[nSLUG] Free to a good home

Stephen Gregory nslug at kernelpanic.ca
Thu Apr 26 17:25:53 ADT 2007

On Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 09:36:11AM -0300, George N. White III wrote:
> If you had mentioned this in Feb. I would have considered using it to
> heat my office, which has been frigid ever since my SGI Octane died.

On a related note I recently tested the power usage on many of my
machines. I was surprised to find that my "low power" P3 550 that I
had been using as a server was sucking back a little more power then
my AMD64 X2 3800 (dual core). At idle (the typical state of my home
server) the P3 was burning 70w. The AMD burned 60w when running at
1GHz using the ondemand cpu scaling govenor. With not cpu scaling
running at 2GHz the system consumed 75w.

Another system I tested was a dual G4 power mac. Fans of the PowerPC
have often claimed that it consumed less power then competing x86
systems. I was quite surprised to find that it was burning 145w.

The thread starts here:


If there is one thing to take away from my little exercise is to
reconsider using older systems as small servers. The difference
in operating cost between the P3 and AMD is less then $10/year, but
the difference between the AMD and dual G4 is closer to $50/year. With
the AMD I can also use virtualization (xen, qemu, vmware, etc) to
combine a couple of small servers. The AMD can also use larger
harddrives then the P3 due to bios issues.

One should also reconsider the number of harddrives in use. Many
drives burn 10w or more at idle. It may make economic sense to replace
a number of smaller drives with one or two (raid) modern larger drives
when considering a 3 or 5 year (seagate) lifetime. In my case I will
be replacing a number of drives with two SATA 320GB Seagates in RAID
1. It is only 60% more storage space but it will quadruple my RAID 1
storage space.  



More information about the nSLUG mailing list