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Checkpoint: ATI Mach64 Edition

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Checkpoint - ATI Mach64 Edition

I installed the AMD Radeon HD 5770 in my home server thinking I will be using it for RemoteFX. Unfortunately “Enterprise” level Windows 7/8 licenses were required so that idea came to a crashing halt. So I left the video card in there doing nothing but consume power.

Finally after months of doing nothing, I decided to rip out the 5770 PCI Express video card and install a lowly ATI Mach64. I had this and an Xpert 2000 PCI video card on hand because PCI expansion ports weren’t going anywhere anytime soon and I figured I would need them again one day. I wasn’t wrong.

The ATI Mach64 was my first ever video card. It was included in my Pentium 120MHz computer and when I finally got rid of that old computer, I tossed everything but that video card. And now — 20 years after its introduction — it found new life in my home server.

Idle Load
Home Server w/ Radeon HD 5770 126W 174W
Home Server w/ ATI Mach64 93W 132W

It’s a noticeable drop in power consumption and for a server that runs 24/7, every little bit counts — especially at idle.

This little exercise also highlighted an oversight with my UPS . I completely overlooked the fact the CyberPower 1350 AVR had a USB port. I grabbed a USB cable, hooked it to my home server and now it will automatically send a shutdown signal whenever the server is running on battery power for more than five minutes.

I was also reminded of the fact that the motherboard that I am using for this server had an eSATA port. I’ve been hooking up my external drive via USB 2.0 for nearly a year. I could have been using a snappier interface.

What was first a curiosity ended up being quite beneficial. Now I’m curious what else I could do to reduce power consumption with the home server.

I started and finished Gone Home. It was a beautiful game and for $5, it was totally worth it. Hell, it’s worth double that. It was the perfect palette cleanser after the disappointing inFamous: Second Son.

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