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Want to build a "green" WHS RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

     

    I am planning to setup a new machine for WHS. I want this to run as green as possible, so I came up with the following combinations after some research.

     

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-S3.

    Search Criteria: At least 6 SATA ports, no onboard video, 1G LAN

    Power Supply

    Seasonic or Corsair HX-520 or Corsair 450 (80+ certified)

    CPU

    Intel Pentium Dual Core: E2160

    RAM:

    Standard 1G

    Disks

    Thinking of WD 1TB green drives. Will start with 2-3 disks as I want to enable the folder redundancy feature

     

    Any feedback on this configuration? Does the motherboard have drivers for WHS and will it POST w/o a video card?

     

    Thanks!

    Monday, October 29, 2007 4:28 PM

Answers

  •  

    Evening,

    There are quite a few PSU calculator sites if you do a G**gle!.

    One I've used in the past, is this one: it depends if they have your particular Motherboard listed.

    Your components will only draw whats needed from the PSU, so a 500W supply wouldn't loose too much if you only draw 300W from it. If possible, try and find a test review of the one you want, they usually give the efficiency figures at different loadings.

     

    HTH,

     

    Colin

    Thursday, November 1, 2007 5:32 PM

All replies

  • You need to confirm it has all the required drivers for W2003 Server, as thats' what WHS is based on. As long as you have the correct drivers, there should be no problem.

     

    Colin

     

    Monday, October 29, 2007 5:40 PM
  • I think you could probably get away with even a 380w version of the power supply if you wanted to.

     

    also make sure you get the latest stepping version of the E2160 CPU. it has a lot lower idle wattage than the earlier ones.

     

    do a search for my 50w server thread for a similar setup.

     

    peter

     

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 6:45 AM
  • Thanks Peter. You seem to have used "Gigabyte GA 945GCMX-S2", which comes with onboard video and supposedly an integrated graphics accelerator. Do you think you might have done better with a MB w/o onboard video in terms of power?

     

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:52 AM
  • Yeah i probably could have saved a few more watts if i went with a non intergrated video card.

    but then you need to make sure your motherboard can run without a video card

    as not all of them can,( probably most though these days.) and the conveniance of having the video there when i need it is worth the few extra watts. 

    I still have the monitor and k/b etc hooked up directly so i can play when i need to,

     

    I figure that an on board video card doing standard video would be drawing at most 5w as thats what i measured the additional PCI-ex 6200 video card drawing when i added it.

    At around 5 watts its worth it for me.

    The graphics accelerator means that it can do extra 3d type fuctions. dont be fooled by this. it is in no way a replacement for a true 3d card. but for standard windows desktop type stuff it seems fine.

     

    the main reason i went for the m/b that i did was that it seemed to have enough SATA connectors for me as well as allowing a couple of older PATA drives with GB network and the onboard video and the price was right . it also allows me to add heaps more ram if i find i ever need to. Also being a Matx M/B gave me a few more options when i came to small cases.

     

    So if you want a true green server then get a motherboard without onboard video. but for pure conveniance you cant beat the onboard intergrated video.

     

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 9:08 AM
  • I selected my gear with an eye to power consumption (mostly at idle) but also one towards any possible future re-purposing of the hardware away from WHS. Given this, I picked the GA-MA69GM-S2H board running a BE-2350 CPU. The hardware and OS are still on UPS trucks, so I can't say how it will all turn out just yet.

     

    Just for optimized power consumption, that motherboard would be much better for HTPC use than WHS since it has FireWire, DVI, HDMI, and full featured audio including SPDIF. (I bet all that costs 6 or 8 Watts but don't know. There is really very limited information out there on power consumption of things besides hard disks and CPUs.) The GA-MA69VM-S2 board would have been a better candidate just for power savings. For WHS, even the cheaper BE-2300 CPU would also be vast overkill but isn't rated to dissipate any less power. Any dual core seem likely to be overkill. There are surely some suitable lower power consumption CPUs out there, but cost and motherboard compatibility become issues. It's hard to imagine a WHS machine CPU bound.

     

    Additional notes:

    • I'm planning to use the 300W supply coming with the ASUS TM-210 case. I'd consider an 80+ 200W supply if I could find a good one, but most decent quality and efficient power supplies in the home builder channels have way too much capacity and all that unused capacity typically has an efficiency cost by itself.
    • I'm putting in a LiteOn LH-20A1S DVD-RW drive per earlier thread on using WHS to burn discs. For power efficiency, I will consider removing its power once the machine is running but probably won't do it.
    • I'm using 3 of the 1TB WD Caviar GP drives. I would have used the 750 GPs if I could have found decent price/supply on them. Note Hitachi just announced low power drives in sizes up through 500GB.
    • I put in 2x 1GB of PC2-6400 memory. Less/slower could probably have been done for better power efficiency without any impact to server performance. But the 2GB is insurance against future re-purposing of the machine and was cheap ($52 after MIR).
    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:37 PM
  •  

    Hi Peter,

     

    One more question:

     

    How do I determine how much wattage do I need in my PSU? You are right that 380 may be good enough, but I need to be future proof.

     

    Also, how can I rate them based on power consumption? if my system is capable of running on a 380W supply, will I use more power if I switch to a 500W supply?

     

    I'm actually looking at Seasonic S12II-500, which seems to have gotten great reviews.

     

    PS: I will post my machine specs here once I finalize.

     

    -Thanks!

    Thursday, November 1, 2007 5:24 PM
  •  

    Evening,

    There are quite a few PSU calculator sites if you do a G**gle!.

    One I've used in the past, is this one: it depends if they have your particular Motherboard listed.

    Your components will only draw whats needed from the PSU, so a 500W supply wouldn't loose too much if you only draw 300W from it. If possible, try and find a test review of the one you want, they usually give the efficiency figures at different loadings.

     

    HTH,

     

    Colin

    Thursday, November 1, 2007 5:32 PM
  •  Dick Watson wrote:

    I selected my gear with an eye to power consumption (mostly at idle) but also one towards any possible future re-purposing of the hardware away from WHS. Given this, I picked the GA-MA69GM-S2H board running a BE-2350 CPU.

    Got this all up and running last night and so far it rocks. Here are some n.b. notes for home builders:

     

    1) Beware BIOS settings for booting from DVD-ROM and all of the reboots it will want to do during the install. I had to change the boot order after the first boot from DVD. Not sure why it wouldn't boot from the DVD (third) when the disk (second) was blank but it wouldn't. So I'd already had to change it once.

     

    2) Beware removing the DVD before it's all installed. It copies a ton of stuff in a few big batches, but it still needs it in there and will "fail" the install if it can't find it. (It recovered gracefully enough on a reboot, but I was concerned there for a few minutes.)

     

    3) Be sure and check device manager to make sure all of your devices are satisfied--like LAN adapter...--as it may not have drivers from the DVD and won't tell you a thing before you logout the first time. I found out it had no LAN after I'd removed the display, etc., when nothing would connect to it. After a lot of confusion, I finally concluded the thing must just really not be on the net and shut it down and relocated the display/keyboard/mouse. Sure enough. Some hand driver fectching and a flash drive and some installing and all was well.

     

    I have not measured the power this thing is drawing just yet. I'll report when I do.

    Friday, November 2, 2007 5:08 PM
  • If you use a MB without integrated video, I don't think it will boot.  Better to go with integrated and forget about it.
    Friday, November 2, 2007 6:30 PM
  • Every now and then you may run across a motherboard that won't boot without a video adapter, but for the most part you just need to configure the BIOS correctly. But I agree that for a homebrew system integrated video is fine.
    Friday, November 2, 2007 9:36 PM
    Moderator
  • How do I find out which motherboard will boot w/o a video card and which won't? I am now considering the Intel DP35DP motherboard, and it does look like it won't boot w/o a motherboard (Intel's site reports a 8-beep BIOS code for a system w/o a video card).

     

    Can someone list out the boards that they have tried that a) don't have on-board video and b) boot w/o an external video card?

    Sunday, November 4, 2007 1:46 AM
  • Correct me if I'm wrong please- I believe the term is headless booting.  I am still booting from the CD to get display on my connected monitor. I am trying to figure out now if I have missed something in the BIOS settings, but am afraid my board is to old and booting without The DVD at this point won't work.  Since it's a test system no big deal, but I'm working on my build now .
    Sunday, November 4, 2007 1:18 PM
  • The machine is running at 70 Watts +/- with the GA-MA69GM-S2H board running a BE-2350, 2GB of PC2-6400, a LiteOn SATA DVD burner and 3x WD Caviar GP 1TB drives. That's the relatively good new. The bad news is that the power factor is just over 0.5--pretty low--so it's pulling just shy of 140 VA. (This is bad for "Green". As Wikipedia puts it "The significance of power factor lies in the fact that utility companies supply customers with volt-amperes, but bill them for watts".) For the record, this is with the stock p/s in a ASUS TM-210 case which is a 300 W p/s Delta Electronics p/n GPS-350AB. I'm guessing it doesn't have any power factor correction...

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007 5:20 AM