Potential downgrade from X399/1950x for power consumption. Ideas wanted

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Looking for some feedback. I've run my Unraid on a Gigabyte X399 Aorus Pro/Ryzen Threadripper 1950x. Using it as both my main Windows 10 desktop and storage server. I've been super happy with the combi, but recently I bumped into a cheap second hand Ryzen 9 3950X and that combined with a x570 motherboard has become my desktop machine. Leaving the Unraid box WAY over powered, but mostly very power hungry for the tasks. Running at around 140W idle according to the UPS. So I'm looking to cut back on that.


Current hardware:


- Fractal Design Define R5

- Seasonic Focus Plus 850 Platinum

- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950x

- Gigabyte X399 Aorus Pro

- be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4

- Corsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX 2x16GB 3200

- Quadro P620 for transcoding

- LSI SAS9211-8i

- Mellanox Connectx-3 / MCX311A-XCAT (single port)

- 2x NVME SSD (cache)


- 10x HDD


What motherboard/CPU could I get away with and still run the hardware above comfortably with some light docker and incidental VM usage? I'm thinking in the direction of a Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro and Ryzen 3100 combo, which I could get for around 250 EUR. Going from a 180W TDP CPU to a 65W one.


Would I be ok with PCI-E lanes to still get good speeds on the 10gbe card, etc?


What savings could this give me in power usage?


Any other good "out of the box" ideas for this?

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1.) Do your HDDs reach sleep states? I mean 10 HDDs will consume ~70W alone when spinning 24/7.


2.) The X570 Chipset is not as efficient as the B550 chipset. This german website measured a difference of 10 Watts (!) while testing the new Ryzen 5000:



So if you want a power efficient setup, use a B550 board.


3.) Ryzen 4000 and Ryzen 5000 are much more efficient than all predecessors.


4.) As you need transcoding, you could save even more energy if you choose an Intel setup as you wouldn't need the Quadro P620 at all. A UHD630 iGPU is more powerful:



We are all waiting for Mensa 3D support of Plex. And until now, nobody tested these Mensa 3D drivers for Unraid, which would allow Ryzen iGPU transcoding by Emby or Jellyfin:



If you still want to use AMD I would suggest to buy an 4350G, 4650G or 4750G and combine it with your Quadro card as long this isn't clear. By that you would be flexible in the future. I have a good feeling that Plex will integrate Mensa 3D support next year as AMD is the new "hot" thing out there ;)


5.) If you want an efficient build, do not use RAID cards. Each card adds up to 10W additional power consumption. A simple SATA card without RAID functionality should consume much less energy. Onboard SATA ports would be the best for sure. I suggest most people to use a C246 motherboard as they include 8 or 10 SATA ports. Sadly I have no experience with B550 boards with as many ports. As far as I know is the ASRock B550 Taichi the only board with 8 ports and it does not really look power efficient.


6.) If you consider Intel, do not buy the 10th gen. It is less efficient as all predecessors.


7.) I suggest to use a Seasonic Titanium power supply. These are the most efficient power supplies for low loads. But this is only valid if you consider sleep states for your HDDs. If they should spin 24/7 you could stay with a Platinum power supply.


8.) Do you know how much power is consumed by the Mellanox card? Could be huge as well. What about 2.5G? Too slow? Many recent B550 boards have it onboard.


9.) Only to show the potential: The Asus Rog Strix B550-I Gaming with a Ryzen 3 Pro 4350G consumes 6W:


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Thanks for the suggestions!

I'll take some time this weekend to check the power draw in various states and with cards plugged in or not, as I'm curious what the real data on that is. I'm not looking for the absolute lowest power option, it's just that running a 1950x in my setup feels like doing a grocery run in a Lamborghini. Fun, but a bit wasteful ;)

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Managed to do some testing over the weekend. Still had an unused GTX 1650 in the machine, so that got removed. Also found that I somehow had the disks set to never spin down in disk settings. That has been resolved now.


I did some testing with various cards inserted and removed and the power usage according to the APC Back-UPS XS 700U connected via USB. The 9211-8i draws around 6w and the Mellanox ConnectX-3 draws around 12w.


Idle, no array started:

Motherboard/CPU/RAM/2xM2 + P620 = 58w

Motherboard/CPU/RAM/2xM2 + P620 + HBA (no HDD connected) = 64w

Motherboard/CPU/RAM/2xM2 + P620 + HBA (no HDD connected) + Mellanox NIC = 76w


Idle, with array started:

Full system with all 10 HDD spun up = 136w

Full system with all 10 HDD spun down = 83w


System during move (1 data and 2 partity HDD running) = 126w


This week I'll play around with powertop to see what that'll do in my case and report back on that.

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The Mellanox takes about double the power with the DAC connected as it does without a module inserted from what I found. The listed power consumption is with the DAC connected.

Readout from the UPS is quite crude though. Have the feeling it goes in multiple watt increments. I might order a watt meter socket to see what results that gives me.

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