Ultra Low Watt ESXi/Proxmox/KVM server?


Oct 17, 2011
Currently running Zotac BI320 with a Celeron 2957U CPU and 8GB RAM + 120GB SSD
RAM is 1.5v underclocked to 1.25v

Idle Proxmox: 7.5W
Idle ESXi 5.5: 10W

Load hits around 17W max

I am using ESXi now
I am running Ubuntu Server, OSX, 2x Xpenology, and Windows 8.1

I just saw this article on the NUC i3 5010u

does the cpu load look realistic at 15W? another review says 21W.

Which Hypervisor will get most performance out the VMs? I tried OSX in KVM but the vSphere client with OSX felt more faster, but both under VNC are about the same. OSX is probably not optimized to run in a VM, but many people say latest kernel with KVM is the best way to go. What are you choices?

I am happy with the max loads on the Zotac, if the nuc does the same, its worth switching to, but it is quite costly at 3x the price of the zotac, 2x performance. I assume that the NUC won't boot with 1.5v ram, can it undervolt?


Limp Gawd
Oct 8, 2008
Can't talk about OSX as it isn't legal.

I have an i3-Sandbridge NUC which I paid 160 for. It accepts both 1.5/1.35 voltage ram, though currently running whatever i could get from Best Buy. Currently running ESX on it.

I am also running KVM on a dedicaged FreeNAS/Gaming system in which i'm passing through GPU/AUDIO/USB to the Gaming VM and a LSI RAID Controller to my FreeNAS VM.

Honestly worrying about 15W vs 21W shouldn't matter in the end. You have other devices that pull watts when plugged in and in standby mode.