[nSLUG] Low power upgrade for PIII home server

Ian Campbell ian at slu.ms
Sun Aug 24 23:09:16 ADT 2008


On Sun, Aug 24, 2008 at 09:59:09PM -0300, D G Teed wrote:
> Anyone running an old system at home like myself might
> be wondering how to upgrade to higher capacities of RAM
> and CPU strength without an increase in the power bill.
> I've been using a dual PIII system with 30 watt processors
> which I'll be shortly upgrading to Coppermine PIII.  These
> run at about half the watts compared with a Katmai PIII CPU
> with the same Mhz rating.
> 
> I saw a wikipedia page which lists the watts power rating
> on a bunch of CPU models and the future wasn't
> looking good for a low power system that can do
> email and file server for home.
> 
> Then I happened on this link:
> 
> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Atom-Athlon-Efficient,1997.html
> 
> In essence, AMD's motherboard chipset allowed for lower power
> consumption from the motherboard, while the Intel and AMD
> CPUs were roughly equal in power consumption.
> 
> I don't know if Intel's Atom processor can be used in an ATX motherboard
> scenario, but the AMD 64 2000+ processor is compatible with regular
> sockets, so if one could locate a place selling an ATX motherboard with
> the AMD 780G chipset, this would be a nice low power solution
> for home servers which stay up 24x7 but have low utilization.

I think you're trying too hard (or not hard enough, not sure.)

The future looks fine for low power systems. An E8400 (the new-ish
45nm dual-3.0ghz intel chip...) draws 65W under load, and Speedstep
and friends make sure you'll stay well under that basically all of the
time... and those numbers are only going to drop. Low power is the new
GHz.

Old hardware is not always your friend.

You could also ditch Intel and look at VIA instead.

... or you could just ditch the second cpu.

... or not upgrade at all. Exactly how beefy a file server do you
really need?  
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