This morning I upgraded my media server. The server was running on a seven years old motherboard, Gigabyte GA-M61PME-S2P, and an AMD Athlon II X2 245 processor. The hard drive is the oldest, a Western Digital WDC WD800JB-00JJ 80GB hard drive that was released back in 2007. This makes the drive 9 years old! At the time of this update, all systems were nominal and operating without issues. Running Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus), next to my iMac, it was the lowest maintenance box I’ve ever put together.
The real reason for the upgrade is for me to reduce the power footprint of a box that is effectively running 7×24. Even when it was idling, the old components where clocking in at 100+ W of power usage.
I decided to replace the motherboard and cpu with an ASRock AM1H-ITX and a system on a chip AMD Athlon 5350 APU. I was able to get the system down to 55W. I also replaced the old WD800JB with a Seagate BarraCuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB hard drive, along with the existing 4 WD Green EZRX hard drives. A total of 5 traditional mechanical hard drives. Along with new Kingston HyperX Fury Black 8GB memory, this entire upgrade cost less than $220 CAD with taxes included.
I want to shoutout to Clonezilla. What an amazing job they did in creating a super simple piece of software to clone drives and partitions. Of course Linux is just so wonderful to work with. After changing the CPU and Motherboard, the original Ubuntu installation boot up and run without any major issues. The only wrinkle I had was the ethernet port that came with the new motherboard had a new logical name (enp3s0 vs eth0). Luckily, I know how to fix that. My LVM volume assembled without a hitch. Everything is now running fine with the new hardware and configuration.
My next step in the coming months is to shop for a 500GB SSD. Perhaps I can find one during Cyber Monday or Black Friday sales. This should further reduce my power footprint and also increase my performance.