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 Post subject: Ultra Low Power 24/7 Server Parts Recommendation
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:28 am
Posts: 16
Location: London, United Kingdom
Hi all,

Just wondering what your thoughts would be for the lowest power build for a Core i3-4130 set up?

I'm planning to initially use it as a download machine with the future flexibility as an all-purpose 24/7 server with virtualisation and file-storage capabilities. Currently my future scenario for storage is a maximum of 2-3 3.5" HDDs in a JBOD configuration.

These are the parts I have:

Core i3 4130
Samsung 120GB 830 SSD

Parts I plan:

ASRock/Intel based haswell mATX/mITX motherboard (or other low power motherboard)
1x8GB 1.25v memory
PicoPSU-90-XLP + Meanwell 60/80W Brick

Plan only to use 1 fan for CPU only... perhaps even fanless to keep power down
I'm still undecided on case, although I have an old Antec P180 lying around
Only remote desktop, no video, no usb, just nic enabled

I've been reading some very good comments about the PicoPSU-90-XLP however this seems incredibly difficult to source in the UK. Unless someone can point me in the right direction to get one, is there another alternative to this? How does the XLP variant differ to the other standard PicoPSUs?

I'd like to keep the power consumption ~10w or less if possible... and when eventually adding on 2-3 HDDs, I'd like to keep them spun down with a total power consumption less than 15w. Is this feasible?

Thanks in advance


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 Post subject: Re: Ultra Low Power 24/7 Server Parts Recommendation
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1774
Location: Guatemala
I would use Intel as a motherboard, given that asrock is a good option lately out of seeing what some have accomplished, but still intel has the track of most of the builds bieng the lowest in power consumption.

The 10W seems reachable, but you gotta remember that consumption is not steady, it will jump to 15W and back down on a windows evenoirment, now if you use another OS, you should check first if it will allow the downclocking, as this is only reachable when the CPU is clock at 800mhz.

Now 15W with 2 mechanical.... i doubt it, unless they are slept, the consumption of those hdds not even in use will be 5W+, so expect in the 20s is my guess with 2, in use they will probably jump more.

Personally i like more to have my download station separated from my storage server, at the beggining, i though the same, leave the storage server, so i bought an Acer 342 atom based, but upon loading more drives on it (only 4), the idle went up to 37W, and i quickly filled the 4x 2tb, so i decided to move create a server for pure storage, i started with 8x 2tb and 6x 1.5tb, with the xeon on idle i get around 125W (no hdds slept), but i didnt want to leave a 125W server on for downloading, so i created the download station, that usually idles around 10W, but thats my story, now im moving toward 4tb my server and moving into WHS2011, i just been too busy lately to put some time in the server.

Either way, if you are able to sleep the hdds i think you will be able to get low power consumptions, else adding 3.5 hdds increases the consumption.

Good luck with the build.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Ultra Low Power 24/7 Server Parts Recommendation
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:28 am
Posts: 16
Location: London, United Kingdom
Thanks for your thoughts Abula,

I do plan to have these HDDs slept to keep the consumption low, but now on second thoughts I may just attach the 3.5" HDDs onto the HTPC as they are going to be for media anyway (I'll just have to re-plan for a bigger HTPC chassis).

I do not have any experience with Intel based boards and I'm not aware if they have the flexibility to disable devices (video/sound/usb etc) as well as underclocking or lowering voltages on CPU/Memory too.

Do you know if I would lose much power efficiency if I opted for a non-XLP model of the PicoPSU?

Thanks,


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 Post subject: Re: Ultra Low Power 24/7 Server Parts Recommendation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Switzerland
I haven't seen a mainstream consumer board that could't underclock in years. I'm not saying they don't exist but...
Undervolting is something else and I do not recommend you underclock your CPU (other people in different situations are a different issue). I don't think undervolting your RAM would make anywhere as much difference as simply using less. Do you REALLY need 8G on an always-on server?

Some boards sold by the same brand consume different amounts of power. Generally, you should pick the board with the least features. I'm not saying that's always the best choice but power-saving features do not always result in a lower idle power consumption when compared to equivalent simpler boards.

If you do plan to attach the drives to a different computer, see if there is an Intel DC-powered board compatible with your CPU. People have reported very low power consmption with those and you wouldn't need a pico.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultra Low Power 24/7 Server Parts Recommendation
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
Posts: 1500
Location: Sweden
doodddoo wrote:
Do you know if I would lose much power efficiency if I opted for a non-XLP model of the PicoPSU?

Not much difference. The 90-XLP is very difficult to get hold of, perhaps they don't manufacture them anymore.

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Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W AC
HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | X25-M G2 80GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W AC
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 760 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | TJ08-E | G-360 360W
Server: Intel DH77DF | i3-2100T | 4TB+3x3TB | picoPSU | Idle 24W AC


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 Post subject: Re: Ultra Low Power 24/7 Server Parts Recommendation
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:58 am 
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:28 am
Posts: 16
Location: London, United Kingdom
The 8GB is for future virtualisation purposes but it is interesting that you mention using less memory makes a big difference. I'm curious how much difference there is between a 2GB, 4GB and an 8GB module is. I will definitely look out for something that has the least features possible as it's very good advice you've highlighted there.

As for the Pico, is there any particular alternative that would be second to the XLP? ...and are there any particular intel haswell mATX boards recommended? I'm still keeping an open mind with the options available.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultra Low Power 24/7 Server Parts Recommendation
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1774
Location: Guatemala
doodddoo wrote:
As for the Pico, is there any particular alternative that would be second to the XLP?
I honestly dont think it will matter much, todays computers uses mostly 12V, there are still parts that do use 5V like 2.5 hdds or ssds, but the main is the 12V, IIRC the picoPSU is just a passthrough here (at least the ones you are considering with 12V brick), so in essence what will matter most is the efficiency of the brick itself, try to get a good quality energy level V, meanwell seems like a good option, FSP also seem good in the jonnyguru review (but this was 19V brick with WI picoPSU), but for example the one that comes with the Antec 110 (i believe its a delta) that also energy level V, and one user had very little gain into going into picoPSU 90XLP + Meanwell PSU, i'll leave you the thread in case you are interested, Which picoPSU and power brick should I use[?]

doodddoo wrote:
and are there any particular intel haswell mATX boards recommended? I'm still keeping an open mind with the options available.
Check Optimal Haswell CPU for low idle power HTPC/Server

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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