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How to reduce Powerconsumption on a N54l?


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I'm new here (and no native to english - pls. be patient, tnx :) as an active member, but have been reading here a lot...


Recently, I bought an N54l with 4GB Ram, which I want to use as NAS and baikal-Server (later on, I maybe will run a small Webserver as a virtual Machine via XEN)...


For the beginning, I installed a 128GB-SSD (Adata) as Systemdisc (mounted at the ODD-Slot using a 4x 2,5" Backplane), and ordered a Seagate NAS 3TB HDD to store the Data... Also, I installed the modded Bios, as I'll "transfer" my mobile HDD (2,5") to the Backplane by using the eSATA-Connector, and (as soon I went "live", I'll also install my external 3,5"-Discs)... The Discs shall go to maximal powersaving-State (even Spindown if possible) when unused... (Baikal will be running on the SSD for a "calendar and contact center"; currently, Baikal runs on a Raspberry, which will be reused as MediaCenter as soon the 54l is live)


The N54l is currently running Debian Wheezy (7) * , and has - only N54l + SSD a Power consumption of 28Watt.

That's, according to several other boards, rather high, as there are Users (of a german board) who are running their N54l with 4 x 4TB WD Red and 1 x SSD (System Disk)...


I checked the Bios and enabled all ACPI-Settings, and also found an Option to disable the 2nd CPU-Core**...


Crawling the net for the last few Days, I found several hints and tricks, most of them changing Debian's Settings - but they seem to be outdated as Wheezy was not accepting any of the commands, or the Bios didn't show the Options who should have been modified... The one point came up very clear: how much energy one can save, depends on the operating system... Maybe Wheezy was the wrong choice?


Unfortunatly I didn't found a way or Tutorial (maybe just the wrong Search-Queue) ... So:


Could anyone give me a kick to the right direction?



- which settings of 2013.10.01Rev.A (mod)-Bios need to be changed (to what) so the OS can save power?

- is it possible to undervolt the System? (I'll settle with the "low hanging froot" for starters)

- which OS would be best for a low-energy-consumption-setup? (OMV/FreeNAS/... - I'm open to everything exept Windows(Server))

- ...?



Thanks in advance for your help!



(aka Mike)



* I wanted to start from the scratch, to learn as much as possible before "going live" with the system


** as I'm still in an "experimental Setup", I'd like to keep 2nd Core running until there's no much need for Power any more

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From what I can figure you have your server running and the current draw on it is 28w, is this correct?


If so then you have a nice system. There are a few power tweaks you can do my nothing that will pull the power much lower.


I have seen people using picoPSU's. These will pull the power usage down further and reduce noise by removing the power supply fan.


As a reference for you I have an N54L running a 128gb ssd with 3 x 2tb WD Greens. This is running on CentOS as a file and web server with Plex Media Server also running. I pull 44w at idle.

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I honestly can't imagine why anyone would worry too much about a server that draws only 28W. Think about it; that's less than half of a standard, incandescent 60W light bulb. People ran/run those for long hours in their homes when it's dark. I concentrate my power-saving efforts on much larger targets like major appliances.

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Yes and no - got the N54L running idle with a lonly 128GB SSD, and this already draws 28Watt...

(downloading Debian-Updates raises to 36Watt)


I haven't installed the Harddisks yet (Seagate NAS 3TB for starters - will draw 4 Watt max; when the System is working, I'd like to "implant" my external HDD, a Hitachi 1TB out of an LaCie-Case, too (no idea what this one will take))


I've seen a board, where users are comparing their system - those with 1 x SSD are at the range of 20Watts (without PicoPSU), 4Disc-Systems and as System-Disc a USB-Stick are ranged between 25 and 28 Watts (they are beating each other with every watt - but don't answer on HOW they lowered the consumption)... So I thought there might be some "switches"...


As I found most of the useful Topics about the HP-Server at homeservershow, I thought it to be a good idea to ask here... Maybe someone has an idea on which settings or Linux-Kernels/-modules are needed...


At the moment, the only powersaving-mode I see (it's been a while since I tweaked Computers) is Wake-On-Lan. Which would make the "small Webserver" a Task for the Raspberry (there - the "CPU-Power" is the limiting factor)




reason 1: the circuit is already on a (very) high load (and the landlord is no fan of replacing the circuitbreaker (and cables) for higher loads - quiet reasonable I think, as appliances take more and more power)

reason 2: the server will be for home-use, and I don't need 24/7 "full power" (with "full consumption")

reason 3: power bill gets higher and higher...


(... and I'm already using LED and powersaving-bulps where possible; mostly because of reason 1..)



reason 3: not only because I need more power, if you get the hint... :-/

Edited by theunlucky
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It just sounds like it's not power down on the p-states.  How slow does it run at idle?


Also, what tasks are running?  maybe there are one or more tasks running constantly keeping the CPU from throttling down?


I forget the command for checking what processes are running and the load they have.  I haven't used Linux in a few years now.


ah ha, I think it is the top command.  It shows the top 10 or so processes that are running and how much memory they are using and cpu usage as well.  I think you just type top from the command line if I recall correctly.

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Normaly, the command I'd use is "ps -ax" to show all running processes...


But, I got a plain Debian (nothing installed); just the "normal" N54l, the 128GB-SSD, Intalled Debian Wheezy...

Login to Bash, TFT-Display connected, and a Logitech-USB-Keyboard-Receiver...


... it's just a plain, empty, (thumb) System "fresh from Installation and initial Updates"... NO Server or spec. Programm (yet), no Samba, no NFS (configured), no SSH ... Nothing which keeps the CPU busy... :-/


Yesterday, I installed the Debian-Kernels from alexanderduss.com (3.14) who clames to have some optimized settings, but - nothing. No Change in Power-Consumption...


I checked the Variant with picoPSU, which shall save up to 10Watts (?? - would be a good explanation on how members of other boards can lower the consumption so far)... Q would be which size would be best (at the Moment, I'd just install the Seagate and the Hitatchi, but somewhen, a 3rd (or 2nd 3TB/4TB) HDD will move in... (because of the boot-peak; the more Watts the PSU can handle, the more expensive it is....)


I'm currently installing OMV 0.5.48 on the free part of the SSD, as I have to backup the 2nd-largesd HDD due to strong increasements "clack of death"...

.o(I hate going live with an untested System...)


As soon OMV is running, I'll check the "Headless-Mode" (without Logitech-Receiver and Monitor); maybe this will do a small Trick, too...

Edited by theunlucky
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Can't edit my other Post:


Installed OMV 0.5.48, without Seagate-HD, it takes 29,5Watt - running the Web-Administration-Gui, with Seagate it takes 32Watt, shoveling Data via Samba raises the comsumption up to 37Watts average (sneaking in from another PC)...


So I gatherd that it's either a BIOS-Missconfiguration or the Adata  SSD 128GB is "very hungry"... (or - the picoPSU is so much more efficient than the built-in PSU)


Are there any stumbling blocks known in the HP-BIOS?

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  • 2 months later...



After some Weeks of Testing, I had following changes:

Upgrade to Debian7/OMV1.0.x

Installed the "nonfree"-Drivers

Installed a PicuPSU (160Watts)

Experimented with Virtual Hosts on Nginx


After installing the nonfree-Drivers, the Powerconsumption has been reduced to 25,7Watts.

The PicoPSU on the other had reduced the Powerconsumption to 19,2Watts after the Spindown of the Seagate-HDD (hence I do believe the Specs of the Seagate NAS is ...a bit optimistic... so to speak ;)


So I have 19,2Watts, running the N54L (modded Bios) with the Adata SDD, OMV and one VirtualHost (with currently a "plain" install)...


I think there must be some Optimisation-Potential with Bios-Settings, as I haven't changed much (except the Settings to use ODD and externalSATA as "internal SATA"-Ports)...


Any hints are welcome... 


Eg. if there are settings where I can undervolt (and how much is on a "green level"), and/or set the CPU-Multipliers (eg. to limit the Multiplier to two Settings: Min and Max, so it's not stepping up and down through all settings, don't have that much load but everytime something happens, it goes to "full throttle" only to step down by every multiplier-step...)

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I wish my N54L was consuming 28w, or even 36w!


N54L + Pico PS + RAC + P410 (with 512MB & BBWC) + 2xSeagate 1TB + 2xSeagate 3TB, booting ESXi from USB flash drive, running 3 x VM's

All the above consumes 65-68w when not streaming or doing anything heavy...


With current Aussie electricity prices it works out approx $2.5 per week.


Would have loved to reduce it further....

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Yeah. Have always found it odd how high electricity prices are in OZ. Given the amount of sunshine there is, it seems there would be ways to generate power at much lower rates.

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