Spare parts and negative overclocking! ;-)

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OK...negative overclocking potentially, just to keep this on topic!

If you've read some of my other posts, you'll know that during the course of
this year, I've replaced just about every part of my PC.

I had a few spares as a result, so I've decided to put them to use as a home
server, which is basically just going to be used as a file server, for
backups - the reasoning being that my Netgear SC101 is:

a) crap
b) starting to go wrong and be even worse than crap!

So I've got an E6600, an MSI 975X Platinum Powerup mobo, 2GB Kingston RAM, a
case, PSU etc.

I don't have a spare PCI-X gfx card, and so I've stuck an old PCI graphics
card in.

I have access to genuine copies of any MS Server product for testing
purposes, which is what this will be for some time, and I've decided I'd
like to go for Server 2008, just so as I can play with Hyper-V.

So...my question...

I want to run this second box as coolly as possible, and as efficiently as
possible. What's the minimum speed that something like Server 2008 could be
expected to run as a decent file server at? I'd fully clock, or overclock
the processor when experimenting with Hyper-V, but for simple file
handling...?

Also, one final question...will the really old PCI graphics card have a
detrimental effect on the system? It's an ATI Radeon 7000 I think.

Cheers

JW


Re: Spare parts and negative overclocking! ;-)





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And if it would be detrimental on the system, how would a basic card like
ebay: 320257576532 (nVidia 7200GS) fare?

Thanks

JW


Re: Spare parts and negative overclocking! ;-)



'John Whitworth' wrote:
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_____

Energy savings, the new overclocking B^)


STEP ONE:  You should have some way of measuring electrical energy used (and
thus heat generated since these two will be identical) so you will recognize
the point of diminishing returns.

Newegg.com has a electrical power/consumption monitor for less than $18.00
US.  You plug the meter into the AC source and the device-to-be-measured
into the meter.  The meter will measure voltage, current, wattage,
frequency, power factor and cumulative KWH consumption.  See

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882715001&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Electronic+Gadgets-_-P3+International-_-82715001
.

You're going to have spend some money to save money, but $18 US isn't a bad
start B^)

How much CAN you lower the system power consumption?  Depends on the
acceptable performance point.  What's reasonable to expect?  I can guess;
perhaps some who have already taken some of these steps can will post real
data.

My guesses, maximized possible savings on averaged consumption, for 24/7
operation for your projected use as I understand your post:

    CPU savings;  say 15 watts less than the 30 watts without making any
changes
    DC to DC down convertors on motherboard (inefficiency loss), 5 watts
less than the 10 watts without making any changes
    Memory savings; say 15 watts less than the 30 watts without making any
changes
    Motherboard savings; say 25 watts less than the 40 watts without making
any changes
    Hard drive savings; say 10 watts less than the 20 watts without making
any changes
    Display unplugged savings, say 8 watts less than the 8 watts for an LDC
display on standby
    PCI-e low end GeForce 7xxx series, say 10 watts less than the 20 watts
for an old PCI card
        [and here's the biggie]
    **Once you reach the lowest system power consumption that gives
acceptable performance, you should replace the computer power supply with
the LOWEST capacity high quality PS available.  This change could reduce
total system power consumption more than other single change you make!
     Using a very high efficiency power supply sized to the task (say, 100
watts capacity working at 60 watts out and 88 % efficiency), say 20 watts
less than a 600 watt power supply working at 60 watts out and 55 %
efficiency {because it's working so far down the power out curve}
___________________________________________________

So, how much is lowering electrical energy consumption by another 10 watts
save in direct cost?  10 watts X 24 hours per day X 365 days is less than
$8.00 US per year.

And how much are my guesses worth?  You'll find out.

And how good are my suggested methods?  Pretty good, I think.  But I could
be wrong B^(
____________________________________________________

Video card first:

a.  Is there a driver for Server 2008 and a PCI video card?  My guess is no.
b.  A low end PCI-e video card will use less power than an old PCI card is
my guess (just think how much lower the GPU voltage will be.  A fanless EVGA
128 MByte GeForce 7200 for $25 US at http://www.zipzoomfly.com could be
appropriate and have an available driver for System 2008.  A low end 7xxx
video card will use less power than a low end 6xxx series video card.


It's not like you will be doing transaction processing, so CPU and memory
speed will not be much of a factor.  You should have some way of measuring
electrical energy used (and thus heat generated since these two will be
identical) so you will recognize the point of diminishing returns.

#1.  Since you can underclock the CPU very easily by LOWERING the CPU clock
multiplier, start off by setting it lower.  FSB remains the same.

#2.  Check performance in use, continue to lower the CPU clock multiplier as
long as performance is acceptable.

#3.  If the lowest CPU clock multiplier works fine, then lower the FSB.

#4.  Check performance and repeat until performance becomes unacceptable.

#5.  Shut down core 0, check performance in use, if performance is
unacceptable re-enable core 1.

#6.  Remove one or more memory modules, check performance in use; if
performance is unacceptable, replace memory modules one at a time.

#7.  All of the above should have no effect on reliability.


THEN

So you wanna use less power?  Two paths that can both be explored
(preferably one at a time.)


    I.  Lower voltages
        A.  CPU voltage
            1.  lower CPU core voltage, check reliability
            2.  repeat until problems occur, then raise CPU voltage a bit to
return to stable operation

        B.  memory voltage
            1.  lower  memory voltage, check reliability
            2.  repeat, etc.

        C.  interface voltages
            1.  Well, you COULD try lowering these voltages if your
motherboard permits.
            2.  As always, check reliability, etc.

    II.  operating system power saving modes
            A.  hard drive spin down time; check performance, etc.
            B.  sleep modes for things like LAN; check performance, etc.
            C.  Wake On LAN, check performance; etc.
            D.  Video display device - hard turn off (and remove?) once you
get good continuous system operation

At some point you will be using so much energy yourself that the incremental
server system power savings will not be justified.

Idle thoughts -
    Planning on using the hard drive(s) from your NAS in the server?
    Newer hard drives are more power efficient.
Serious thought -
    I definitely plan on buying something like the P3 International power
meter newegg.com is offering.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Phil Weldon

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Re: Spare parts and negative overclocking! ;-)





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Thanks Phil - a great response. I will keep you updated. I'll need to fully
digest your response first though.

Cheers

JW


Re: Spare parts and negative overclocking! ;-)




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    Phil's advice will give you 'some' power decrease, but over the course
of a year you probably won't notice a lot as Phil himself pointed out. If it
were me, I would just set up the E6600 and memory at default values and
lower the voltages a notch or two and let it go at that. I used more
'energy' reading Phil's post than I would save in a
year..........:-)........hehehe............. Using one or two very large
HDDs rather than a bunch of small ones will save you more than about
anything to do with the memory or CPU. The newer SATAs are much more
reliable and economic than drives just a year or two ago. I just got a USB2
1TB external for about $200 at the local Best Buy so I would think internals
would be even cheaper (haven't priced them lately). Server 2008 should load
some sort of generic drivers for your card which should do fine since you
won't need a display for much other than setting it up and troubleshooting.
I don't even connect a monitor unless I need to change something or
troubleshoot.

Ed


Re: Spare parts and negative overclocking! ;-)




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Looks like 266MHz is the lowest FSB I can get with this mobo. :-(


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