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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 ?

  • blackberry8100
    replied
    Marked! I will check it later!thanks a lot.
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  • Adarion
    replied
    Originally posted by movieman View Post
    BTW, I was looking at low-power CPUs at the weekend for a faster machine to replace my current MythTV backend/NAS server and noticed that the 4850e/5050e seem near impossible to find now. However, there's a Phenom II X4 rated at 65W which looks interesting if you think you might ever need that level of CPU performance.
    I'd be interested in some power figures of these new Phenoms, since the 65W is a TDP, so the max. of heat going through the chimney. On idle it should be way lower. Also I think these new phenoms can switch off cores if unneeded and asymetrically clock down/up cores to the needs.
    Anybody ever measured or read a test?

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  • movieman
    replied
    BTW, I was looking at low-power CPUs at the weekend for a faster machine to replace my current MythTV backend/NAS server and noticed that the 4850e/5050e seem near impossible to find now. However, there's a Phenom II X4 rated at 65W which looks interesting if you think you might ever need that level of CPU performance.

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  • christina2009
    replied
    Originally posted by Hephasteus View Post
    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.
    thanks for your suggestion
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  • deanjo
    replied
    Originally posted by stevea View Post
    Yes, I completely agree. The 7200.11 w/ the 1st & 2nd revision firmware were terrible. The current 3rd rev *seems* to have solved the problem. This has nothing (apparently) to do w/ the drive size, all the 7200.11 initially had a firmware problems.

    What I don't agree w/ is your comment that your 1.5TB 7200.12's didn't work. There was no such disk ever built. Further the largest 7200.12 at 1TB seems to have a very good track record (except that writes are a little slower than I hoped). That doesn't mean that there aren't infant deaths.
    And I corrected the statement:

    Right looking back at the receipts the 7200.12 that died in 48 hours were 1TB's. They were replacing the "fixed" 1.5TB - 7200.11's. as well as a bunch of 500GB 7200.11's.
    The 1.5's were the latest version after the "fix" was introduced for the 7200.11 1.5's. Trying the 7200.12 1TB's made no difference in reliability. The 500's also included the newest "fixed" firmware. Again these were not "drives" not showing up after power down. These were ever increaseing bad sector count and "head hammering to death" issues. I might also add that many NAS solutions and raid cards do not support the seagate drives (7200.11's especially noted) in their solutions just for this very reason. Even Seagate does not recommend using these drives in a raid setup other then a simple mirror. They will be the first to tell you to look at their enterprise series for anything but the simplest of raid setups.
    Last edited by deanjo; 07-29-2009, 05:57 PM.

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  • stevea
    replied
    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
    Within the return period of the drives Seagate tells you to return to place of purchase for quick exchange. Hell even maximumPC when reviewing Seagates new NAS solution that uses the 7200.11 1.5 TB experienced a drive failure within the first few hours of use.

    http://fixunix.com/storage/505151-se...lure-rate.html
    Yes, I completely agree. The 7200.11 w/ the 1st & 2nd revision firmware were terrible. The current 3rd rev *seems* to have solved the problem. This has nothing (apparently) to do w/ the drive size, all the 7200.11 initially had a firmware problems.

    What I don't agree w/ is your comment that your 1.5TB 7200.12's didn't work. There was no such disk ever built. Further the largest 7200.12 at 1TB seems to have a very good track record (except that writes are a little slower than I hoped). That doesn't mean that there aren't infant deaths.

    Leave a comment:


  • deanjo
    replied
    Originally posted by stevea View Post
    You didn't correctly ID the drives you report you returned.
    You didn't even know they were 1TBs and not 1.5TBs.

    No one believes that Seagate (you mentioned the RMAs) replaces their 1GB 7200.12 with a 1.5TB 7200.11 - that not a policy any mfgr uses on RMAs. They certainly replace with the same model if it's still shipping and commonly refuse to change models on RMAs.

    Somehow your credibility on the matter has gone missing, and your story doesn't pass the sniff test.

    Care to post the web page for the drives you RMA'ed ? They send you a link. It's about the only evidence I'd accept for your obviously distorted comments.
    Within the return period of the drives Seagate tells you to return to place of purchase for quick exchange. Hell even maximumPC when reviewing Seagates new NAS solution that uses the 7200.11 1.5 TB experienced a drive failure within the first few hours of use.

    http://fixunix.com/storage/505151-se...lure-rate.html
    Last edited by deanjo; 07-29-2009, 11:24 AM.

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  • stevea
    replied
    This topic has heated up again recenly b/c
    /The vid card fans on both old P4 systems have started making rude noises
    /The N.bridge fan on my P4 server has started acting flakey
    /I' jonesin' for a system build.

    So I was just about convinced to buy the 5050e, except it's an older technology, no hyperchannel and getting hard to find the part, then I came a this ...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...59-7.htmlcross So the system idle power for their Intel E7200 and E8500 systems bracket the 5050e system power. The intel dual core parts outperforms the 5050e in cpu performance per watt when it is loaded.
    The E7200 clearly beats the 5050e, and very probably true for the E8500 too.

    Problem is the E7200 is hard to find, perhaps de-clocking an e7400 gets you to a similar place. Then again there are the E4xxx and E6300 which probably use more power (65nm vs 45nm). So maybe a low-end E7xxx or E8xxx would be a best-fit here.

    FWIW some recent test systems at Smallnetbuilder lead me to think an Atom330 could probably handle the workload, but finding such a board with enough SATA/PATA interfaces is impossible.

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  • stevea
    replied
    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
    Right looking back at the receipts the 7200.12 that died in 48 hours were 1TB's. They were replacing the "fixed" 1.5TB - 7200.11's. as well as a bunch of 500GB 7200.11's.
    You didn't correctly ID the drives you report you returned.
    You didn't even know they were 1TBs and not 1.5TBs.

    No one believes that Seagate (you mentioned the RMAs) replaces their 1GB 7200.12 with a 1.5TB 7200.11 - that not a policy any mfgr uses on RMAs. They certainly replace with the same model if it's still shipping and commonly refuse to change models on RMAs.

    Somehow your credibility on the matter has gone missing, and your story doesn't pass the sniff test.

    Care to post the web page for the drives you RMA'ed ? They send you a link. It's about the only evidence I'd accept for your obviously distorted comments.

    Leave a comment:

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