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Thread: recommendations for a low power media server in hot environment?

  1. #1
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    recommendations for a low power media server in hot environment?

    Up till now, I've recycled my old Abit NF7-S to run as a media server in my loft. It's running Win XP Pro and has a load of shares on it, and also a FTP server and TVersity / Twonkymedia so I can access all my content over the web. It's running 24/7 and has been very reliable - I've had about 180 days uptime without an issue until I decided to reboot it the other day
    I've also been having it folding as although not that powerful (been running an old DLT3C XP chip on it at about 2Gig ), every little helps.

    Anyway, as the summer is approaching and my loft is very hot and this morning the bios alarm went off as cpu hit 60 degrees, and my electricity bill is rather high, I was starting to think of alternatives.

    I've already ditched the folding (the 60 deg this morning is with it idle), and am considering underclocking it as I don't need the speed. 99% of the time, it just sits there doing nothing, apart from uncompressing the odd iso image, etc.
    So whilst that may sort out the heat issue, it seems a waste to be using all that electricity for nothing (I can't fold due to the heat).

    So I've been looking at other options, something like a mini-itx board.

    My pre-requisites are:
    - needs to withstand a hot environment
    - needs to be low power to keep leccy bill down as it's running 24/7
    - needs to have several sata ports so I can connect my multiple drives to it. They currently aren't soft or hard RAIDed and I don't think I'll need it either, so keeping my options open.

    Of course, I'd want to keep it as cheap as possible. Whilst budget isn't an issue, I don't want to spend £100s unless I can justify it.

    I appreciate that even if the cpu can be of low performance and/or underclocked in order to minimise heat generation, the hard discs are probably not going to last infinately as in summer, the ambient temp is probably around 40 degreesm which explains why I hit 60 deg on idle!

    So, what do you think. Cheers

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    A cheap core2duo will run around 20 degrees on cheap after market cooler at stock settings. You can undervolt or underclock that.

    May I ask why it has to be in the loft though? I'd rather stick my pc in a kitchen cupboard than a loft

    Extreme Heat might justify a cheap water cooling kit...

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    WEEEEEEEEEEEEE! MadduckUK's Avatar
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    underclock, undervolt, couple of extra/higher airflow fans. jobs a good-un, cost= not a lot
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephesians
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    Well, I've wired up my whole house to a 12 port patch panel in the attick, so it's convenient. Whilst I tried to be as futureproof as possible, I didn't run a cat5e to the cupboard under the sink, so you got me there LOL

    I did also dismiss NAS boxes as I thought they would be too limiting - I don't want to run client-side software to access it, and the need for FTP and the like made me think I couldn't find a suitable one. I have been suggested a NSLU2 box, but I would find the lack of gigabit ethernet a real pain.

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    It's ok I've thought of a better plan..

    http://www.johnlewis.com/Shopping/Pr...8&source=14798

    not bad for £100

    Ok well that makes sense..As I said with the C2D it will run around 20 degrees in a normal room so i'm sure you'll be able to keep it operational temperatures with a half decent cooler.

    I'd recommend something like a thermalright ultra 120 or scythe mine with a Delta or YS Tech fan to push some extreme air

    That could prove quite loud though.

    oh and who doesn't cable in the kitchen? ..think next time

    The asus p5b (intel 965 chipset) runs very cool so should withstand some heat..get one with decent heat sinks.

    for the RAM..get a RAM cooler..they're quite cheap.
    Last edited by staffsMike; 02-06-2007 at 05:20 PM.

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    or you could just underclock and undervolt the XP.......
    Code:
    Athlon XP 1700+  	
    
    1466 MHz        1400 MHz         1266 MHz       1000 MHz
    Core voltage 	
    1.75V             1.60V            1.45V             1.15V
    Maximum heat(*) 	
    64.0W            51.8W           39.8W            21.6W
    % original heat
    100%              81%              62%              34%
    Last edited by MadduckUK; 02-06-2007 at 05:59 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephesians
    Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit
    Vodka

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadduckUK View Post
    or you could just underclock and undervolt the XP.......
    After being sick and tired of the alarm going off, I've gone and done just that.

    Currently running back at 1.33 GHz with undervolted cpu and chipset.

    Will monitor how hot it gets and how stable it is.....

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    Couldn't you use standby mode combined with Wake on Lan so you can minimise it's power consumption.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucio View Post
    Couldn't you use standby mode combined with Wake on Lan so you can minimise it's power consumption.
    don't think so. If in standby, how would it know when to wake up with a client request to FTP, TVersirty, etc.

    AFAIK, WoL only works with "magic packets".

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