How To: Power Efficient & Low Budget Home Servers

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Brook, Dec 6, 2007.

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  1. Brook

    Brook Lurker

    Dec 6, 2007
    Hey guys,

    I'm currently looking at how to set up home servers, primarily as a file server and print server. And I realise some people are also interested in such setups as well.

    Servers as what most people know are like for enterprise and the cost of such setups are not feasible for home uses. However, home servers do not need to be expensive and high end hardwares.

    So this thread is meant for those who want to set up home servers and have spare components which they can use to set up a home server enough for their use. It also meant for people who wants to use power efficient processors usually used for laptops which will help to reduce the power consumption.

    Hope this will be useful for many people.


    PS: Those who are well-versed on such stuffs are welcomed to contribute to this thread. After which i'll update the first few posts i've reserved below to be updated. Thanks
  2. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    I use a P3 866 based machine as my home server.

    I did have a small tower server case, when i was running 5 hdds, but that was a transitional stage and I am now using 3 hdds in a modified desktop case, reason for desktop case is for space saving, sits in a cupboard under my laser printer

    You wont need a fast CPU at all, I can run emule 24/7 and emule never uses more than 30% cpu... what does help is using decent drive controllers. I picked a motherboard with a hipoint raid controller AND I also a have a SATA controller, these always use less cpu than the chipset intergrated ones.
    Ram, lots of ram makes a difference, but does not need to be fast, so I have 786mb ram of PC 133... file cache sites at about 500 mb !
    Another consideration was how power efficient things are.
    Pentuim 3 has always been better than all the pentium 4s even the last ones on the smallest die only matched it.
    Althons and the early Althon XP also worse than the P3.
    I reduced the number of HDDs I had from 5 smaller ones to 3 larger... one is a backup drive that stays spun down most of the time.
    Obviously graphics card wont matter, as will spent most of the time in power saving, but I have an old ATi rage GFX card.
    Again, dont use the onboard chipset network card, uses more cpu resources than a pci one.
    If you have a far more modern cpu, the dies are a lot smaller better power efficency, so might be fine using onboard stuff (from a power consumption point of view).
    Onto the case, you need good ventilation, my server case had temperature sensitive fans for the the CPU, hdds and case, on my desktop case, the drives are spread out, so dont need a fan.
    I thought about purchasing a UPS, but I dont have space, using surge protected extension lead.
  3. Cerxes

    Cerxes Registered Member

    Sep 6, 2005
    Northern Europe
    I agree that the P3 is one of the best CPU:s regarding low power comsumption. Since my P3 motherboard for a while ago died a "sudden death", I had to change components so now I´m running a P4. One tip: for lowering the power consumption, try 2.5" harddrives instead of running 3.5". I´m running it now and it gives me a substantial lower power comsumption as well as lower noice.

  4. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    I actually use an old laptop for my home file/print server. Its also based on a p3 cpu, i have it configured for maximum powersaving so it runs quiet, cool and cheap. It sits in the corner hooked up to my printer and i access it via wifi.
  5. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
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