Low-Powered AMD-based Server using AM3 CPU and mATX Motherboard

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GraysonPeddie
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Joined: 10/29/2006
Posts: 569

I currently have 2x1GB of RAM, 750GB WD GreenPower Hard Drive, 2 Ethernet ports (1 card for connecting to cable modem; 1 integrated for connecting to my D-Link 1Gbps Green Switch), and a Hauppauge HVR-1250 TV Tuner, which is used for a MythTV backend.

My server has a MythTV backend (which I've already mentioned once), Asterisk PBX Phone System with FreePBX, DNS Server, SAMBA server, and my server functions as a router which has an iptables firewall. I currently have Ubuntu Server 10.04 amd64.

I currently have a PC-Chips A13G motherboard with an nVidia 6150 GPU, which is unused unless I need to modify some things that can be impossible to work with through SSH.

I currently have VirtualBox installed. If I'm going to test and evaluate any 64-bit operating system on which there's no 32-bit version of an OS, such as Windows Small Business Server 2008 R2, In this case, I'm in need of a new CPU with hardware-assisted virtualization. AMD is an easy choice for me, because (triggered by spam filter; Newegg.com) AMD Athlon X2 240 supports hardware-assisted virtualization. Now, pardon me for being biased toward AMD, but the reason why I go with AMD is because any AMD CPU sold in Newegg that is not Sempron supports hardware-assisted virtualization. I don't have links to prove it though, so I may have invalidated my credibility on this.

I don't want to bore anyone with so much talk about hardware virtualization, so with that out of the way, I'd like to know if (link triggers spam filter) AMD Athlon II X2 240e is worth $20 more than (Newegg.com) AMD Athlon X2 240. (Notice the "e," which signifies "energy efficiency.")

The reason why I ask this is I'm looking to keep a dual-core CPU's power consumption as low as I can while still getting good performance out of the CPU. In other words, I'm looking to balance between performance and power consumption. At first, when I look at the cost for AMD Athlon II X2 240e, that $20 extra is just not worth it as I don't know how much less power the 240e has as opposed to the regular 240. I've been trying to look for reviews on those two CPUs, but the results will just be skewed if I find a separate review for two CPUs

If I could rule out the 240e CPU and go with the 240 instead, how much of the undervolting can I expect while keeping the CPU stable? If anyone has an AMD Athlon II X2 240e with a Kill-A-Watt, can you please list your hardware specifications and tell me how far you can go with undervolting in terms of power consumption? Remember, I really want to get a very good balance on power consumption and performance.

For upgrading my motherboard, I am thinking of going with (Newegg.com) Foxconn A74ML-K. While this is a cheap motherboard, that motherboard is enough for me to use it as a server, since it has a built-in RS232 port. In order to keep costs low, I'm not going to waste my money on a USB-to-RS232 adapter that does not work as good as a motherboard's built-in RS232 port. Yes, I can buy a new PCI adapter that has a serial port, but again, I'm not going to spend that kind of money. Of course, the PCI adapter will work as well as an on-board RS232 port, so I do have that option if I need more serial ports, but probably not that much when it comes to home automation.

So, does anyone have any recommendations? Should I spend $20 more just to get an AMD Athlon II X2 240e CPU? My AMD Sempron 3400+ did work okay as a single-core processor, but I think it's time for me to upgrade to a new processor with AMD-V (hardware virtualization). I really wish there is an AMD Athlon X2 5050e available for sale at Newegg, but there aren't any.

 

PS: For 3DGameMan, for the sake of long-time forum members of this website, please, please, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE (*sigh* sorry-didn't-mean-to-cause-so-much-grief) fix the spam filter. My post, including links that the spam filter got triggered, is completely legitimate. I've been completely patient enough. I will wait some more until this forum matures and that the spam filter becomes more transparent with legitimate long-time members (even dated back to 2000). It's not my place to express my displeasure about the spam filter interfering with the legitimacy of my post, as I went completely off-topic, but I just got frustrated with the spam filter. *sigh* I completely feel like a newbie to this forum again. :(

HTPC: AMD Athlon X2 4050e CPU with 780G ATX motherboard running Windows 8 DP (4GB) and Ubuntu; Server: AMD AII X2 240e CPU with 880G-based ATX motherboard running Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS (8GB)

2 pairs of Insignia NS-B2111s (front/rear), Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker, and 12" Velodyne Sub

Just ordered HP Pavilion dv7-6165us from QVC. Will have it by next Friday.

undeadkingpr
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Joined: 04/21/2009
Posts: 511

e is almost always signifying AMD making the same chip but undervolting it-you can do it ureself so the $20 aint worth it. I don't know how far you could undervolt the cpu but don't do it too much so that it becomes unstable. In an entire year your system probably only uses $40 of electricity so it really is not that big of a deal.

@University rig-Haf 922-i7 920- ASUS GENE MB- 6gb OCZ ddr3 1600-GTS 250- Acer 23'-ocz 700w psu-Altec expressionist bass speakers-LG dvd multi drive-Rosewill media reader

GraysonPeddie
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Joined: 10/29/2006
Posts: 569

Ah, okay. Thanks. I think it's a good ideal to tweak the voltage setting little by little to find the point where the CPU gets unstable and then increase the voltage back up a little to ensure that the CPU becomes stable.

I used to do that when I set the CPU clock for Sempron to 800MHz, but I didn't go down below 0.85 volts at that clock speed.

HTPC: AMD Athlon X2 4050e CPU with 780G ATX motherboard running Windows 8 DP (4GB) and Ubuntu; Server: AMD AII X2 240e CPU with 880G-based ATX motherboard running Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS (8GB)

2 pairs of Insignia NS-B2111s (front/rear), Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker, and 12" Velodyne Sub

Just ordered HP Pavilion dv7-6165us from QVC. Will have it by next Friday.