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 Post subject: Challenge with new Atom based ESXi box
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:18 am
Posts: 18
Location: Canada
So over the weekend I went out and splurged on some money for a proper case, RAM, and a spare PSU for my Atom ESXi box (which will serve as a router, file server, etc) running Linux distro's through ESXi.

Here are the current components:

ECS 945GCD-M (Atom 330)
4 gigs of RAM (2x2 Gig DDR2)
2xSeagate 7200.11 drives
LiteOn IDE DVD-RW drive
Intel 1000 MT PCI NIC

running on a Cooler Master 460W PSU (definately not an 80 Plus PSU but I couldn't justify the $20-$30 price difference at time of purchase but now I'm starting to regret it).

So from doing some initial testing last night I was shocked to see that with that setup I was running an average of 58w idle and 64w running Prime 95 (to stress CPU and memory).

This was a lot more than I was expecting vs running 29w idle and 38w load when I had a single hard drive, 2 gigs of ram (still two sticks) and using an Antec 80Plus PSU from the NSK 1380. Is my PSU potentially a culprit for a loss in watts as it may be more inefficient as such a low wattage?

The extra drive should only bump up an extra 7-8w idle leaving another 10w or so unaccounted for. The goal was to have a router and file server that would replace my dd-wrt router and my DNS-323. Also at that power consumption level after reading many threads on this forum I may have been better off using my P5E-VM HDMI and getting an E5200 with some undervolting and gotten the same results. Any suggestions?


Last edited by surrealillusion on Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:23 am
Posts: 5
Location: Netherlands
Quote:
This was a lot more than I was expecting vs running 29w idle and 38w load when I had a single hard drive, 2 gigs of ram (still two sticks) and using an Antec 80Plus PSU from the NSK 1380. Is my PSU potentially a culprit for a loss in watts as it may be more inefficient as such a low wattage?


Yes, this may be a problem. There is a article at this site with some measurements (IIRC it's power supply basics).

You can look up power usage of the hard drives on the Seagate website.
A 500GB WD RE3 drive needs about 8-9W of power, but according to the specs they may peak as high as 25W ... :{

So 2 * 9W = 18W ...

I guess SeaGate specs are about the same ...


Are 2.5" drives an option? I have a SuperMicro 5015-H server with two 2.5" disks and it uses about 31W max ... I did some basic hard drive speed measurements, and they weren't that slow (Fast enough for my use anyway).2

Personally, I would recommend the picoPSU for a system like this ... I'm getting that one for my Atom 330 server (SuperMicro board) which I'm building at the moment....

As a sidenote, does that board actually support 4GB of memory? Most Atom 330 board I saw only supported 2GB Max.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:18 am
Posts: 18
Location: Canada
I've got quite a number of 3.5 drives that I would be re-using in this system so 2.5" unfortunately aren't an option. The board has two slots but the ceiling is 3.25 gigs due to the 945 32 bit memory controller.

Realistically I should be seeing something in the high 40's in terms of wattage then. I knew I should have opted for a more efficient PSU but at 10w lost per hr it would take 100 hrs to use up 1 kW or 87kW per year at a cost of roughly .17c/kWh. $15 in one year ... ouch


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:18 am
Posts: 18
Location: Canada
Well I swapped out power supplies for the smallest Antec 80 Plus PSU available (380W). Now running Prime 95 on both cores with 1 HD and the CD-ROM drive plugged in I'm pushing 45W. Price difference was $23 after taxes which will pay itself off in 1.5 years of use vs the cheaper Cooler Master PSU I had in there.

Also in reviewing my original posts I wish I had written all of the wattage numbers I was getting from my Kill-A-Watt before posting (was trying to remember them from memory). Too many numbers over the last several days in trying to figure out what was an acceptable power consumption level has left me to question my own testing and results.

Once I have ESXi loaded up on this box along with a VM I'll post some 100% CPU load wattages to give real world results of a basic setup before adding two more hard drives in which will become my NAS (replacing my DNS-323).


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