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I've got quite simple question actually. How green, low-power and efficient x86 home server can I build using consumer parts with rather constrained budget.

After looking through some Google hits I've found out that system based on dual-core atom, some modest mITX board (gigabit lan, integrated audio and gfx etc), one RAM module and one 'green' WD HDD, powered by picoITX PSU uses about 30W at idle up to 40 at load.

Can you get lower (or how much lower) then that? Maybe some VIA nano chips, or single core atom?

My home server would take care of some back-upping mixed with little ftp/http traffic.

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closed as too localized by slhck Apr 29 '13 at 21:05

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Non-x86 platforms can have lower power usage. Why does it need to be x86? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 9 '10 at 0:31
You're likely to get lower power with non-x86 processors, possibly ARM. Then you wouldn't be able to run Windows (you'd probably run Linux instead — it's more suitable to the uses you describe anyway). Is that a problem? – Gilles Nov 9 '10 at 1:13
an SSD seems like the best way to drop the power usage (no moving parts to power, for example) – Trezoid Nov 9 '10 at 1:43
I would prefer x86 platform for its versality. And with windows server, I wont have to ask about samba or media streaming between linux and win7. – Halik Nov 9 '10 at 14:48
up vote 5 down vote accepted

fit-PC has x86 computers that idle at 6W, max load 8W. They make them with 1 - 2 GHz Atom processors, 1 - 2 GB RAM (doesn't look like it can be easily upgraded after it's made), and optional 2.5" SATA. Cost:$294 for cheapest, $683 for fanciest.

I've never used them myself, but they look interesting.

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The Power-PC and ARM based Excito Bubbas draw 5-13 Watts. From 5 Watts with SSD. So you should be aiming for a similar wattage.

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SSDs are out of my price range - at least for home server storage use. The price difference between SSD and 5400 HDD is enough to cover additional kWh's for couple of decades ;> But the suggestion is accurate - its much more power efficient so thanks. – Halik Nov 9 '10 at 14:13
They are available with normal hard-disks - power is then 8 W upwards. – RedGrittyBrick Nov 9 '10 at 14:19

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