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Re: NetBSD and the Intel D945GCLF(2) board..

* Michal Suchanek:
> So unless you are a Geode fan you probably end up byuing an Atom
> board. The additional cost for various parts you need for the Geode
> board is likely not going to be paid by the lower electricity bills.

Thank you for your comments, it's given me something to think about, and
the result of my thought process lined out below is that I respectfully
disagree ;)

I've tried configuring an Atom-based solution, and it's not that much cheaper
at all. Board is 60 euro. I think I have a 512 MB PC3200 module somewhere,
so I'll throw it in for free. The cheapest MiniITX case I could find was 90
euro, and it's still a lot bigger than I want - and I really really don't want
another PC case in my living room. Since I'm one NIC and a WLAN-nic short,
I need to figure something out, and need to go the USB route for one of them.
Since I have a spare PCI Wifi card laying around, going for a USB ethernet NIC
seems to be the best way. Probably enough for my DSL, but it's a sloppy
solution. Cheapest one I could find was still 20 euro, and I haven't figured
out whether it's actually supported by NetBSD. I'll want to run the OS off a 
flash disk; I already have a CompactFlash-to-IDE converter gathering dust
somewhere, I'll throw it in for free. In total: 170 euro, and I'd be
relying on USB for my networking. I have bad experiences with USB. Sure, 
there are Atom boards out there that fit the bill a bit better, having 2 on-
board NICs, but they're a *lot* more expensive. 

Costs for the ALIX solution: Board + larger case: 144 euro, including a power
supply (which I'll replace with a more beefy one I have laying around). I'll
need a MiniPCI WLAN NIC, but I have one of those (Actually, it's the same one
as the PCI WLAN NIC for the atom board). In total: 144 euro, which is *less*
than the Atom solution.

There's one caveat: The Alix board doesn't have SATA, and 2.5" PATA disks
are more expensive than their SATA brethren, which makes up for something. 
But not all of it. 

Conclusion? The Atom solution is *at least* as expensive as that ALIX board;
and then there's the power saving.  That Atom board idles at about 24 Watt
(according to mini-itx.com). That ALIX board idles at about 4 (according to
various pages on the interweb), so that's 20W less. Considering that it will be
on 24/7, and mostly idle, this means that the Atom will take 175 kWh *more* per
year.  Electricity costs me about 24 Eurocent per kWh, so that's 42 Euro per
year that I'll be saving by going the Geode route. Sadly, while the Atom 
itself is quite low-power, the chipset used to accompany it isn't :(

> Plus the PC board is much easier to manage due to its more power and
> same CPU subtype and hardware as most desktops.

Hmm? Both Atom and Geode are x86 CPUs. And who needs more than vi to manage
a NetBSD system anyway ;)

Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone who responded in this thread; it's been
really helpful. 

Martijn van Buul - pino%dohd.org@localhost 

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