Category: Saving Money

I’ve completed the first round of upgrades on my home network.

The HTPC has gone from a Celeron 847 to a Celeron 1037u. It’s a bit snappier, but otherwise is just the same.

That 847 board has been moved into the Router box, replacing a very old P4 that was loud and expensive.

While I’ve taken quite a drop in clock speed, that little board is performing spectacularly in its new role, overall it’s a lot more responsive.

The 1037u that’s replaced the dual Opterons is really showing how far the tech has come. It doing it’s job just as well as the old system, but with 10% of the electricity usage.

My current server has been doing its job excellently. It’s a Rackable Systems C2004 2u unit with 2 Opteron 280 CPUs and 8gb of ram. It’s currently a very busy Server 2008 machine:

  • Media Server
  • Backup Server
  • Web Server
  • Proxy Server
  • Sabnzbd+
  • Sickbeard
  • Couchpotato
  • Headphones
  • Maraschino
  • DNS Server
  • Speedtest.net Mini

That’s its basic daily duties, it also hosts virtual machines for testing and some useful programs.

The problems with this machine are noise and power consumption. It draws between 180-300 watts, and it’s on 24/7.

The other box, my trusty Untangle router, is a 2.8 Pentium 4 that’s sucking another 100 watts ¬†out of the wall.

Using Draw times Time divided by 1000 to get Kilowatt hours consumed at day gets us:

300 watts * 24 hours / 1000 = 7.2 kWh

When electricity costs $0.15 per kWh Rate + Delivery

7.2 kWh * $0.15 = $1.08 per day.

Now a buck a day doesn’t really seem like very much, but nobody wants to add $30 a month to their electric bill do they.

So let’s replace both those boxes with some lower power alternatives. I’ve picked two Celeron based mini ITX boards for this task.

A Celeron 847 based board for the Untangle router and Celeron 1037u for the main server.

I’m also going to be switching the server from Windows 2008 to unRaid.

The new machines will draw a total of 40 watts so they’ll use less than $0.15 a day, that a savings of $0.93 a day.

Before $30 a month

After $4.50 a month

That is a $25.50 cents a month in savings. Not too shabby.

So by spending ~ $185 to replace motherboards and RAM, and reusing what I can I’ll recoup the investment in less than 8 months.

Not bad considering that those machines should have a useful life of at least 5 years.