UART that can be used with a NMEA speaking device (GPS) and its one pulse per second source for accurate timekeeping?

I don't know much about the many new SBC HW platforms.

Presumably even OSs like FreeBSD might be fairly straightforward to compile on a new hardware platform.. If one had a complete Linux for it.

How many ethernet ports do you want?

If it's more than just a couple then it's hard to go past something designed specifically for the purpose, such as the $99 Mikrotik RB450Gx4 with quad core 716 MHz ARM cpu, 1 GB RAM, and 5 gigE ports. Industrial quality at close to hobbyist prices.

Banana Pi BPI-R2 is also an option, but at only $10 less than the Mikrotik I'd go for the Mikrotik every time based on known quality and support.

Nominal Animal:
For the MikroTik products, do take a look at the Results tab in the product page.  Typical real-world performance is somewhat less, but should give a rough idea of the capabilities.

I'm using an RBM33G as a 4G/LTE router/firewall myself.

The MediaTek's MTK MT7622 SoCs look interesting ...


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