I want to put together a low(er) power soho server system. It will run Linux, act as a router, provide numerous network services and implement encrypted tunnel and disk algorithms. Mobo hardware will minimally include a 1gigabit lan and a 100Mbit wan connection, 4(+) SATA and 1 PATA. 64bit and virtualization support aren't required of the CPU.

One design goal is low power for noise (fan), heat and cost reasons. Since server idle time will be high, the system power at idle is a major factor. The server probably cannot suspend/hibernate on a regular schedule, and a 30 second "wake-up" delay is generally unacceptable for services LDAP authentication. Idling unneeded disks is a decent strategy. It's somewhat difficult to evaluate CPU idle power reqs, as well as bridge & mobo reqs, so I'm looking for experience/advise. Maybe someone knows of a website ... (silentPC hasn't been very active recently IMO).

Starting with the CPU decision ...

The current Intel Atom won't have the performance to keep up with encryption/decryption requirements at speed.

I've never been impressed wthe Celeron/Conroe series, tho' the 35W max power is attractive. Many mobile CPU parts are low power and decent performance, but the chip and mobo pricing usually make these unattractive.


The 45W Athlon X2 and LE parts should work....
Intel 65W "wolfdale" ...
AMD 65W 64 X2's ....

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I'd prefer to use a passive (large) heatsink on the CPU and use a pair of case 120mm fans for system cooling and I think this should be possible for the 45/65W CPUs.

The ideal mobo would have some minimal low-end on board graphics. I intend to use the system "headless", but most mobos won't boot w/o the VGA destination.

Any thoughts ? Suggestions ?