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Intel ATOM for a web/mail server?

Posted on 2010-04-06
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I need to build a cheap web and mail server for my home office. Has anyone used the Intel Atom processors to do this?
Which would you recommend? I have seen mobo/cpu combos on newegg for under 80 bucks and am really interested in using this.
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Question by:illhelpu
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by:AnnOminous
ID: 29981989
Even if the premise of a cheap system is valid, you will still be spending money on memory, disk, and PSU that will be underutilized (given the Atom power) for no cost savings.

Use a low end HP or Dell (e.g. Vostro 230) if you really want. You will have better predictability and it won't cost much more.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 29984612
Isn't e-mail important to you?  (It is to most people).  People who have experience have a tendency to recommend you buy a NAME BRAND server.  This is to avoid the inevitable problems of vendors claiming it's not their fault when something doesn't work - I've had this happen - RAID controller in a client's server had issues and the controller manufacturer blamed the disk manufacturer and the disk manufacturer said their disks were fine... so who do you blame while your server sits there offline?  Isn't it great, at least you save 15%.
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by:illhelpu
ID: 30028816
AnnOminous: I have spare parts that I would like to use.


leew: I didn't ask if I should buy a name brand server. I asked if you have experience with the Atom processor.

I hate to be rude but I asked a simple question and you're telling me to buy a Dell. If you don't have experience using an Atom please don't reply to this.
I just want testimony from someone who has used an Atom.

Thanks.
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by:AnnOminous
ID: 30030008
My personal experience with an Atom processor is that it was much slower than I expected. In terms of price/performance, *any* core 2 duo will wipe the floor with it.

In terms of reliability, a name brand built system (even the cheapest) will probably be better.

That said, it should 'work' in the sense that there is no reason why it won't run the software required for email and web. it will just won't be at the low end of the price/performance chart and may be less reliable.

Realistically, it will probably still run faster than a typical Internet connection.
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by:Hilal1924
ID: 30030149
" I seriously think this is a JOKE " !!!

:):)

Hilal
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by:AnnOminous
ID: 30030434
It may sound like a joke, but I've seen Windows 2003 running on an old Optiplex GX1 with a P3/500.

Sometimes, you make do with what you have. But I wouldn't buy a CPU+MB to do it except as an educational experience.
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by:illhelpu
ID: 30030559
AnnOminous: What did you use it for when you had experience with it?
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by:AnnOminous
ID: 30032651
Desktop expected to act as a thin client, but with the possibility of using it as a desktop. The performance is on par with a netbook, and noticeably slower than any core 2 duo.

If you don't have to interact with a GUI, it might be fast enough, but it's still a poor price/performance choice.
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by:illhelpu
ID: 30033080
ok thanks.

Which atom was it by the way?
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by:AnnOminous
ID: 30033936
Optiplex 160 single core

Here is an old review, but the comparative analysis still stands.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-atom-efficiency,2069.html
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by:illhelpu
ID: 30037552
I've been looking at the D510 that is dual core and supports ht.
I read a few reviews about the 330 dual core and there are people doing what I want even with that one. Here's one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813153135
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by:illhelpu
ID: 30037767
Here is another and they are using it as a WHS, a media server, and a NAS...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128436
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by:AnnOminous
ID: 30037916
The Optiplex 160 dual core used the 330. Since most of my testing was single threaded, I assumed I would see similar performance with the 330.

I also used a Mini 10 (with external KVM) and found it wanting.

Still, if you aren't going to use a GUI, it will be enough to work. It's just just I wouldn't buy new hardware to create an underpowered, less efficient (yes, in terms of work/power used) system.

Now if I was making a webserver farm and had these in blades, I might change my mind.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 30039140
YES, I have experience with an Atom processor - I don't recall the exact model, but it was a hyper-threaded, dual core 64 bit capable Atom I got about 9 months ago.  And it's performance DESPITE all the logical processors, was AWFUL.  So I think you're being incredibly unwise because you you're considering using an under-powered CPU on a motherboard that likely maxes out at 2 GB (not sufficient to run Exchange - since that requires 4 GB) and web sites off it.  Not only that, but you're being cheap in that you think your saving money on something that frankly, every experienced consultant I know would call horribly unwise just to save a few dollars - and I mean a FEW.  

I wish you and your clients good luck - you clearly need it.
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by:Hilal1924
ID: 30040928
An Atom Processor was talking to an i7 Processor:

Atom Proc (Boasting): I can run all the porn in the world !!
Core i7 Proc (Annoyed): If you don't run away people will get to see "Real Computer Porn"

Ha ha ha

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by:illhelpu
ID: 30041425
Who said exchange? I need an extremely small mail server that can process mail for myself and a low usage web site. I don't want to spend 300+ on that if I can buy a 100 buck board/processor and use parts I already have. The low power consumption is also a plus.

I asked if anyone has used these processors for this and you told me to buy a dell. That is not what I asked. I never said this was for my clients. And if you have used this then you have went down the same road I have, except that you bought yours and I am asking around before I foolishly waste money on it.

I understand that you are trying to get your points for the month but if you can't actually answer the question then don't make an attempt. Your answer would have been sufficient if you said yes, you have experience, stated what application it was and then gave your results and then recommended a dell or hp.
What you did was told me to buy a dell which was what any other troll could have told me. I don't need your good luck wishes or your sarcasm either. You failed to give me a good answer and tried to talk down to me.  Trolling shouldn't be tolerated on this site.




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Hilal1924 earned 2000 total points
ID: 30041972
illhelpu, I will help you.

I think you can use Postfix on top of a ubuntu Distro. It will work fine. Since this is an Exchange zone everyone thought you were asking about Exchange on Atom machine which is very rare around here. Anyway you can also use a web client to fetch mail from Postfix Server.

This one is real cool :

http://www.tummy.com/Products/vpostmaster/

It is free. It uses Postifx and you have a nice web mail client with it.

Peace and Sorry for being Sarcastic.

Hilal
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 30042774
@illhelpu

First, REVIEW MY COMMENTS - I NEVER SAID DELL - please post the comment where I did say Dell.

Second, I said exchange because YOU put this in the EXCHANGE ZONE!  

Third, look at my profile - points for the month... are you kidding me?  That's the best laugh I've had all day.

Forth, I can get a CPU and motherboard combo for just over $100 from Newegg, Micro Center, or Fry's online.  So I don't know where you're getting this $300 figure.

Fifth, when I bought my atom processor combo, I strongly suspected it's performance wouldn't be sufficient - but I don't - to use YOUR words, foolishly buy something - I had other uses and it's doing great as a router right now.
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by:illhelpu
ID: 30042807
Hilal1924: thanks for the tip. I didn't realize that I put this in the Exchange zone, my bad on that one.
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by:Hilal1924
ID: 30042941
So Do I get the points :)

And I have the Highest points (In Exchange Zone) for the week ..But more would not hurt :)

Peace and Love All,

Hilal
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 30043301
So, now that we know this is not for exchange, I would say the Atom processor is just fine for BASIC Mail and Web server.

If this is to play with, great, go for it.

Now, if this is for production AND you expect to generate business off it, then you are being as the saying goes, penny wise and pound foolish.  Building your own system, as I've discussed before, is a problem waiting to happen - you should be purchasing a NAME BRAND (NOT NECESSARILY DELL) system for such a purpose.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:illhelpu
ID: 31711673
Hilal1924, thanks for the straight forward answer.
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by:Hilal1924
ID: 30043360
Yea Lee Steal my thunder :)
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by:illhelpu
ID: 30043384
lol..Thanks leew
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 30043509
Ah, so I guess this shouldn't have been in the IIS zone either?  In the future, if you wish to get good answers QUICKLY, I suggest you try to pay closer attention to the zones you put something in.  That clearly caused us a lot of confusion.
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by:Hilal1924
ID: 30043547
Suddenly this question has turned awesome. It was all miscommunication  and I believe nobody had any  bad intentions. Let's all Forgive and Forget. Thanks for the rating bro.

Hilal
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