Seagate 1TB drive for my server died, so I figure this is a good time to replace my headless Windows 2003 server with something a bit more modern. Status quo is an HP think client with Transmeta Crusoe 700MHz, 512MB RAM, 8MB SSD for booting, with VIA SATA PCI controller in its only PCI slot, connected to an external 1TB 3.5" drive via eSATA. Total power consumption including drive right now is 17W (thin client uses 7W, HDD uses 10W). Works well, but when I remote desktop into it, it is very slow and laggy, it probably takes 30-seconds just for IE6 to load, launching even small apps like uTorrent take similarly as long. I'm also limited to 100MB/s ethernet - tried a USB2.0 gigabit ethernet dongle once, and it was so taxing for the CPU that it was actually slower than the onboard 100MB/s.
Its tasks will be:
- Serving DVD and mkv files to my various HTPCs (no transcoding)
- Hosting web server so I can access electronic automobile service manuals from my tablet
- Downloading large files via HTTP and uTorrent
- Microsoft Exchange Server, to keep my Outlook Contacts and email in sync with all my machines and mobile devices
Main reason to upgrade is, I would like to replace it with something that can run modern Windows, probably 2008 R2 since I have a student license for that. I also want gigabit ethernet. The new setup will be using RAID1 when HDD prices go down, because I recently lost my 1TB, and that's another reason for upgrading because the Transmeta CPU in the thin client will surely be bogged down by software RAID1.
I would like to spend as little as possible because this machine really won't be doing much, so I don't think I need anything very powerful. My thoughts are Celeron G530+H67 chipset board, or an AMD E350 board like the MSI E350IA-E45. The E350 board is around $67 shipped after rebate, so it looks like going G530 would be about $50 more. I think they idle around the same, with the G530 having much power processing power, but the thing is I don't know that I need
any more processing power just for what this server is going to be used for. So probably most important thing is low idle power consumption since it will be on 24/7 just doing nothing or maybe downloading files most of the time. Video performance is no concern at all, it will not even have a monitor.
Is G530 worth the extra dough for what I'll be using this for?
Should I be looking at something else, like Atom? Although from what I've seen, Atom isn't all that cheap and I haven't seen that it idles much better either.