So many of you will remember this board I posted about a year ago, and that I have wanted to grab one to test out in my environment to see if it is something I could use to replace my hoss daddies that suck up power. Well I have finally got one. About five months ago. Meant to write something about it but have been busy. As always.
So what have I been using the board for? Well I tried out FreeNAS on it first with my hand-full of 500gb HDD that I had laying around doing nothing. It works great, but since I dont have any ECC memory or any other big drives that would make this setup more useful, I decided to put it to work as my virtual host box since I want to cut down power consumption in my home lab. I backed up my VMs from my old AMD FX-8320 build (350 watts, yikes!) and set them back up on the ASRock board. On my kill-a-watt I have mostly seen only 30 to 40 watts being pulled while at 10% load. The highest I have seen it was at 42 watts at 95% load. So far I have my external and internal web servers, DNS server, Minecraft server, MySQL server, Cassandra server, MSSQL server, Task Scheduler server, a render farm box, development test server, the SpiderBot scraper, and a reverse proxy server. I have many more VMs that I plan to setup soon so I can turn some more computers off but just dont have the equipment yet to do it.
While this has worked great for me, it is not my final use for this board. I plan to put it back into the SAN once I get something better for the virtual host, because I plan to virtualize my PFSense box that is the router for my network (and 10gbe fiber backbone). So while I could do it now and put my x520-da2 fiber card on this board, I wouldnt be able to add anything else PCI-E wise to it due to its one PCI-E slot. And I would really like to add in another gigabit network card to act as the WAN port to the virtual PFSense box and the fiber card as the LAN port, so that the two 1gbe ports can be teamed together. But that is just not possible with this board, so I will be looking at other low powered stuff to do it.
All in all, really great board! I really want to get another one and put it into a Silverstone DS380 NAS case as a tiny network rendering box for my lets plays. But at $400 a pop that wont be until far into the future. Maybe I can score another one on a deal from ebay like I did for my current one at $300. Probably not though.