Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

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colin2
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Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by colin2 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:58 am

The builds I find online are power-hungry. I just need basic file-serving and backup.

For a server using Windows 8 as its OS, with at least 6 internal SATA connectors, a couple of USB 3.0 external connectors, and UEFI, what would you choose?

I have room for any size mobo.

Abula
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by Abula » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:13 pm

We havent seen the celerons form Haswell, and we probably wont see them until 2014, so the lowest end CPU from haswell is the Intel Pentium G3220. Intel mobos are usually among the most efficient, so i would pair it with Intel BOXDB85FL, has 6 sata connectors, 4 usb3 (2 front 2 back).

For PSU look into something like G360 or X400.

You could also go the route of ATOM, not sure how it will do on windows 8 though, something like JetWay JNF99FL-525-LF Intel Atom D525, has 6 sata ports, 2 usb3 ports. But might have issues with 2tb+ HDDs, research this.
Last edited by Abula on Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

faugusztin
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by faugusztin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:31 pm

@Abula: 6 hard drives and picoPSU aren't compatible - 6 hard drives would need ~12A @ 12V for spinup, the highest rated picopsu AFAIK gives 10A up to 30 seconds max, and we didn't even took CPU and MB power requirement into account. For 6 hard drives, he should think about a standard PSU.

Abula
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by Abula » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:39 pm

faugusztin wrote:@Abula: 6 hard drives and picoPSU aren't compatible - 6 hard drives would need ~12A @ 12V for spinup, the highest rated picopsu AFAIK gives 10A up to 30 seconds max, and we didn't even took CPU and MB power requirement into account. For 6 hard drives, he should think about a standard PSU.
you are right, 6x 12V 3.5 hdd might be too much for picoPSU.

colin2
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by colin2 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:56 pm

Thanks, Abula: That's really helpful and the DB85FL looks like an easy mobo to mount coolers onto.

I was hoping to use an old ANTEC Phantom PSU, but it doesn't look like it's Haswell-compatible, and the lower-power sleep would be nice to have.

washu
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by washu » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:25 am

An Antec Phantom is very inefficient by modern standards at low loads. With that PS the minor differences between various low power components would be almost irrelevant. Replacing the PS with something modern will save you more power than anything else.

Abula
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by Abula » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:34 am

I agree with washu, i would change the PSU, the SeaSonic SSR-360GP is what i would recommend, its a very good option considering that its not so expensive and should be more than enough for 6 hdds, was reviewed by SPCR Seasonic G360 PSU: High efficiency & performance, low price. Now if you have well ventilated case and willing to spend more for higher efficiency psu, then consider SeaSonic Platinum Series SS-400FL2.

colin2
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by colin2 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:48 am

Thanks, this is great. I have an old Antec Solo (in the current, slowly dying server) that I was gonna re-use, which does not look optimal for the SS-400FL2. The SSR-360GP would have to go in upside down.

This does raise a question. Suppose I used a case that would fit either PSU: the SPCR review says the SSR-360GP would lose just over 9 watts in heat at low power. Does that include sleep, in particular Haswell Sleep? How would I figure out the power-consumption difference between the SSR-360GP and the more efficient SS-400FL2 in a Haswell system that's on 24/7, but usually idle?

CA_Steve
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:42 pm

The power loss difference between the two will be negligible. Maybe a watt or two. Both have 8-9W loss at low load. If your system idles at 25-30W (with HDDs powered down), you won't see anything. In system sleep/hibernate, they'll be similar as well.

Abula
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by Abula » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:56 am

colin2 wrote:Thanks, this is great. I have an old Antec Solo (in the current, slowly dying server) that I was gonna re-use, which does not look optimal for the SS-400FL2. The SSR-360GP would have to go in upside down.
For the original SOLO, i would go with G360, its cheaper by half, as CA_Steve said, the difference will be very small at low loads where your server should be most of the time. And the original SOLO dont have a the top vent, Seasonic asks for all their fanless PSU for it to mounted with the holes up, this is fine on the SOLO II as it has an opening on top, but on the original SOLO, it will be against the closed top of the case, you would need to have good positive pressure to force air through the PSU to cool itself, for all this i feel the G360 with its fan always on should be better, as long as your case temp isn't very high, it should be quiet.

Image

colin2
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by colin2 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:13 pm

Thanks again for this advice in October! I'm slowly getting around to building. I've bought:

G3220T CPU
Seasonic SSR-360GP

but the Intel DB85FL is getting harder to find, and I'm drawn by the slightly better specs of the *87 chipsets.

The Intel DH87RL, with five 6B SATA ports, is available via Amazon.

But there are also several ASUS and Gigabyte mobos that according to

http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4444/49 ... -5-minutes

offer low idle power, and six 6GB SATA ports. While I clearly don't need all the Z87 features, there are more Z87 boards out there, especially via Newegg, which I prefer dealing with.

Any advice? Hoping for easy setup and a fast but low-power server. I'm willing to spend a few extra dollars for lower hassle and better support.

Abula
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Re: Low-power Windows 8 server build -- mobo and cpu?

Post by Abula » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:26 pm

If low prower draw is your main purpose of the build, go with intel, i just tried to do a Haswell build to replace my Sandy Bridge build for my download station, and i really wanted to fit the Nofan95 on mini itx mobo, i found a mobo that didnt had any issues with the mounting the big backplate, and all fitted really well, but the power consumption was not as good as my old build, 13W for the G3220 + MSI H81 and 10W for the i3 2100T + Intel DH61DL, all other components were left the same, OS were installed from scratch, only the drivers from each webpage, both with the latest bios etc. To me its the motherboard, i seen some haswell G3220 builds idling between 8-9W, i think was a AsRock mini itx mobo, dont remember the name.

That said, intel to what i have tested builds the most efficient mobos out there, the difference might not be huge, but really depends into what you are aiming for, for me it was the lowest idle power consumption i could while still manage to unzip, sustain gigabit lan transfer, etc.

I like the Intel Boxed Desktop Board DH87RL, thats what i would pic if power consumtion was my main concern, now if doesnt have the features you want, then go with whatever will have it.

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