On Sun, 27 Mar 2005, Ciaran Johnston wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I am looking at buying a mini itx system to stick under the stairs and was
> wondering if anyone had any experiences with these systems they'd like to
> share. It will of course be running Linux, and I envisage it acting as a
> file and print server and needs to be quiet, with low power consumption
> and stability, while holding a hard disk or two and a DVD writer. I'm
Your problems will be HD overheating and power supply.
In the Olden Days (i.e. 20-40GB ATA-66 @ 5400rpm), hard disks consumed
~0.5W on the 5V rail and ~0.4-0.5W on the 12V rail. Now these newfangled
"quiet" fluid bearings have pushed the 12V rail current up to ~1A. Short
version: power consumption went from 7-8W to 15W+.
The small cases have to be properly ventilated or the HDs overheat and
die. I had my nice "hidden in the cupboard with the switch" server,
except the hard disk was at 50+ degrees and is showing signs of failure
after 6 months or so. I've been contemplating sticking it to the side
wall of a wardrobe where it can provide moving air circulation. After
I've replacd the HD.
The small cases have small 55-65W powersupplies. No dogs or full size
CD/DVD devices allowed. One alternative would be a standard case with a
bigger PSU, but then you've PSU fan noise to deal with. How quiet is
Other aspects: the very oldest board (EPIA 5000) is a bit sluggish doing
ssh - basically it tops out at something like 2MB/s doing scp or
ssh/rsync over ethernet. It's also using PC133. Absolutely perfect for
firewall/squid boxes though. It also has a Trident Cyberblade i/1
graphics chip. I haven't come across a graphics chip that sucked like
this since the Cirrus Logic 4MB PCI cards from... quite a long time ago.
Basically, they have a low bandwidth ceiling, and top out at
1280x1024x24 at 60Hz, which is fine on an LCD, unwatchable on CRT. You can
up this by dropping to 16-bit colour though. At least some of the
later boards have better graphics chips.
Maintained by the ILUG website team. The aim of Linux.ie is to
support and help commercial and private users of Linux in Ireland. You can
display ILUG news in your own webpages, read backend
information to find out how. Networking services kindly provided by HEAnet, server kindly donated by
Dell. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds,
used with permission. No penguins were harmed in the production or maintenance
of this highly praised website. Looking for the
Indian Linux Users' Group? Try here. If you've read all this and aren't a lawyer: you should be!