Running old cpu vs buying lower powered, would it save me much?



  • I've been interested in building my own router for a while but I'm just getting round to it now.

    I'm wondering if I should just use my old equipment that's gathering dust (it's total overkill)  or should I invest in some equipment that may save me money in the long run?

    My old equipment is:

    I7 940 @ 2.66 ghz
    Asus p6t deluxe  mobo
    12gb of corsair ram  (tri channel) 
    3 x 320gb velociraptors
    Seasonic 800w psu

    I have an old gpu but assume once I have pfsense up and running I could just remove it (i hope?)  my old gpu is a 280 gtx and is a power eater. If not I'd have to buy a $20 gpu to save power.

    Anyway,  looking at estimations,  based on about 10 cents per kw/h. My old devices would run at about 90w,  that's with a CPU load of 50% (and i7 @2.66ghz isn't' going to even use 50% right?).  So 90w runs at about 22 cents per day and $80 per year.

    This $80 would obviously multiply each year,  so I'm wondering if it would be better to invest in an atom based,  low power motherboard/cpu such as the asrock c2550d4i?

    I run that in my Freenas server and it consumes something like >50w,  so even if it were running at full tilt I'm looking at around $40 per year.

    Anyway,  just wanted some advice..  Not sure how much Intels speed stepping and stuff would ramp down my old 940 and if the savings would be negligible.

    Part of me wants to save money and use all my old Stuff,  part of me wants to buy new gear.

    At the end of the day which ever saves me money in the longer run would be better.



  • Cut your teeth on your current gear. Ditch some of the memory, you don't need 12GB. Only use one drive and preferably not one of the velociraptors. If there's a computer shop around you see if they have an old used parts bin and pick up a cheap PCI video card so you can get video output instead of your power hungry video card.

    One thing you haven't mentioned is your internet speed. How fast is it? Do you plan on running any packages such as snort?

    I ran my old P4 rig until it died recently and am currently running my old Core2 duo rig. It's not the best option but it didn't cost me anything and it works. If this dies I'll look at a low power solution to replace it but for the time being I kind of get a kick out of making use of obsolete hardware.



  • @Jailer:

    Cut your teeth on your current gear. Ditch some of the memory, you don't need 12GB. Only use one drive and preferably not one of the velociraptors. If there's a computer shop around you see if they have an old used parts bin and pick up a cheap PCI video card so you can get video output instead of your power hungry video card.

    One thing you haven't mentioned is your internet speed. How fast is it? Do you plan on running any packages such as snort?

    I ran my old P4 rig until it died recently and am currently running my old Core2 duo rig. It's not the best option but it didn't cost me anything and it works. If this dies I'll look at a low power solution to replace it but for the time being I kind of get a kick out of making use of obsolete hardware.

    Thanks for the response.  My current Internet speed is 150 mbps down,  15 up and I do plan on running snort.

    I think I may have an old ssd laying around but maybe hit my local repair shop to see if they have old gpu and hard drive for cheap.

    Only thing my old cpu is lacking is AES-NI but maybe I should just play around with this old hardware then maybe in a few years if/when I upgrade my Freenas I'll use the c2550d4i for pfsense.



  • @MrHands:

    Only thing my old cpu is lacking is AES-NI

    Unless you plan on connecting through a VPN it's a non issue. You hardware would likely be strong enough to not need it even if you did.

    Good luck!


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    " My old devices would run at about 90w,"

    You know this how?  Did you put a killawatt meter on it?  I highly doubt your going to be running anywhere near 50% cpu.  As suggested ditch the HDD and put in some ssd and to be honest you don't really even need a video card once you have it setup ;)  So any cheap as possible video card that gives you a picture for setup would all you would need.

    Keep in mind if all your talking about is a few watts, say under 50.. And you go to some lower power lets call it some lower power device say 10watts.  Your saving 40watts - how long until you get your money back on that purchase?  Prob time to update the hardware by then ;)

    I agree cut your teeth on what you have.. Once your happy with what its doing and have some experience with it.  Sure if you want to shave off a few watts, then build/buy something.  Or wait until your diy box from spare parts dies and then invest the money, etc.  I think this gives you best bang for your buck..  IT hardware only really comes down in price for faster anyway ;)  So even using what you have for 6 months and then purchase vs the cost diff you pay in elec you will prob be a cost savings in the long run.

    Unless what you want is a new toy and your just trying to justify the purchase ;) hehehe



  • @MrHands:

    I've been interested in building my own router for a while but I'm just getting round to it now.

    I'm wondering if I should just use my old equipment that's gathering dust (it's total overkill)  or should I invest in some equipment that may save me money in the long run?

    My old equipment is:

    I7 940 @ 2.66 ghz
    Asus p6t deluxe  mobo
    12gb of corsair ram  (tri channel) 
    3 x 320gb velociraptors
    Seasonic 800w psu

    To put it in perspective, I have been running this device at the office for several years without major issue.
    All I added was 2GB ram I pulled from a laptop and a USB flash drive that I boot pfsense from.



  • get a 6 core xeon @ s1366 off ebay

    less power and aes-ni for vpn

    add an ebay dual intel lan card as well


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