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Low power, small, and quiet server?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have a server right now, with a microATX motherboard, an AMD athlon II 245 Energy Efficiant x2 CPU (I think), an Antec 300, and some Green drives. I have to live in the room that has the server and sleeping with the lights, fans, and heat from my current server is not to great. Also, I do not pay the power bills in my house, so I cannot have the server running 24/7 anyways. So I want to make a miniITX server build preferably fanless, but quiet is fine. Also, I would like 4+ Sata ports for my drives, so that rules out most Intel boards. My 3 main goals are stated above. I only want to pay 300 for CPU/Mobo/GPU, RAM, case, and PSU. I don't know if that is possible, but we can try.

Here are the boards that I have been looking at:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128452
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130567
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130568
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128468

I have been mainly looking at this one because it has 6 Sata3 ports. I just can't find out if it has 6 ports because of a multiplier or not. There are only reviews on the deluxe version of the board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128468

Other than the SATA ports, price is the only other deciding factor. I know nothing about PSUs, or about any case that will fit the build.

I am open to suggestions.

Thanks.

EDIT: see post 5
Edited by Jtvd78 - 6/7/11 at 1:06pm
post #2 of 6
Get 2 of those low noise fans for the drives because you don't want hot hard drives. If you don't like that idea you can use 2x 120v fans with a thermostat on them which has a prob stuck in the the drive bay. Or better still you could get a step controller so the fans would not come on full speed. They can be pricy though. As far as the motherboard goes a multiplier won't be too bad on those WD green drives. I prefer an add on pci e controller for Hard drives anyways. That board only has one NIC though, Not sure will that matter to you.
post #3 of 6
To be honest how low power do you want it? my servers use about 50 watts each but i can get it down to 30 watts if i make them single core and underclock em
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Ragnarok
(15 items)
 
Yggdrassil
(8 items)
 
 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Opteron 6272 Opteron 6272 Asus KGPE-D16 Sapphire R9 290X 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
Sapphire R9 290X 8x Samsung 8GB DDR3 1333 ECC 3TBx2 in Raid 1 Noctua NH-U12DO 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
120mm Fractal Design 1200rpm Case Fan Silent Se... Windows 7 Pro x64 1x24" 2x22" Corsair Professional HX1050 
CaseAudioOther
Fractal Design XL R2 Titanium Grey Asus MIO 892 Purple and white Braided/sleeved cables 
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post #4 of 6
What board do you have now? You actually won't save much power overall as your Athlon will be idling most of the time. It probably ain't worth replacing it (unless it's very power hungry) - spend your money on making your current system quiet instead, and you'll end up with a much better system overall.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
CPU: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/AMD-Athlon-Efficient-Dual-Core-Processor/dp/B002PA7U88"]AMD Athlon II X2 240E Energy Efficient Regor 2.8 GHz 2x1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 45W Dual-Core Processor[/ame]

MoBo:MSI 760GM-E51 AM3 AMD 760G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
OS HDD:Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive
(2x)Storage HDD: SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
PSU: Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

That is my current server build. It is currently running WHS. What can I do to it, other than changing the case and fan, to make it more power efficiant and use less power?
Edited by Jtvd78 - 6/7/11 at 12:57pm
post #6 of 6
What fans & CPU cooler do you have?

You won't get much lower power consumption than that CPU plus a 7xx-series board. If you have multiple sticks of RAM remove all but 1 (providing this won't make you start paging). Set the drives to power down after a period of no usage. Remove any optical drives (unless of course you use them). Set the server to sleep (S3) after idling for a while. Disable anything and everything in the BIOS that you don't use. Remove any USB devices, even PS2 devices. Remove all fans but the rear one, seal the top fan opening, the side panel fan opening, the optical drive bay vents and the lower front fan opening. Put the HDDs in front of the middle fan opening, but remove the fan. Run the rear fan off 5V (or slow it right down if you can do so with your motherboard). Don't use a fan controller though - they burn up power. Buy a CPU cooler that is suited to passive use (a Ninja or similar is good - nice wide fin spacing.

Basically set it up so that the single rear fan pulls air in through the front over the drives, through the CPU heatsink and out of the rear of the case. Seal any other places air can get in or out so you don't get any short circuits. A single low speed fan should easily manage to keep that case cool with such a low load.

If you can still hear the drives in this configuration, seal that fan opening, move the drives into the optical bays and remove the block you added earlier. Suspend the drives using cord and you should be silent.
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