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 Post subject: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:11 am 
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Hi,

Firstly : sorry for my poor english, it is not my birth language.

I looked in the forum in the last few days but I didn't find exactly the pieces of information I was looking for.

I have been using in the last 8 year a barebone (ASUS P4-533A), with a P4B 2,4 Ghz and 3 HD in software RAID (Linux). This configuration was eating ~ 60 W / hour. It is still perfectly working, but does not offer any SATA connector : I am looking in replacing it.

This box is using as a domestic server and does not requires a lot of computing power. In my first trys to replace it, I got a ~ 60W config with a E7200. But I would like to lower this consumption. I found contradictive information about AMD CPUs at idle state : do they consume a lot of power ? Any advice to build such a configuration ?

Thank you !


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:16 am 
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If you want to rebuild your server having efficiency as your goal, probably look into Intel mobos, they are usually one of the best in terms of efficiency. I had very good results with my H61 intel mobo, i idle around 14W (headless) 1hdd, more hdd will add more into it, but depends on the OS and how it manages the hdds.

For CPUs, really depends on what you are aiming in tasks, but a simple G540 should be enough to handle a filemanager and then some. If you looking into transcoding or other tasks, then look into a higher i3/i5/i7, but for the money i think the G540 is really good cpu for a simple server. I would avoid AMD if you want low power consumption, although depends on what you want, there are some very cheap and not so high E350, but the cpu capability will be very low.

What size are you building? ATX, mATX or mini ITX?

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:52 am 
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If you just need a file server then consider getting a NAS. Some of these have far smaller power consumption.

If the 2.8GHz Pentium 4 was sufficient, why get anything fast? What about an Atom on a MiniITX board? This will be very low in power consumption.

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:32 am 
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edh wrote:
If you just need a file server then consider getting a NAS. Some of these have far smaller power consumption.


EG: Netgear's ARM based ReadyNAS 102 uses 31W with 2 HDDs and sleep is 1W. (I have no idea how good it is as a server - just used it as an example of low power. )

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:11 am 
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Hi, and thank you very much for all your posts.

Abula wrote:
What size are you building? ATX, mATX or mini ITX?


It does not matter : I will keep this computer running for years. If I must buy a new case, it's not a problem. But it must offer at least 4 HDD slots, 6 if possible.

edh wrote:
If you just need a file server then consider getting a NAS. Some of these have far smaller power consumption.

If the 2.8GHz Pentium 4 was sufficient, why get anything fast? What about an Atom on a MiniITX board? This will be very low in power consumption.


I dont' want a NAS because I use this machine as a SSH / web / rsync server. I prefer a standard Linux ditribution.

About Atom : I don't know where to buy one, and don't know how efficient they are.

CA_Steve wrote:
EG: Netgear's ARM based ReadyNAS 102 uses 31W with 2 HDDs and sleep is 1W. (I have no idea how good it is as a server - just used it as an example of low power. )


ARM may be a good idea ! It is well supported under Linux... Good idea. But I don't know this world at all : where to get board and CPUs, and since I don't know these platforms, I may not be able to understand well tech specs... I will look further about that.

Thank you again, and feel free to add any new ideas ;)

Thanks !


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Quote:
It does not matter : I will keep this computer running for years. If I must buy a new case, it's not a problem. But it must offer at least 4 HDD slots, 6 if possible.
This is very important imo, for example you might be happy with your current case performance/noise, so maybe just upgrading mobo/cpu, etc. Or you might be looking into building a compact 6x 3.5 hdd setup and willing to spend on the case and all other parts. Atx motherboards are really easy to find them with 6x sata connectors, but on mini itx is more difficult, mini itx cases are also not that common to be able to hold 6hdd but there are some. Again here depends on you, and if you prefer to use what you currently have.

This is just an example on AMD mini Itx with capacity for 6 hdds.
CPU/MOTHERBOARD: Asus C60M1-I AMD C-60/ AMD FCH A50M/ DDR3/ SATA3/ A&V&GbE/ Mini ITX Motherboard & CPU Combo (6x sata port inside, cheap mobo, but very low cpu power)
MEMORY: Corsair XMS3 4 GB 1333MHz PC3-10666 240-pin DDR3 Memory Kit for Core i3 i5 i7 and CMX4GX3M1A1333C9
CASE: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Hybrid Computer Case FD-CA-NODE-304-BL (small mini itx case that can fit 6x hdds and if you feel later a custom decent height CPU cooler).
PSU: Seasonic 360W 80PLUS Gold ATX12V Power Supply SSR-360GP (a small efficient/quiet psu more then enough to power your setup)

I read that C60 has poor support for lan under linux, so crosscheck this, but just in case an atom based mobo wiht decent nics that have support for linux, Super Micro X7SPA-H Motherboard (Intel Atom D510, ICH9R Chipset)

As an alternative if you need more CPU power, consider the following combo, it should be very efficient also,
CPU: Intel Pentium G2120 Dual-Core Processor 3.1 Ghz 3 MB Cache LGA 1155 - BX80637G2120 (cheap and capable/effcient cpu).
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Intel H77 mini ITX Motherboard - P8H77-I (one of the few mini itx 1155 mobos with 6x sata ports inside).
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLS8G3D1609ES2LX0 (nice low voltage low profile ddr3)

Now if you are happy with your current case, maybe just a mobo/cpu combo and you are set. Its fairly easy to find a 6x sata mobo on atx size.

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:02 pm 
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The C60 board is probably a good file-server board but otherwise I'd pick Intel or MSI above Asus for power-efficiency.

falagar wrote:
About Atom : I don't know where to buy one, and don't know how efficient they are.

The actual CPUs are very efficient but it doesn't matter much unless you aren't planning to use hard drives or other power-hungry peripherals.
Atoms are usually a cost-saving choice.

It used to be Atom boards had either crappy I/O or poor energy efficiency. But Intel recently released server Atoms which may have been incorporated in recently-released products which would be a good choice if you want a proper server board.
If on the other hand you want to use consumer hardware, the Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge boards are great.

falagar wrote:
ARM may be a good idea !

The trouble is I/O. Most ARM-based products are even worse than Atom-based products in that regard.
Is there *any* affordable ARM-based product with good I/O available in regular retail channels?


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:15 pm 
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HFat wrote:
The C60 board is probably a good file-server board but otherwise I'd pick Intel or MSI above Asus for power-efficiency.
While i do agree, the Intel H77 mini itx only has 4 sata ports (the fifth is msata and the sixth esata) same case with the MSI Z77 mini ITX, and since the OP wants prefereable 6... i bet adding an HBA will pass the gains on power consumption that the Intel/MSI have over the Asus, so i think the ASUS plays much better for mini itx 6hdd setup.

Now lets igonre mini itx and go into micro atx, maybe a build like this,

MOTHERBOARD: MSI LGA1155/Intel B75/DDR3/SATA3 USB 3.0/A&GbE/MicroATX Motherboard B75MA-P45 (has six sata ports vs 5 of most including intel)
CPU: Intel Celeron G1610 2.60GHz LGA 1155 Processor BX80637G1610 (cheapest ivy bridge celeron).
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport Very Low Profile 8GB DDR3-1600 1.35V UDIMM 240-Pin Desktop Memory Module BLS8G3D1609ES2LX0 (low voltage, low profile, kinda cheap).
CASE: Fractal Design Define Mini (6x 3.5hdd slots on a micro atx factor)
PSU: Seasonic 360W 80PLUS Gold ATX12V Power Supply SSR-360GP (cheap, efficient and quiet).

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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
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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:32 am 
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falagar wrote:
I dont' want a NAS because I use this machine as a SSH / web / rsync server. I prefer a standard Linux ditribution.

Netgear ReadyNAS systems can be extended to work as a webserver and do rsync and allow you to SSH to them. Might be worth considering if you are looking for very low power.

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Hello,

Abula wrote:
Quote:
It does not matter : I will keep this computer running for years. If I must buy a new case, it's not a problem. But it must offer at least 4 HDD slots, 6 if possible.


This is very important imo, for example you might be happy with your current case performance/noise


Noise was a problem when I bought my "barebone server" (the P4 I am still using). I was living in a small house and was sleeping very close to it. Today I live in a quite big house, and this server is located in the garage, with the cars ;-).

Really : performance per watt is the only thing important for me. And since often those cases are silent... ;-).

The problem with the upgrading solution is that my barebone is using old (P4) power supply format, and I cannot replace easily the power block. It will be easier to buy a new one.

I'll have a look at all your suggestions, thanks !

HFat wrote:
falagar wrote:
About Atom : I don't know where to buy one, and don't know how efficient they are.

The actual CPUs are very efficient but it doesn't matter much unless you aren't planning to use hard drives or other power-hungry peripherals.
Atoms are usually a cost-saving choice.


In fact the CPU power is not really important. My Pentium 4 stills gives me satisfaction. The only thing I'd like him to do that he cannot is transcoding. But I guess any modern CPU with multimedia instruction set will be able to do that ?

And still this box is going to stay in idle state 98% of its lifetime : I am looking for the less hungry cpu in idle-mode. Power consumtion when loaded is fas less important.

Btw : thanks for info about ARM and I/O : I give up on this idea ;).


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:34 pm 
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falagar wrote:
The only thing I'd like him to do that he cannot is transcoding. But I guess any modern CPU with multimedia instruction set will be able to do that ?

The hardware assist for transcoding is actually in the GPU and the whole issue of transcoding requirements is a mess, with loads of compatibility issues. Transcoding load to begin with is *vastly* different depending on what compression you're talking about. Even your old CPU can do some transcoding so it's not strictly correct to say it can't transcode. But then you can come up with extreme transcoding scenarios involving bandwidth-saving compression schemes at high resolution which no affordable CPU could handle in real-time.
My personal take on this is not to bother with real-time transcoding unless you actually enjoy technical challenges and pointlessly powerful computers. Real-time transcoding is the sort of shortcut that seems like it's going to save you trouble but ends up wasting not only money but also your time (if you want to keep up with compression technology). Simply rip to the encoding you need instead (or transcode upon download).

falagar wrote:
I am looking for the less hungry cpu in idle-mode.

All modern Intels not only have low idle power consumption but so low that it doesn't matter unless you're only using low-power parts. If you're running several 3.5'' hard drives for instance, their idle power consumption (assuming no spin-down) is going to dwarf the CPU's.


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:09 am 
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In idle state, do intel cpu have really lower consumption that AMD ones ?

If I gain only 2 ou 3 watts per hour, since AMD are far less expensive...

Thanks,


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:11 am 
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Watt/hour is an energy unit, not a power unit. Over time, you'll save a *lot* more than 2 or 3 W/h by going with the gear that consumes least. But that's probably not what you meant (a W/h is a tiny amount of energy).

Based on what I've seen, some AMDs idle with a low power consumption. I assume all modern AMDs idle pretty low as well but I don't actually know. Maybe the ones with a powerful integrated GPU don't idle very low for instance.
But these considerations are distractions: it's not the CPU which matters most for idle power consumption but the PSU, the motherboard and so on. And these cost more than basic CPUs too.
It's not true Intels are expensive. Look at the G540 for instance (as pointed out above). It's only the powerful Intels and the ones with fancy features which are expensive. And if you have a use for a powerful CPU, you're not going to let it idle all the time which means you'll get significant energy consumption due to number-crunching... and in that case Intel will most likely come ahead. Going with Intel isn't always the best choice... but it generally is. In doubt, pick a cheap Intel that you'll be able to upgrade it if necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:41 am 
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HFat wrote:
Watt/hour is an energy unit, not a power unit. Over time, you'll save a *lot* more than 2 or 3 W/h by going with the gear that consumes least. But that's probably not what you meant (a W/h is a tiny amount of energy).

More correctly Watt hours, or Wh. W/h would indicate Watts per hour which is a nonsense unit as it would mean an accleration in electricity usage.

Why would you do transcoding on this server as opposed to your main system? That is only going to be a requirement if you are doing lots of it, day in day out. For only occasional transcoding then using your main system would be more efficient as you could greatly reduce the power footprint for this server. Hardware encoding/decoding is more efficient on a graphics card (or onboard graphics) than on a CPU which influences which approach is best but depends on what other hardware/applications you are running.

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:04 am 
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And if you transcode once and store the file in the right encoding, you'll save energy compared to transcoding in real time on every playback.

edh wrote:
W/h would indicate Watts per hour which is a nonsense unit

Yeah, I keep writing kW/h and so forth even when I'm not prompted by someone who says "watts per hour". There are too many common per time units. I know it makes no sense but I guess it's too late to correct these bad habits.


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:51 am 
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HFat wrote:
edh wrote:
W/h would indicate Watts per hour which is a nonsense unit

Yeah, I keep writing kW/h and so forth even when I'm not prompted by someone who says "watts per hour". There are too many common per time units. I know it makes no sense but I guess it's too late to correct these bad habits.

Watt-hours are also stupid units, I wish they were not used. The problem comes from non-decimal time, since it means that we can't scale up any of the metric units beyond second scales. If we had just decimalised time before we industrialised we could use a second that was 1/100,000 of a day (~.864 current seconds) with that unit, a current 100W bulb would use about 65W (new watts). Over the course of a full day, it would just 6.5 MJ, (new megajoules.) No need for a non-metric watt hour.

[/rant]


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Please, don't forget my first post...

falagar wrote:
Firstly : sorry for my poor english, it is not my birth language.


;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:20 pm 
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falagar wrote:
Please, don't forget my first post...

falagar wrote:
Firstly : sorry for my poor english, it is not my birth language.


;-)

No offence intended, I'm sorry if it was implied. It was more because of the energy/power differences that we'd got on to. For all intents and purposes as this system would be always on, energy and power usage are linked and keeping them down is a good thing so let's consider whether or not transcoding is needed.

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:38 pm 
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In fact transcoding is not stricty needed. But if the new CPU allows me to, sometimes, trancode on-the-fly a .flv on my DSL box, I'd enjoy it ! My workstation is not always powered on, and I don't store any media file on it : all media files are located on this mini-server (that's why of the huge disks on it :D).

So... Transcoding is not strictly needed. But i the hardware can support it, it's better !

Btw : juste found my new case on ebay : Lian-Li PC-Q08. Used but it's not a problem for my garage :D ! And I have a 80+ power supply (Antec) that will fit perfect in it. Now the last choice standing : the couple MB / CPU... AMD is far less expensive. If power consumption at idle state is less or more the same as an intel one it would be the logical choice. But I must find an economical mainboard too, that support 6 SATA.


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:39 pm 
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falagar wrote:
Btw : juste found my new case on ebay : Lian-Li PC-Q08. Used but it's not a problem for my garage :D ! And I have a 80+ power supply (Antec) that will fit perfect in it. Now the last choice standing : the couple MB / CPU... AMD is far less expensive. If power consumption at idle state is less or more the same as an intel one it would be the logical choice. But I must find an economical mainboard too, that support 6 SATA.
Well i wouldn't worry to much since its a the power consumption, you already have a PSU, chances are it wont be very efficient at low power draw, i would worry more about other things now, both of the Asus mobos that are mini itx and have 6 internal sata ports have the Realtek 8111F, check if this is compatible with the os you will use, else you will need an add on lan card that will end up increasing the consumption more.

ASUS P8H77-I LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard $97
Intel Celeron G1610 2.60GHz LGA 1155 Processor BX80637G1610 $45
or
Asus C60M1-I AMD C-60/ AMD FCH A50M/ DDR3/ SATA3/ A&V&GbE/ Mini ITX Motherboard & CPU Combo $80

If the Realtek 8111F isnt compatible for OS of your build, then check if LAN Intel 82579V is.
Intel Desktop Motherboard LGA1155 DDR3 1600 mini-ITX - BOXDH77DF $115

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:11 am 
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You're right, I'll probably won't get full benefice of the 80+ power supply. Do you know any ATX "low power specialized" supply ? Here in France I didn't find any... Probably did'nt look for the right brand name ?


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:51 am 
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falagar wrote:
You're right, I'll probably won't get full benefice of the 80+ power supply. Do you know any ATX "low power specialized" supply ? Here in France I didn't find any... Probably did'nt look for the right brand name ?
As Hfat pointed earlier, a PSU that its efficient a low power draw will make a good difference, but its not the standard usual PSU. picoPSU and good brick will get you very effiecient on the low W consumption, i use picoPSU150XT with 150W brick on my minimi build and been fine for 2 years now (check sig), a combo that i really wanted to try was PWR-PICOPSU-90-XLP + 60w (12v/5A) AC-DC Power Adapter with Power Cord. Idk if France where to get them though, but im sure you can find them on ebay, there are lots of bricks to chose, just research what will fit your setup. If i were to go with picoPSU, i would probably go with the intel motherboard posted above and just accept the 5 sata ports (4 internal 1 esata to be rerouted inside).

But i would probably go with what you have already, there will be savings on going into a picoPSU, but weather or not it will overcome the cost.... maybe months/years... idk really going to depend. Also idk if this PSU are desgin for 24/7 operation, i have used mine for 3 weeks continuously with no issues, but i commonly turn it off on weekends.

Have you checked the compatibility of the Network cards with the OS?

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:35 am 
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80+ is meaningless.

Logicsupply has a European shop where you can get picos and stuff.

A 400W Golden Green would be an option as well. Those are available in regular channels in Europe under the Superflower brand if you want a quality PSU that's not too expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Just was browsing through server storage forums, and found a couple of more itx mobos that you should also check, not saying they are the most efficient but they do have 6/7 sata ports in other platform/cpus,

ASRock FM2A85X-ITX FM2 AMD A85X (Hudson D4) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
This is an impressive mini itx mobo, with 7 internal sata III ports, and one more as esata, the Lian Li Q25 can hold 7x 3.5 hdds (5 on the cage and two on the bottom), so this mobo will fully populate the Q25 without needing an PCIe for future updates, on the downside its FM2, so might not be as low on power consumption, also has the Realtek 8111E (network) this cross check it as a lot of realtek do have issues with some linux distros.

SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O Mini ITX Server Motherboard DDR2 667
Atom based, has 6 internal sata ports, this is server grade mobo with very good reviews, but remember the cpu should be very low on the consuption but also its very low end cpu so depends a lot on what you gona run with it. Has a lot of features for server that you might or not be interested.... its expensive. On the plus side dual Intel 82574L Network cards, but do cross check this with the os you will run for compatibility.

JetWay JNF99FL-525-LF Intel Atom D525 (1.8GHz, Dual-Core) Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
Similar to the above.

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:58 am
Posts: 11
Hello,

Sorry for this long silence, was very busy ;).

HFat wrote:
80+ is meaningless.

Logicsupply has a European shop where you can get picos and stuff.

A 400W Golden Green would be an option as well. Those are available in regular channels in Europe under the Superflower brand if you want a quality PSU that's not too expensive.


Picos are interesting for my daily use of this machine. But The case I bought (Lian-Li PC-Q08) has a room for a standard ATX power Supply. So I'll need a "metallic piece" to hide the hole in the case ?

Or maybe the Golden Green : 87% @ 40W sounds perfect for me. But it seems impossible to find it in 400W version : only 450W seems available.


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4557
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
The efficiency differences of the 400W and 450W at low loads are probably minor. If the 450W is available at a good price, go for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 8:33 am
Posts: 106
80+ isn't meaningless, if we didn't have the standard it would be very difficult to find light load efficiency data.

400+ watt PSUs are probably overkill for a small server.

Intel i series processors usually have quick synch which is a hardware assisted transcoding technology which should handle on the fly transcoding fairly well but the quality is not quite on par with computationally intensive software transcoding from what I've heard.

If you do go Intel, be sure to look at the e3 Xeon chips, often they beat the i series on price/performance and have nice server features too.

I am expecting a DZ75ML-45K motherboard to arrive Monday. Its a z chip set so I'll have more knobs to turn in the bios (undervolting possible), it has 2 SATA3 and 4 SATA2 ports, 4 dimm slots for 32gb ram capacity, more than one PCIe slot and I paid $78.99. I couldn't find anything else cheaper that wasn't being discontinued (old z68) or lacked a bunch of features. Speaking of features, that board seems to have everything I want without a bunch of fluff I can do without. I'm surprised that I haven't seen it reviewed or mentioned more. I hope its just because the high end is what everyone promotes.

Lastly, if you are in the PC market now, you should not ignore Haswell and Kaveri.

I'm not convinced that Haswell is going to be a big upgrade because the high end GPUs are only in mobile parts that will probably never be in socket form, while Kaveri is interesting with its heterogenous system architecture (but that's more of a graphics and gpgpu computing thing (transcoding?)).


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:58 am
Posts: 11
Hi !

Back after a few months. I finally managed to find the components I was looking for.

My new homeserver is based on :
- a Lian-Li PC-Q08 case
- ASROCK A75M-ITX mainboard
- A6-3500 APU
- Antec 380W Green
- 4 Gb
- 3 x 1 Tb in software RAID-5 (Linux)

Currently, in idle mode the consumption of this configuration is ~ 47 W.

Now my configuration is active and I migrated my data on this new machine, my first task will be to find what can I do to lower its consumption even more. I guess undervolting / underclocking is the first thing to investigate ? Any advice or link on the web please ?

Thanks,


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Posts: 429
Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
About 10-12W are fixed - they are the power consumption of a running hard drive, and because you are using RAID, you can't put them in sleep. That will bring you to the ~35W range, which is acceptable, but not extremly good. Another 6-9W are due inefficiency of the PSU (and i am counting with 80-85%, if it is worse it can be even higher portion of that value).

You could shave few watts by using PSU which is more efficient at low consumption (but finding information about the efficiency at such low wattage is hard), and that is about it. "Unfortunately" you have choosen a FM1 board and FM1 CPU with more than standard iGPU power, so that is partially a reason for bit higher power consumption compared to the Intel solution - Gigabyte B75N + Xeon E3-1235 (something like i7-2600) + 8GB RAM + Superflower 450W 80Plus Gold PSU + SSD is using 20-21W from the socket here in my home.

On other side, did you actually calculated how does this actually costs you in savings ? (Watt difference / 1000)*24*365*price for kWh = cost of running for 1 year. In my case the price for kWh is around 0.14€/kWh, so let's say you would get half of your power consumption, so you would save 23W. (23/1000)*24*365*0.14=28,2€ saved per year. Or 2.35€ per month. You wouldn't buy even a single burger for that in McDonalds. And that was in case you would halve your power consumption.

So think through what features are you willing to sacrifice (response time, if you put drives or whole computer to sleep) and if it is worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Build a very low consumption computer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:19 am
Posts: 489
Location: Australia
llano should undervolt well, the biggest savings would be under load but every little bit helps.

easiest way i think is fusiontweaker, i used the other version on my brazos laptop and it worked well.


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