I’ve been very interested in low-power computing for quite some time now. All of my computers, whether servers, desktops, or laptops, are power-hungry heat monsters. My desktop has about eight fans in it. The house server has seven fans and five drives that spin non-stop. My development server, which runs FreeBSD, only has five fans in it, but it manages to be the loudest box in the house. My Thinkpad often gets so hot that it becomes very uncomfortable to use it as a laptop. I’m often forced to place it on the floor for a while to let it cool down, but it’s definitely silent in comparison with the others. With those four boxes all in the same room, it’s very hot and very loud. (And that’s just half of the computers in the house!)
Enter Iron Systems. They have a sweet little 1U server that’s powered by a 933 MHz VIA C3. While many C3 boxes are completely fanless, that’s not the case with the server. In fact, I’ve heard rumor that they are even overcooled. While this won’t solve my noise problems, it’s certainly going to lower my energy bill each month. And it certainly won’t generate as much heat as the incumbent Athlons.
So I’m inclined to ask: For my meager processing needs at the house, why would I want to keep the Athlons around? (Except for the desktop, of course. ;-)