What's the lowest TDP non-embedded/soldered/mobile AKA "normal" processor for which I can find a mot

Discussion in 'Processors and Motherboards' started by Razva, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Razva

    Razva New Member

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    In my search for a low TDP processor my biggest issue that most "extra-power-efficient" CPUs are soldered/embedded/mobile. This applies to Intel's "U" series as well with AMD's "PRO" series etc.

    So my question is simple: what's the lowest TDP processor I can grab from the market, not embedded/soldered/mobile?

    Only requirements would be:
    • a "normal" processor that just can be dropped on a motherboard, like any other

    • x64, not ARM

    • I can do both Intel or AMD

    • supports virtualisation

    • something that's in the ~3-4000 Passmark points ballpark
    Any hints/recommendations?
     
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  2. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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    You know that the platform (mobo, fans, memory, drives) will matter more than the cpu with most modern low power CPU's (example, not limited to e3's or i7's)?
     
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  3. BlueFox

    BlueFox Active Member

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    Xeon E3-1220L v2 is socketed, has a 17W TDP, and meets your performance requirements. Lowest you can go is 13W (Xeon E3-1220L v3), but it has half the performance.
     
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  4. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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  5. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Just curious why you don’t want a SOC based solution ?
     
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  6. Razva

    Razva New Member

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    That's why I'm looking for something that doesn't needs a ton of cooling but only a "single normal fan". I just paid 150€ on electricity, so I'm ready to drop IPMI and other fancy "server stuff" in order to have a lower power footprint. I just need something that I can test stuff in my POC, but without having nightmares about forgetting the cluster powered on.

    Yup, I did read it. That's why I've (re)started my research. I purchased a power meter and my current cluster eats 400W on IDLE, with only two nodes (out of 4). Server stuff is fun, if you really need it. On my end, I don't need something that's designed to reliably run 24/7 for 3-5 years, with high-end Xeons, 8 coolers, ECC etc; I need something to play/learn. And by all means, I'm pretty sure that OpenStack, Vagrant, Kuber, Docker etc run just fine on a i5.

    Because I couldn't find anything at a good price. Everything I could find is on the $350-400 price range. With that money I have a strong feeling that I can get better performance, or at least the same performance with a smaller investment. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
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  7. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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    i'd go e3 v3 - those are reasonable in their power draw, getting cheap and had some great platforms. I built a low power box on a intel s1200v3sp (i think) years ago - no ipmi, no fancy stuff.
    add a sata ssd and whatever else you need, should be less than 40w on idle iirc
     
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  8. Razva

    Razva New Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation!

    I've also got recommendations for:
    - E3-1235L v5
    - E3-1220L v3
    - i7-8700T

    What's your opinion on them?
     
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  9. kapone

    kapone Active Member

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    An E3-1270 v2 (this is an "ancient" processor by now, 3.5GHz 4c/8T, 22nm) on a Supermicro/Tyan/Inventec x9 motherboard idles at ~20w at idle. This is with IPMI/BMC, dual LAN, a single SSD and a single CPU fan.

    How much lower are you trying to go??
     
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  10. amalurk

    amalurk Member

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    Newer platforms use less power and newer processors idle lower. So, what about an i3-8100T or i3-8300T. They support ECC memory to 64GB as long as that is enough and it will beat the pants off a E3-1220L v3 and even little better than a E3-1235L v5 but defintely cheaper. They can be a little hard to find but they are around.

    Not sure where you live but, $150 power bill is only dream at $.30kw/hr++ marginal rates in Northern California, oh and our power company may burn down your house because they don't maintain the lines.

    However, I think your power savings may be underwhelming unless your current processor is pre-v2 E3 or E5 or you are downsizing disks and fans too and you non-idle a lot.
     
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  11. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    I3-8300T seems be a good to look at.

    Yes low power costs $$, good old NUC’s are extremely low power with some basic ipmi via vPro but they are also higher model.
    Old and also newer quad core NUC’s idle under 10w.

    So yeah invest in really low power costs but as some have pointed out if you don’t mind to wait also some other low power options around.

    I wouldn’t rule out SOC’s because they are SOC’s, don’t touch the c2000, but the d-1500, c3000, epyc 3000 if you can find used or on sale may just work as well. All use common ECC rdimm.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  12. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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    Well there you got a lot of choices - I think for more accurate recommendations we need more info on what you want to run, since that will decide core count, memory requirements, disk choices etc.

    O/c if you run a Quad Node system now (eg C6100) then you will see a lot of improvements with a single E3 or i7 power wise, but you will also have significantly less capabilities. O/c maybe you don't need them, then rightsizing is a good idea:)
     
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  13. Razva

    Razva New Member

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    Sounds great, thank you, I'll check it out!

    I was looking at something maybe more "modern" and without all the "ECC/IPMI" bells and whistles.

    I really couldn't find any, only directly on embedded systems (~$500 ballpark).

    I'm located in Romania, and 150EUR/month is kinda quadruple compared with the normal usage. Before starting the homelab (with the C6100) I was paying about 30EUR/month. So...yeah...

    My current config is DELL Poweredge C6100 XS23-TY3 Cloud Server (4 nodes in a 2U factor). Each node has:
    • 2 x Intel Xeon L5520
    • 24GB DDR3 Memorie
    Couldn't find anything on eBay or on local makets. :\

    Ok, I'll search for some older NUCs. Except eBay, what other sources do you recommend?

    Everything I could find based on EPYC 3000 was expensive, but I'll keep looking.
     
    #13
  14. Razva

    Razva New Member

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    That's exactly what I need: rightsizing.

    What I need is very simple/basic:
    • four nodes, bare-metal;
    • I need bare-metal because I want/need tot test bare-metal automated deployment tools like Ironic;
    • yes, I know that there are tools for "emulating bare-metal". Tried most of them, it's really not the same thing;
    • this POC will be designed for "let's install this, image with CloneZilla, try X command, fail, restore the image, try X+y commands, fail, start over". This will be basically reinstalled each week;
    • IPMI is desired but not mandatory. Yes, it would be great if I wouldn't have to walk between rooms. But between walking 30m and paying $200 just on a single mobo (that's a $800/cluster), I choose walking;
    • I don't need "raw processing power". I will use this lab to test different virtualisation technologies and test stuff pre-deployment. This mostly means:
      • CloudStack
      • OpenStack
      • VMware
      • XCP
      • Kubernetes
      • Docker Swarms
    • I don't need 24/7/365 reliability. Yes, I know that an i3 fails more often than a Xeon, and that ECC is better, but I really don't mind using "normal" components. This will never get near to any kind of production environment, but more like a "pre-POC" environment;
    • I'm using an old Pentium G4400 (Q4 2015, 3544 PassMark points) for my unRAID setup at home, it's using ~30W on idle, and I'm more than happy with its performance. I've paid ~$300 for the entire setup (mobo+cpu+8gb RAM+psu+case) and it's running non-stop from 09.03.2017;
    • I'm pretty sure that we can find something near that ^ price, with better performance and lower TDP, because we're talking about a 4 year difference.
    So ... that's why I'm here, I need your help to find that. :)

    By the way, I really appreciate your support here, I'm amazed on how much information you can get from the community!
     
    #14
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