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Low(er) power server issues

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  • Hephasteus
    LE is good choice but 5050e would probably work a bit better. You can easily cool them. Heat sinks without fans on them being cooled by case fans don't work too well. There's just not much mass flow of air going over them unless you can duct the case fan to within an inch or 2 of the cpu. 4850 and 5050e can be undervolted and declocked slightly to bring it's TPD down to around 20 to 25 watts.

    4850e and 5050e are going to be impossible to beat for flexibility. You can declock it devolt it into your power requirement range much easier than you can overclock overvolt atom to meet the requirements. It will beat any mobile chip on processing per watt but is simply too big to use in laptops and nettops.

    It'll fight voltage settings but here's pretty good estimates of power usage on a 4850e 5050e

    1.6 ghz set at .9 volt wants to use about .93 volts uses about 9 to 11 watts idle and 14 15 full tilt
    2.2 ghz set at 1 volt wants to use about 1.05 uses about 18 to 20 idle and 24 to 26 full tilt.
    2.4 ghz set at 1.1 volts wants to use about 1.07 volts uses about 20 to 22 idle and 26 to 28 full tilt.

    About double the processing power on half the power of anything LE can do because its dual core with hyperthreading. And 65nm high metal gate versus 90 to 65nm normal silicon gate.

    A microatx 8200 based board or 780G based board is going to be cheapest. You could make it entirely silent by making some heatpipes out of silver or copper .375 tubing and drilling some holes in the stock cpu heatsink and 8200/780G chip and routing the tubes to some part of the case and bolting them to drive cages or motherboard trays or backside of the case or top side of the case. You'd have to remove heatsinks to remove motherboard etc but the silence may be worth it.
    If you got the time and energy go crazy if you don't go easy. Just know that planning on a single 800 rpm 120mm fan and planning on no fans at all is a big jump in effort and any 120mm fan plugged into the fan cpu fan slot even with cool and quiet disabled is going to be deathly silent. My 1500 rpm vantec's that normally run about 1430 usually run about sub 1000 rpms on the cpu fan connector.

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  • stevea
    started a topic Low(er) power server issues

    Low(er) power server issues

    I want to put together a low(er) power soho server system. It will run Linux, act as a router, provide numerous network services and implement encrypted tunnel and disk algorithms. Mobo hardware will minimally include a 1gigabit lan and a 100Mbit wan connection, 4(+) SATA and 1 PATA. 64bit and virtualization support aren't required of the CPU.

    One design goal is low power for noise (fan), heat and cost reasons. Since server idle time will be high, the system power at idle is a major factor. The server probably cannot suspend/hibernate on a regular schedule, and a 30 second "wake-up" delay is generally unacceptable for services LDAP authentication. Idling unneeded disks is a decent strategy. It's somewhat difficult to evaluate CPU idle power reqs, as well as bridge & mobo reqs, so I'm looking for experience/advise. Maybe someone knows of a website ... (silentPC hasn't been very active recently IMO).

    Starting with the CPU decision ...

    The current Intel Atom won't have the performance to keep up with encryption/decryption requirements at speed.

    I've never been impressed wthe Celeron/Conroe series, tho' the 35W max power is attractive. Many mobile CPU parts are low power and decent performance, but the chip and mobo pricing usually make these unattractive.

    The 45W Athlon X2 and LE parts should work....
    Intel 65W "wolfdale" ...
    AMD 65W 64 X2's ....

    I'd prefer to use a passive (large) heatsink on the CPU and use a pair of case 120mm fans for system cooling and I think this should be possible for the 45/65W CPUs.

    The ideal mobo would have some minimal low-end on board graphics. I intend to use the system "headless", but most mobos won't boot w/o the VGA destination.

    Any thoughts ? Suggestions ?