> > I'm looking for a small (preferably Micro-ATX or smaller) motherboard
> > for a small, sit-in-the-corner-and-do-the-job linux web server. For the
> > past three years I've used a Micro-ATX DFI motherboard with a K6II-500 CPU
> > and
> > a Via chipset, but I'm now looking for a little bit more CPU power. It
> > has to be rock-solid-stable; I expect uptimes measured in years. Low
> > power consumption for maximal UPS hang-time is important; my current
> > system only draws 50W or so and the UPS can ride out power outages of a
> > few hours.
> > I highly desire on-motherboard video and network support so that there's
> > no need for any cards. Low power consumption is a must. I don't care if
> > the CPU is AMD or Intel. No intensive graphics will be done on this box;
> > I don't even install X11 and video usage will be limited to text console
> > use.
> > The Asus A7N266-VM comes close. It has on-motherboard video and network
> > support, and I could put just about any Duron on it. My only concern
> > is that the onboard Nvidia Nforce GeFORCE2 video is way overkill for
> > a plain-old text console, and that it'll suck more power and generate
> > more heat than necessary.
> > On-motherboard video, I suppose, could be skipped if good support for a
> > serial console exists in the BIOS.
> > I will probably continue to use a single IDE hard drive in the machine,
> > but if someone has a good suggestion for a small motherboard with on-board
> > SCSI yet still with low power consumption then I'll listen.
> > Any recommendations?
> > Tim.
> Try VIA's mini-ITX form factor with a C3 cpu.
Ordered it on Wednesday, it came Friday, and installed Linux on it in about
ten minutes flat. Works like a charm! Power drain is about 20W at idle,
and about 35W with a lot of disk seeks and CPU usage (e.g. a gcc build).
Performance is better than my old K6II-500, but not by a whole lot.
* Mini-ITX box, external 12V supply, via C3 CPU+MB $195
* Western Digital WD400BB 40 Gig 7200 RPM HD $ 65 (about 5 months ago)
* Crucial 256Mbyte SDRAM (CL=2) $ 42
Two small gotchas:
1. The box's power supply will not power both a 7200 RPM hard drive
and a full-size 56X CD-ROM. For the install I leached power off a different
PC-clone supply to get the CD-ROM going; after the install this is not
an issue because there's no room for the CD-ROM drive in the box!
(Caseoutlet sells a really skinny, presumably low-power CD-ROM drive that
does fit in the box. I didn't want to spend the 69$ on it because after the
install I don't need it.)
2. The via-rhine net driver in 2.4.19 and earlier kernels hiccups occasionally
on the VIA VT6103 Ethernet chip, especially during collisions. The later
Alan Cox patches to 2.4.19 and the recent 2.4.20 kernels fixes this.
I didn't install X-Windows and do not use the sound on this box, so
I cannot comment about how they behave in Linux.
Thanks for the hint, Allen; I had previously thought about a mini-ITX
server but your mention pushed me over the edge and into the world of little
I may end up getting more of these for graphical workstations; if and when
that happens I'll post my experience with installing X-Windows and using
the sound port.