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 Post subject: What do I buy for the current most power saving NAS system?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:17 pm 
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My old 500 MHz server is not cutting it anymore as I just got Squeezecenter installed on it.

I need a server which can handle Squeezecenter, Torrents and streaming of music/movies.
It must support 2 disks in RAID 1.

I would really like it to be around 30 w as it will be running 24/7

Atom seems out of the question as of yet due to the chipset
Via Nano has a foggy release date and costs a gazillion

Are there any current solutions out there which can suit my needs and only run at around 30 watts? I have a feeling that there are great solutions that are clouded by the Atom vs Nano hype, but I just can't find them :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:49 am 
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Ok, no Nano, but would a VIA C7 @ 2.0GHz be good enough?
http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=34#j7f2

About half the price of a Nano.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:27 am 
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What HDDs would you like to use? Typically 3.5' HD draws at least 6W at idle, which means 2 HDDs would draw more power than CPU alone.

30W was an obstacle to budget computing. :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:49 am 
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Location: Michigan
loimlo wrote:
What HDDs would you like to use? Typically 3.5' HD draws at least 6W at idle, which means 2 HDDs would draw more power than CPU alone.

GPs or P7K500? WD10EACS is 3.8W idle. P7K500 is 3.3 to 4.8W idle.

First, you are going to have some type of software RAID, it might as well be the OS variety. As far as motherboard + CPU <30W and decent performance. I would try AMD. An ASUS Pundit P2-AE2 can easily idle <30W, but has no room for a second internal 3.5" drive. A Mac Mini running extrernal drives could also work.

For something newer, a fully undervolted Sempron LE on a 690G/7x0G motherboard should be able to get close to 30W. Or something like this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:58 pm 
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I'll be getting the most energy efficient disks I can. I don't know it that is WD's green line?

I am hoping that the AMD 740g chipset and a AMD 4050e CPU might be able to hold me at around 30 W. Am anxiously awaiting the review :) If the dual core CPU is too power hungry maybe a Sempron LE instead? Which of these are best? LE-1200?

Of course if the Nano really is much more efficient I will go with it instead if it arrives soon. Don't know about the C7 anymore. I guess the Nano will be the better way to go, should Via come out first in my contemplations, as it performs twice as good for the same power usage .

I am thinking of the Chenbro ES34069 as the case and PSU and 2 GB of RAM as RAM is dirt cheap.
http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=42


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:39 pm 
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Location: Michigan
djon wrote:
Which of these are best? LE-1200?

Only the LE-1300 or LE-1250 are sure to be the latest "G2" stepping. So, those two should be your best options. I don't think the cheaper LE-1100 would be too much worse. Dual-cores will be at least twice the power. I would forget about VIA. The Nano is nowhere near as efficient as a undervolted K8.

From what I read today, it sounds like 740G is not a die shrunk 690G. It is just a relabeled 690G. The 780G has slightly lower idle power than 690G, but both are around 1W idle.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:31 pm 
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Ok so:

Case/PSU:
Chenbro ES34069
http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=42

Motherboard:
780G chipset or 740G chipset?
GA-MA78GM-S2H or GIGABYTE GA-MA74GM-S2H
Won't the onboard fancy ATI Radeon GFX be overkill and use unnecessary watts? Of course if QuietOC is right and they only use 1 w idle (which sounds crazy low) then there's no problems.

CPU
AMD Sempron LE 1100 or 1250
What benefits will I get out of G2?
Do they have equally low idle watts?
Are they both possible to undervolt?

Maybe Athlon X2 4050e?
Will it consume twice the power than the Sempron when idle?

RAM
2x1 GB of Dual Channel DDR2 RAM or a 1x2 GB RAM stick
Are there power consumption differences between 1 and 2 sticks of RAM?

Harddisks
2x WD7500AACS
Nice and green and 750 GB of space in RAID1.

Will I hit ~30 watt when undervolting and doing all possible measures to reduce power consumption?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:02 am 
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1. 6100 drew the least power compared to newer AM2 solutions, but the difference was 3 watts at best.

2. 65nm G2 revision may draw less power, probably 2 watts, in comparison to G1 revision. Btw, single core may draw 2 watts less than dual core, and hence you might save 4~5 watts really by going for G2 single core.

3. It doesn't matter in terms of RAM power consumption. I suggest you to take 1x2GB for further upgrade ability.

4. HD choice is good.

In a nutshell, you mileage may vary from 33~36W from my experience. As I said before, 30W barrier. :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:14 am 
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djon wrote:
Case/PSU:
Chenbro ES34069
http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=42

Motherboard:
780G chipset or 740G chipset?
GA-MA78GM-S2H or GIGABYTE GA-MA74GM-S2H
Won't the onboard fancy ATI Radeon GFX be overkill and use unnecessary watts? Of course if QuietOC is right and they only use 1 w idle (which sounds crazy low) then there's no problems.

MicroATX motherboards won't fit in MiniITX cases.

My ASUS M2A-VM (690G) is flaky and probably needs to be RMAd, so I'll probably getting a 780G motherboard myself from a different manufacturer.

Not a big deal, but the WD7500AACS is a 3 platter drive. You could save some power by going with the 500GB or 640GB models which only have 2 platters.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:37 am 
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djon wrote:
CPU
AMD Sempron LE 1100 or 1250
What benefits will I get out of G2?
Do they have equally low idle watts?

The G2s seem to require the least voltage, so they should idle less

Quote:
Are they both possible to undervolt?

All the AM2 chips seem to be able to undervolt to 0.800V at some clockspeed (minimum is 1GHz ).

Quote:
Maybe Athlon X2 4050e?
Will it consume twice the power than the Sempron when idle?

Likely slightly more than twice the power of the single core Sempron.

Quote:
RAM
2x1 GB of Dual Channel DDR2 RAM or a 1x2 GB RAM stick
Are there power consumption differences between 1 and 2 sticks of RAM?

Yes, two sticks consume twice the power, though the larger stick might consume a little more too. Make sure to get 1.8V rated memory either way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:47 am 
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loimlo wrote:
1. 6100 drew the least power compared to newer AM2 solutions, but the difference was 3 watts at best.

I think the Geforce 6100 is great, but how could it be 3W less than a <1W chip? Maybe the SB600 takes a lot of power?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:22 am 
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QuietOC wrote:
loimlo wrote:
1. 6100 drew the least power compared to newer AM2 solutions, but the difference was 3 watts at best.

I think the Geforce 6100 is great, but how could it be 3W less than a <1W chip? Maybe the SB600 takes a lot of power?

nVIDIA 6100 is a single chip design. AMD's solution has to add southbridge as you said. Besides, I meant at best which indicated that you may see smaller difference on different mainboards. At times, motherboard VRM efficiency loss and onboard peripheral chips play a bigger role in low power computing. For example, Gigabyte 690G board tends to drew 4~5 watts more than Biostar 690G alternatives from my experience.

Ohh, I think I've read someone had mentioned on SPCR forum that Gigabyte 780G board drew more electricity than others, but I can't recall clearly right now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:25 am 
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Quote:
MicroATX motherboards won't fit in MiniITX cases.


Oh damn you're right. In my head mini was bigger than micro, but not so... Hmm any recommendations then? Size isn't super important as it will be tugged away in a closet. I don't want a big tower though.
Obviously the key is an efficeint PSU. Maybe a Pico PSU is the way to go, just to splash out some more money :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:45 am 
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djon wrote:
Oh damn you're right. In my head mini was bigger than micro, but not so... Hmm any recommendations then?

I have been using an In-Win mini Tower I got a couple of years ago for $40.99 from Buy-com. The included 300W power supply (IP-P300AJ2) is about 79% efficient at best, which isn't bad for a $22 power supply. The low end Antec Earthwatts (EA380 & EA430) power supplies (>80% efficiency) are both $30 right now. Also many power supplies are going to be rather inefficient with a 30W load. My In-Win is down below 68% efficiency already at 50W.

To get a power supply closer to 78% efficient at 30W takes some doing. PicoPSU with a 12DC brick would work. The Sparkle SPI220LE is decent.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:52 pm 
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Unfortunately the Sparkle doesn't seem to be available here in Europe, so I'm thinking an Antec NSK 1300 case, rip out the bad PSU and get a Pico + 120 w brick. Ouch that's gonna cost me :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:16 pm 
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djon wrote:
Unfortunately the Sparkle doesn't seem to be available here in Europe, so I'm thinking an Antec NSK 1300 case, rip out the bad PSU and get a Pico + 120 w brick. Ouch that's gonna cost me :(

The power supply in the NSK1300 is 80Plus rated. That would probably not be too bad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:50 am 
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I'm still a bit puzzled over which motherboard to choose. I cannot quite understand how a motherboard can only use 1W? For instance look at this test comparing AMD 780G to a Jetway JNC62K:

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/05/20/jetway-jnc62k-geforce-8200-mini-itx/10

Here the AMD runs at 11 more watts when playing a dvd.

Also, can't I get a super low power chipset without any fancy GFX? I don't need any HTPC targeted things like HD decoding etc. I only connect to it via remote desktop and it wont even have a monitor attached to it.
Will it idle using the same power than a less good onboard GFX when not in use or is there some overhead compared to some low-tech onboard GFX?

What is THE lowest consuming motherboard with RAID 0 possibilites on the market which can use an AMD CPU and can undervolt?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:53 am 
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the 780g might idle at 1 watt, though still seems low [where did this number come from]

The thing with the 780G is that it uses a northbridge chip and a southbridge chip. For the 8200, nvidia built it as one chip. So there would definitely be some saving in power consumption for using one less chip.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:43 pm 
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After reading some more, I guess that the Abit AN-M2 is a contender. Just to get one thing straight: Does it matter at all that the BIOS doesn't support undervolting when I can use CrystalCPUID?
Also, I read several places that the Abit AN-M2 is one of the lowest consuming motherboards, but was this before the 690/740G was introduced?

About the RAM.

I'm looking at a Kingston KHX6400D2/2G 2 GB stick

http://www.kingston.com/hyperx/products ... 2.asp#800s

Is this 1.8v?

It says:
KHX6400D2/2G 2GB DDR2 800MHz Non-ECC CL5 5-5-5-15 2.0V

But in the datasheet it says:
Single Power Supply of +1.8V (+/- .1V)
and:
Timing Reference: 5-5-5-15 at +1.8V / 5-5-5-15 at +1.85V

Which one should I look for?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:30 am 
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Location: Michigan
djon wrote:
Also, can't I get a super low power chipset without any fancy GFX? I don't need any HTPC targeted things like HD decoding etc. I only connect to it via remote desktop and it wont even have a monitor attached to it.
Will it idle using the same power than a less good onboard GFX when not in use or is there some overhead compared to some low-tech onboard GFX?

Yes, there are other options, the VIA KM800M is also another low power chipset, but it is realtively old. Same with SiS. The Geforce 6100 was the first 90nm integrated video chipset, and like the 8200 is a single chip design. Though there are now 2 chip 6100 chipsets.

780G is 0.94W idle, 11.4W load
8200 is ?? idle, 14W load

Comparison of 6100/6150/690G power usage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:56 am 
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QuietOC, I can't find that anywhere in the article you provided. What I can find is this:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article807-page10.html

Here they don't exactly praise the 780G for it's low power consumption as it uses quite a bit more than 690G.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:48 am 
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djon wrote:
QuietOC, I can't find that anywhere in the article you provided.

Image
Quote:
Here they don't exactly praise the 780G for it's low power consumption as it uses quite a bit more than 690G.

On these AMD motherboards the chipset is not likely to the the major source of power usage. Generally you can look for fewer VRM phases and reduced features (fewer extra chips, etc.) for power savings. A motherboard can be undervolting or overvolting any chip on it, and power is proportional to voltage squared, so it can add up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:10 pm 
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My Via EN15000G mobo uses heaps less than 30W. I run it with a pair of 2.5" HDDs (one 160GB, the other 500GB), and a Hauppauge Nova-T-500, and get 27W idle at the wall. The Hauppauge card is responsible for around 3-4W, so the mobo + 2 HDDs is about 24W idle. Even if you use WD GP drives, I think you'd still be under 30W

It's not the most powerful of boards, but would be ample for a NAS, I think.

They're hella-overpriced though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:52 pm 
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QuietOC wrote:
djon wrote:
QuietOC, I can't find that anywhere in the article you provided.

Image
Quote:
Here they don't exactly praise the 780G for it's low power consumption as it uses quite a bit more than 690G.

On these AMD motherboards the chipset is not likely to the the major source of power usage. Generally you can look for fewer VRM phases and reduced features (fewer extra chips, etc.) for power savings. A motherboard can be undervolting or overvolting any chip on it, and power is proportional to voltage squared, so it can add up.


So where did 0.94W idle and 11.4W load come from?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:00 am 
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bbzidane wrote:
So where did 0.94W idle and 11.4W load come from?

Image
Those are from AMD, and that is just for the 780G northbridge chip itself.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:26 pm 
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AFAIK the lowest power consuming motherboards are normaly these with NVidia GForce 7025/7050 chipsets.
Here you can find a overview: http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... post325714
For a NAS, you don't need the features of the newer chipsets (e.g. NVidia 8200, AMD 780g).
The lowest power consuming desktop system what I known is 13.6 W @idle with a chipset hardware mod:
http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... lting.html

My soulution would be:

Mainboard:
Abit AN-M2: good, cheap and low power consuming mainboard
Read here: http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... glich.html

CPU:
AMD X2 4050e: power consuming on idle isn't really different to a single core AMD-CPU.
Read here: http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... 974-7.html

RAM:
1x1GB single sided or 1x2GB double sided 1.8V Value RAM
Dual channel speed up only 5% in average, so you don't need it for a NAS.
This is my experience, here you can get more information for a intel system:
http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... 39878.html

HDD:
1x2.5" for system and torrent, 2x3.5" (1TB) WD GP for the data.
if no data is needed, the 3,5" HDDs can spin down after e.g. 30 min.

PSU:
Yellow 120W PicoPSU and 110W power brick + active cooling (but PicoPSU it's near the limit with 2x3,5" on 12V)
Read here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article601-page1.html
Alternative Seasonic SS-300sfd
Read here: http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... 00sfd.html
and here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article286-page1.html
PSU comparsion: http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... p?t=329435

BIOS:
Switch of all unused features e.g. sound, ide controller, ...

Software:
CPU-Undervolting: Windows: CrystalCPU or RMClock, Linux: cpupowerd
GPU-Underclocking: Windows: ?, Linux: nvclock

If the 3,5" HDDs are spined down, the power consumption should be near 20W, depended from the PSU.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:10 am 
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smax3, thanks for the reply.

Right now I'm torn between the Abit AN-M2 and the Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 that they just reviewed here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article859-page1.html

And now you make me doubt the CPU choice again :D
AMD X2 4050e VS Sempron LE-1250 are the contenders here.

I can't really find any reviews between those two and what their idle specs are. If they're the same I might as well get the dual core, but QuietOC says that dual core uses twice as much in idle so...

I'll get 1x2 GB 667 MHz value RAM and the Antec NSK-1380 with the hopefully nice Earth Watts PSU. I hope I wont have to get a Pico PSU as they're insanely expensive (like eveything else) here in Europe.
For a disk I think I may go with 1 WD 750 GB Green Line disk and make manual backups with a USB disk I have. The 2,5" for system and torrents are under heavy consideration though. I guess that'll be up to how many watts my system will use


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:06 am 
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djon wrote:
Right now I'm torn between the Abit AN-M2 and the Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2

Sure the new AMD 780G chipset (and 8200 NVidia) are very powerfully. But du you really need the new features (Hardware HD support, PCIe 2.0 for PEG, 6 SATA ports) in a NAS? I wouldn't need it :).

djon wrote:
And now you make me doubt the CPU choice again :D
AMD X2 4050e VS Sempron LE-1250 are the contenders here.

I can't really find any reviews between those two and what their idle specs are. If they're the same I might as well get the dual core, but QuietOC says that dual core uses twice as much in idle so...

AFAIK the difference in idle is between 0.5 - 1W. The new sempron LE-1xxx G2 aren't in the list unfortunately.
Image
Copyright http://tomshardware.com/de

djon wrote:
I'll get 1x2 GB 667 MHz value RAM and the Antec NSK-1380 with the hopefully nice Earth Watts PSU. I hope I wont have to get a Pico PSU as they're insanely expensive (like eveything else) here in Europe.
The Antec Earth Watts PSU is a good choice too, it's like the Seasonic SS-300-SFD.


Last edited by smax3 on Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:09 am 
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The Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 is only the 740G, the successor of the 690G so it's not as powerful (and power consuming according to the review here on silentpcreview.com) as the 780G. It's almost priced the same as the Abit so if it's as good in idle I might as well get the Gigabyte.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:19 am 
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djon wrote:
The Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 is only the 740G, the successor of the 690G so it's not as powerful (and power consuming according to the review here on silentpcreview.com) as the 780G. It's almost priced the same as the Abit so if it's as good in idle I might as well get the Gigabyte.


Ooops, you are right. The Gigabyte have "only" a 740G chipset, I have it oversight - sorry. The 740G chipset is a new revision of the 690G with no new features afaik.
I don't think the power consume is lower than a mainboard with a nForce 630a (GF 7025/7050) chipset, but it's possible in theory.


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