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Fanless low-power Mini Server
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Author:  pm.stacker [ Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Fanless low-power Mini Server

Image

Nothing fancy... just a small 1U media server with focus on silence and low power consumption.
Zotac NM10-E-E-ITX (Atom D525)
1x2048MB Kingston KVR800D2N5/2G
Fortron FSP150TNF fanless power supply (150W)
SATA0: internal SATA to CF adapter for OS boot (currently Sandisk Extreme3 UDMA 16.0GB)
SATA1: internal HDD or SSD (HDD now, since the SSD I planned on using is broken)
ODD: external USB, planned on recycling a damaged BD-ROM BC-5640H but the internal USB adapter is broken too! :mad:
Wired connectivity: Integrated Realtek 8111DL
Wireless connectivity: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 ABGN300
Case: IPC 1U super-short case

The Zotac NM10 has plenty expansion options for a Atom NM10 based board, one X1 slot and two MiniX1 slots, one occupied by the Wifi card, the other remains available for Sata/LAN controllers along with the X1 slot which can accomodate FH/HL cards. Fow now I'm testing Ubuntu 12-10 with Mediatomb for DLNA sharing, will check out FreeNAS and OMVL.

System power consumption is 28W avg.

Author:  pm.stacker [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Testing FreeNAS-83, after a little BSD setting up works excellent on its web-based config pages. But it doesn't support wireless cards... Removing the Intel ABGN and disabling onboard audio could I get power down to 23W? :wink:
Looking for a decent SSD to replace my fried OCZ...

Author:  Horgrim [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Another 1U PC from northern Italy... good job :) keep it up!

PS. The picture link doesn't work, only a small version is visible

Author:  pm.stacker [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

i know seems something related to photobucket problems, maybe tomorrow they'll solve it.

Author:  pm.stacker [ Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Was able to get power down to 27W with both LAN and WLAN active. Now running Ubuntu1210-X64 with MiniDLNA and XRDP connection.

Author:  pm.stacker [ Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Setting up Ubuntu with a cheap old 8.0GB 133x card, Xrdp OK Samba OK and I was finally able to make miniDLNA to load at boot time :mrgreen:
Current storage 1xWD3200BEVT (/data NTFS)

Author:  pm.stacker [ Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Cleaned up table a little, replaced ODD tray, now testing DLNA streaming. Only infrastructure requirement: a power outlet. :mrgreen: apart from an active A/B/G/N connection

Author:  pm.stacker [ Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Confirmed the Lexar "slow" CF card is less power hungry. Now avg power is 25W. :idea:
I was thinking: I have a single 2048MB DDR2 module laying around, instead of expanding memory to 3072MB I could use a single stick instead of two to get 2048MB, that should cut a little more on the power meter display. :idea: :idea:

Author:  pm.stacker [ Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Was able to keep 25W with CPU stock and 2x Kingston KVR800D2N5-VLP modules run in 667 mode.

Tested some wireless cards for power/speed balance.
Intel 6200: 56Mbps 1.5W
Azurewave Atheros-based: 18Mbps 1W
Broadcom N150+BT: 25Mbps 2W

Now testing some cheap RAID cards for power requirements.
Silicon Image 3132 (BIOS enabled): 1.5W
Silicon Image 3124 with X1 bridge chip (BIOS enabled): 5W (I think most of it from the bridge chip)
Marvell 88SE6145 (BIOS enabled): 3W
Marvell 88SE9128 (BIOS enabled AHCI mode): 2.5W
JMicron JMB362 (no BIOS): 2W

Silicon Image 3726 based port multiplier (no link): 7W
Silicon Image 5744 based RAID port multiplier (no link): 4W

Silicon Image controllers seem to be the most energy efficient ones, considering just the card itself. Old Marvell 6145 is the least hungry 4-port, SiI3124 may be even better but since the NM10-E-E doesn't have PCI slots there's always a bridge chip in the way.

Author:  MikeC [ Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Note to pm.stacker: It is easy to upload an image to the SPCR server. I just edited your post this way. Downloaded your image from photobucket to my desktop, then uploaded it to the server by attaching the file in the post.

Author:  batka [ Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

pm.stacker, very nice indeed!

I also use a D525 board as a headless NAS and torrent machine, but mine is Asus AT5NM10T-I, and OS is running on a simple USB2 pendrive. Mine is although in full ATX size case.

Author:  Horgrim [ Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

pm.stacker - where did You get the power suply? google images show Your pictures from this post and one generic photo of the psu. Magic? Server supply which is not sold to individual customers? Custom made psu? Magic? Thanks in advance for the reply.

Best regards from Poland
Horgrim

Author:  pm.stacker [ Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Batka
I debated about using a thumbdrive for OS load (or a USB CF reader), but to keep everything internal I would have had to use one of the MiniPCIE slots to extract its USB2.0 port, since the NM10-E-E has only one USB internal header to which I'd like to connect the front case ports. As for the motherboard, I wanted max PCIE expandability, the AT5NM10T has 4x SATA and open-end X1 slot but no MiniPCIE, the open-end slot would be nice for me to test my Promise EX8650 card if it can work in X1 mode :mrgreen: (it would consume more power than the entire mobo itself :lol:)

Horgrim
The power supply is a Fortron model FSP150-50TNF, I bought it in Germany: stores.ebay.de/Schneider-Consulting-Elektronik, Server Komponenten, Netzteile, or search for "FORTRON L%FCFTERLOS" (%FC=ΓΌ), or try this link. It is the only one they have and I think the only one Fortron makes. Years ago they made also a 120W model but not anymore, now there's a 100W with fan. It's not cheap but works well, no 80PLUS certifications but from what I read it should be comparable to a Bronze level and is EuP compliant (<1W at full 5VSB load). Single 12V rail:
+3.3V 6A
+5V 6A
+12V 8A
+5VSB 1.5A
Connectors: cable 1, 2x SATA. Cable 2, 1x molex and 1x FDD. Mobo, 20/24+4. Cables are not very long so they might not reach the motherboard on 1U cases where pSU is on the opposite side (i.e. Travla TE-1160). And the vented cover is on the bottom side when mounted on standard FlexATX posts (i.e. looking at the back, IEC socket to the left and fan to the right).

Author:  pm.stacker [ Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Swapped the Lexar 133X card with a Sandisk Extreme3 card (200X). Why? Because the Lexar doesn't support UDMA mode (only MWDMA-2), and since the CF adapter uses a Marvell 88SA chip that was designed for UDMA-33/66/100/133 it might not work well. The Sandisk works in UDMA-4 mode (the first card I used, Lexar 300X, worked in UDMA-5 but it is better suited on my DSLR :mrgreen:)

Author:  pm.stacker [ Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Had to change to a 16GB card from my pro camcorder, the 8GB was a tight fit (ended up with 100MB free) :roll: same Sandisk Extreme3 model.

Author:  pm.stacker [ Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

No difference with 3072MB system memory, now I switched from MiniDLNA to MediaTOMB, doesn't require upstart scripts to start at boot time, has a nice Web-based GUI for archive management (but low-level config remains XML based :mrgreen:) and it can do format conversion, I have already tested in decoding and streaming OGG and FLAC files to my Onkyo which doesn't support them :mrgreen:
And maybe I finally ruled out the sudden disconnection that happened apparently randomly during DLNA playback, with my server always disappearing from the list for a moment or sometimes even "0/0 No Server" being displayed (I have the other server always on with its WMP12 service active but disabled). This led me to check for the 3rd time the Onkyo network configuration: first time there was no subnet mask (0.0.0.0), second time DNS2 was set to 255.255.255.255, third time... I thought that maybe the IP address I assigned could have been already in use or been used before by one of my machines on the network (192.168.0.8). Now I changed it to an address I never used (192.168.0.70) and it seems to be more stable... :roll:
It's time to reallocate IP adresses in my network with some criteria (now there's no criteria: 2001 "random" assignment...) :!:

EDIT: to rule out Intel WLAN problems I tried installing the Azurewave module that Zotac provided: it works but I confirm it's a N150 chip, good for light usage. Only upside it should draw less power than the Intel card.

EDIT2: updated config on first post.

Author:  Horgrim [ Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

You are one crazy Italian guy, You know that? :D Maybe some photos with the media server installed in a desk/rack with other networked items?

Best regards from Poland
Horgrim

Author:  pm.stacker [ Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Finally decided: Intel 330 series 180GB on my laptop (found a good deal on one here), and Corsair Performance Pro 128GB on this server :mrgreen: Marvell 88SS9174-BKK2 should be more reliable in Linux and require less power than Sandforce based drives

Author:  pm.stacker [ Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Just finished placing this thing in my desk :mrgreen:

Author:  pm.stacker [ Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fanless low-power Mini Server

Here it is, adequate air flow on top without consuming footprint 8-)
Image

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