To summarize, we were away for 4 weeks and all computers (including server) were turned off, this in turn saved us about $70 off our power bill, so with that, and the average 380-400W of power the server uses I figured a smaller server would pay for itself in no time.
Firstly I looked at getting an ITX mobo, then buying RAM, CPU, CASE, etc.. Turned out to be cheaper to buy it as a complete system or buy them second hand. So I bought it as a package, and the one I ended up buying was HP ProLiant N40L from eBay, paid slightly more than the cheapest quote I found, Harris Technologies (Office Works in Perth).
It didn’t come with an optical drive, or OS (didn’t need either), I was looking forward to the added benefit of running 5 SATA HDD’s in it instead. It’s RAID support is limited to RAID0 or RAID1, which doesn’t effect me as I’m using Linux software RAID for my storage.
The screen that I’m using was a free-by from the markets last week, due to the vertical lines and ghosting on it. It’s good enough for the what I need it for and big enough as-well (24inch Samsung).
It’s currently doing a base install of LinuxMCE 10.04 on the provided 250GB HDD, which will be the system drive. The graphics card is surprisingly good, but time will tell when trying to run GUIv2 with alpha blending and HD content.
After considering all the modifications I’ve done and the time required to recreate them all, I decided to just mirror the original system drive and change the network card assignment (eth1=>eth0 via udev/rules.d, etc..). It’s looking pretty good, CPU usage is noticeably higher, but that’s expected when going from dual Xeon 3GHz w/HT to “AMD Turion(tm) II Neo N40L Dual-Core Processor” @ 1.5GHz.. Think of the power savings…. 🙁