WHS on AMD Turion64 (Powersaving) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello


    I am really pleased with the WHS it is watt i have been looking for a long time.

    Until now i have been running the WHS on an Duron 600, Asrock K7S41 mainborard 2* 512 Mb. ram and 

    2* 320 Gb. + 400 Gb. Seagate Barracuda disks.

    The thermal design og the Duron 600 is max 27 watts but still my setup is consuming 90 watts at idle and that is to expensive for me as i want the WHS to run 24/7.


    I hav now bought an AMD Turion MT34 Mobile CPU (1,8 Ghz. 1 Mb. L2 cache socket 754) that will run in an MSI K8MM3-V

    The Turion64 MT34 has an thermal max of 24 watts an AMD powernow is supportet so it can throtle down to 800 Mhz on 0,9 - 1,0 Volts Ca. 7 Watts.

    As soon i have the system up runnig on the RC relase i will repport back on powerconsuption and i fthere is any atvantage of having a modern 1,8 Ghz cpu in stead of an old Duron 600 ;-)

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007 2:31 PM

All replies

  • This is an litle update on my Turion64 WHS setup.

    The RC is now running on the hardware that i wrote abut in my last post. I have done the instalation on an 160 Gb. Samsung 2,5" notebook sata harddrive that consumes 0,8 watt idle and 2 Watt under load. Under instalation with only that harddrive connectet that power consumption from the AC 220V socket was only 28 Watt :-)

    Now i am going for an Seasonic powersupply that has an efficency of abut 84 % by a power drav of 50 Watt.

    Friday, June 29, 2007 4:48 PM
  • The system is now fully operational with 160 Gb 2,5" notebookdrive, 200Gb Sata 3,5" drive, 2* 320Gb 3,5" drive and 400Gb 3,5" drive.

    The powerdraw from the wall outlet never goes over 71 Watt nomatter what tasks the server is performing and at night in total idle and powernow is activ ( 1V core 800 Mhz.) al disks are not rotating the powerdraw is 41 Watt.

    I am working on improwing this by larger capacity diskdrives like 2* 500 Gb og larger and the notebook drive as primary drive.

    If you want to go to the exstreme and money dos not  matter you could by 4* 250Gb 2,5" notebook drives wich would only consume abut 7 - 8 Watts.

    I have still not switcht to the highly efficient Sea Sonic powersupply yet but i think i will order it next week.

    I will continue to update this thread as sonn I have good news abut my powerdraw.

    Sunday, July 22, 2007 5:33 AM
  • Nice project Pyro, interesting to see how far you can push the Gb/watt ratio Smile I might have a go with an underclocked Sempron or mobile chip here too, and see how low the voltage will go - I'm interested as power consumption will likely be a genuine question I get asked about as WHS and similar 24/7 devices grow in popularity.
    Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:05 PM
  • My WHS is a Via C3 with a Hitachi 400GB and Seagate/Maxtor 320GB.  It pulls 36-37W at idle and 55W or so full blast.  I only got those low powers when I switched from the standard Antec SmartPower power supply to an Earthwatts 380W model that is 80+% efficient (although probably less than 80% at these low powers).  On the Hitachi drive I enabled the Advanced Power Management on the drive to allow it to go to unload idle and low rpm idle.  Unfortunately I can't do the same on the Seagate drive because it lacks that feature.
    Wednesday, July 25, 2007 5:17 PM
  • Here is an litle update on my Server project.

    The 2* 512Mb Kingston PC 3200 ram is now replacet with only one stick Kingston PC 3200 1Gb.

    I have replaced one 200 Gb. samsung Sata harddrive and one Seagate 7200.10 320 Gb. Ide hardrive with one Samsung 500Gb. Sata drive.


    The 120mm chassis fan is disconnectet because i have now fever harddrive's.

    Result: Idle power was 41 watt before. Now 37 watt. Load was 71 watt before. Now 65 watt.


    Future improvments: Replace the active Zalman CNPS 7000B-AlCu cpu cooler with an passiv Noctua NC-U6 that is an chipset cooler but is big enough to coll down the Turion64 cpu as it will sit right infront of the 120mm intakefan of the PSU.

    Replace the 300 watt Aopen stock PSU with an 80Plus certified Sea Sonic S12II-330.

    Fewer but bigger harddrives

    My goal is abut 30 watt idle and 50 - 55 watt load.

    All watt's that i describe is measuret on the 220 Volt wall outlet.


    Wednesday, August 1, 2007 2:04 PM

    I like where you're going with this system.  I posted an Intel system based on a mobile chipset with similar low power goals.  Rather than targeting a specific power goal, I decided to go with what I thought was the most power-efficient components that would satisfy my server needs and let the chips fall where they may.  It could be interesting to compare our systems' power usages.  What device are you using for power measurement?


    It's good to see that the MSI board supports powernow, because WHS has no problems running most of the time throttled down. A great freeware utility for monitoring and adjusting CPU clock, multiplier, voltage etc. is RMClock by RightMark ( http://cpu.rightmark.org/products/rmclock.shtml ).  Intel's EIST on my Tyan board was not fully controllable in bios, but I used this utility to better control the CPU power-on-demand by dropping the multiplier and voltage until demand requires more.  I gives you a nice graph to track which operations are throttling up the CPU. 


    I like the power savings of your mobile HDD, but I can't go that direction due to capacity.  I have 500GB of shared media, and I'm just getting started.  My plan is to go for large (1TB min) 3.5" drives with the lowest platter count. 


    I am using a fanless NC-U6 on the CPU sitting in the path of the Lian Li A05 case fan airflow.  CPU temps at 100% load (using 2 instances of Prime95) plateau at 65C and it idles near ambient with the intake fan automatically throttled to 1000RPM and the exhaust off.  So as long as you can mount it on the MSI, I recommend it highly, along with a little Arctic Silver. 


    Your intent to go with the SeaSonic S12II-330 matches my first thoughts, but I ended up with a SeaSonic Energy+ 550 due to EPS12V requirements.  The good news is that I should not have a problem down the road supplying five large HDD's, so I recommend you look to the future before settling on PSU.  But who knows....maybe we'll all be using super-efficient solid state drives in five years, or perhaps the lower cost of the 330 along with power savings will offset the risk of a potential upgrade later. 


    Best wishes on your path to 30/50W............Fred

    Wednesday, August 1, 2007 4:00 PM
  •  Pyrotek wrote:

    As soon i have the system up runnig on the RC relase i will repport back on powerconsuption and i fthere is any atvantage of having a modern 1,8 Ghz cpu in stead of an old Duron 600 ;-)


    You have hit the nail on the head with this. Older processors even the slower ones still draw a larger amount of electricity than the newer ones do. In this vein it is important to know that using old parts to build a server may save you money in purchasing but will cost you more in electricity and will produce more excess heat.

    Thursday, August 2, 2007 10:28 PM
  • This might help people decide on old processors if it is a push to buy new and you have something laying around.



    Rememer older computers used inefficent 250 - 300w power supplies...thats a good indicator of total system power use compared to mainstream systems today running over 400w supplies you have to ask how far we have come in power consumption. My old corporate employer was running HPs and Dells with 350w PSU's and chipset graphics....scary considering that was the end of 2006 and it was a basic corporate desktop.


    Mind you waiting on newer more efficent hardware, like mobile chips on desktop boards, to become available at decent prices might also be a good option.


    I justify my current systems power use of 180w average by having reduced our light bulb power consumption by over 800w....it is a 70's build previously owned by blind older people I think. I am also slowly reducing the 10 HDD's down to larger capacity ones as price allows. CPU and mobo will not be replaced until they die or 64bit is a requirement.




    p.s. LCD TV's can use 180+w as well, the larger the more it uses. Hows that for progress. Bring back the CRT
    Monday, August 6, 2007 10:20 PM
  • An small update. Yesterday I reciewed my copy of WHS OEM. An today i did an all new instalation on an new 160 Gb. Samsung IDE 100 2,5" notebook drive. The reason for this move (160Gb. 2,5" sata drive to 160Gb. 2,5" ide drive) is that I want the 2 sata connectors to be free for 1 TB. drives when they get a bit cheaper as my motherboard only has 2 sata connectors. In the future realy large drives will only be sata drives as IDE is fading out. Seagate has stopt producing ide drives so 750 gb. is the biggest IDE drive from them. Maybe other manufactors will make larger IDE drives? 

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 2:53 PM

    Pyrotek, couple questions:


    Are you currently running with the Turion underclocked or stock?  How are you cooling it?  I'm interested in this processor and trying to decide betweem this and a mini-ITX system.  The Turion looks great, and I'm curious if it's possible to passively cool it if underclocked.


    Also, any problems with the motherboard?  Does it seem fully functional with the Turion?  (seems some motherboards have problems with this processor).







    Thursday, September 13, 2007 12:11 AM
  • Hi Aaron


    The Turion is running at stock but with AMD Power Now installed (the same as Cool and Quiet only for mobile cpu) and the power state of choise is "mobile". When Power Now is proppely installed, Cool and Quiet enabled in BIOS on the motherboard and the power state "mobile" is chossen the Turion will throtle down to 800 Mhz and 0,9 Volt core on this motherboard: MSI K8MM3-V. As we are speaking of the motherboard: Yes it does support the Turion 64 fully.

    It is found as Turion 64 in post and the values of Vcore er correct ind the high powerstate (1800 Mhz.) and in the Power Now state (800 Mhz).

    The coller is an ZALMAN CNPS 7000B-AlCu an the temp. never goes over 34 Celcius.

    You can easely coll this cpu passiv with one of the larger heatpippe coolers that are intendet for passiv cpu cooling.

    I will go for the Noctua NC-U6 in the future wich is an Chipset cooler but I am sure it will be big enaugh as it will sit right in front of the 5 inch intake fan of the power supply.

    I am happy i went for this setup an not an mini ITX as I think this has more power but is almost as power efficent as an Mini ITX setup!

    Thursday, September 13, 2007 1:51 PM
  • This is really great information, thanks so much for taking the time.


    Another quick question:  have you ever considered a Mobile Sempron processor?  It seems these are very similar to Turions, perhaps with a little less performance.  But they're cheaper and have similar power characteristics.


    Thanks again,




    Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:30 PM
  • Hi Aaron


    No not really. I know they also have very low powerconsumption but I saw an test on www.silentpcreview.com were they had build an system for an desktop computer with an Turion 64 an then I knew this wass the way to go for me.

    I am shure you can get very low watt consumption with an Sempron also but for me it wass Turion 64.


    Friday, September 14, 2007 4:52 AM
  • Thanks for the info again!


    I just ordered the same motherboard as you (newegg $40), as well as a used mobile Sempron 1.6 Ghz 25-watt (ebay for $8).  The Sempron is so cheap that I can replace it and get a Turion if I'm not happy with it.


    This is al going in the following case:


    (A remarkably well-made case on sale for $15!)


    My first priority is low-power.  Second is low-cost.  I've been waiting patiently for the Western Digital GreenPower drives (the 500gb model) to hit the market:



    Still need a passive cooler and a more efficient power supply. 





    Friday, September 14, 2007 1:10 PM
  • New update on my Turion64 WHS setup.


    I have now installed an Seasonic S12II 330 Watt powersupply wich is 80Plus certified and recomendet by Anandtech.com



    This dropped the idle current from 220 Volt wall outlet from 37 to 33 Watt.

    And the load from 65 to 58 watt.


    So it looks as if my goal of 30 watt idle 50-55 watt load is in possible.


    My server as it is now:

    Windows Home Server OEM
    AMD Turion 64 MT 34
    MSI K8MM3-V onboard VGA
    1Gb Pc 3200 Kingston.
    Samsung 160 Gb. 2,5" Notebook
    Seagate 7200.10 320Gb.
    Samsung P166 500Gb.
    WD Caviar GP WD10EACS 1000Gb.
    Seasonic S12II 330W 80PLUS
    Powerconsumption (220V)
    33 Watt idle 58 watt load


    Future improvements:

    Replace the 320Gb + 500Gb discs with one WD Caviar GP WD10EACS 1000Gb more.

    Replace the active CPU cooler with an passiv.


    Any questions just ask.


    Thursday, January 3, 2008 4:19 AM
  • Pyrotek

    How are you putting your system into an "idle" or a "load" state?  I assume idle means no backups or load balancing are underway, but are you allowing the OS to turn off HDD's?  For "load" one could stress the system with a software utility (which would never happen with WHS running as a server) or you could initiate concurrent WHS activities like backup, streaming, virus scan, etc.  I built and low power system and just got a Kill-a-watt meter, so I would like to test my system in similar states..........Fred

    Thursday, January 10, 2008 2:59 PM
  • Hello Fred


    What I describe as idle is when there is no activity on the server (balancing storage, back-ups etc.). Powernow is installet (same as Coll and quiet but for AMD mobile cpu's). The power scheme is laptop in the power settings ( this will run the cpu at 1,0 voltage and only 800 Mhz. and stop the harddiscs from spinning after my choice of 5 min. of no activity).

    That is my idle an in that stage it only needs 33 watt (220 Volt in Europe).


    What i call load is when my children are streaming music or video and the server is backing up one of my computers.

    Under this amount of work load it consumes about 58 watt.


    All mesurements is on the wall outlet with watt you I belive call a "Kill-a-watt meter.


    Hope this will help you on. I just wanted to build an planet an electrisity bill friendly server that still has some power to get the job done ;-)


    What hardware is in Your server?


    PS: I am from Denmark hope You can read it all :-)


    Thursday, January 10, 2008 7:29 PM
  • Pyrotek,


    No problem with your lingo...you ought to hear my Danish!  Well, I think you did well on your low-powered system.  I measured my idle at 48 watts, multi-tasking in the mid 60's.  I believe the HDD's are powering down, but I am not sure if I can depend on the WHS OS power controls.  After I built the system and got Intel Speed Step working, I did not optimize, but now with this power meter I'll be able to play around with the BIOS settings, turning off ports etc.  Here's my setup:


    Tyan Tomcat S3095, Intel mobile T5500, 2GB dual channel DDR2 667, Hitachi 1TB, Samsung 500GB, CD-ROM, floppy, onboard Intel graphics (945GM chipset), three 120MM case fans under volted 7v, Seasonic S12 Energy Plus (MB requires EPS12V psu).   I'll post if I make any breakthroughs...............Fred

    Friday, January 11, 2008 3:28 PM
  • Hello again Fred.


    You could easy trim your system so that it would consume a litle less watt. Remove the cd-rom and the floppy drive if you dont need them. I only had a DVD drive mounted when I installet the system. As you already wrote earlyer disable the printer and the com ports if you dont use them. Also if there is some sound onboard disable. I also belive that three case fans is overkill and only consumes energy. One should do the job if any at all is nesasery. This is the cheap options.

    One the more ekspensive side the Hitachi HD consumes 5 watt more than the WD 1TB that I choose and that is both in idle and under load but it is faster. Dont know if it has any thing to say in an server. You use dual channel on your ram which mens you have 2 ram sticks. This also consumes a litle more energy than just one stick. I had 2* 512 Mb. sticks an went to 1*1024Mb. stick an saved 2-3 watt. Yes every thing counts. You have a Seasonic PSU that I dont think can be much better as they are very energy efficient.


    I now only have 2 things in my server that I will change to save more energy: My 500Gb. Samsung HD and my 320Gb. Seagate HD will be replaced with one more WD 1Tb. HD like the other one I already have (>1watt/4watt/8watt) slepp/idle/load and the cpu fan and cooler will be replaced with an passive all passive cpu cooler like the Scyte Ninje or similar.

    GodLuck on trimming your server.


    Morten Denmark

    Friday, January 11, 2008 9:19 PM