[plug] low-power server: mini-itx or old laptop

Gavin Chester gavin.chester at gmail.com
Thu Feb 21 10:09:56 WST 2008

Here is a subject I hope will attract a diversity of opinion from all
tech-heads (which probably describes everyone on this list) ;-).

With my new broadband plan I have a complimentary fixed IP. Am
considering using this to host all of my domains at home (I have >10
parked elsewhere atm). Considering that I'm expecting near-zero traffic
atm I am hoping to just have a silent (fanless) and headless appliance
sitting in the corner of the loungeroom near the adsl socket. Now
question is, what sort of hardware would suit best at minimal cost (<
$100) and low power consumption (<20W) for 'always on'? 

I was looking mini-itx, of course, and don't need one with much grunt to
serve up some small pages and run apache, postfix, imap, or similar.
Trouble is, I've not seen any lately on ebay that are truly fanless
(most are using the 'C3' cpu). I was thinking to marry solid state
drive/storage to this and run DSLinux - needing no more than a gig in
total for OS and files. 

Competing with that idea is the notion of pressing an older laptop into
service. I already have a suitable one so no outlay there. I realise
that it also is not fanless, but the cpu is low-power
(400MHzCel/6Gb/192Mb) so the fan hardly comes on - not forgetting it
will be idle most of the time. What sort of current would such a laptop
draw, btw? 

Diversity of highly opinionated experimenters welcome ;-)

BTW: I realise there are numerous off-site hosting options, but a guy
wants to play, ok ;-)


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