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Low power home server

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September 27, 2008 1:12:36 PM

Dear All,

Have become increasingly interested in trying to setup a home server. At the moment the object of the exercise is to practice various network skills and try all sorts of other networking style things like media streaming and running web servers, using linux etc etc. To do this I am looking to build a dedicated server machine with the main aim at the moment of keeping its power drain down to a minimum what with the cost of electricity these days.

Searching on the internet a lot of people merely convert an old desktop in to a server and be done with it. This sounds appealing as I would merely have to buy a SATA RAID card and some new drives for my old AMD Duron machine and be done with it. I am unsure though as to whether it would be better to build an entirely new system customised for the server role? the benefits I could see would be onboard support for a whole manner of goodies like gfx card, sata and multiple NICs whilst leaving it open to some newer upgrades down the road. Searches of the internet seem to suggest newer chips might be more efficient in terms of power consumption due to smaller fabrication techniques but no one really seems to state by how much.

If someone here was to build a new home server using some form of linux distro then what bits and pieces would they be looking at (VIA CPU over Intel, 2.5 vs 3.5 HDD etc etc)?

Regards
Tim

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November 19, 2008 1:07:31 PM

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So far I haven't been able to get RTC working (Biostar IDEQ 210, I put in a cheap Sempron and took out the video card to get it cool, quiet, and more efficient). As well, the idle frequency seems to be limited to 1000 , I see a Tom's article about a jumper you can close that might let that go down to 300.

Anyhow, comments along this line of attack would be appreciated. I've currently got Ubuntu 8.1 installed, did not have ACPI enabled in the Bios when I installed Ubuntu, and can't get RTC enabled through the RPM packages I've tried. I do get proper sensors and the ACPI power functions are working.
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