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 Post subject: Low power motherboard/chipset advice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Australia
Hi,
I have been researching low power motherboards/chipsets for a system upgrade and am finding it difficult to get the information I need. Perhaps someone can provide some advice; or refer me to a website that compiles this kind of info.

I am trying to find the lowest power motherboard/chipset that supports some components that I want to re-use. This is for my ZFS fileserver (currently using Ubuntu, but I can swap to another Linux if needed). I have an AM2 Athlon x2 CPU, ECC DDR2 RAM and PCIe SATA2 controller. I currently use onboard graphics and gigabit ethernet because I assume they use less power than controller cards.

The idle power consumption is all I am really concerned about. The system is idle 95-99% of the time, but I can't sleep/standby it because of the server software it runs.

I really want to get the system to around 30W idle. Any suggestions/advice?

I'd swap to a dual core Atom solution, but it doesn't seem to support ECC.

Thanks,
Ty

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Australia
I'm surprised nobody has a site recommendations or advice...

Perhaps if I be a little more specific. Does anyone know if the Nvidia chipsets and more efficient than the AMD chipsets (that support AM2 CPU's)? I think both support ECC ram but I'm not certain.

I have read that AMD chipsets are not very good with Linux. Can anyone confirm this?

I am assuming that the most recent chipsets will be the most power efficient.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:37 pm 
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Location: US
G31 chip sets are the best Intel ones for low power.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:16 am
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A bit old thread already but to answer your question, I've been researching this for a home server also and apparently the most efficient chipset is the GF7025/7050 based ones. The absolute lowest consumption board seems to be the out of production Asrock AliveNF7G-HDReady (maybe the other variants of that board are the closest ones). There are other boards that get very close, ~1W, so the difference between those and that specific ASRock model may well be a measurement error I guess. In any case the chipset has fairly consistently given the lowest numbers when compared to other AM2 chipsets.

There's lots of discussion about this on the german forum Meisterkuehler, I resorted to Google Translate to understand it as I don't speak german.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:10 am 
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Wow. Thanks. That's a huge help for me.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:41 am 
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Now that I can link and found some references, here's a thread with some consumption information on various boards grouped by chipset:
Stormverbrauchstest AM2 and AM2+ mainboards

The problem is of course that most of those boards are out of production, but seems like for example the ASRock N68PV-GS gets similar numbers. It's a pretty stripped down board though.

Of the newer chipsets the 790GX seems to be a fairly low consumption one even if it doesn't match gf7050/630a. There was a thread about someone's quad-core Phenom II at 25W idle, part 2 project that I stumbled upon and the MSI recommended in that first link waas a 790GX too I think.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:04 am 
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Good morning
I write from Italy and translation with google

Very interesting.
I am also interested in saving energy


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:34 am 
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Location: Mexico
my current Athlon II x2 rig comsumes 29-30w idle:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=58228

Maybe I could strip even few more watt going to SSD and quitting the DVD-RW, but for me a 30w -ish consumption is fine.
Doing "average" tasks (office + surfing+ play music) my pc consumes around 31-34 watts, and that's is 90% of time.

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My current rig:
Athlon II x2 240 Regor @ 2.8ghz | Gigabyte 785g (GA-MA785GM-US2H) | Picopsu 120-wi + generic power brick 120w 18.5v |HDD 2.5" 250gb Fujitsu | 2 x 2 gb Kingston DDR2 800 | Dvd-RW Samsung|+ monitor LED Acer 21.5"
Wattage: PC is 30W Idle, 45W Fully Loaded | LCD is 13W


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:04 am 
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Thanks for the information.

It looks like you are doing exactly what I am interested in doing. The Gigabyte motherboard that you are using is almost perfect for me. If it supported ECC DDR2 I'd go out and buy one tomorrow.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:35 am 
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@ tyn
Also check out matt_garman's excellent thread: Biostar A760G-M2+ - 30W barrier broken.

Question: How are you using Ubuntu with ZFS? Via fuse? That's a sub-optimal implementation. Ideally, I think you should strive for in-kernel ZFS implementation. I believe this restricts you to solaris and BSD at the moment. For a simple file server, FreeBSD supports ZFS in-kernel, but I believe it's an older ZFS rev.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:49 pm 
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as mentioned before, actually GF7025/7050 based chipsets are really efficient..


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