I took delivery of a new toy today: it’s an ARM-5 powered development platform known as OpenRD that gives you a 1.2GHz ARM-5 CPU, 512MB RAM, 512MB flash, a MicroSD card slot, internal SATA drive mounting point, eSATA, dual gigabit ethernet, 7 USB ports etc…
I currently have a couple of machines that are on 24/7, doing things such as monitoring UPSs, CCTV, backups and various other menial-yet-essential tasks. I figure that given a little patience, most (if not all) of these functions can be migrated on to this ARM box. Why? Well, it draws approximately one 30th of the power my current always-on machine does. I’ve thought about building a low power machine before, but all reduced power consumption to perhaps 40 or 50 watts. To get it down into single figures makes the savings appreciable, and hence I figured it was worth a pop.
I bought mine from NewIT for just under £200 inc. VAT and delivery. While this is steep compared to a vanilla PC, at least some of this should be offset by the reduced power consumption, plus the smug factor of knowing I’ve reduced my power usage by a deal.
A few photos follow – once I’ve got a stable build mechanism for installing the OS, I’ll post my findings here as well.