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 Post subject: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:42 am 
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Hi. I have an HP MicroServer with a crappy Turion processor. Like many I was suckered in by the claims that it was quiet and low power, but it is neither. I'm not too bothered about noise, but it idles around 35W with all but one HDD spun down. I already disabled everything I can in the BIOS etc. The current spec is:

HP MicroServer
AMD Turion Processor (dual core)
8GB DDR3 RAM
4x HDDs
Windows 7 x64

I'm looking to replace it with another Windows 7 system. I would like a CPU with AES support as I make extensive use of TrueCrypt. I was considering the AMD A4-5000 for that reason. I really don't need much processing power, except for the AES support. I will also upgrade the system drive to an SSD. Main tasks are just NAS/DLNA, qBittorrent and a few servers like Cumulus (weather station) and home energy monitoring.

Unfortunately the MicroServer uses a proprietary motherboard, but I'm wondering if I can re-use the case with some hacking. Can anyone suggest a good low power system with at least four SATA ports, preferable six? Needs gigabit LAN too, but almost all systems have that now. I want to run it from a PicoPSU for efficiency. I'm aiming for <10W idle, with all but the system drive spun down.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:23 am 
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This Bay Trail thread might be of interest.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:29 am 
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MoJo wrote:
I'm aiming for <10W idle, with all but the system drive spun down.
If you are aiming at this low state, you need to move into intel and research a good motherboard in terms of power consumption, and defently need a PicoPSU for it to achive this low power. You will need the OS drive to be either an SSD or 2.5 laptop hdd, a desktop hdd can take up to 10W on active... idle close to 5W (depends on the hdd), so to achieve the 10W or lower, you cant have a 3.5hdd as your main OS, as you said need to spin down all of them to see this lower consuption states. Crucial MX100 has gotten good reviews in terms of consumption and its a value ssd, or a 5400rpm drive 2.5 hdd, my download station (see signature for a link) idles close to 10W with a HGST 5K1500.

I have had very good luck with intel motherboards in terms of efficiency, not sure if you are going for super small setup or you dont mind going into micro atx, as now a days there are no mini ITX motheboards in haswell, just a couple of micro atx, Intel Boxed Desktop Board DH87RL Micro ATX DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard.

Now if you want small and building into Mini ITX, there are very nice cases like Silverstone Tek Premium Mini-ITX DTX Small Form Factor NAS Computer Cases, Black (DS380B), for motherboards i have seen AsRock as pretty good option lately on power consumption, ill post you later the link.

Another option since you already went with premade, is the new HP server, for example HP ProLiant 712318-001 Ultra Micro Tower Server - 1 x Intel Pentium G2020T 2.50 GHz, SPCR review one of this new gen premade servers, HP Proliant MicroServer Gen8. Or premades from Qnap and Synology could be another option.

As steve posted, Baytrail is also getting lots of attention, so that could be an option as well depending on the CPU power you might need.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:22 am 
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Abula wrote:
If you are aiming at this low state, you need to move into intel and research a good motherboard in terms of power consumption, and defently need a PicoPSU for it to achive this low power. You will need the OS drive to be either an SSD or 2.5 laptop hdd, a desktop hdd can take up to 10W on active...


I will be using an SSD. I had a 2.5" HDD and it couldn't cope with some P2P stuff. Even a 3.5" HDD chokes once I start hitting about 8-9MB/sec down, due to the shear number of random writes. I'll look at the Crucial one, but their reputation for quality isn't brilliant...

Quote:
I have had very good luck with intel motherboards in terms of efficiency, not sure if you are going for super small setup or you dont mind going into micro atx, as now a days there are no mini ITX motheboards in haswell, just a couple of micro atx, Intel Boxed Desktop Board DH87RL Micro ATX DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard.


So you don't rate their mITX boards? I have an old Atom based one and was generally happy with it, apart it not having many SATA ports and no real expansion options. It's not so much the size I'm bothered about, but those boards are designed for low power operation so I thought they would be best.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:23 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
This Bay Trail thread might be of interest.


Thanks, I'll read through it.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:54 am 
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MoJo wrote:
So you don't rate their mITX boards?

Sadly there aren't any. Intel is quitting the desktop mobo business and for the Haswell generation there are no mini ITX boards from Intel.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:09 am 
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MoJo wrote:
I will be using an SSD. I had a 2.5" HDD and it couldn't cope with some P2P stuff. Even a 3.5" HDD chokes once I start hitting about 8-9MB/sec down, due to the shear number of random writes. I'll look at the Crucial one, but their reputation for quality isn't brilliant...
Curical on 3x M4 has been perfect, it just had the 5200 hours bug that i needed to flash the firmware, and they all been running solid till today. Now M500 and M550 seem to be fine aswell, just they kinda run on the hotside, this is the only reason i move toward samsung as i dont have anything bad to say about them, i dont own a MX100, just bought one though for my brothers laptop, but i heard good comments about the temperature so the reason i suggested him to go with it. But depending on your workloads you could check the Samsung 850pro or Intel 730, if you are going into heavier writing maybe would be best to check server grade ssds.

MoJo wrote:
I have an old Atom based one and was generally happy with it, apart it not having many SATA ports and no real expansion options. It's not so much the size I'm bothered about, but those boards are designed for low power operation so I thought they would be best.
Atoms i have mixed feeling, i had an Acer 340 that had an atom 270 if i remember correctly, and with 4 hdds it idle at 45watts no spin down, but even with 1hdd it was very close 25W, while the i3 + intel mobo + picoPSU + 2.5 hgst idles close 10W. The atom was unresponsive at times, even transferring heavy on the networks push it over.... if i was downloading with the server, and moving a file in the network and someone else was trying to watch a movie, the movie would stutter (even if it was not in the drive was moving or downloading) was simply to much for the atom to handle.

But atom now a days are more capable, and probably more efficient, but with how good celeron/pentiums are in terms of consumption, price and performance, that the atoms don't have a place for me. That said, if you are in a budget a baytrail will be cheaper, but you will be binded to how the motherboard comes.

Personally i do want to give atoms another chance, im specially intrigued by the Intel Avoton C2750 Octa-Core, but at the current price, ASRock C2750D4I Mini ITX Server Motherboard FCBGA1283 DDR3 1600/1333, you can even go with xeons and end up with similar spending, but still it intrigues me.

MoJo wrote:
So you don't rate their mITX boards?
I own an mini ITX intel sandy bridge motherboard thats been perfect, but intel is getting out of the retail motherboard buisness, leaving it for the 3rd party manufactures, but they still did some motherboards on haswell (i kinda think this is their last motherboards), one of them is the one i linked above, there is a second that i cant seem to find.

You should check Vicotnik builds, he has very good combos, and runs a lot of picopsu setups, and he is using AsRock mobos that i also have read have had very good consumption from ivy bridge and haswell, if i can find you some examples ill post them later on.

Now on your AES need, i think i3 and higher support it, so maybe something like Intel Core i3-4130 Haswell Dual-Core 3.4GHz LGA 1150 54W Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4400 BX80646I34130 + ASRock Z87E-ITX LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel I217V Lan 802.11ac WiFi Intel Motherboard (to furfill your 6 sata desire) or ASRock B85M-ITX LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard (if you were to be fine with 4 sata ports).

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Last edited by Abula on Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:20 am 
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For Baytrail, the E and Z Atom series support AES-NI.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:36 am 
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Thanks for the information guys. I wasn't aware that Intel are giving up on mobos, and such a lot has changed since I really looked into this years ago and bought the HP Microserver. So the consensus seems to be that Intel is the way to go here, and it really boils down to what boards are available. I like the idea of re-using the Microserver chassis if possible, even though the stupid motherboard isn't ITX so will need hacking to replace. Otherwise I suppose cases are cheap enough.

What about something like this: http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/QC5000-ITXWiFi/

It's a bit new so no reviews yet. I suppose mobile RAM is going to end up lower power, but few boards that accept it also have at least four SATA ports. I'll keep looking for some Intel boards that meet the requirements. Is it worth looking at full size boards, or are they going to all be higher power?

A newer Atom is a good tip Steve, thanks. I was actually happy with my old Atom dual core (550?). With hyperthreading the performance was actually okay, it was really the mobo that was lacking.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:55 pm 
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Abula wrote:


The images in some of your build threads are down, so I'll just ask. Is 10W or less achievable with a mobo/CPU like that? What I mean is, with desktop RAM and a desktop CPU?

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:40 am 
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MoJo wrote:
Abula wrote:


The images in some of your build threads are down, so I'll just ask. Is 10W or less achievable with a mobo/CPU like that? What I mean is, with desktop RAM and a desktop CPU?
Its not as easy to reach 10W, you do need a good brick a picopsu and specially a motherboard that can drop as low. For example i tried to swap to MSI Haswell motherboard with G3220, and ended with 14W consumption. Also remember the 10W is with no perif attached, no mouse, no monitor no keyboard, etc, its headeless unit, but yes with the right components you can achieve the 10W. Vicotnik has a similar build on his signature, he is idling at 13.9W, not sure if its with perif attached or not, but you could ask him.

Ill try to find you some other users that have posted desktop builds with close to 10W, just i haven't had the time to do it, to much work atm, maybe over the weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:53 am 
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Thanks. I appreciate 10W is a hard goal to hit, but I'd be very happy with 15W or less. The machine will be headless, the only connection being LAN and a few USB devices that I'm not including in the power budget. I wish staggered spin-up for HDDs was available so I could use a smaller brick.

I noticed that ASRock do a mobo with DC input now: http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Q1900DC-ITX/ It looks okay but I couldn't find any reviews. It would be interesting to know if they have managed to improve efficiency over a PicoPSU by tailoring the DC converter to their specific hardware. SATA power provided from headers on the mobo, which could be an issue if you wanted more than four drives.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:26 am 
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The J series chips don't support AES-NI.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:32 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
The J series chips don't support AES-NI.


Sure, that's why I rejected it, I was just speculating... Would be an interesting trend.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:39 am 
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I think you will really struggle, and it will cost you a lot of money (way more than the ~15W power savings will ever give you back). I have an Intel DQ77KB motherboard with Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2, and with an ancient Intel SSD (i.e. not the most power-efficient) running Windows 8, it idles at 13W (headless). So that's pretty amazing, but to be honest, that motherboard is the holy grail (as far as I'm concerned) of low power consumption. Sadly, it has been discontinued for at least 6 months (probably closer to a year), and even more sadly, Intel are no longer manufacturing motherboards.

My HP MicroServer with a 64GB SSD Crucial C300 SSD and 2 x 3TB WD Red drives (spinning), idles at 38W. So if we assume that the Reds consume their advertised 4W at idle, then the MicroServer is consuming 30W with the SSD. So you could potentially get something that saves you 17W of power. At 20 cents/kWh, those 17W will cost you $29.78 a year (running 24x7). 20 cents is quite extreme, so in reality, probably closer to $20 a year.

My 4th Generation Intel NUC (D54250WYKH) with an mSATA SSD idles at an almost impossible to believe 8W. Of course it is very limited in terms of expansion.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:14 am 
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For what it's worth, we've been running our sample of the HP Microserver (AMD Turion based) as SPCR's data storage server and home server for me since we reviewed it years ago. It holds some 10-12 TB of data & is used constantly for downloads, serving data, music, video, etc. It's been amazingly reliable, and pulls similar power levels as the OP with 4 HDDs and an SSD for OS (the optical drive was pulled to accommodate the SSD). I've played with newer, more capable systems but with the same HDD config, found reducing the power level to be virtually impossible. Any savings in CPU/motherboard idle is no better than 5W AC at best; the HDDs in idle keep the min power at ~30W AC no matter what. So, sure, if your server needs to be more powerful, go for it, but I would not expect to get much if any reduction in real power consumption over the Turion Microserver.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:48 pm 
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rotor wrote:
I think you will really struggle, and it will cost you a lot of money (way more than the ~15W power savings will ever give you back). I have an Intel DQ77KB motherboard with Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2, and with an ancient Intel SSD (i.e. not the most power-efficient) running Windows 8, it idles at 13W (headless). So that's pretty amazing, but to be honest, that motherboard is the holy grail (as far as I'm concerned) of low power consumption. Sadly, it has been discontinued for at least 6 months (probably closer to a year), and even more sadly, Intel are no longer manufacturing motherboards.


I'll be back in Japan in a couple of months so I think there is a fair chance I'll be able to find one somewhere. They often have slightly older, discontinued stuff. It certainly looks like a fantastic board. I'd be very happy with 13W. I too have an old 160GB XM-25 I was thinking about re-purposing.

Quote:
My HP MicroServer with a 64GB SSD Crucial C300 SSD and 2 x 3TB WD Red drives (spinning), idles at 38W. So if we assume that the Reds consume their advertised 4W at idle, then the MicroServer is consuming 30W with the SSD. So you could potentially get something that saves you 17W of power. At 20 cents/kWh, those 17W will cost you $29.78 a year (running 24x7). 20 cents is quite extreme, so in reality, probably closer to $20 a year.


It's more for the hell of doing it and to get AES support, because man does that AMD struggle with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:06 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
For what it's worth, we've been running our sample of the HP Microserver (AMD Turion based) as SPCR's data storage server and home server for me since we reviewed it years ago. It holds some 10-12 TB of data & is used constantly for downloads, serving data, music, video, etc. It's been amazingly reliable, and pulls similar power levels as the OP with 4 HDDs and an SSD for OS (the optical drive was pulled to accommodate the SSD). I've played with newer, more capable systems but with the same HDD config, found reducing the power level to be virtually impossible. Any savings in CPU/motherboard idle is no better than 5W AC at best; the HDDs in idle keep the min power at ~30W AC no matter what. So, sure, if your server needs to be more powerful, go for it, but I would not expect to get much if any reduction in real power consumption over the Turion Microserver.


That's extremely interesting. I too find it a very reliable, well made system, just a shame about the Turion. I'm surprised that the HDDs consume so much power when spun down though. Considering how much effort goes into laptop power saving these days I'd have assumed that the controllers would have been capable of extremely low power.

Stats are hard to find but Ars has some: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2011/01/ ... hat-green/

So 1W or less when spun down. The WD Green drive manages less than half a watt. Even that surprises me. I'm an embedded engineer and I'd expect a system like a HDD to easily get down to 0.01W or less, but maybe they don't make much effort.

Could it be the Microserver that causes the high power consumption I wonder... The SATA controller not powering down the link as much as it could, perhaps.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:36 pm 
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MoJo wrote:
That's extremely interesting. I too find it a very reliable, well made system, just a shame about the Turion. I'm surprised that the HDDs consume so much power when spun down though. Considering how much effort goes into laptop power saving these days I'd have assumed that the controllers would have been capable of extremely low power.

Stats are hard to find but Ars has some: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2011/01/ ... hat-green/

So 1W or less when spun down. The WD Green drive manages less than half a watt. Even that surprises me. I'm an embedded engineer and I'd expect a system like a HDD to easily get down to 0.01W or less, but maybe they don't make much effort.

Could it be the Microserver that causes the high power consumption I wonder... The SATA controller not powering down the link as much as it could, perhaps.

OK, I have to admit, I have never tried to get the HDDs to spin down. This means too long a delay when responding to a request out of idle -- regardless of the rest of the hardware. Our Microserver never sleeps and its drives never spin down. Response time to virtually any request any time, however, is instantaneous.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:58 am 
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MikeC wrote:
OK, I have to admit, I have never tried to get the HDDs to spin down. This means too long a delay when responding to a request out of idle -- regardless of the rest of the hardware. Our Microserver never sleeps and its drives never spin down. Response time to virtually any request any time, however, is instantaneous.


Ah, okay, I misunderstood and thought that you did. I spin mine down and they take maybe 3 or 4 seconds to come back up. It isn't really an issue when watching stuff via DLNA, and the time-out is set to 1 hour.

So, are you saying you get about 35W with the drives spinning? I get that with all but one of them powered down. I've said this before but I think HP gave you a much better PSU than the ones that shipped later. I'm on 240V so if identical mine should be even more efficient. I wonder if it is worth trying a PicoPSU. Others have said it makes no difference, but perhaps they started with a good PSU in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:25 am 
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MoJo wrote:
MikeC wrote:
So, are you saying you get about 35W with the drives spinning? I get that with all but one of them powered down. I've said this before but I think HP gave you a much better PSU than the ones that shipped later. I'm on 240V so if identical mine should be even more efficient. I wonder if it is worth trying a PicoPSU. Others have said it makes no difference, but perhaps they started with a good PSU in the first place.

It could just be down to the accuracy of your Watt-o-meter.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:28 am 
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MoJo wrote:
I too have an old 160GB XM-25 I was thinking about re-purposing.

Funnily enough, that is *exactly* the drive that I have in my DQ77KB system!


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 4:50 am 
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MoJo wrote:
So, are you saying you get about 35W with the drives spinning? I get that with all but one of them powered down. I've said this before but I think HP gave you a much better PSU than the ones that shipped later. I'm on 240V so if identical mine should be even more efficient. I wonder if it is worth trying a PicoPSU. Others have said it makes no difference, but perhaps they started with a good PSU in the first place.

38W with WD Greens, mostly 2-4TB. Each pulls around 3-4W DC, iirc, so the total is around 14W DC. Add 1W for the SSD for a total of 15W DC for the drives. My guesstimate for that 200W PSU in our Microserver can't be much better than maybe 80+ original or Bronze spec. Haven't opened up the machine in ages, so don't know what's printed on it. In any case, down at 37W AC draw, there's no way it can be better than 80% efficiency (given the age of the machine). My bet is it's less -- more like 75% at this lower power level for a 200W rated PSU. Assuming 75% efficiency, the total DC draw would be 28.5W. Since 15W is going to the drives, there's 13.5W for the rest of the system -- mostly the board & its various components & the CPU. I haven't seen a system with a modern CPU & the same type of board capabilities to lower the power floor much from that.

Look at this comparison of recent small high efficiency systems, each equipped with a single SSD and 2 sticks of RAM: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1383-page4.html (scroll to the middle of the page, subhead "Energy Efficiency Comparison"). All the more-or-less comparable systems are at 14~17W AC using a picoPSU + level V efficiency Seasonic power brick for ~85% efficiency. (OK, maybe 80% efficiency at this power level.) With the same efficiency PSU & system config, our Microserver would be pulling ~18W AC. The difference just isn't worth pursuing, imo, especially when you consider the financial and ecological cost of system replacement. (Interesting how the much newer Gen 8 Microserver at the bottom of that comparison draws 28W AC with its own PSU.)

Finally, I also have to wonder about the accuracy of your power measurements. Perhaps you should try some others? Our power measurements were done with a fairly respectable $800 Extech 380803 AC Power Analyzer -- http://www.silentpcreview.com/article683-page6.html

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:40 am 
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rotor wrote:
MoJo wrote:
I too have an old 160GB XM-25 I was thinking about re-purposing.

Funnily enough, that is *exactly* the drive that I have in my DQ77KB system!


My original one wore out in about 18 months. The Intel app said it ran out of spare write capacity, so I had it replaced under warranty. In the mean time I bought another SSD so it's been idle ever since.

It's old but a nice drive.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:46 am 
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MikeC wrote:
MoJo wrote:
So, are you saying you get about 35W with the drives spinning? I get that with all but one of them powered down. I've said this before but I think HP gave you a much better PSU than the ones that shipped later. I'm on 240V so if identical mine should be even more efficient. I wonder if it is worth trying a PicoPSU. Others have said it makes no difference, but perhaps they started with a good PSU in the first place.

38W with WD Greens, mostly 2-4TB. Each pulls around 3-4W DC, iirc, so the total is around 14W DC. Add 1W for the SSD for a total of 15W DC for the drives. My guesstimate for that 200W PSU in our Microserver can't be much better than maybe 80+ original or Bronze spec. Haven't opened up the machine in ages, so don't know what's printed on it. In any case, down at 37W AC draw, there's no way it can be better than 80% efficiency (given the age of the machine). My bet is it's less -- more like 75% at this lower power level for a 200W rated PSU. Assuming 75% efficiency, the total DC draw would be 28.5W. Since 15W is going to the drives, there's 13.5W for the rest of the system -- mostly the board & its various components & the CPU. I haven't seen a system with a modern CPU & the same type of board capabilities to lower the power floor much from that.

Look at this comparison of recent small high efficiency systems, each equipped with a single SSD and 2 sticks of RAM: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1383-page4.html (scroll to the middle of the page, subhead "Energy Efficiency Comparison"). All the more-or-less comparable systems are at 14~17W AC using a picoPSU + level V efficiency Seasonic power brick for ~85% efficiency. (OK, maybe 80% efficiency at this power level.) With the same efficiency PSU & system config, our Microserver would be pulling ~18W AC. The difference just isn't worth pursuing, imo, especially when you consider the financial and ecological cost of system replacement. (Interesting how the much newer Gen 8 Microserver at the bottom of that comparison draws 28W AC with its own PSU.)

Finally, I also have to wonder about the accuracy of your power measurements. Perhaps you should try some others? Our power measurements were done with a fairly respectable $800 Extech 380803 AC Power Analyzer -- http://www.silentpcreview.com/article683-page6.html


I have a calibrated true RMS Sanwa multimeter that I use to do measurements. It copes with PFC and all that kind of thing. I'm fairly sure of my measurements.

Again, we have been here before but the PSU in mine is much louder than some others. I'm not the only one seeing this.

Having said that the experience of the guy who installed a PicoPSU and found little difference is probably some kind of measurement error. I agree with you there.

If only the CPU could be upgraded. It looked fast enough on paper but really struggles under even moderate load. There is no point upgrading to an SSD unless I upgrade the CPU as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:14 am 
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Just one additional point -- TrueCrypt has been completely abandoned (by its anonymous developers), and the suspicion is that this is because it is compromised. If you are using Windows, have you checked out Bitlocker? In fact, with Bitlocker, you can buy drives that are certified to a certain standard, and the drive itself performs the encryption, with zero CPU impact.

Now, I assume you are using encryption for your important data (i.e. it is not very big), so why not get a Crucial MX100 SSD (they are incredibly cheap, and very very fast), which has full AES encryption built-in?

http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State ... a-p/145520

UPDATE: Disk self-encryption requires UEFI, which rules out the MicroServer. =(


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:41 am 
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rotor wrote:
Just one additional point -- TrueCrypt has been completely abandoned (by its anonymous developers), and the suspicion is that this is because it is compromised. If you are using Windows, have you checked out Bitlocker? In fact, with Bitlocker, you can buy drives that are certified to a certain standard, and the drive itself performs the encryption, with zero CPU impact.


I've been looking at this for a while. It requires an upgrade to Windows 8 as I am running Windows 7, and isn't supported by any of my HDDs or older SSDs. From that point of view an AES enabled CPU seems like a much better option as I don't think any HDDs support it at all anyway. Having said that I'm thinking about it for my main desktop and my laptop.

TrueCrypt is still safe. The last good version (7.1a) is being audited and the preliminary results are good. The guys behind it had to shut it down because they were nobbled by the NSA and didn't want to release a version with a backdoor in it. Probably one of those dodgy National Security Letters. Having said that others are taking over development outside the US where such things can't get at them, and at least 7.1a is being looked at in detail. Bitlocker is a complete unknown, closed source and not audited. Even if MS haven't been forced to install a backdoor it's still less trustworthy than software built from published source and publicly audited. It doesn't have the plausible deniability feature either.

Don't get me wrong, Bitlocker is very good and secure against most common threats (theft, LEAs etc.) but Truecrypt is cross platform and open. I'll use Bitlocker for my main system drive, certainly. Possibly not on my laptop as I need the hidden OS feature for going through customs.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:23 pm 
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I've bought two Microservers. FYI, the second one has significantly higher power consumption according to my UPS. So yeah, I suspect the first Microservers had more efficient power supplys.

MoJo, waking up a server from standby with WoL is fast as well.
If you don't mind waiting for the drives to spin up, you could use something like a Pi for lightweight always-on duty like monitoring. It could also send the WoL packet to the server when you hit a webpage or something if you use devices (phone, TV or something) that can't send one on it's own. Or you could live with a higher than ideal power consumption...


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:23 am 
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HFat wrote:
I've bought two Microservers. FYI, the second one has significantly higher power consumption according to my UPS. So yeah, I suspect the first Microservers had more efficient power supplys.

MoJo, waking up a server from standby with WoL is fast as well.
If you don't mind waiting for the drives to spin up, you could use something like a Pi for lightweight always-on duty like monitoring. It could also send the WoL packet to the server when you hit a webpage or something if you use devices (phone, TV or something) that can't send one on it's own. Or you could live with a higher than ideal power consumption...


The old bait and switch. In hindsight I should have returned it.

I was thinking about using an RPi for some other stuff and like your idea. ARM in general is quite interesting for this kind of application, but it means running Linux and encryption performance tends to be quite poor. If all you want is a basic NAS/download box it's ideal though.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing my server/NAS with something lower power
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:41 am 
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Although i agree with the comments about the efficiency of the build will matter less specially once you introduced 3.5 hdds, so i don't think its worth investing so much into planning it and the 3.5 hdds will make the savings trivial, unless you can sleep them. That said, for me computers is a hobby and perusing certain things is more about the money but the ability to do so.

Here some link for you to read and check in terms of low power builds,
Optimal Haswell CPU for low idle power HTPC/Server
DH61DL vs. DH61AG power test ... and G620 vs G620T
DH77DF vs DH77EB - power consumption

Personally i still think Intel is the best motherboards for the lowest power consumption, that said some had good results with MSI (i didn't), and some with AsRock (i haven't owned one to confirm), sadly as other have posted, intel is getting out of the motherboard buisness, very limited motherboards on Haswell, no mini itx that i know, but there are a some in micro atx,
Intel Boxed Desktop Board DB85FL Micro ATX DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard
Intel Boxed Desktop Board DH87RL Micro ATX DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboard

I'm not recommending MSI out of my experience for low power design build, while nothing bad overall (and still a big fan of their bios fan control), i never got lower consumption than with my intel. But out of absence and the examples on the web, asrock might be a good option for mini itx, i would still prefer intel though,
ASRock B85M-ITX LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard (4 sata ports)
ASRock H97M-ITX/ac LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard (5 sata ports)
ASRock Z87E-ITX LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel I217V Lan 802.11ac WiFi Intel Motherboard (6 sata ports)

Probably the B85 would be the safest pick as vitconik has one in his signature and getting 14W idle, so fits the range you are looking, not sure the other two, probably the Z87 will be less efficient with the VRMs oriented to overclocking.

MSI has new line of motherboards coming, they are marketing as ECO friendly oriented for 24/7 operation with low power, could be marketing but worth researching imo, MSI Launches Eco Motherboards.

Now one important thing to note is that you might be able to drop let says 15W for a headless unit or less (depending on the components), but the reality is the 3.5 hdds will increase the the idle by 4W each, unless you can sleep them (i never could under whs on my HBAs), so how important going for an extreme low power setup, will matter less once 3.5 mechanicals enter the equation.

Good luck with your build,

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


Last edited by Abula on Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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