Atom 330 Dual core D945GCLF2 Mini-ITX WHS initial observations. RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I just recently completed converting over my WHS from a P4-530J to the Atom. The old system run 120-145 watts with 5 hard drives and a CD ROM, 1 gig memory as I had started out a year ago throwing some old hardware at a trial version of WHS and now want to give it an energy efficient final home.


    Windows Home Server Hardware:


    Motherboard:   Intel  D945GCLF2 Mini-ITX

    Processor: Intel Atom 330 1.6 ghz (Integrated)

    Video: Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 & S-video output support (Integrated)

    Memory:  1 x 2 GB Crucial Rendition PC2 – 6400 DDR 2 800

    Case: Antec 300 Mini Tower - 2 case fans running on Low

    Power Supply:  Antec Earth watts 430 (80 plus)

    PCI : Syba pci-3114-4ir  Sata  Host Controller  4 channel Card – (SLI-3114 chip)

    DVD Drive: None ( I plug one in when needed)

    Drive1: 500 GB Seagate ST3500630AS

    Drive2: 500 GB Seagate ST3500630AS

    Drive3: 500 GB WD50 00AAKS-00YGA0

    Drive4: 500 GB WD50 00AAKS-00A7B0

    Drive5: 500 GB WD50 00AAKS-65YGA0

    Drive6: 500 GB Samsung HD501LJ

    Some comments are to go for the D945GCLF2 to get the gigabit LAN as well at the dual core Atom 330

    I have been running this on my kill-o-watt power meter:  It runs : 84-85 watts at idle with 2 cases fans running on low (2 watts each fan)
    It runs 89-90 watts under most loads.  Spikes to 100 watts when first turn on the system:

    My projected annual cost to run is $43.72 vs $110.00 on the old system.  Now this may change as the longer you run the Kill-0-watt on the system the better idea it will give you.  I ran it on the old system for 72 hours and on the new system it has only been about 30 hours.

    One of my concerns with the atom was performance:

    So far it seems to be the same as what I replace it with.   It will stream 1080p videos to my other computers (Except the Atom 330 based media center) with no problems.
    It will stream 720p view to all systems even the Atom 330 based media center (which by the way consumes 52-60 watts with 250gig, 2g mem, PVR150 pci card)

    My other concern was expandability as I have sorta maxed it out with 6 sata drives using the 2 on-board and the 4 on the PCI Sata card.  Now on my drives, currently 4 are in the storage pool and 2 are outside of the storage pool.

    My plan is that as I need more space in the storage pool I can temporarily disable one of the non-pooled drives, put in a pooled drive of large capacity, 1.5 or maybe even 2 tb and then remove one of the 500 gig drives and then put the non-pooled drive back in.  Then this should give me the ablility to expand for a while.

    The other option is to use either an IDE to Sata coverter on the IDE slot on the mother board or Sata to IDE converters on the drives themselves and that way I could add another 2 drives through the IDE port.

    A third option is to add USB drives through the USB ports but for some reason this just does not appeal to me, maybe for the non pooled drives. 

    So hopefully these options will keep me covered for the next few years at which point who the heck knows what will be available.

    As with anything this is a new install and only been live for about 10 days now so time will tell.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 3:16 PM

All replies

  • Have you thought about investing in some cooling fans for the HDDs ?? I would think that those 500GB drives would run hot. Otherwise good job and thanks for sharing. 
    Anything that doesnt have a self limiting factor is of the devil.
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 3:20 PM
  • This is great to hear from some real world experience with this board. I've thinking about moving my WHS over to this board as well.

    How did the installation go? Did the install find all the drivers?
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:23 PM
  • I have not thought about adding any cooling for the drives.  I had 6 drives (the seagates are new) in the old case and it had only 1 fan, the P4 processor, less airspace and the drives much closer together so they should be much cooler in this setup.

    As for installing the Atom it did not recognize the Sound chip or the Lan but I just installed the drivers off the CD that came with the board.   It recognized the sata drives and I used an IDE DVD ROM temporarily for the install.

    One other tip on these is to update the BIOS while you have the DVD ROM attached.   I have two of these Atoms and neither one will run the Intel executable to update the BIOS.  You have to pull the Jumper off the motherboard and put the BIOS ISO image in the machine and then boot.  Nothing appears to happen for about 3 minutes and then the BIOS update starts to happen.     I updated to the 037 version and notice that the 040 version is now out which is now going to be a pain especially in the media center ATOM in the tiny case as I have to pull out the powersupply to get at the jumper.

    One other note is that these have been notorious for loud fans and mine seem to be getting louder.  

    Lots of folks have replaced the Northbridge Fan with the Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra 40MM Silent Fan 20MM 3500RPM 4.8CFM 19.5DBA

    Iam probably going to do that as well.  I checked locally and the problem with living on an big island is lack of suppliers as no one has them so I will have to order them in.

    As for performance here is my Atom Media Center PC on Windows 7 performance rankings with the Same motherboard and memory as the WHS Server

    Here is performance for P4 3.0 530J with 1 gig DDR memory

    As you can see the cpu and memory  rankings are about the same only the graphics performance is really lagging behind the P4  which has an X800XT video card in it.  For instance the P4 3.0 can view 1080p video from the server and it is choppy on the Atom Media Center.  Both perform fine on 720p videos.

    From all my testing I would say that the Atom 330 feels just like the P4 3.0 which is fine for most Day to day stuff.

    So far these little guys have out performed my expectations. 

    Now if Nvidia teams this with a better performing graphics chip which is supposed to happen then these will make a great lower power entry level desktop machine.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 8:08 PM
  • Just wanted to update this.

    First the fan on the D945GCLF2 Mini-ITX is making more noise as others have reported.  I am sure that this going to be a problem in the future.

    Second I left the Kill-o-watt power meter on this until yesterday which gives a much better cost idea and the estimated electricity cost has climbed to $59.00 / year.  

    The atom keeps on humming along(slightly louder hum) and I notice no difference in performance from the P4 3.0 1 gig system that it replaced.

    With the exception of the fan noise I am very pleased.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 10:22 AM
  •  I'm looking into getting this same setup and was wondering how your network transfer speeds were.  I have a gigabit network and was wondering what kind of speeds you were getting to and from the server.
    Wednesday, February 4, 2009 10:31 PM
  • I have a mixed network, I have two 1 gig switches and a 100mps router with 9 computer, 5 are 1GB and 4 are 100mps.  The house was all Cat5  wired to every room when it was built 12 years ago and it does not do 1GB over the Cat 5 (one day I will have to look into this), so with that being said here is the performance graph of a transfer of a 3.3 gig TV recording from a Media Center to the Atom (this goes through 2 switches and all is 1 GB), now at the time there was other stuff going on the network, including files transfers to/from the WHS, a Bit-Torrent running on a linux machine, A Media center accessing the WHS and some other computers surfing the web, pretty general usage in other words.

    Top is transferred to a drive outside of the drive pools, and the bottom is the same file tranferred to a share within the storage pool.  When I first installed WHS the performance to the pooled storage was pathetic so placed a lot of my data outside the storage pools.  

    Once you get to the picture on Picasa you can click the Magnifying glass to see it full size.

    As you can see it ranged from 10% to almost 50% network utilization during the copy and both copies were under 2 minutes for a 3.38 gig file.
    Thursday, February 5, 2009 12:43 AM
  • Exactly the information I was looking for!  Thank you so much!

    If I get this setup, is there anything I should know?  My idea is to use the test version from MS's site until I can pay the $100 bucks for the full version.  Is there any hardware/software setup I should be aware of going into this?  Any tweaks?  Anything at all?

    Thanks so much!
    Thursday, February 5, 2009 3:36 PM
  • This is a pretty easy straight forward install with 2 exceptions. 

    1) To update the BIOS on that board I had to pull out the Jumper Cable on the board and boot on the ISO BIOS Image available from Intel at :


    2) You need to install the LAN and Sound Drivers off the disc that comes with the D945GCLF2 or get the updated ones at the above link.

    You only have 1 memory slot on this board and it will only use 533 mhz memory so don't waste more money on better ram and get a 2 gig memory module as you can only put in 1.

    Plan on replacing the Noisy fan as mentioned above as this seems to be a common issue.

    Just Remember that when you use the Trial you will have to re-install when you purchase the OEM version and you will have to reset up your users and any other tweaks that you do, no big deal but you should write down what you have done to it so you don't keep discovering stuff that you had tweaked after the re-install and then forgot to install.

    It is really a pretty easy install.  I just finished redoing one of my media center 2005 machines and that was a PITA just applying all the patches and updates and tweaks.

    Thursday, February 5, 2009 5:10 PM
  • and to quote Steve Jobs "One more thing" here is the first test report on a NVIDIA engineering sample using the Atom and NVIDIA's ION chip which will reduce the power requirements and increase the video capability on the this chip.   The power saving will be good for WHS and the Video will be good for Media centers and maybe doing some encoding on the WHS for video. 


    Edited: another review

    • Edited by Mike in Paradise Thursday, February 5, 2009 5:56 PM Added another ION review
    Thursday, February 5, 2009 5:26 PM
  • Where would I buy a good replacement fan from?  I don't want to have to crack open the case much after I put it together.
    Friday, February 6, 2009 3:34 PM
  • Best thing to do in finding a replacement would be to do a google search for: Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra 40MM Silent Fan 20MM 3500RPM 4.8CFM 19.5DBA
    which seems to be a popular replacement, now bear in mind I am saying this from research as opposed to actually experience as I have not yet replace the fan on either on of the atom chips:  Now I am in Canada so I would use different suppliers.

    On the Atom Front some more news today:

    From:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/06/intel_ships_n280_chips_early/

    Intel ships updated Atom chips six months early

    Intel has confirmed it is already shipping the next incarnation of the Atom processor.

    The chip maker's successor to the near-ubiquitous netbook chip, the N270, is landing in the hands of laptop makers well before the anticipated mid-2009 release. Those presently mulling a netbook purchase may want to hold off for a bit.

    While the new single-core N280 only has a tiny boost of clock speed over the N270, a more noticeable improvement will come from its paring with Intel's new GN40 chipset and integrated graphics. Unlike previous Atom chips, the GN40 chipset includes hardware-based high-definition video decoders allowing for 720 HD playback.

    For comparison, the N280 is clocked at 1.66GHz and connect across a 667MHz frontside bus. The N270's speeds are 1.6GHz and 533MHz, respectively.

    Intel told us not to expect an enormous 'next-gen' leap over the present chip, saying we should consider it more of a derivative of the N270.

    The Asus EeePC 1000HE is the first netbook spotted with the N280 processor and is already taking pre-orders. No shipping date for the netbook has been announced.

    The hasn't disclosed the price of the chip, but Asian pub DigiTimes has said the CPU and chipset bundle is priced at $60-$65. ®

    Saturday, February 7, 2009 1:27 PM
  • Another interesting review of the Atom Chips vs Intel Entry level Dual core by Tom's hardware, 

    The Dual Core had the same Idle power usage and much better performance per watt.   I would really like to see some long term tests on these 2 as my main reason to switch to the Atom was to save power $$.

    Saturday, February 7, 2009 3:05 PM
  • Wow the Atom/Ion engineering sample is making its way around the Techie websites.


     Here is Tom's Hardware version where they compare the power consumption of the Atom/ION versus Atom/945 ICH7 intel.





    Saturday, February 7, 2009 3:25 PM
  • Another interesting demonstration of the NVidia ION platform with the Atom

    One thing that I would really like is to combine my main media center with 3 tuners (4 would be better) with the WHS.   If you could ever do this on a power efficient platform like the Atom and the ION that would be great.

    I read where one fellow is running his WHS virtually on his media center which is interesting in order to cut out a machine.  I really hope the Media Center arrives with WHS in the next iteration.  

    Temperature Update:

    Attached is the speedfan page (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php) showing some heat numbers on the Atom on the WHS.

    This shows it running very cool and is at idle but it runs very cool in this case even at load.

    Another point of interest is that the drives that are on the Syba 4 channel SATA card do not pass any information to the system which is a shame as you can only see the temperature on the two drives that are hooked directly up to the Intel  D945GCLF2, this is something to consider when looking a PCI Sata Cards.

    Another point to consider when selecting one of the PCI Sata Cards is that the one the I picked cannot use a Port multipler and that also should be considered.

    I have this same board in a Apex MI-008 MINI-ITX Case which is crammed in like sardines and it runs much,much hotter. There is no airflow at all in that case the the northbridge runs hot.   This screen print was taken less than 10 minutes after starting it up and running a 2 minute 720p video.   Also the drive gets very hot in that case.
    (As an aside, I installed MythBuntu media center on this machine yesteday in a tripple boot mode with Windows 7 and Apple OSX and I was really, really impressed with how easy the install was, even recognized the Window MCE Remote)

    I have ordered the Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra 40MM Silent Fan 20MM 3500RPM 4.8CFM 19.5DBA and it should arrive today as it has made it to the island but I missed the delivery guy yesterday as good old UPS Showed it stuck in bad weather even though it was out on delivery.  

    I ordered 2, one for the WHS to try and cut down the noise of the fan and one for the media center to try and cool it down.

    I will post some results once I install then.
    Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:03 PM
  • Hmmmmmm, My Fans showed up at the door and I started to look at replacing these.

    Here are the details which hopefully will save someone else some research.

    First I should know better than to rely the internet even though lots and lots of people recommended the Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra 40MM Silent Fan 20MM 3500RPM 4.8CFM 19.5DB.   I should have tweaked into the fact the many people said get the 20mm for increased air flow which is true but it does not fit in the heat sink. 

    You need the 10mm version to fit directly into the heat sink on the D945GCLF2 which will reduce noise to 47% but cooling to 57% as well

    It is very quiet compared to the Intel fan.  I should have taken the old fan off and checked its specifications before ordering but I did not want to until I got the new one in case I broke it.   Sooooo the fan supplied by intel is a T&T 4010h12S, Here are the specifications:

    Here are the specs for both the 10mm and 20mm Scythe Kaze

    And another fan that was recommended was the Papst


    As you can see from the table below there is a direct relation between reducing the noise and reducing the airflow

    Brand Model 2 or 3 wire Size Fits Stock Heatsink CFM Speed Amp DBA CFM  Noise
    T&T 4010H12S 3 40mm x 10mm Intel Stock unit 7.24 6000 .18 29.7 100% 100%
    Scythe Mini Kaze 2 with adapter 40mm x 20mm On Top Only 4.86 3500 .07 19.56 67% 66%
    Scythe HTPC 2 with adapter 40mm x 10mm Yes 4.11 3500 .06 14.0 57% 47%
    Papst 412FH 2 wire 40mm x 10mm Yes 5.3 6000 .8W 26.0 73% 88%

    Now for the WHS server it should not matter as it runs cool anyways but with my HTPC in the Apex case this will certainly cause it to run much hotter which is not going to be a suitable solution.

    Looks like more research is in order....

    I post the results when I get this done...

    Thursday, February 12, 2009 5:26 PM
  • I just loaded up WHS on my D945GCLF2 last night.  I am not looking forward to having to reinstall the OEM or MSDN version once it comes out, but I don't have the cash to buy it right now.  I'm hoping that the 6 months will give me some breathing room financially so I can buy it.

    It went fairly well.  I haven't had much of a chance to do anything other than move files from my NAS to the WHS, but tonight and tomorrow I will spend quality time with it.  I bought a replacement fan that sucks as far as the way it stays on the NB, but hopefully it'll be ok.  If it doesn't stay (it uses very weak thermal glue/paste) then I guess I'll have to find something else.

    I'm excited to get MYMovies on it, I downloaded the server version last night.  Just need to configure it and move my Movie collection over and try to stream them.

    Exciting times!
    Thursday, February 12, 2009 5:48 PM
  • What was the make and model of the fan that you added?  
    Thursday, February 12, 2009 6:00 PM
  • Just an update on this:

    The Atom is ticking along just fine in this configuration.  I have not yet replaced the fan on the WHS yet.

    For those of you thinking of using the Atom in the Apex MI-008 case for a WHS:

    I did change the cooling on the Atom that I have in the Apex MI-008 case which is currently running Windows 7, Apple OSX and a MythBuntu Media Center.  This was running hot and noisy in the case when I had the drive installed on the side as in this picture.

    I had on hand a 120x120x25  Vantec fan in a case which friction fits perfectly into the spot where the hard drive goes on the side. This is much quieter than the stock cooling fan but there are much quieter ones available.  I think it is 25 dba and you can find them at 15 dba.  This case has cooling holes in this spot and I placed this case to blow in on the motherboard  to cool the chipsets.  I removed the Northbridge fan on the D945GCLF2 board.  I think with the drive on the side of the this unit blocking the cooling holes it is just too hot. 

    I put the hard drive in the provided bay under the DVD ROM

    Here are the cooling numbers running 720p video

    Here is is after being pushed hard. Note:  the Northbridge is rated for 90c by Intel so this is still very cool


    Also I saw one case where a person put in 4 drives in the little MI-Case by using the side bay, the 3.5 inch bay under the DVD Bay, the DVD bay and then using the DVD to 3.5 inch drive brackets mounted a 4th drive under the 3.5 inch bay on the bottom of the case.  He was happy with it but I would assume that this would run very hot.

    Here is the case stripped down so you can see what I mean:

    If I was starting to build a new WHS today I would consider using the Apex MI-008 case with 2 x 2 TB hard drives, one in the DVD bay and one in the 3.5 inch bay.   The power supply in this case is very quiet.  You can put a 15 db 120x25 inch fan in to the side drive bay.  This would provide 4 tb of storage in a quiet compact little box using under 60 watts of power Today this would cost in Canada using Canadian $.

    Apex MI-008 Case $65
    D945GCLF2  Mother board $100
    Fan $15
    Western Digital 2 TB 2 x $310 = $620

    Total = $800.00 Canadian

    This would consume between 50-60 watts of power, be very quiet and run cool.

    Now I am sure over the next couple of months the 2 TB drives will come down in price and that would make doing this more attractive.

    Anyways just some more info for those of you considering a mini WHS build.

    Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:54 PM
  • Funny but this morning I had to drop my wife's car in for an oil change and I went to a nearby computer store to kill time and found the following 40x40x10 fan:

    It is packaged StarTech  but is an ever cool fan ec4010m12b when you open the box.  This has the best Noise to CFM ratio of any of the replacement fans I looked at.

    EDIT:  Forgot to say that this fan has a regular molex connector which I used so it not plugged into the motherboard.



    Here is the fan table updated.

    Brand Model 2 or 3 wire Size Fits Stock Heatsink CFM Speed Amp DBA CFM  Noise
    T&T 4010H12S 3 40mm x 10mm Intel Stock unit 7.24 6000 .18 29.7 100% 100%
    Scythe Mini Kaze 2 with adapter 40mm x 20mm On Top Only 4.86 3500 .07 19.56 67% 66%
    Scythe HTPC 2 with adapter 40mm x 10mm Yes 4.11 3500 .06 14.0 57% 47%
    Papst 412FH 2 wire 40mm x 10mm Yes 5.3 6000 .8W 26.0 73% 88%
    Evercool ec4010m12b 2 wire toMolex4
    40mm x 10mm Yes 5.22 5000 .07 21.00 72% 71%

    So I replaced the Fan on the WHS when I got back home.  I recorded the sound before replacing it.

    After replacing the fan and trying to get a recording I had to turn up the volume on the recording for it to pick anything as it was too quiet with the new fan.  So on the second part you are getting louder ambient noise but it is very quiet compared to the old loud fan.

    Here is the sound recording.... 


    Now the disk drive sounds are audible whereas they never really stood out before.

    Too bad they only had one in stock or I would put one of these back in my atom media center.
    Thursday, February 26, 2009 5:51 PM
  • My D945GCLF2 and PSU arrived yesterday.  Initial thoughts were "it's tiny", quickly followed by "that PSU is damn heavy".

    As a baseline I built up the mobo in a minimum spec configuration consisting of

    Corsair 520HX PSU
    Crucial 1gig memory
    HP DVD-ROM   (one i had lying around)
    Seagate 320gig SATA2 7200.11 hdd
    Logitech serial keyboard
    Logitech usb optical mouse

    Wall plug power draw with WHS installed and the processor running idle was 40w.
    Under high load wall plug power draw was ~ 46 - 48w.
    My mains supply is 240v ( UK )

    Later I will add an Adaptec 1420SA 4-port SATA2 PCI card

    In my old (very old) computer only two of the ports would operate at any time.  Am hoping for more success in the atom board.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:15 AM
  • Asposium said:

    Later I will add an Adaptec 1420SA 4-port SATA2 PCI card

    In my old (very old) computer only two of the ports would operate at any time.  Am hoping for more success in the atom board.

    Two things that I would say to consider when shopping for a Sata Adapter is that it supports:

    1) S.M.A.R.T  so that you can monitor the disk drives.

    2) Will work with a Port Multiplier so you can expand storage in the future beyond 4 ports.

    My Syba card will not do either of these but then it was very inexpensive.

    I did a quick check on that adapter and it says that it supports S.M.A.R.T but I do not see anywhere about if it will support port multipliers.

    Of course with large storage drives getting cheaper and I would imagine that there will be some cheap atom mother boards on the horizon with larger number of Sata boards for cheap servers this may not be an issue.

    I am just so pleased with these little motherboards.   I have done extensive playing with this mother board in my Media Center PC which is currently tripple boot with OSX, Windows 7 and MythBuntu 8.10 and for the cheap price it does an awful lot.   There are proplems with the SVideo Out in Linux which Intel has just put out a patch for but for the cost they are a good little basic system providing you have proper expectations for them.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:40 PM
  • Thanks for the words of advice but I already own the adaptec card.  I eventually plan on kitting out the server with 6 x 1.5TB seagate hdd.  should be more than enough storage until a company makes a atom based mobo with a pci-e slot ... then i can get a 12 port monster.   :)

    on the future mobo front ... i see on the internet that asus is soon due to release an atom based eee mobo.  here's hoping said mobo has the much sought after pci-e slot.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:46 PM
  • Thanks for all this info.
    I also built a WHS machine with the same Intelboard (using a case from Aywun which looks identical to the Apex case pictured.) with 1.5TB and 1TB HDD and can confirm a lot.
    The fan that comes on that board is a disgrace!
    Same with the Graphic chip!

    I hooked up a dual channel TV card to it which I bought for just AUD 17 :-) (using DVScheduler, works great!) with the WHS add-in "Web Browser" (German, but simple enough to understand everything) I even save myself a lot of work setting up port forwarding and all that is associated with that, too.

    While SD TV works just fine (recording 2 shows, watching one), HD TV is not possible on this machine. The pictures are completely distorted.
    I tried shutting down all resource eating programs and just watching a HD TV Video on a 1024 x 768 resolution monitor, still no luck.
    The weird thing is: My EeePc (Atom 1.6Ghz N270) is able to play that file VIA NETWORK from the WHS machine without any problems!
    I will try the BIOS update mentioned, which seems to update the Graphics cababilities as well.
    If someone is saying that this is not worth it, let me know, that I can save myself pulling the PSU out to get to the Bios jumper...

    But the best: Recording 2 HD TV shows (not watching them) just uses 6% processor :-) and from the 2GB RAM installed it was not going over 400MB. (I still had some programms running in the background as well!)

    What I will try with the noisy fan:
    I plan to install a fanless PSU (still about 2 weeks away) then I will have the space available to put an old P4 heatsink that I have laying around on the existing heatsinks.
    Since everything runs pretty cool as it is, I hope the much larger heatsink can take it without a fan, if not, than I still can plug the P4 fan on top in which runs MUCH quieter than the existing one.
    The "new" heatsink I plan to cover both of the exiting heatsinks and screw it down onto the one with the Fan (fan removed of course).
    Since both existing heatsinks are on the same height, this should be no problem. Let's see how it works, maybe I can report back (2-3 weeks time) if it all works :-)
    Friday, March 27, 2009 1:55 PM
  • So are you running  DVSchedular on the WHS with out any problems.    What does it do with restricted content.   I currently have the Atom Media Center set up to thriple Boot OSX, MythBuntu and Windows 7.   The programs that I know have restricted content such as Breaking Bad I run the Media Center in MythBuntu to record and then keep recorded file on WHS for viewing on the other media center.

    If so have you noticed any performance difference when the WHS Demigrator kicks in.

    I have this board in both the WHS and in a Mini Media center.   Most of the time it will play 720p video on the Atom Media Center from the Atom WHS but if the WHS Demigrator kicks in the 720P video can get very choppy.  Same with the Media Center that I am running off of an old Celeron 1.7.   Forget 1080p.  

    For my TV viewing this has not been a problem as I still have analog cable, only with videos.

    I think that there will be solutions coming out for the Atom chip that will eventually allow it o play high defintion video.
    Friday, March 27, 2009 4:53 PM
  • ever so slightly off-topic...

    has anyone heard anything about any new asus atom mobo?
    see this link..



    is there any "limitiation" imposed by intel that would prevent a manufacturer from providing a pci-e slot rather than a pci slot?
    Friday, March 27, 2009 4:57 PM
  • Thread has been quite for several months. I just installed WHS with Atom 330 Intel Mobo. Very smooth but am experiencing the same fan noise issues mentioned above. I would like to purchase the Evercool Fan mentioned by Mike (Model #ec4010m12b) but can't find it anywhere. Can someone lend a hand? Either point me in the right direction for online order or suggest other method?

    Thanks to all.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 1:52 PM
  • I picked up the fan from these guys as they are local and just happened to have it in stock when I was in.


    I am currently running the atom 330 in one of my Media centers without a fan just using the large case fan but I did buy a scythe ninja to try and see how it works with the lower CFM and this board but I have not had a reason to take it apart yet in order to install it and it tends to be the winter months when I mess around with the computers in the house.

    It it really too bad that intel did not put in a decent fan on these motherboards. 

    So far the replacement fan is staying quiet and the WHS is chugging away.  I have been uploading lots of movies to it and I notice that it sometime takes 30 seconds and sometimes takes 10 minutes to load the same size movie (1.5 - 2 gig WMV files).    

    I have also been running ORB on the WHS Atom 330 for my wife to watch her shows when she is working overseas and sometimes it works great and other times it is choppy.

    I have run in to the Disk drive limit with 6 sata ports and am going to have to start swapping out drives with larger drives very soon.
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 3:03 PM
  • Thanks Mike. A few questions:

    I have been considering running the WHS with no mobo fan, just the case fan. I have the ITX board in an ATX case running the fan on low. I figure I can raise the case fan speed to medium if the temp is too high. What is you current chip temp on both the WHS (with fan) and Media Center (no fan)? Also, what software are you using to measure temps?

    When you say it takes 30 sec - 10 min to upload movies, can you clarify what you're uploading to? I assume you mean from the WHS to the media center. I am running a media center which is running some firmware that can read basically any video format. This is not a windows media center. It is connected to the WHS through the router (lan both directions) and have had absoluted no problem running video. No judder or choppiness at all. There is a little rendering issue with DivX but I attribute that to the media center firmware. Is it possible you're having choppiness due to the media center (maybe the lack of fan could be causing it)? just curious.

    Great post by the way. It's detailed description was the main reason I chose to go with the Atom.

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009 1:03 AM
  • I am using SpeedFan under windows (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php )

    and I run the media center mostly under MythBuntu and use a Linux Sensor software application of which I cannot remember the name.

    This morning it is running 33c ambient, cpus are 27-28 and the drives are run 37-38.  It was last booted about 1 month ago and has been running 24/7.

    I have 4 media center PC's.  2 running MCE 2005, 1 running windows 7 and the Atom triple booting Windows 7, MythBuntu and OSX.

    One Media Center running window MCE 2005 has 3 tuners and all the commercial ripping conversion software on it. It does all the recording and media conversion.  The one off stuff just gets watched from the other media centers networked to the main media center.  This was running a Q6600 quad processor but I recently replaced it with an E2200 which is much slower at the conversion but I wanted to reduced the power usage.  Seems to be working ok.

    Anything that I want to save gets the commercials ripped out and converted to WMV and transferred to the WHS for storage.  The movies that are typical 1.5 gig to 2 gig is what I am talking about.  Now I have 3 TB on the WHS and it has about 12 % free right now.    So all my long term media is stored on the WHS and accessed by the 4 media centers.

    I would really like to run just one machine with all the tuners storage and WHS and will wait and see what the future brings.  If it was not for the excellent backup of WHS I would run Mythbuntu for my server and all the media centers.  I am seriously considering changing all the Media Centers over to MythBuntu.

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:20 PM
  • I use Speedfan as well. Strange though, it doesn't give me any reading for Core 0 and Core 1 temps. I assumed that was just an OS issue but I see Speedfan support Server 2003 so WHS should be OK. Just wanted to make sure, Speedfan is giving you a temp reading on the Atom of 27-28 deg? If yes, any idea why I'm getting readings of 0 and 2 deg for CPU?

    BTW, I ordered the fan from AvalonSoftware, they have a few left. Simply couldn't find it anywhere else. Got an extra one just in case (they cost $8.99 so no big deal).

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 11:53 AM
  • Here is the fan table updated.

    Brand Model 2 or 3 wire Size Fits Stock Heatsink CFM Speed Amp DBA CFM  Noise
    T&T 4010H12S 3 40mm x 10mm Intel Stock unit 7.24 6000 .18 29.7 100% 100%
    Scythe Mini Kaze 2 with adapter 40mm x 20mm On Top Only 4.86 3500 .07 19.56 67% 66%
    Scythe HTPC 2 with adapter 40mm x 10mm Yes 4.11 3500 .06 14.0 57% 47%
    Papst 412FH 2 wire 40mm x 10mm Yes 5.3 6000 .8W 26.0 73% 88%
    Evercool ec4010m12b 2 wire toMolex4
    40mm x 10mm Yes 5.22 5000 .07 21.00 72% 71%



    Thanks for your great analyse !!!

    I've found one more if you want to test it for us ... it's the SilenX iXtrema PRO 40mm (10mm)

    Dimensions 40 mm
    Installation depth 10 mm
    Voltage 12 volts
    Speed 3200 rpm
    0.48 watt power
    Flow rate 8.5 m³ / h
    Noise development 14 dBa
    Life of 40,000 hours
    Hybrid bearings Bearings
    3 pin connector Molexstecker

    Best regards,
    Julien (french user)

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 5:48 PM
  • Mike I have a quick question for you.  I plan on building an Atom 330 WHS like you off the Intel BOXD945GCLF2D like you did but I'm hesitant because Intel does not list any support for Server 2003 only xp, vista, win7.  Did you have any problems installing WHS without Server 2003 driver support on the Atom 330 board?  I only mention it because I'm trying to build one on a old P4 and I can't get any of these network cards I have to work.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 3:27 PM
  • I had no problems that I can remember.  I believe I used the drivers off of the Intel disk that came with the board for any drivers that were not automatically recognized.   

    As a further update the server has been running fine with two tiny exceptions:

    1) First is using it to Stream Orb over the internet to my better half when she is working out of the country.  On occasion it will stutter and not work properly.  Orb does recommend a faster processor than this one.

    2) I have a media center that I do all the recording and commercial ripping and format conversion on and then copy those videos that i want to keep on the WHS.  On occasion the transfer speed really slows down.  Usually for 500 mb it is about 30 seconds but on occasion will take 10 minutes to copy to the server.

    Today I would strongly consider an Atom board with an ION chipset as this would give me more flexiblity in the future  to use the motherboard in other projects.

    So far the replacement fans in both the WHS and the Atom media center are working fine and staying quiet.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 4:53 PM
  • How about streaming 1080p!?!?! You notice and playback problems.. going to use this with asrock ion 330.

    Thanks in advance.
    Monday, September 21, 2009 5:09 PM
  • How about streaming 1080p!?!?! You notice and playback problems.. going to use this with asrock ion 330.

    Thanks in advance.
    I really only tested 1080p and it seems to stream ok from the server but will not play on the atom 330 media center that I have.   Also I do not do a lot with 1080p and only have done testing on the various computers and media centers to see which ones will play it properly using sample clips.
    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:41 AM
  • was the playback fluid though with no choppy playback?

    Im using a old P4 2.4 ghz 1gig ram and its smooth..if the 330 could play fluid im gonna jump on this like hot cakes!!

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:14 AM
  • tlipur, sorry I never replied to this but from my limited testing the problems I had were with the Client PC and not the Server streaming it.
    Thursday, December 3, 2009 4:57 PM
  • Just another update on this...

    The replacement fan is still running like a charm, no problems.

    I woke up on Monday to the blue screen of death on the most important PC in the house, the one that pays the bills here.  I was up at 5:30 am so I tried rebooting and it just would not recognize the hard drive.  Soooo I went to the WHS and Turn off Duplication and set it remove the most recent hard drive that I put in with the intention of putting it in the dead PC.  Of course I did not check how much data it had on it and it was 500 gb drive with only 10% Free Space.  I did a remove drive and then it took until 11 am to give me back this drive.  I took it out and put it in the all important PC and started to do a backup restore.

     First thing I discovered was that I had to go and download a new version of the backup recovery disk for PP3 before I could restore the PC.  It would have been nice to know that and have that already disk already done as that took another 40 minutes to download and install.

    Anyways I did the recovery of the backup on the PC Drive  which took about 2 1/2 hours which was about 300 gig and back in business.

    Now the lucky part was being up at 5:30 and coincidentally it being cyber Monday I was able to pick up a 1.5 GB Seagate LP drive for $88.00.    This drive came today and I put it in the server and now have 5 x 500 gb and 1 X 1.5 TB drives.   I turned the shares duplication back on and that was about 15 minutes ago and it does not yet appear to be duplicating data.

    The share I turned duplication off in order to steal a drive was close to 900 GB and I am curios to see where it puts that duplication now that it has the big drive with all of that space.

    Anyways the good part of the story is that the PC is back humming along with a new drive (3rd replacement) in that PC.  I really should keep a spare drive around
    Thursday, December 3, 2009 6:08 PM

  • Ok Looks like it duplicated the share completely on the new 1.5 TB drive...

    I wonder how it decides where to duplicate data?
    Thursday, December 3, 2009 9:21 PM
  • I bought my box as a used demo unit and it did not come with a CD for the motherboard drivers.  Intel's support for Home Server is non-existent.  Is there anywhere I can find these drivers, specifically the video and audio drivers?
    Saturday, December 5, 2009 3:15 PM
  • Just go to the intel website for this board:


    Goto to tools and software

    Select Driver updates for those drivers that WHS needs.  I would just use the XP drivers which is what is on the CD that came with the motherboard. 

    This is assuming that you have one of the boards listed on the intel link above
    Saturday, December 5, 2009 4:05 PM
  • I have the D945GCLF2 and I was able to load the audio driver using the XP 32 bit driver, but no luck on the graphics driver.  Tried XP 32, Vista and Win7.
    Saturday, December 5, 2009 7:58 PM
  • I just checked and my WHS has been running using the standard Microsoft VGA driver from 2002.  So I went over the MediaCenter that I have using this same board which can run windows 7 (well it really runs  Kubuntu with MythTV but is dual boot) It is using the Intel 945G express chipset driver on the D945GCLF2 . 

    I went and dug up the CD that came with the motherboard and it has the intel 82945g graphics drivers on it.  I put this on the WHS.  THen I rolled the drivers back to the Microsoft one and when to the intel website and load the 945G drivers and they update to the same version on the cd with the mother board.

    I looked on the intel website under 945g chipset and it appears to have these same drivers here which I verified:


    Download load this and unzip and it will create a folder winxp_14324 which will contain a folder graphics.  Update your WHS video driver by pointing to this directory.

    Not sure what problems you are having with the basic driver  but I have had none doing the stuff I need to on the WHS using the standard Microsoft VGA driver but then I use the WHS mostly for its intended purpose.
    Sunday, December 6, 2009 12:26 PM
  • Thanks for the link Mike.  I'll give it a try after my morning coffee.

    Sunday, December 6, 2009 1:40 PM
  • OK, that worked, I appreciate the help. 

    It just bugged the ____ out of me to know I had hardware in my little server that wasn't working right.  I was reminded it wasn't set up right everytime I scrolled through a web page or saw the flickering of the old crt monitor.

    As soon as I replace that noisy Northbridge fan I can ignore it and let it do its job.
    Sunday, December 6, 2009 2:31 PM
  • Wow -- great to encounter this fourm.

    Have read where many are installing WHS on this mobo.  Got the idea to try it myself, but having some difficulties.  Hoping you guys could give some advice.

    System is MI-008 case, Intel BOXD945GCLF2 mobo, and WD 640 Caviar black hdd, 2 gb ddr2 RAM.  Downloaded trial version, plugged in external DVD-ROM and during install of whs and system hangs on boot with a STOP error.

    Verified the whs download, rinse and repeat.  Also tried creating a USB install disk with the same result.

    Created a USB DOS boot disk and updated BIOS via iFlash utility.  Still same result on attempted install.

    Went into BIOS and disabled all peripherals and attempted reinstall.  Sae result.

    I'm at a loss with this.  Is my problem using the download rather than the OEM version?  Would appreciate any advice that can be offered.

    Friday, December 18, 2009 3:35 PM
  • Boot with Stop error - which one? I would assume 0x000007B, which has to do with the fact, that WHS, based on Server 2003, has no SATA drivers in the setup files. This means, those need to be provided up to two times, one time from a floppy drive during the blue screen part of setup while it says Press F6 to load additional drivers.
    A possible workaround is usually, to reconfigure the Bios to run the SATA controller in IDE mode.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Friday, December 18, 2009 9:16 PM
  • I had no problem with it recognizing the Sata Drivers  for the hard during the install with my BIOS Set as follows:

    I used an IDE/ATA DVD temporarily for the install and removed it once all the software and drivers were installed.

    I am wondering if the error is in how the USB DVD is set up in the boot configuration on the D945GCLF Bios Boot Member but I do not have a USB DVD.

    Also when you say hangs on boot is this after it has gone through part of the install? 

    Edit: One other thought is to make sure that your drive is plugged into the first SATA Port 0 on the board.
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 12:13 AM
  • Looks Intel has now made the formal announcement with delivery dates for the D510 dual core Atom chip that has the new chipset.  One of the new boards is the D510MO which which is to be released on January 10th.  Graphics and Memory controllers are now integrated into the CPU chip.

    Lots of performance review are available.




    DX9 graphics
    Intel x64 bit OS
    2x Cores / 4x Threads
    2x 512K L2 cache
    DDR2 667/800 MHz
    Total TDP (CPU + Chipset) – 15W (compared to 33W for D945GCLF2)

    Also 2 memory slots versus one.

    If I was thinking about the Atom 330 today I would be looking to go with one of these instead!

    Couple this with the 1.5 GB low power drives and you can get a pretty power efficient windows home server!

    Edit: And the most important part of this is no annoying noisy fan for the chipset! 
    Monday, December 21, 2009 12:13 PM
  • Another follow up to this...

    I started getting errors and having to run the repair on the system drive so I just replaced it with a 1 TB Hitachi drive by following the instructions at:


    I used the free EaseUS disk cloning tool for cloning the disk and put the orginal system drive from WHS in a USB enclosure and used a USB docking station for cloning the Hitachi 1 TB.

    This have been working fine so far:

    I now have 5 Drives  with one spot open for expansion


    Drive1: 1 TB Hitachi HDS721010CLA

    Drive2: 500 GB Seagate ST3500630AS

    Drive3: 1.5 TB Seagate ST31500541AS

    Drive4: 2 TB Samsung 204UI

    Drive5: 500 GB Samsung HD501LJ

    I am thinking about upgrading my wife's I-3 530 based computer and then using the i3 in this server with a new motherboard as the i3 has very low power rating as her system idles at 72 watts. 

    Time will tell but this WHS just keeps on Ticking...



    Friday, February 18, 2011 11:50 PM