After a bit of digging around, my original spec’d hardware I’ve decided is too much for a boxen that will be on 24×7, especially with the rates for electricity going up next year – every little Watt counts. The existing 65W CPU isn’t ideal, instead I’m opting for a 45W CPU instead and this means – looking at the lineup, its going to be a walk down AMD way. Less watts, less heat and less noise, noice! See AMD’s product roadmap for 2010-2011.
The original specifications I mentioned were:
- Motherboard: ASUS P5QL-PRO
- CPU: Intel Core-2 E6750 – 2.66Ghz (65W TDP, VT)
- RAM: Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5 (4Gb kit x 2 = 8Gb)
- Graphics: ASUS 9400GT PCI-Express
I’ve decided to change the CPU and Motherboard but keep the other bits and bobs – I could loose the graphics card and go onboard but I felt like leaving it there for now. The target budget is $250 maximum for both CPU+Mobo, so this means I’m sticking with DDR2 which implies AM2+ but it must also satisfy:
- CPU has to be 45W and be atleast 1.6Ghz, dual core no more, has to support Virtualization.
- Motherboard has to Support 8Gb (most boards doo!),� have atleast 2x� PCIe and a PCI slot, it would be nice if the network cards work (gigabit) but no fuss if it doesnt. No crazy shebangabang Wifi, remotes etc bling and if it has onboard Video great, otherwise its OK to use a crappy card.
Chipset wise only the following fit the criteria for a possible match because others just don’t have the number of SATA ports available onboard. Primarily AMD boards are supplied by NVIDIA or AMD themselves.
Initially I looked at the ASUS boards (they’ve been nothing but rock solid for me in the past) but after a lot of research scouring through the manufacturer sites I ended up picking out the Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P which is based on the AMD 790X Chipset. The board came with 8x SATA Ports, 3x PCIe and 2x PCI and a Gigabit NIC all for a $137 from PCCaseGear. Not only was the power consumption lowered but the noise and heat generated was substantially lower too!