I run a server at home for routing, web, email, files, and almost any little idea I think of. Now that I've told you I will have to kill you as ISPs frown on this freedom of expression. Anyway, this server has been comprised of spare parts and/or whatever I could buy for $20. Now that I have a decent job, I decided I wanted a computer I could call a server and stand by it. It also had to draw less electricity and put out less heat and noise. Let's compare my setups:
- 1.4ghz "Tualatin" Pentium III-S
- 512mb PC-133 RAM (i815 chipset limitation)
- ASUS TUSL2 motherboard
- 320gb Seagate 7200.10
- Intel 100 mbit and 1000 mbit PCI cards
- $50 case with 350watt PSU (all-in-one)
- 1.86ghz "Lynnfield" Xeon L3426
- 4gb DDR3 1333 ECC RAM
- Supermicro X8SIL-F motherboard
- 2x1TB Seagate 7200.12 (RAID 1)
- Dual on-board Intel 1gb NICs
- Antec MicroATX case + SeaSonic 500watt 80 Plus Bronze PSU
The junker runs at a nice loud, slow pace. PHP and any disk intensive request was a several second ordeal. Most of that is due to the limited amount of RAM. I hooked up the Kill-a-watt power meter to the junker to see how much electricity I'm wasting. 62 watts - at idle. The computer is lifeless and it's eating enough energy to power an old school light bulb. Think of all the nuclear power I'm wasting; I can't sleep at night.
Putting the new server together was the fastest assembly for me yet. Most things are now on-board and the only power connections were for the motherboard and hard drives. Hitting the power switch brought forth... silence. Ah... What's this? A BIOS prompt. After installing Fedora 11 x86_64 using my USB drive (no CDs or floppies were hurt in this process, something other OSes can't say), I ran the power meter on it. A whole... 40 watts at idle. With more than 10 times the computing power (and 1 vs 4 cores) and an additional hard drive, the new system was eating 22 (woot math) less watts! Just to put this in an even more interesting twist, my one year old desktop computer pulls a hefty 96 watts out of the Earth. It has a 9800 GTX+ helping it get that high though.
What's the meaning of all this? Well, I should get some nice medal from Al Gore for saving the planet, right? Heck, I'd take just a letter. Now get out there and green up your computing environment. Doctor's orders.