Looking for *reliable* low-power/heat solution with FBSD in mind

George Vagner george at vagner.com
Wed Apr 16 08:00:41 PDT 2003

I am using one of the VIA ITX formfactor mb's and it works
very well. it is very small and uses only 28 watts of power.

they have them up to 1Ghz or up to 600Mhz without a fan.

check out lin-itx.com for some examples.

----- Original Message -----
From: "J. Seth Henry" <jshamlet at comcast.net>
To: <questions at freebsd.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 9:53 AM
Subject: Looking for *reliable* low-power/heat solution with FBSD in mind

> This isn't strictly on-topic, but I am hoping a few readers of this list
> may have some experience in this area.
> I currently have my home file server acting as a home automation system.
> This works well, given the light load, but unfortunately the system has to
> be physically located in a closet to perform this function. I have to take
> great care, as the server is a dual P3 system, and gets quite warm. More
> than once, I have been awaken by the thermal alarm system.
> I would like to install a low power, quiet system that is still capable of
> playing MP3/OGG audio, while handling the home automation tasks. This
> would allow me to move the server to a more cool location, avoiding risk
> of it overheating. Space isn't an issue, but I would like to keep it
> small. The ITX and FlexATX boards are about the size I'm interested in.
> The obvious thought was the VIA EPIA series mainboards. They are fanless
> in many configurations, powerful enough to play MP3 audio, and some are
> even capable of DVD video (though I'm not interested in that for this
> system). They also use very little power, most being powered by laptop
> style PSU's - which bodes well for UPS battery time.
> If those don't cut it, I'm also looking at the shuttle boxes, as they are
> still small, but use more "standard" components. They are
> vast overkill for this application, but reliability is key. Unfortunately,
> they also draw more power, meaning a shorter UPS battery life.
> The question is, does anyone know how reliable these systems are under
> FreeBSD, or even in general? I don't want my HA controller going down
> randomly, for hopefully obvious reasons. Also, does anyone have any
> recommendations for a similar system?
> I would prefer to stick with FreeBSD because I know the operating system
> fairly well, and because all my other systems are running it. I'd prefer
> to keep the network as homogenous as possible (with the only notable
> exception being my "game" machine)
> I know that this may seem like a "google" question, but I am looking for
> real-world thoughts, not sales pitches. This system will need to be up
> 24x7 nearly all year (save for maintenance and patches). If anyone has, or
> knows about, a favorite piece of gear that fits these requirements, I'd
> love to hear about it.
> Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Seth Henry
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