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Thread: Barebones PC for Cortex

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Barebones PC for Cortex

    Hi All,

    I'm in the process of looking around for a new server. I currently have a mini-itx server (with fan) and was looking to move to a fanless unit - maybe moving my existing unit to be a slave or cold stand-by. The main reason being that my node-0 is located in the cellar and whilst it's clean and dry it still gets an amount of dust in there, so fans tend to fail after a while.

    I was looking at some of the 'Barebone PCs' that are around, instead of building one myself, and wondered if anyone has used something like the small Intel or Gigabyte servers that are available; for example, so of these at eBuyer.

    http://www.ebuyer.com/store/Componen...bcat/Barebones

    Thanks, Dave

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    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Could have sworn that someone reported using an Intel NUC not so long ago. Must admit they look nice but I personally have tended to use notebooks in the past because they offered a reasonably priced package with all the user interfaces and a backup battery included. However physically a bit awkward, so a neat little box with a SSD is tempting. You can remote access for setup and I suppose battery backup can be in the form of a UPS.

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    We went Gigabyte - pretty good so far ... beware power consumption - ie: running costs & back-up power supply ... also be sure to match future demand as you expand your HA, especially if with video etc, including digitisation etc if not using IP cameras !

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    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    I've been running Cortex on a FitPC for a few years now without problem (it also runs as a mail server and DNS server). Device is in the garage and has lasted hot summers only shutting down once or twice. They are quite expensive but well engineered and constructed, additional benefit they use very little power (mine is around 11W) - http://www.tinygreenpc.com/fit-pc4-value-barebone.html

    I was wondering if some of the compute USB stick PC running Windows 10 might be a great way to go in the future. They come with USB for IdraNet connectivity and some have RJ45 connection as well

    Paul

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    just had time to have a look at various barebone options, so a few thoughts ... our original PC was also a mini-ITX and, while it was quiet & low-power etc, have to say we were shocked by how expensive it turned out to be to buy, by the time we'd added all the essentials to the motherboard, and also by the CPU loading it operated at - second-time round, we bought a ZooStorm (uses a GigaByte motherboard) that cost quite a lot less, performs way way better, but uses more juice ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 28th November 2015 at 10:32 AM.

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    Thanks for that guys. I had been playing with the idea of a laptop too - it's suprising what you can get campared to the mini-itx prices. However; I still prefer the idea of the server out of the way. I've not come across the FitPC before so will take a look at those too. Thanks

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    Automated Home Guru Nad's Avatar
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    I've been running my cortex on a old Revo for the past couple of years with no issues at all. It sat under the sofa all that time and just did it's thing
    I did switch the HDD out for a spare 60GB SSD I had kicking around which makes using the system a bit nicer. I also picked up a spare PSU for a few quid too so I had a spare on hand.

  8. #8
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    the Revo range looks interesting ...

    wish it was possible to assess which one could cope with our Cortex+DataBase with room for AUI + CCTV cameras ...

    without the cameras, our miniITX (VIA 1GHz) ran at 95% CPU, and our GigaByte (i7 4770 3.5GHz 16GB) runs at 3%, with occasional excursions to three or four times that (*) ... the optimum is somewhere between, but where, and what ? ?

    (*) our DataBase & Cortex both evolved, so strictly not comparing like with like ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 30th November 2015 at 01:26 PM.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Guru Nad's Avatar
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    Interesting you should mention the i7 4770 as I was thinking along the same lines. I've got a gaming rig that's running that and was thinking about using it to run Cortex and take the opportunity to upgrade my gamin rig, however I've now started to look at this ... Lenevo TS140

    Around 216 after chasback for a server isn't bad going at all. The CPU is no slough either (admittedly missing hyper threading but I don't think cortex cares too much about that), doesn't score as high as the 4770 but the whole system including ECC RAM and a Lenovo warranty for 1/2 the price of a 4770 is very tempting.
    Last edited by Nad; 30th November 2015 at 04:36 PM.

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    we had intended buying a Lenovo, can't recall which, but noticed (as a brand) they weren't rated well for reliability ... by Which? - albeit how reliable are they ?

    pitching at the i5 appeared optimum, but there was an offer on the one we bought ...

    so far as we could work-out, fourth generation seemed best, much better than third, in terms of design philosophy & consequent running temperatures ...

    not sure how one tells how much use of its features is being taken, such as of hyperthreading ...

    hopefully, the low CPU usage will help keep running temperatures down, to the benefit of reliability ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 30th November 2015 at 02:37 PM.

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