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Installing on hardware below minimum requirements to minimizing power consumption RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am curious about how WHS performs or suffesr when installed on hardware below the  minimum requirements. I have not activated yet and want to have some confidence in my choices before I do.


    Because of the low power consumption of the C3 processor (for a system left on all of the time), I chose to install WHS on a Via C3 processor with 1 GB of memory, 2x250GB 7200 RPM drives and a gigabit ethernet card. I built this into a 1U server case and used a USB DVD drive and a KVM switch to install WHS. All unused on board devices (except for video and USB are disabled). Install whetn just fine, but took about 2 hours total.

    Does anyone have any ideas about how performance might suffer with this configuration?

    I can choose to use an Athlon 64 3000+ and 2GB of memory in a mid tower case for WHS installation if I need to, but I am keenly interested in keeping power consumption to a minimum.

    Thanks
    Monday, March 5, 2007 11:33 PM

All replies

  • Well, obviously, processor-intensive tasks will suffer. But there shouldn't be that many such tasks on WHS. Streaming media is about the only thing I can think of. I'd do some tests, and monitor CPU utilization, to see.

    For what it's worth, I'm considering building a SFF server with similar hardware. I don't think I'll have any serious problems with performance if I do.
    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 2:45 AM
    Moderator
  • I've got it running on a Pentium 3 600mhz with 512MB ram and a 250GB pata drive. It's working fine. I'm mostly using it for backup and monitoring though. I haven't tried streaming video, but I do keep some photos on there for easy remote access.

    - Shahn

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007 3:38 PM
  • The minimum requirements for WHS are pretty low.

    I have it running on a athlon 1800+ with 768megs of ram and it runs very smoothly. Having a a processor that can handle the networking and file serving is really all you need. I currently have 680gigs of hard drive space in my WHS test machine and should things go well, I will bring it up to 1 terrabyte.

    It is also very important to not install additional or un-needed software on the WHS server, as they will eat performance. eg: While running SETI@HOME is a wonderful endevor, it will eat performance.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2007 6:05 PM
  • The WHS minimum requirements aren't software minimum requirements, WHS can run on lower systems without problems. However the requirements are indicators for a smooth experienceat full load.

    by the way, I run BOINC on WHS too (Rosetta@Home) ;)

    Wednesday, March 7, 2007 6:12 PM
  •  manyworlds wrote:
    Because of the low power consumption of the C3 processor (for a system left on all of the time), I chose to install WHS on a Via C3 processor with 1 GB of memory, 2x250GB 7200 RPM drives and a gigabit ethernet card. I built this into a 1U server case and used a USB DVD drive and a KVM switch to install WHS. All unused on board devices (except for video and USB are disabled). Install whetn just fine, but took about 2 hours total.

    I'm running on almost exactly the same configuration, except only 512MB DDR and a single 200GB HDD. It seems to be running just fine, although I can't test the streaming functionality because my Netgear MP101 doesn't seem to see the media server. Installation took about two hours for me as well. My computer pulls about 43W steady state as measured with a Kill-A-Watt.

    EDIT:  My little Via machine has enough horsepower to accept a backup from one machine and stream MP3s to my MP101 simultaneously. (Don't know why the media streaming didn't work yesterday but it's working fine now.

    Thursday, March 8, 2007 4:11 AM
  • The only computer I can dedicate to this right now has about the same specs (Athlon 2000+ and 500MB RAM) except for for disk space. The hard drive I want to use is only 60GB. I know the minimum specs say you need 80GB primary drive but will 60GB be enough? The only other free drive I have is 160GB but I use it for backups.

     

    Friday, March 9, 2007 6:32 AM
  • I have it installed on an old P3 1ghz with 512mb Ram and a 120gb IDE drive.  Asside from this it only has a pci ethernet card and a dvdrom everything else is onboard.  It draws a steady 35watts and if i left this on 24hours a day every day at 10p per kwh it would be about £2.50 per month.  It backs up fine and serves files fine but i have not put it under preasure really.  I would be suprised if a simple file server would need much more than this processor for home use and a reasonable disk subsystem would make more difference especialy if you can run in a hardware raid configuration.

    Compare this with my normal desktop which is an Athlon 2500+ with 1gb ram and and identical 120gb ide drive which pulls a steady 100w or about £7.30 per month.  It does have a geforce 6200 in it but would cost me three times as much if i used it for a WHS instead of the 1ghz one.   

    I have been thinking about this and i know there are lots of small form factor pcs that are ideal for WHS but i have not seen any marketed purely on an energy saving basis.  The new hard disks with flash memory built in look like they could be a really good idea for WHS but they are very new and at present i think they are very expensive.

    At the moment i think i am going to stick with the 1ghz p3 and just add a SATA pci card with a few drives attached to it.  this should be cheap and if i do need to upgrade in the future at least the drives will still be usefull.

    Saturday, March 10, 2007 6:12 PM
  • Playing on a VM install of MHS, I found that after installing, 512m required, I could reduce the memory down to 192m. 192m did seem slow.
    Sunday, March 11, 2007 1:34 AM
  • I just installed it on an older 1U Dell Poweredge 1650 to test it's backwards compatibility.

    -1x 512 mb RAM
    -1x 1.2 ghz P3
    -2x 18gb SCSI

         I tried some streaming media on it, it works well as long as it's only one accessor.  You start accessing it from different machines, and then it starts to lag a bit (it buffer's pretty slowly).

         I probably will revert this machine back to Windows Server 2000, but I would say if you're not into streaming media, it works just fine.  Right now, I would suggest a 1.8 ghz machine (preferably P4 or greater), and 1024 mb of RAM.
    Sunday, March 11, 2007 8:25 PM
  • I'm thinking of building a test system for my parents to try out the beta (they'd be the typical users that MS are aiming for!) - it'll be a 1gig AMD Duron with a couple of 250gig hard drives.

    The question is - I don't have any more memory for it that it's already got - has anyone got any idea how well WHS might run in just 256meg RAM? (I'll nick the 512 stick out of my WHS to do the install)

    They're only going to be using it for the backups and storing media (and it won't be the only place they store it - I've already impressed on them that this software is still beta!)

    Sunday, March 11, 2007 8:31 PM
  • I haven't tried it, but my guess is as long you're not streming media from WHS it will run fine.
    Sunday, March 11, 2007 8:34 PM
  • I found that streaming media wasn't as memory intensive as it was CPU intensive.  Anyone tried running it on 256mb?  I can cut one DIMM and try it if nobody replies.
    Monday, March 12, 2007 12:14 AM
  • I run it at home with 1GB, when I first installed it only used 256MB but after leaving it on for a few days it had used about 550MB of RAM. I'm guessing it cache's data to RAM. Maybe it's used by the Desktop Search service??

     

    -Update: Total RAM installed in the system was always 1GB, 256MB was the amount of memory in use as shown in Task Manager. Just trying to say that it will run with 256MB RAM, but I reccomend putting in more. Sorry for the mixup.

    Monday, March 12, 2007 4:28 AM
  • Hello,
    The first time I tried to install it was with 384 mb of PC 133 Reg ECC on a tyan 2567server board with Duel 1ghz cpu's. I got the error screen telling me I needed min 512mb. Don't know how you got past that.Then I upgraded to 2 gb of same ram but never could complete the install
    as the MB was bad.


    Wednesday, April 11, 2007 1:57 AM