Originally Posted by Mfusick
Old PC gear is hot and noisy... energy consuming.. and always seems to bring me more pain than I want.
I can't fully agree to this, but a word to
along the same lines on the supermicro and off-lease Dell PERC pre-built servers for sale
These can be seen a variety of ways. There are "deals" to be had in this market, not just for servers but all pcs/laptops. I'd advise against it for your main server components. Not because they will give you headaches (because they can but people also run into headaches with all new parts, etc) or because it will be much hotter and noisier (your server is going to put off some heat and noise, most can be run fine in a large basement and at the same time nearly none
can be ran in a closed cupboard or closet without modifying ventilation)
Most standard server parts are noisy, not getting around that easily but something that is 4u or a standard case with HDD cages or racks can often make use of quieter 120mm fans (not silent enough to run in a bedroom usually, but pretty good for an office or somewhere ~ about the same noise floor as a running compressor in a fridge)
What you need to understand instead about PERC and Supermicro over a total DIY Norco or ATX super-tower is that the off-lease servers were built for enterprise not home use. Redundant power supplies, 1u flex PSUs a lot of times which come with loud 60 or 80mm fans usually, redundant CPUs, little to no chipset usage, cards for as much as possible (lan, etc) so as not to rely on motherboard chipset in case of failure making repairs easier, etc, etc. The downside of all this redundancy and somewhat easier maintenance (lower downtime if you have spares lying around your IT dept already) is power consumption. Unfortunately improving redundancy and maintainability typically involves departing from power efficiency. Power efficiency in the world of DIY is improved by single reliable PSUs that are well matched to the 20% and 80% of their max rating, using more efficient chipset functions like USB, LAN, and integrated graphics rather than add on cards, running fans a little quieter at less agressive PWM or lower set levels since more time is spent idle and a media server doesn't usually see the type of disk IO as an enterprise server.
There are many reasons why off-lease enterprise servers will use more power. Maybe that matters and maybe not, but here is an example from a guy who's PERC was running over 300W idle **To all media storage server owners...power consumption**
My i7-3770k server with 10 HDDs, an SSD boot drive, and a BD-ROM uses about 60W idle with disks spun down and 90W without disk spindown. DIY can get you a lot better efficiency, whether or not all of our favorite forum members believe that a PERC can even use 380W idle