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 Post subject: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:34 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Denmark
Thought I would just share my results for a low power, silent, fully featured ESXI setup (my current home server).


Power consumption (DQ57TM with i5-650)
Full system running vmware esxi with disks in spindown: 39-40W
Minimal system running esxi: 19,5W
Minimal system running windows server 2008 r2 (disk in spindown): 17,6W

Power consumption (HP Microserver motherboard)
Minimal system running esxi: 18,2W


Thoughts
I only did the minimal test because I had the HP Microserver available for test, and wanted to compare it to my current server setup. I was amazed to see the low idle results with the i5 board. It could be possible to get even better results by using an SSD and/or if low power memory modules was used (I know G-SKILL makes an ECO series running at 1,35volt).

The HP Microserver is exiting because of the very low cost. I think it retails at about 250 euro here in Denmark, and have 4 bays for disks. But it doesn't really make sense when you see the low idle power consumption of the i5 system (plus waaaay more cpu power, and vt-d support with the i5).

My only problem at the moment is that I don't really have a business case for buying new hardware (would take way too long to "pay off" with the savings from the electricity bill) ;-) Will have to find another excuse to buy new hardware...

Future plans could be to look into an i5 mobile motherboard (sandy bridge). I have been checking out the the Kontron KTQM67/mATX, but it will most likely be quite expensive, and not available yet. It however has some very promising specs, 3 onboard intel NIC's, mSATA mini-pcie port (for intel 310 series) and vt-d support from the QM67 chipset. The NIC's and mSATA would eliminate my need for add-in cards, and the power consumption from the mobile class chipset/cpu should lower the power consumption quite a bit. I haven't been able to find power consumption tests with Kontron boards, anyone?

I'm quite happy with my current setup, but like so many others I'm also on the lookout for new exiting hardware :-)

Details about the hardware for full system and minimal test below.

I hope this is usefull information, and that you have enjoyed reading about my findings :-)


Hardware (the full system)
Intel DQ57TM
Intel i5-650
Zalman 9500 with fan removed (case fan is plenty)
4 x Kingston Valueram 4GB (KVR1333D3N9/4G)
Intel 510 SSD, 120GB (esxi datastore)
Adaptec 1220SA sata controller (separate controller for esxi datastore, onboard controller is mapped directly to a fileserver vm guest, using vt-d)
4 x WD Green 2TB (raidz array)
1 x WD Green 1TB
Intel Pro/1000 CT (for esxi and guest traffic, onboard 82578DM is mapped directly to a fileserver vm guest, using vt-d)
NoName 2GB pen drive (for booting esxi)
Pico PSU 120
110W power brick
Antec P183 case (running two of the supplied fans at 5 volt, with middle setting on fans, inaudible)


Minimal test setup (i5 system)
Intel DQ57TM
Intel i5-650
Zalman 9500 with fan removed (case fan is plenty)
1 x Kingston Valueram 4GB (KVR1333D3N9/4G)
Sandisk Cruzer Contour 16GB pen drive (for esxi test)
Segate 2,5" 250GB laptop disk (for windows server 2008 r2 test)
Pico PSU 120
40W power brick


Minimal test setup (hp microserver)
HP Microserver motherboard with onboard AMD N36L dual core cpu
1 x Kingston Valueram 4GB (KVR1333D3N9/4G)
Sandisk Cruzer Contour 16GB pen drive (for esxi test)
Fan from case (bios requires a working fan to be connected to the motherboard)
Pico PSU 120
40W power brick

_________________

ESXi: Intel NUC D54250WYKH | Intel SSD 520 240GB | 2 x KVR16LS11/8 | Idle at ~10w
NAS: Synology DS213j | 2 x WD40EFRX | Idle at ~3.5w
Switch: HP 1810-8G V2 | Idle at (to be measured)
Wireless: Airport Extreme 6th gen | Airport Extreme 4th gen | Airport Express 2th gen


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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:48 am
Posts: 17
It's nice to read that a DQ board idles low. I'm thinking about the DQ67EP because I'm tired of waiting for the DH67CF.

Also, a picoPSU and all those drives! Do your splitters have splitters that have splitters?!


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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:01 am
Posts: 443
Location: Foster City, CA
check this out as well:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/di ... html#sect0


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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:34 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Denmark
LazyBoy:

I have been looking at the Sandy Bridge boards as well. I actually tested a DQ67SW with an i5-2500. But I didn't like that very much. It didn't have lower power consumption than my current setup, and I was hit by the sandy bridge whine that other people have been complaining about --> viewtopic.php?f=28&t=61650&hilit=whine+sandy

When using the picoPSU the splitters do have splitters ;-)

I'm not using that at the moment. I don't have a power brick that is "quiet". The 110watt power brick I have includes a fan that kicks in when the load goes above 80watt, and I was hitting that a few times when stressing the cpu, and it is very annoying. So at the moment I'm using an Antec EarthWatts 380, and quite happy.

Running a more barebone system at the moment. DQ57TM+i5-650+4x4GB memory+4x2TB+120GB SSD+4xantec case fans at 5v. Totals at about 28-29watts idle from the wall plug.

_________________

ESXi: Intel NUC D54250WYKH | Intel SSD 520 240GB | 2 x KVR16LS11/8 | Idle at ~10w
NAS: Synology DS213j | 2 x WD40EFRX | Idle at ~3.5w
Switch: HP 1810-8G V2 | Idle at (to be measured)
Wireless: Airport Extreme 6th gen | Airport Extreme 4th gen | Airport Express 2th gen


Last edited by alewinsky on Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:34 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Denmark
aztec:

Very interesting. Those values are however DC values, the ones I have listed above is AC (measured at the wall plug). I need a motherboard that will idle below 10W AC with minimal system (only memory and SSD). As you can see above the one I currently have idles at about 17W AC.

I would maybe like to see some results of the DQ67EP or DQ67OW (for the 6 onboard sata ports).

I have recently changed my storage pool to run encrypted (ZFS encryption), so I will need a processor that supports aes instructions (currently only the i5/i7's).

So at the moment my only options are clarkdale or sandy bridge. The AMD bulldozer will also support the features I need, but not released yet :-(

_________________

ESXi: Intel NUC D54250WYKH | Intel SSD 520 240GB | 2 x KVR16LS11/8 | Idle at ~10w
NAS: Synology DS213j | 2 x WD40EFRX | Idle at ~3.5w
Switch: HP 1810-8G V2 | Idle at (to be measured)
Wireless: Airport Extreme 6th gen | Airport Extreme 4th gen | Airport Express 2th gen


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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3395
Location: US
alewinsky wrote:
I need a motherboard that will idle below 10W AC with minimal system (only memory and SSD)(
That's asking a lot. I don't think you can get there from here.

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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:34 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Denmark
ces wrote:
That's asking a lot. I don't think you can get there from here.


Well, laptops do run below 10W idle (arrandale and sandy bridge). So it should be possible if some manufacturer would make a motherboard with focus on low power for the mobile CPU/chipset.

I have tested the Jetway NF98-QM57-LF, but the intel desktop boards have just as good idle values, so a no go there as well.

_________________

ESXi: Intel NUC D54250WYKH | Intel SSD 520 240GB | 2 x KVR16LS11/8 | Idle at ~10w
NAS: Synology DS213j | 2 x WD40EFRX | Idle at ~3.5w
Switch: HP 1810-8G V2 | Idle at (to be measured)
Wireless: Airport Extreme 6th gen | Airport Extreme 4th gen | Airport Express 2th gen


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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:48 am
Posts: 17
Crap. I hadn't heard about the SB whine.
I was trying to pull the trigger on a DQ67OW this week...


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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:59 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:34 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Denmark
Well. I'm not sure all boards/cpu's are hit by the whine. I think more people would complain if it was all of them that had the issue.

All I can say for sure is that the motherboard/cpu I tried had the whine, and it was very easy to hear, even from about 4-5 meters distance. And that a few other people have experienced the same.

I'm going to give SB another try when the E3-1220L xeon is available.

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=62096

I'm very happy that we have a 14 day return policy here in Denmark on all internet purchases. Gives me an option to test if the hardware lives up to what I need. :-)

_________________

ESXi: Intel NUC D54250WYKH | Intel SSD 520 240GB | 2 x KVR16LS11/8 | Idle at ~10w
NAS: Synology DS213j | 2 x WD40EFRX | Idle at ~3.5w
Switch: HP 1810-8G V2 | Idle at (to be measured)
Wireless: Airport Extreme 6th gen | Airport Extreme 4th gen | Airport Express 2th gen


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 Post subject: Re: Low idle power ESXI server - i5-650 vs AMD N36L
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 6:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:01 am
Posts: 443
Location: Foster City, CA
@alewinsky

thanks for the info.

This has me really thinking now for my NAS build.

I was originally planning on getting the Microserver, but the 200watt version is out of stock at Newegg.

Then I got to thinking about my alternative plan which was:

Intel DH67CFB3 mITX
Intel 2100T (35w)
1x 320GB System Drive (Samsung F4)
2x 2TB Data drive (Samsung F4)
160watt PicoPSU
4GB DDR3
Lian-Li PC-Q11
WHS 2011


yes, yes...I don't need that much CPU for a NAS, but its there, and will allow for future use of the unit....like passing it on to my daughter.

I was initially thinking that the PicoPSU could not handle this load, but your tests have proven otherwise.


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