I have been looking for a good power saving solution for my core and I have been leaning towards the Intel e2180. It looks like a few other people have successfuly used them in there cores. I am also planning on using RAID 1 with only two 1TB drives to save a bit more power if I canít spin the drives down when the core is idle. Has anyone had issues or success with the e2180 and if so what mobo are you using and how many capture cards (i.e. video encode streams) do you have running at one time?
A first step any development team should take when it comes to power consumption is to minimize CPU and disk usage on polling tasks and use hardware to signal events asynchronously. For example, there is no reason why an update task has to run every few mins (or hours even) when we know that most updates are only available once every few days, weeks or months. Why should a task look every so often for updates or even scan the hard drive? Lets learn from systems like TiVo that simply look once a day at 3am when there should be little activity. Then, once the update process completes the disks should return to the state that they where in prior to the update. If all non user tasks where synchronized to run at a specified time when there is low user load and then return to a sleep state we would not have to worry about drives spinning up when there is no needed user or system load.
Also, I completely agree that LMCE should disconnect its media store from its system store to allow for media drives to spin down. However, it seams that there is a simple solution to this problem, use some form of NAS or another low power system to supply data storage and place that system in sleep mode when not in use (assuming that LMCE does not poll the NAS drives). Also has anyone looked into using 2.5 laptop drives in there core instead of the 3.5 inch high speed (10k rpm) power hogs? I know a lot of enterprise server solutions (specify HP servers) are doing that now, not only for power savings but also for space savings; you can fit a lot more 2.5 inch drives in a thin rack mounted server.
As an intermediate solution would it be possible to run the poling tasks and things like the myth scheduler on an external low power system (e.g. Viaís EPIA systems) and simply bring the core out of a standby or hibernate via wake on LAN (or hardwired power up signal) when specific events occur such as a scheduled recording is coming up or based on a household calendar or when a MD comes online?
Note: I have not yet used LMCE (but I will be soon) thus, I have made some assumptions based on what I have read on the Wiki and in the forums in the last few weeks. That is, I have no first hand experience so please feel free to correct me as needed