I want to replace my P4 2.8GHz home server (Power draw around 100+ W/h, no processor scaling) with something more efficient. The current king of the hill in terms of power efficiency while providing adequate performance seems to be Intel Atom processor. I already have a netbook based on single core Atom, and before jumping and taking a mini ITX motherboard based on Atom (good list here at kramfs.com) I decided to test how well it is doing its job in the netbook.
So, I connected eee 1000h to my router via ethernet cable. Unfortunately, 1000h has only 100Mbps NIC. I shared a movie folder with the network, and connected 4 computers, playing 2 HD videos (up to 2.5 MB/s each) and 2 DVD videos (up to 1MB/sec each).
On the picture – eee pc 1000h as server. 2 laptops and home entertainment PC, and old server (not visible) are playing videos, trying the limits of eeepc. Didn’t succeed by the way. Here are proof pix.
Network utilization seems low, peaking only at some 43% (or 6MB/sec). I used a 9GB movie for this test. Sure it would be different if I used a 20GB movie. But it also reflects the current state of torrent popularity in our country. Videos larger than 10GB are not here yet. I watched “The Matrix” in 20GB hi-def, but deleted it later.
CPU usage averaged around 15-20% in the process. So, for my current usage patterns, it means that all my kids can watch their own movies on as many computers as I got in this house.
I am now on the crossroads, my two options are
1) take a new mobo based on DualCore Atom. It is around $100 here, and only $20 more expensive than single core Atom option. But it has Gigabit NIC, which is good for file transfers. Investment - 100$ mobo, $70 case with power supply, $30 2GB RAM stick. Total $200. The drawback here – I get another computer to care about.
2) use my 1000h as home server, as I do not have much use for it since I got a 12inch work laptop. I would need to buy a 500GB 2.5” SATA HD to make this a useful home server. My current server has 1TB 3.5” SATA and I could move it into my video/game machine. Investment - $120 for harddrive. Drawback – slow file copying on the network. Copying one file immediately fills the NIC with some 11 MB/sec transfer. My current transfer speeds are limited by harddrive writing speeds at 35-40MB/sec.