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This is more of a theoretical question, but if it is actually possible, I'd definitely like to look into implementing it.

Basically, I'd like to have my computer (Core 2 Quad Q6600, Nvidia 8800 GT Overclocked, 4GB, 500 Watt PSU) be set up as a gaming computer (it can already do this fine), media center using XBMC, but also a NAS using FreeNAS.

I'm not concerned about setting it up in such a fashion. I'm wondering if there is a way to save electricity by having it run on very low processing power (either down to 1 core, or significantly lower the clock speed) when it's not being actively used (gaming/media center), and then having it automatically ramp up when I need it.

I know Intel SpeedStep helps out with this quite a bit, but I'm hoping to do more. I can see in CPU-Z already that it's running at 1600 MHz on idle, so that's a start.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

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hasn't your computer ever fallen asleep? I'm pretty sure this is native to most computers. – Taylor Flores Aug 3 '13 at 1:55

It is possible, but performance will suffers when other things are in use. For good performance your going to need to at least double your RAM. Then you get 4gb virtual #1 gets 2gb and virtual #2 gets 2gb.

You can run a virtual machine software:

VMware workstation
Windows Virtual PC (free from microsoft)
Oracle VM VirtualBox (free)
other choices exist

You can run 2 virtual PC's 1 containing FreeNAS and the other XBMC.

Each virtual PC will lock away a certain amount of memory taking it away from windows so you will need more RAM especially when gaming.

Under heavy use, depending on configuration, your gaming could slow way down especially under CPU dependent games like skyrim.

You will also need to attach a sufficient amount of storage.

If the other systems are going to be used a lot, by other family members(potentially while you game), I would upgrade the CPU to a Core i5 3ghz something.

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That was definitely helpful, thank you. I hadn't even considered the virtual option (slipped my mind I guess). However, with the virtual option, this will take up a set amount of memory when they're running, correct? If I wanted the 2 Virtual PCs AND the main Windows desktop to all be running at once, I probably won't have much memory left. I highly doubt FreeNAS would need much memory at all to be functional, XBMC on the other hand might take a bit... – Anit Gandhi Aug 3 '13 at 18:16
@AnitGandhi Yes, with 4gb of memory you would come up short for Windows. Which is why I said DOUBLE your memory. If you have ddr3 newegg part N82E16820148540 will give you 8gb more for $57. Better memory can cost up $100 for 8gb(more). FreeNAS uses memory to cache frequent disk reads & writes so more memory,up to a point, is more performance. Do a dry run and give both 512mb of memory and see how bad performance is. – cybernard Aug 3 '13 at 18:36

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