My latest and greatest, three Shuttle ST62K Zens folding away 24/7. Two of the Zens are running 3.06 P4's underclocked to 2.56ghz and the other is running a 3.0C P4 underclocked to 2.49ghz. All are undervolted; the 3.06's @ 1.0625 & 1.1375 and the 3.0 @ 1.1625. Churning approximately 7.5ghz of hyperthreaded goodness is only consuming about 150 watts, or approximately 50 watts per Zen. All three Zens use notebook drives wrapped in foam, then put in SmartDrive enclosures. Drive temps hover around 40C in this setup.
All three are cooled in series with a Reserator using Zalman waterblocks. Full load CPU temps in series are as follows:
Reserator -> 43C -> 43C -> 44C -> Reserator
The combination of the Zen's external brick PSU, the single Reserator, and having the drives wrapped in foam and enclosed in SmartDrives makes it a nearly silent operation. There are no fans anywhere in the system.
I use VNC to remote desktop manage the two lower units as an alternative to a KVM switch. Remote desktopping works fabulous until you need to get to the BIOS on one of the remotes.
I also recently took advantage of the OEM firewire ports to network the three together. I found it a nice touch as it eliminates some clutter, and saves a few watts that would otherwise be running 24/7. I can report that firewire works wonderfully for simple file sharing, remote desktop, and intenet access. The top computer has a cat5 that runs to the broadband and the other two are connected to it via firewire. I was using wireless but the damn thing was in and out so much that I decided to run the cat5.
Here's a shot of the crew:
Using the auto power-on after power-fail in the BIOS and eliminating the wireless broadband connection has left my system very dependable. It's nice not coming home to find that the power or the network went out the night before and nothing has been working for 15 hours. Now even if there is a power failure the system reboots itself, the network re-establishes itself, and [email protected]
, running as a service, restarts all by itself. The worst I've noticed to happen is occassionaly a second instance of [email protected]
will complain that it's already running and fail to start, this even though they are setup to run simultaneously. But it's a minor issue as the other instance will still be left running, running faster since it's by itself, until I notice it and get the other running.
The thing I like most is the Zen's PSU. I'd like to see this type of PSU become a standard for all PC's. The things are dead silent, eliminating a road block that most PC's face. Another thing I really like is the Samsung notebook drive:
This thing puts my first notebook drive, a Toshiba reviewed here, to shame. It's not that the Toshiba is bad, 'cause it's not. It's that compared to the Samsung, the toshiba makes a racket. Maybe SPCR will get their hands on one for a review. Seeks are nearly inaudable even when the drive is naked and exposed.