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back to article Intel supercharges storage Atoms

Intel has tweaked a pair of Atoms meant for storage applications, giving them more cycles and support for newer memory. The D410 and D510 single and dual core Atom processors were launched in the first quarter of this year and featured a 1.66GHz clock and DDR2 667/800 memory support. Intel twinned them with its 82801 IR I/O …

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Boffin

Cool

I've been thinking about rebuilding my home unRAID server for some time now to reduce it's energy consumption and was already thinking about going down the Atom route.

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WTF?

why?

Slapping lipstick on a pig.

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FAIL

Prices?

Just make them cheaper, then we'll all buy one. Home NAS for £300? I dont think so. £150 maybe I'll think about it.

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They should have done this a long time ago

For a NAS/Home-Server solution, making it as low power as possible is a good thing but while being good on power consumption, the Atom processors are pretty severely underpowered. Take the "Black Dwarf" mod from Will Urbina - http://www.willudesign.com/Black_Dwarf/BlackDwarf.html - in particular this quote:

" the CPU jumps to around 80% when writing files to the raid array"

Usually these systems are just doing reads, which isn't so bad, but for certain use cases the current Atoms seem to be really inadequate.

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Gold badge

Home NAS

Low power AMD chips. Found a nice mobo wiht onboard video, low-power AMD tri-core that can back down to almost no use and an 80+gold PSU. Idle it noms somewhere south of 75W and fully loaded it noms about 150w.

It not only runs my NAS, but is beefy enough to serve as an HTPC whilst hooked up to my projector as well as hosting a pair of small personal virtual machines. The whole thing was maybe $500 CAD. (Without data drives.)

Beats the crap out of any home NAS i've seen...

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Interesting

Been looking to do something similar with a Home Server build - glad to see you got it working (and at a decent price too)

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Gold badge

@PikeyDawg

Every comment I post here is posted from a VM hosted on that little home server. All my articles are proofed on that server.

It's an AMD Athlon II X3 400e. 45W TDP, but I've only ever seen it hit 90% load under some exceptional circumstances. (Those circumstances being when I am RDPed into a virtual machine hosted on that server, and using VNC from within that RDP session to manipulate VLC playing a 1080p video on the host operating system from teh software RAID 5 of 4 1.5TB disks.)

I think the 4 DIMMs eat more than the CPU on a regular basis.

The motherboard is an ASUS M48785M. Integrated video, decent but not spectacular everything else. No optical, crappy super-low-power single platter 2.5" OS disk, and 4x Seagate 1.5TB Junkers I had laying around that are probably the biggest power draw in the whole system.

PSU is a ridiculous Sea Sonic SS-400FL that I don't think I've ever actually head the fan spin up on. I use a Kill-A-Watt to judge my idle, average and fully loaded power draws.

Operating system is Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard; this raises the cost if you use it, but frankly you could do this on CentOS if you were less lazy. (I have a Technet Subscription, so…)

VMs are hosted using VMWare Server 2, and the native software RAID in Server 2008 R2 blows. (Another good reason to use Linux.) Seriously though, even though both my VMs have their VMDKs hosted off of the software RAID 5, the system is perfectly usable even whilst I am streaming a 1080p movie off of the system.

The chassis in use is an old Chenbro SR-107, for which I just happened to have a pair of hot-swap cages, but really, this rig will fid in a mini-tower that you can pick up at Joe Blow’s crappy electronics for $20.

She’s a little over a year old now, and I haven’t had any grief from her whatsoever. If you’re looking to build yourself a similar system and have any questions, drop me a line!

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Taking notes for my build

Thank you sir!

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FAIL

Energy Saver...

God this'll be so much cheaper to run after I fork out another few hundred dollars for the new system that doesn't use as much electricity & that'll be made up after 3 or so years & conservation-wise the amount of new hardware involved before I throw this old thing to the tip.

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Happy

Haha

Your comment reminds me of the people who ditch a perfectly good new(er) car for a hybrid to "Save the Planet" or bulldoze their old non-eco-friendly house for a more efficient "earth friendly" house that's twice the size.

My new file server will replace a 7 or 8 year old Pentium 4 Dell that makes the lights dim when I flip the switch (ok not really but it has a 400w power supply and I'm pretty sure there's not much wiggle room when I'm flogging it with a 5 hour Handbrake DVD encoding) - so it needs to be upgraded anyway and if I'm going to be leaving it running 24x7 I would like to get the best efficiency vs. necessary minimum level of performance when I build the new one.

That said, the Atoms are pretty much crippled for what I'm looking to do (like running Tversity). I own two of them (an HTPC nettop and a browse-the-web-and-watch-at-best-SD-video netbook) and there is a definite limit to what you can do with them. I don't think this upgrade will change that any.

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