Server upgrade

This week I decided it was time to upgrade my home server. The main reasons, lack of 64-bit support and virtualization technology (VT-x) in my existing setup. The performance gain was also a nice side effect. I have come up with the following new components:

  • Intel DQ67EPB3, S1155, Q67, 2xDDR3, mITX
  • Intel Core i3-2120T, 2.60GHz, 3MB, HD2000, S1155
  • Kingston ValueRam 8GB(2x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz CL9

The Intel motherboard claims to be energy efficient and the i3 processor has a max thermal design power (TDP) of 35W. I think this is a nice balanced setup to do low-end virtualization with low-power consumption in mind. I might do a power consumption measurement one day.

Once all was installed and the new system booted it appeared networking did not come up in Debian 5 (Lenny).

I had to download and build the driver manually, see the instructions below:

lspci showed: Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Device 1502 (rev 04)

Look for the “Intel® 82579 Gigabit Ethernet Controller” on the http://downloadcenter.intel.com website.

[code lang=txt]
tar xvzf e1000e-1.9.5.tar.gz
cd e1000e-1.9.5/src
make install
modprobe e1000e
ifconfig eth0 up
[/code]

UPDATE: The network driver works out of the box with Debian Squeeze and as of today (20130706) I can confirm it works on Debian Wheezy to0.

A green home server

This website was served by an old timer PC running on an Intel N440BX Server Board codename Nightshade. Despite being a rock solid system, it housed a dual Intel Pentium III 600Mhz processor configuration which did not meet today’s performance demands and energy consumption.
So I decided to build a new computer system that was a little bit faster and more energy efficient than it’s predecessor and thus environmentally friendly.

After doing some research I decided to go for the following setup:

  • Antec NSK3480 MicroTower, EarthWatts 380 Watt PSU
  • Intel Desktop board D945GCLF2, Atom 330
  • Kingston ValueRam 2GB DDR2 533MHz C4
  • 2 Western Digital AV-GP Green 1TB, 5400~7200rpm, 8MB, SATA2
  • 2 Serial ATA II Cable, 0.75m
  • Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra 40mm x 20mm

The Antec casing comes with an energy efficient PSU. It’s 80 PLUS® certified and is equipped with a built-in active PFC to make the PSU reduce electrical waste and protect the environment.

As some reviews at silentpcreview.com stated, the stock cooler on the chipset is not that quite as you would expect. I decided to replace the 40mm x 10mm stock cooler with the Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra 40mm x 20mm. Because the motherboard sits inside a MicroTower there was space enough to put the Mini Kaze Ultra on top of the heatsink as you can see on the pictures below.

As expected there’s nearly no noise coming from the system. The case itself is designed to do noise cancellation with it’s dual chamber structure, and the new cooler only whispers silently. Besides doing a nice quite job it also makes a difference at it’s cooling task. That’s because it’s 10mm higher then the stock cooler.

Temperatures with the stock cooler:

  1. Chip Temp: +33.0°C
  2. CPU Temp: +43.0°C
  3. Sys Temp: +38.0°C

Temperatures with the Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra cooler:

  1. Chip Temp: +31.0°C
  2. CPU Temp: +41.0°C
  3. Sys Temp: +36.0°C

I’ve planned to do an energy consumption test in the coming days.