Please help with hardware selection (MB / processor) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi All

    I've read a few interesting threads on here about builds optimised for low power.

    I'm going to be replacing my MB and memory soon (and could stretch to a processor as well if I had to) and would really like to get my server below the 120W consumption that it's using at the moment!

    I've read about the AMD cool and quite technology that sounds pretty good but I assume that intel does a similar thing - it might be called speed step?

    I've had a look at Dabs and the intel site but it's not that easy to find a processor that supports this sort of thing.

    I'm also having difficulty finding a MN that meets all my requirements.

    Ideally it should have the following:

    on board VGA
    on board Sound (for media player for webguide)
    Gigabit LAN (although I have a GB lan card so this isn't vital)
    at least 6 Sata II ports
    PCI E interface.

    I've not managed to find any MB that have more than 4 SATA ports.
    One post mentioned that on board VGA will consume power and that I shoudl go headless. Will the VGA card really consume much power?
    Ideally it'll have a very basic VGA and Sound card to reduce power / resource use.

    If anyone can suggest anyhtign that would be great.

    Friday, September 21, 2007 7:45 AM

All replies

  • Check out Abit AB9 QuadGT mobo...this is what I am using with P4 3.0GHZ proc.


    • 6 STAT + 2 eSATA + 1IDE
    • On board Gigabyte LAN
    • On board sound
    • PCI e interface
    • 6 USB + 2 Firewire ports

    but, no on board VGA

    Friday, September 21, 2007 3:51 PM
  • You might want to try Intel's Mobile on Desktop page, which has a list of barebones and motherboards supporting low power CPU's. A lot of motherboards from AOpen.


    I have WHS running on a SFF Shuttle SD11G5, with Pentium M. Low power and very quiet. Only room for two internal disks though (currently 2x500GB)!

    Friday, September 21, 2007 5:40 PM
  • I have my home router below that 120W limit, and it is based off a very inneficient Pentium D 805 CPU. In fact, it is even below the 100W mark at full load (last time I calculated the power draw, I don't have a kill-a-watt), so that's not overly difficult to achieve..


    My best bet (and close enough of what I have now) would be something mATX-based (for size, though there are full-ATX boards with integrated graphics, which in fact draw MUCH less power than ANY dedicated card, and are more than enough to just about anything a server might do), with 1GB or 2GB of RAM (depending on use), and a power-efficient CPU. Since every consumer board on the market now has onboard sound, and more and more have Gigabit Ethernet, those are not issues.


    For 6 SATA ports, you only have the G33 Intel chipset available (sorry, I'm not a very big fan of AMD, I have never bought a CPU from them). Gigabyte, Asus, MSI and Foxconn all have boards based on this chipset. RAID is also available on some of them (Gigabyte and Foxconn, MSI is optional). You just have to check the one that you like the most. For me, that would be the GA-G33M-DS2R from Gigabyte. One thing you have to bear in mind is that the G33 chipset does not support 533MHz FSB CPUs (older Cellys, some P4s and the 805 Pentium D).


    You can also get something 945G/GC or G31 based, for 4 SATA ports, and spend the difference on a SATA add-on card.


    I personally like ASRock mobos, and there are some of them I'd use for something like this: 4Core1333Full-HD (X1250-based, but Quad-Core ready, though that's not even an option for low-wattage servers... lol) or the ConRoe1333-DVI/H R2.0 (supports EVERY non-quad-core Intel 775 CPU available today).


    As for the CPU, I'd go with either an E21xx M0 part, or even a 400 series Celly, if dual-core is not necessary.


    As for the "headless" part, keep in mind that some boards refuse to work without a VGA card; and that the extra load from the integrated graphics is not that much. I'd say 5~10W tops under load.


    Hope some of this helps.





    Sunday, October 7, 2007 2:55 PM