Tag Archives: hometech

Going Green: A new ultra efficient server

As with my last post, in my challenge to save some polar bears, I am on a drive to cut my energy consumption.

So my office is the main culprit and in that office are a couple of servers that obviously run 24×7. These were clearly my first target.

So my home server does a number of things but it’s primary role is as file storage and backups plus it also runs VMware so I can test out software and run things like our home CCTV software that refuses to run on anything except a Windows XP box.

So after a little bit of research, I could see that the Intel Atom chipset was the way to go.

Over the last few years, Intel have been producing low energy processors initially for the Netbook market but now for anything that needs to keep power consumption down. A little bit of digging revealed that Intel have just launched their Atom D510 CPU which is a dual core hyper threading chip that runs at 1.66GHz and supports a full 64bit instruction set.

Intel package this already welded to a motherboard so ship this as a pre configured unit the Intel D510M

Intel D510MO

As you can see, this thing has passive cooling (so it runs silent) and just about everything on board. It does have a single PCI slot just in case. It’s also really really small.

So to turn this into a fully working PC, all I have needed to buy is a case, some RAM and a hard drive.

So I have loaded this thing up with 4GB of RAM, a 2.5” laptop hard drive and a nice small form factor case. All my storage is external using SATA HDD caddies so what I have ended up with is this.

Home Server

All of this is drawing less than 60 watts when running flat out which is impressive to say the least.

But how does such a tiny PC perform?

Untitled picture


Well we are running Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit and then I am running VMware Server which in turn has a couple of XP virtual machines running on it right now.

Task Manager

So this is impressive


Of course the really impressive thing is the heat. Remember this uses passive cooling.

And even though all of this looks good, it keeps getting better as this whole lot cost less than £200 delivered!

So I have now gone from 2 servers, each running at 200W (so 400W in total if you haven’t got a calculator to hand) to 1 server that is running silent, cool and even with all those hard drives, less than 60W.

For those that are interested, I think this setup would be fantastic to run Windows Home Server on if that’s your thing

In any case, I think I have saved my first polar bear.