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Thread: Low power server advice

  1. #1
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    Low power server advice

    I'm trying to pull together a components list for an always on low power media server. The server will sit in a cupboard and be accessed via an XBox 360 for MP3s and HD video. What sort of mobo/ CPU combination should I use considering the fact that I don't want a a huge leccy bill! I was thinking along the lines of a Pentium M combination but they're pricey....

    TIA

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
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    what kind of storage were you thinking of using?

    pure file serving doesn't need much - we used to use a k6-2 450, and an epia would more than do the job. the problem lies in what you want by way of expansion slots for hard disk controllers

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    Storage is sorted. I've got a 250Gb PATA Maxtor waiting to be used. I'm sure an epia would be fine for MP3s but I'm not sure if it'd be powerful enough to decode HD video which requires a fair bit of grunt.

    Also forgot to say - it has to be powerful enough to cope with Windows Vista when it comes out.

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    Nox
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    • Nox's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Yes
      • CPU:
      • Yes
      • Memory:
      • Yes
      • Storage:
      • Yes
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      • Yes
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    the required specs of vista have not been released yet...

    Nox

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    That's right but it's fair to say that a reasonably powerful PC of today will cope admirably. It's the fancy graphical effects that will cause problems and as I'm looking at a server these don't count. Hence my query is still valid.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluecube
    Storage is sorted. I've got a 250Gb PATA Maxtor waiting to be used. I'm sure an epia would be fine for MP3s but I'm not sure if it'd be powerful enough to decode HD video which requires a fair bit of grunt.
    If this is just storing the video/audio files for your XBox, then it is the XBox that is doing the decoding (unless you expect it to transcode). Any old box should be able to push ~1MByte/sec across a network.

    ATI seem to be working on drivers for their latest graphics cards that can transcode video as well as accelerate the decoding, so make sure you have PCIe for graphics if you want to keep that route open. Of course, the technology isn't fully released yet, so some guesswork there

    Also forgot to say - it has to be powerful enough to cope with Windows Vista when it comes out.
    More guesswork. I'm sure I saw specs for the beta release as 3GHz CPU, 1GB ram + DX9 video card; but that may go down as well as up!

  7. #7
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
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      • Internet:
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    vist... buggered if i know, for a file server i'd go with a slimmed down linux

  8. #8
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    Linux is no good to me. Need to have at least Win2005 MCE so I can stream to the XBox 360.

  9. #9
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    so you're back into expensive territory like pentium-m

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    Dark side super agent
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    Sounds like it!

  11. #11
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    you defo wont need vista mate its only holding the files for you if mce is a must then start messing around with nlite and customse the install cd and cut out all the useless crap you will never use and turn of all unused services will help a bit with the demands of the os

    as for platform a pentium m would be a good bet i think

  12. #12
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    A cheap A64 3000+ underclocked and/or undervolted should do the job nicely.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
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  13. #13
    Tak
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    If you go second-hand, Pentium M pricing isn't too bad.

    Pentium M 730 1.6GHz: £60-£70
    Compatible Asus board: £40-£60
    Asus CT-479 Adapter: £25

    Then run RM Clock, undervolt the chip, and set up Speedstep. That'll minimise power consumption when running idle, and automatically step-up when neccessary.

    With this setup the hard disk will probably be consuming the most power, so consider a 5400RPM drive. Samsung do a nice 250GB 5400RPM drive.

    I assume you're putting it in a cupboard for noise reasons? With components like these you can make a very, very quiet system so you'll be able to put it somewhere less enclosed with better airflow.

    You can overclock the chip to at least 2.4GHz if needed in the future (e.g. for Vista but probably not necessary for a media server).

    An ideal setup for a Media Center PC IMO, if you want more grunt/dual core wait for the desktop Yonah boards - but they won't be cheap.
    Last edited by Tak; 17-02-2006 at 10:44 PM.

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    • arthurleung's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5E (Rampage Formula 0902)
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      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 3.6Ghz 1.2V
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      • A-Data DDR2-800 2x2GB CL4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tak
    If you go second-hand, Pentium M pricing isn't too bad.

    Pentium M 730 1.6GHz: £60-£70
    Compatible Asus board: £40-£60
    Asus CT-479 Adapter: £25

    Then run RM Clock, undervolt the chip, and set up Speedstep. That'll minimise power consumption when running idle, and automatically step-up when neccessary.

    With this setup the hard disk will probably be consuming the most power, so consider a 5400RPM drive. Samsung do a nice 250GB 5400RPM drive.

    I assume you're putting it in a cupboard for noise reasons? With components like these you can make a very, very quiet system so you'll be able to put it somewhere less enclosed with better airflow.

    You can overclock the chip to at least 2.4GHz if needed in the future (e.g. for Vista but probably not necessary for a media server).

    An ideal setup for a Media Center PC IMO, if you want more grunt/dual core wait for the desktop Yonah boards - but they won't be cheap.
    I'm undervolting my Athlon 64 3000+ down to 0.975V and it works like a charm passively and full load 7x24. That way you could overclock too Motherboards are a hell lot cheaper than P4 + CT479, and CPU prices are about the same.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

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