Motherboard Choice – The Easy One

1 09 2008

I’ve decided to try and build my NAS around a VIA EN-15000G motherboard with 1 GB of RAM and sporting a 1.5 Ghz C7 embedded processor.  About 2 years ago, when I started my approriately powered kick, I built myself a lower powered computer to use.  At the time I had a laptop but it was quite old and not everyday ready.  My computer time consisted of a lot of web surfind, music listening, and instant messanging … all three things that I don’t need a full 2.8 GHz Celeron system to chug away at.  In fact one of the high points was that my Dell Celeron box’s onboard sound was jumpy so I could use the low power box as a music player while I did processor intensive things on my other system.  The key to this is that I spent $500 and built a low power sysetm around the EN-15000G motherboard in a Morex 3677 Case with a 30 GB 2.5″ HD I had sitting around and no optical drive. Loaded up Windows 2000 and off I went.

About a year ago now I bought a laptop that I can use for lower powered everyday use and I rerranged my room to the point that the Via desktop woudln’t display once it got to Windows. As part of the not wanting to touch anything with a circuit in it from work model I just used the laptop. So basically I had this hardware sitting around doing nothing and it seemed like a great place to start with for a low powered NAS. 

With a NAS I mostly needed a motheboard, processor, RAM, a NIC, and hard disks. With all the basics taken care of excpet hard drives off I went in search of what would fit my need. 

Synopsis

  • Motherboard – VIA EN15000G
  • Processor – Embedded 1.5 GHz VIA C7 processor
  • RAM – 1 GB of some brand I bought a while ago

Relevant Features

  • Low Power – With the embedded processor in full tilt I believe the documentation says this motherboard/processor combo uses a whole 18 W in idle it is like 12 W. And when the system is in standy it uses 1.6 W (the goal being this state for most of the day) or is unmeasurable by my meter which I need to find.  When I did measure it even counting the power supply loss / vampire power consumption it was right around there.
  • On board NIC – 10/100/1000 (Heck I forgot it was a Gigabit NIC as my router and everything else is 10/100)
  • Onboard IDE
  • 2 x Onboard SATA controller (some sort of raid option for the SATA but I haven’t played with this yet)
  • Onboard sound and video (standard but in this case important)
  • 1 PCI Slot (helpful if/when I need more SATA ports)
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