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Low power server for living room


fh_fingolfin
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Hello everyone,

 

I need advice in assembling a custom-built home server. The thing is that the machine will be situated in my

living room next to the TV, so top priority is silence when idle and low power consumption.

 

From my former RAID-Box I have two spare HDs of documents/pictures I want to continue in RAID in the new server,

as well as another HD of movies/tv series I also want to add separately. In addition, I guess a system 

SSD is in order to ensure the system is running smoothly and quietly. For Backup I was thinking of

plugging in an external HD and switching on the USB port when needed, since backups are not needed on an everyday basis.

 

I'd like to run it on Ubuntu server, add a TV card and use it to stream media to all other devices in my flat,

apart from running torrenting services and basic stuff like SSH.

 

Do you have any hardware configuration you can suggest, especially with regards to silent operation and low power consumption?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks

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This past spring ,  I built a low power HTPC with plenty of horse power using a AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini Quad-Core processor and m/b  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113364

 

This  system uses a PICO Power supply  - with the CPU  being rated  at 25 W  TDP  with graphics,   the 80 watt  fanless power supply works  fine.

 

Graphics is good for some  1080p gaming ,  yet the only fan is the Stock  CPU fan and it is dead quiet.  

 

I started off with two drives   an SSD and a WD Green 1 TB drive. 

 

Right now I am running it with just the SSD and streaming content from a NAS

 

 

Is it just me or do the Newer UEFI motherboards  sleep and Idle more reliably than the older bios based system  -    they seem to .  

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The first HTPC link won't do it for me, since I want to operate it both as server and NAS, so there need's to be space for at least 3 more harddrives. And since you're already having heat-issues with a single HD, it's no option.

 

For Al_Borges, which case and mainboard did you use?

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the kabini CPU's  use  the new AM1 socket , so there is only a limited amount of options for MB

 

fortunately  the ones that are out there are pretty good

 

I purchased a MSI AM1I AM1  as part of a combo deal with Newegg    only 34 bucks !!!!  so the CPU/MB  ran about a hundred bucks  total  

 

with 4 gigs of DDR3 memory the bill was  about $125 

 

 

for the Case,   I saw Ikon's case when he posted his build a couple of years ago  and purchased it also.   - This is the 2nd build I have had in this case. 

 

you cant beat this Silverstone case for quality and features  I like the perforated sides  that really let in the air to keep it cool 

 

My HTPC is in my TV stand -  I have a couple of low speed 120 fans blowing out the back of the TV Stand

 

I see about a 10 degree increase in air temperature  in the box when running under load.    The CPU seems to run at the same temperature whether its in the TV Stand or out of it.

 

An advantage of using SSD for the system drive -   you can velcro the drive almost anywhere -  Most ITX cases can only hold 2 HD in standard mounts. 

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I have to say I no longer have HDD heat issues, because I replaced the HDD with an SSD. I also had issues playing 1 game, so I installed an nVidia GT610 GPU. I have no heat issues ATM :)

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Ok that sounds promising. Did you buy one of these Silverstone slim cases? I saw that they even fit 3 HDs. And how's the power consumption? I won't buy a GPU since I won't do any video conversion or heavy computation and it's just another power source I'd have to feed. And I'm not sure a Pico PSU will do it if I have 3 HDs up and running - should I rather go for one of these Be quite Pure Power PSUs?

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I have the silverstone  HTPC case, as Ikon described -  dont recall the model number

 

Yea,   a Pico Power supply is about maxed out on this -   I ran the numbers thru the 'power supply calculator" on ANTEC's website before I set this up. 

 

you have got to consider not just the total wattage , but the power available on the 12v and 5v rails.   

 

but my system is streaming only.   Wanted the quietest box for playback for HD Video. 

 

don't know about Be Pure Power PSU's        I have had good success with Seasonic power supplies for quiet, efficient operation. 

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OK thanks, I think based on your advice I have an idea of what pieces to buy. Looking forward to assembling it and let's see who it performs...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is it just me or do the Newer UEFI motherboards  sleep and Idle more reliably than the older bios based system  -    they seem to .  

Yes, I've noticed that as well. 

Less issues with waking from sleep or hibernate as well.

And the system seems a bit more responsive, as well.

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