Battle of Low Powered Servers.

budec

Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2002
Messages
748
Try decide here between an Atom D510 (or D525 if it comes out) and i5-650 Core.

Let's assume same PSU and SSD. Both systems with have 4 gigs of ram (2x2 gig sticks).
Our main concern here will be power usage while idle.

The setup:
Atom
CPU/Board: Super Micro X7SPA-HF

i5 Core
CPU: i5-650 Core
Board: Super Micro X8SIL-F


This review shows the i5-650 beating the Atom N330 in idle power usage. How does the N330 compare to D510 though?

Atom:
This one shows the D510 around ~20W idle, which is pretty impressive; while this one shows it coming in around ~26W. Granted these are different boards.

i5-650:
Here we have ~51W idle, but this also has a beefy ATI card in it; but at least we know it's in the ball park. The orignal one I posted says about ~31W. This one is showing the i5-661 at ~35W with low end graphics.


Conclusion[?]

Nothing is apples to apples here to hard to tell what real world would be between them. But from all this, would it be safe to assume that both setups above would be within 5 watts of each other while idling?
Do you think I could tweak down the i5 to get under 30W while idle?
 
Last edited:

4x4not

Gawd
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
527
When you are talking about such low power consumption CPUs, the power savings comes down to the other components. Motherboard, chipset, video, network, drives, and PSU efficiency.

I personally feel that for the few watts you'll save going with the Atom will be made up by the overall performance increase of the i5. You can always undervolt and underclock the i5 to help save even more power.
 

450

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
20,978
I'd go with the i5 because the power consumption is close enough, and you have the option of having a lot more power.
 

GeorgeHR

Gawd
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
840
You don't give much information but the notebook I bought this week, AMD Athlon II Neo 1.70GHz, consumes 17w at 100% cpu usage.

If you want low power, you are starting a bit high.
 

budec

Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2002
Messages
748
You don't give much information but the notebook I bought this week, AMD Athlon II Neo 1.70GHz, consumes 17w at 100% cpu usage.

If you want low power, you are starting a bit high.
Basically I'm looking for a low powered server/workstation for home; but still need some performance. I want a very low idle usage; but don't mind if I eat power when I really need it.

Right now I'm running Dual AMD MP 2400+ and they are two slow and eat up a good amount of power. I'm pulling about ~220W (and up). It has 6 harddrives, dual ethernet cards, dual CPU and 1 Gig of memory.

Disk wise, I'm going to go with SSD for root/OS partition and take those 6 old drives and consulate them down into 2 or 3 (or maybe even 1 + backup). The newer drives use a lot less power. That will knock a lot off.

For ethernet, I'm going to go with gig on board intel nics. Old system is using old PCI crap cards.

For CPU; the Atom D510 looks on the very lower end (performance wise) or what I would put up with. From the data I found, it would be about par with what I have now.

I run a lot of serves from this box and also use it as my unix workstation. I run a desktop via VNC and use it to test/develop that my stuff works on unix side of the fence.

Right now it serves as:

Firewall/Nat, bandwidth throttling, DHCP, DNS, NTP, Samba/NFS file server, SFTP server, ssh, http, perforce, open fire chat, team speak and runs various monitors for network/systems (ie. rtg), imap, fetchmail, procmail, sendmail and Squid (really hard on the system, but helps a lot since we got a crap internet connection). We have various web sites on there and people use it remotely to transfer files and ssh in.

For workstation I run IceWM. For that, I usually use firefox, thunderbird, lots of terminal windows, vi and java/gcc development tools.

The machine can get beat up pretty bad when everyone is using it for something.
 

Metaluna

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
393
Seems to me the biggest advantage of Atom is that the power doesn't go up very much under load, whereas the i5 almost doubles and is up in the 70-80W range (with much higher performance, obviously)

From a system perspective, you have to design for the worst case, so that means you'll need a much bigger PSU and heatsink on the i5, and probably a fan even if it's idle most of the time. So the Atom is attractive for very small appliance-like cases, netbooks, etc. But a server that is going to be holding lots of drives already needs a larger case, so space and ventilation isn't going to be much of an issue anyway. IMHO the i5 is the better choice.
 
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