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  1. #1

    What can I get for 0.4A?

    Hi all,

    So, I'm just about to host my first server at a datacentre moving away from VPS's and just when I thought I'd found the right server for my needs to fit into a (cheap) 1U space, I find that I am limited to 0.4A (to get a good price).

    This probably throws my idea of a nice powerful 1U server right out of the window.

    My question is, realistically, what can I get into a 1U server that isn't going to go over 0.4A power consumption?

    I would require 2x SATA drives but after that I'm at a loss as to how far I can go with regards to processor power, PSU size, etc...

    I understand that 0.4A, in the UK, is around 80-96W (W=V*A using a voltage of 220-240v), which seems very limiting to me.

    I'd really appreciate any comments/suggestions as to where I can start with this one.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
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    Re: What can I get for 0.4A?

    I would possibly look at upping your power budget if your after coloing a powerful server. What specs have you been looking at? Dell r210's are pretty power efficient.
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  3. #3
    Hi NorthHosts, thanks for your reply.

    See, this is where I am getting confused. The PSU in this machine, taken from the Dell website, is 250w, which I make out to be just over 1A.

    Am I missing something fundamental?

  4. #4
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    Re: What can I get for 0.4A?

    The best way to roughly calculate power draw is by using a calculator like dell has, I'll try dig it out for you. Alot of the newer servers are better on power but its all dependent on what cpus you are running, amount of drives and type etc. I personally test all mine with power meters before I send them to the dc, then take the ampage from what its running at on boot as idle can be alot lower. What processor are you wanting to use? Dual or quad?
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  5. #5
    Hi, thanks again.

    My issue is that I need to decide what I can get before I buy it, I can't really go through a 'testing' procedure buying different bits and pieces as this could prove quite costly!

    I'd want to use a quad core processor and try and get as much power as I can for my 0.4A.

    I've been taking a look at the R210 and it would seem to cover my initial requirements, I would like to get as much as I can out of it though with regards to processing power, RAM and the two HDD.

  6. #6
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    A power supply rating is generally several times how much power you'll actually need.

    If you're on a tight power budget, you should definitely look at Supermicro and the latest generation E3 v3. I'd base your server on the Supermicro CSE-813MTQ-441CB Chassis, which includes a 94%+ Platinum Efficiency Power Supply. It also includes 4x 3.5" hot swap drive bays. Just add RAM + disks as needed. We find this build is generally under 0.5A @110V (or 0.25A @220V). This still gives you plenty of power budget for 15,000RPM drives or RAID card, or anything else you'd want to throw into the server.

    You'll also generally save $100-$200 buying chassis + motherboard + heatsink separately, over a barebones model. Just don't forget to order a SNK-P0046P heatsink.

    Just find a good vendor who can assemble the server for you. It's well worth a $50 assembly charge to have it done for you, at least on your first server, so you can see how it's done right. You can always assemble future servers yourself if you're in the early stages of your company, when it's still worth your time to save the $50.
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  7. #7
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    Re: What can I get for 0.4A?

    You'll only ever get a rough idea until you plug one in, we used to run quad core dell r200 with 8gb ram and they would hover around the 0.5 mark, 0.4 is pretty low for what your wanting - have you not considered renting? The new generation servers are lower on power consumption but can cost , the g8 hp range are pretty low on power . An example for you is we run a few dual quad core 32gb ram with 2 x ssd drives and 6 300gb velociraptors - they hover around the 1 amp mark.
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  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Hiya.

    A Dell R210 II with a "sensible" processor, 2C2T or similar is around 0.35 amps with a single disk, 0.4 with a pair.

    That is at UK 230/240V of course. If you really push it on some latest gen 3.8Ghz 4C4T you can just exceed 0.5amps, but that is about it on a 210 II.

    Note a 210 none II version can get to around 0.7a dependent on processor.

    Cheers

  10. #10
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    I agree with Han, E3 are pretty good. You could also disable the turbo setting if you were desperate to keep power usage low and always enable it again if you decide to up your power limit.

    Hard drives will be another downside. Two SATA drives will use between 15-20W. Most SSD drives will use <1W. So that can be an easy way to cut out power usage. If you need more space (for a price) you could also look at Scorpio Blacks. They are 7200rpm 2.5" SATA drives and they only use 2-3W if I am not mistaken.


  11. #11
    Thanks for all the comments so far.

    I am able to check/monitor the power myself, what I want to do is make the right decision before I buy anything rather than ending up with a server and components that pushes me over the 0.4A

    Thanks again to everyone that has commented, any further suggestions are welcome.

  12. #12
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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned getting an Atom.

    D525 uses 13 watts, compared to E3-1240v3's 80 watts.

    Sure, its a dual core with HT and 1.8GHz, but 13 watts is tiny. Get a few SSDs as devonblzx mentioned and your cpu + HDDs will be <20W easily.

    Atom servers often also have small PSUs and only 1 or 2 fans, also lowering power use.

    For example:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816101364
    I see a few reviews saying 20-30W draw.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  13. #13
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    Re: What can I get for 0.4A?

    I didnt mention an Atom due to them wanting a powerful server, I wouldn't call a dual 1.8 with a maximum ram capacity of 4gb particularly powerful.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HackedServer View Post
    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned getting an Atom.

    D525 uses 13 watts, compared to E3-1240v3's 80 watts.

    Sure, its a dual core with HT and 1.8GHz, but 13 watts is tiny. Get a few SSDs as devonblzx mentioned and your cpu + HDDs will be <20W easily.

    Atom servers often also have small PSUs and only 1 or 2 fans, also lowering power use.

    For example:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16816101364
    I see a few reviews saying 20-30W draw.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    Yes, we are running an Atom with 2x Scorpio Blacks at 30W. But the thing is very slow. I would never recommend an Atom to someone unless they specifically needed one server for low power. An E3 is probably as fast as 6 atoms put together and much more power efficient in the long run.

  15. #15
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    I'm not disagreeing that they are weak CPUs, but he's upgrading from a VPS and is focused on power efficiency. Atoms are an option, maybe not the best, but they are one.

    All he said in regards to a powerful server is:
    "This probably throws my idea of a nice powerful 1U server right out of the window."

  16. #16
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    Depends how accurately / conservatively your colo provide measures power as well

    We have some Quadcore Xeon X34xx, 16GB RAM, 4x disk systems in as ~0.4a (240v). Supermicro chassis with 80+ gold PSU.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HackedServer View Post
    I'm not disagreeing that they are weak CPUs, but he's upgrading from a VPS and is focused on power efficiency. Atoms are an option, maybe not the best, but they are one.

    All he said in regards to a powerful server is:
    "This probably throws my idea of a nice powerful 1U server right out of the window."
    Yes, they are an option. Just giving my two cents.

    According to PassMark benchmarks a D525 is 693 and a E3-1230 is 9533 so almost 14x faster, so I was even low balling on 6x.

    An E3-1230 will not use 80watts unless you are heavily using the CPU. I think it is a great processor to start out with, because you can easily get it to 50w idle with SSD. @OP as time goes on and you see heavier usage, you can raise your budget for power and enable turbo without having to change systems. E3 are very affordable for what they offer.

    Realistically, the v3 is said to be more power efficient than the v2, the TDP is not something to rely on.


  18. #18
    Interesting discussion, thank you all for your comments...

    I don't think we need to go as low as an Atom, if we can't get the performance we need, we will probably not bother with the whole project.

    We have spoken with the datacentre and due to our long relationship, they will be 'slightly' flexible on power consumption, so we are back on track with looking for the best performance we can get for as close to 0.4A as possible.

    It seems a shame that we are unable to better work out what spec we can have before we actually order it to make sure that we will not go above the 0.4(ish)A.

    I definitely now have a better idea, thanks to comments made here, so that you all for all your comments/suggestions, any more are very welcome!

    It is looking like either a Dell R210 II or maybe a Supermicro... We shall see!

    Thank you all again.

  19. #19
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    Seriously the lates gen ATom based machines use a bit over 20W look at http://www.supermicro.com/products/s...5018A-FTN4.cfm

    It has literally just been released in the last few weeks.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/77988/ - 8C, 2.4G, Max 32G ECC ram and all for 20W for the processor.

    Nothing wrong with 8C, up to 32G RAM for a first colo server. I ordered one of these for a test box at home and as soon as it arrives I'll be running it thru it's paces.

    I am going to chuck a couple of 750G Scorpion Blacks and an SSD into it w/ 16G of ram and see how it all goes. I honestly expect that this thing will run around the 30-35W mark all up.

    I am really keen to see how this little box fares - it is certainly a LOT better than a D525 or even a S2160 Atom. Heck twith the latest Atoms supporting hardware VT, I will probably fire this up as a (very) low end KVM Node and spool up a handful of VM's on it, might make a decent Box for backups and CPanel DNS only instances.

    OP, For power usage, do NOt look at what the PSU is rated as, look at the actual Usage. A PSU will always have a higher capacity than what you use.
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  20. #20
    TDP is used to measure heat not power. Intel and AMD measure TDP differently.
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  21. #21
    If you look into parts more deeply, CPU, Ram and HDD matters

    http://www.infoq.com/articles/power-consumption-servers

    You shall try your best to optimize the performance of the server by calculating the best output with the least power consume for each parts.
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  22. #22
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    Are you locked into the DC that's limiting you at 0.4A? I know that there are options available in the US that will include 2A of 120V power, which is roughly a full amp of 220-240V. If there's nothing really tying you to this specific DC, you might be better off widening your search a bit. Worst case scenario, you've spent a few hours looking around and sign with the DC you're currently in talks with.

  23. #23
    Hi,

    I have indeed been looking around and may have found one that will give me more power.

    I'd rather stay with the current host as I've been dealing with them for years. But I'm really finding 0.4A really limiting with regards to finding a suitable server that will definitely be on or around 0.4A.

    Thanks.

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