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Energy Effecient Build? - Recommendations


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Hello people,


What components can you currently recommend to create a powerful home server as energy efficient as possible?


I've only had Unraid for a few days and am very excited about it, but I'm only running it on a small Lenovo ThinkCentre M900.

But I would like to use something bigger to be able to use more hard drives and thought here about 5-6 HDD's + 1x NVME as cache.


Currently I use PiHole, Swag, Uptime Kuma and Nextcloud on the small thing but would like to use a few more things.

Here I think of something like a picture gallery for my photos (hobby Fotorgraf) and music, backups, etc.. I would also like to use something like Jellyfin or Plex and possibly run one or the other game server (Minecraft, etc.).


I would be happy about some recommendations, tips and more.


Kind regards



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  • 2 weeks later...

Energy efficiency is often in opposition with power, and is affected by several factors:

  • Workload: all else being equal doing more will take more power. Especially long running/frequent workloads that stop the race to idle.
  • Architecture: newer process nodes tend to have better efficiency metrics.
  • Peripherals: any PCB not contributing to your use case detracts from efficiency. This applies to motherboards (ITX > mATX > ATX typically). Number and type of drives affects this. Also don't forget to run the server headless.
  • Downtime: spin downs and scheduled sleep cycles will reduce power needs at the cost of availability.

If you want a lazy route to a powerful server that is fairly efficient:

  • Workstation ITX motherboard with Intel I3/Xeon CPU (IGPU for HW transcoding) of recent architecture
  • No expansion cards
  • 16-32 GB RAM
  • 1 NVME cache drive, 1 parity drive, 2-4 array drives. Array drives should be 5400 RPM class.

If you want to take it a step further you need some uncommon components. There is a community somewhere on reddit that tracks low power Unraid builds.

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