my lowpower mini-itx system


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I thought I'd share my current build system information. It may be useful for those looking to build a low-power system while having good performance.


CASE: Chenbro ES34069

PSU: 180 watt option

MB: Jetway NF93 mini-itx (14.5 watt)

CPU: Intel P8600 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo mobile (25 watt)

RAM: 4Gig - 2 DDR2 800 SO-DIMMS

USB: SanDisk U3 Titanium 8Gig

DVD: slimline ide dvd burner

HDD: 1TB WD FALS 7200rpm boot/system/noncache drive

HDD: 3 2TB WD GreenPower parity/data/data drives


Here's the power draw numbers as measured at the wall with a P3 kill-a-watt meter.



92BIOS cold boot/post activities

53unRaid booted after 1 minute

74unRaid forced all drives spin-up process

49-53unRaid after all drives spin-up

61-62unRaid parity check

37unRaid drive spin-down idle


The majority of the time the system when not in use sits at the spindown idle state 37watts and while streaming data at the spinup state 49-53 watts.


The initial numbers on a drive parity check are 97,949 ~ 101,234 KB/sec with final numbers from syslog being 75,253 KB/sec. Network writes on Gigabit to the parity protected user-shares are 13-14 MB/sec.


Overall I'm fairly pleased with the results.


I have plenty of space available but do have a plan for data storage expansion baring larger drives being available. I plan on using a 4 port PCI sata card that supports port-multipliers. The initial connections will be direct to drives in external mini-enclosure. Should I need more than 4 additional drives I'll use the port-multiplier capability run to external port-multiplier 5 drive mini-enclosure(s). I'll keep the most frequently used data on the internal drives and move the less frequently used data to the slower external connections.


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Would you mind telling us what those parts cost you?  And many of us would appreciate those figures in US dollars, if you don't mind!   ;D


Very interesting system by the way, performance-wise and power-wise.

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Despite the nickname, I'm an American citizen living in the NorthEast Ohio region.


Oh, I paid a pretty penny for the system, much more than most would consider. Here's the prices today from where I ordered at not including shipping charges. I built this system two months ago, so some prices were more but others were less, but overall it's about the same costs.


$190 - Chenbro mini-itx case with 180watt psu EWiz

$219 - Jetway nf93 Intel G45 mini-itx motherboard LogicSupply

$190 - Intel P8600 mobile Core 2 Duo EWiz

$26 - 2 * 2Gig SODIMM DDR2 800 EWiz


The other bits are any slimline optical drive, the usb flash drive, and then the cost for your hard-drives.


The other Socket P mini-itx board I considered was the Gigabyte GA-6KIEH-RH, but newer graphics and higher fsb support won out.


I considered using the normal Intel LGA775 platform (Intel DG45FC $115@NewEgg) with newer 45nm cpu in mini-itx but some posted they were running close to 120watts (Comments). It wasn't until later I found the 180watt psu option was actually available somewhere.  I considered the Intel Atom platform but that didn't seem as interesting of a choice and a bit of a hassle as none of the available boards had 4 sata ports.


[Note to Moderators: Apologies if linking to external vendors isn't permitted, feel free to remove them]





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I considered the Intel Atom platform but that didn't seem as interesting of a choice and a bit of a hassle as none of the available boards had 4 sata ports.


1.6 GHz dual core Intel Atom 330 processor with fan. Features 6 RS-232 COM support, 4 SATA (3 Gb/sec.) connectors, VGA, dual Gb LAN, and wireless connectivity. Economical, reliable mainboard ideal for a wide range of applications.


"Only" 6 rs232 ports though!

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Yes, that's a decent Atom board.  At the time I ordered the equipment it wasn't in stock or carried and I was already leaning heavily on something higher up the performance chain. If I didn't have plans to also do some development work (mySql/php/apache/vBulletin) on it, the Intel Atom would have been my choice. I had my system built in June. I was researching the choices since December but didn't pull the trigger til later. There always seemed to be something being released "real soon now" / "in a week or two" that I kept waiting on and then one part or the other would be out of stock.



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