Which PC for Homeseer?

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Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby Art » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:25 am

Hi all,

I've just set my first steps on the Home Automation path and it looks like I'll end up with a mixed bunch of hardware: Plugwise, Visonic, with some Z-wave and other RF stuff thrown in. I suppose that means using Homeseer and RFXcom to tie it all together. I expect Homeseer will run nicely on any reasonably recent hardware or windows version, but it won't be doing so on my Media Center PC as I found out this box draws 120 W idle and so definitely has to go.

I feel the situation calls for a small nettop which I hope would draw between 10 and 20 W. Homeseer requires windows, and I myself would like to run windows ultimate for its combination of media center (for scheduled tv recording) and built-in remote desktop capability (as the system will be living in a closet under the stairs).

I've been looking at the Asus Eee-box and MSI Wind box mini-pc's, but am in no hurry to buy until after we remodel the house in spring.

Any thoughts?

TIA,

Art
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby nico_gh2 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:31 pm

Art,

You could check a few topics at Tweakers.net

MinicPc or HTPC
Asrock ION using below 25W, it says. They are now mostly building ION2 systems I thought.
Zotac Zbox systems also have a modest power requirement.

Most sytems are based on the ION/ION2 or FUSION platform using either an AMD E350 processor or Intel Atom-systems.
Intel i3-25xx processor is also low in idle situations but uses a lot (compared to ION/FUSION) when at work, you do get more power though.
Topics over de “Zotax Zbox”, “Foxcon NT-A3500”, etc.

Topics over de “zuinige server”, “thuisserver”, “aanschaf htpc”, “exsi server”
Especially this last URL has lots of tips and tricks to lower powerconsumption in these three topics.

I'm using a i3-2500 system which draws a 30-40W running WHS2011/mailserver/webserver.
Might install Homeseer and Plugwise in the future probably using a VM but these are now running on an ION-system using 20-25W.
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby DJF3 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:13 pm

I'm using an Asrock Core 100HT. Power consumption is around 25W. I added an SSD drive for the OS (Win 7, 64-bit) and Homeseer runs in a Virtual Machine.
Will upgrade memory from 4GB to 8GB. You never can have enough memory ;-)

If budget would not be a limitation I would get a Mac Mini with SSD drive only and run everything else off the NAS. Power consumption of these boxes is even lower.
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby freakstar » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:35 pm

Fit-PC3?
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby Sooty » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:47 pm

I know others have had good results using virtual machines, but after playing about with various setups trying to run multiple things (namely Homeseer and CCTV) on the same hardware I eventually gave in and I now run Homeseer as a stand alone system on one of these http://www.lex.com.tw/product/CV700C_b.htm. The hardware is almost identical to a Hometroller Pro 100. Operating system is XP Pro and the only moving part is the hard drive. After a few trials with some early SSD's I decided to stick with a mechanical drive. The system is only a 1Ghz processor with 1GB of RAM but it copes easily with my Homeseer setup which consists mainly of Z-Wave, Visonic and Home Easy (KaKu) devices.

I also recently replaced my analogue CCTV system with an entirely IP based setup. I have installed 2 Panasonic i-pro auto tracking PTZ cameras and 2 i-pro fixed dome cameras. I decided to use the Geovision NVR software and installed this on a fanless Atom 525 based system with 4 GB of RAM and two 2.5" SATA hard drives. The system has been running for about 2 weeks now and whilst it was not cheap, I can say that I am very impressed with it. The 525 based system uses a little more power than the Via system at about 22 watts, but it is working a lot harder on the CCTV task than my Homeseer system.

Paul..
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby Digit » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:09 pm

Even quite recent and well performing hardware can give low power usage these days. For example an Intel i3 CPU on a power efficient motherboard, combined with a SSD and powered by a PicoPSU should be able to run idle under 20W.

But keeping the amount of CPU usage to a minimum is just as important though, or in other words: the software you use.
When I look at what my VM's consume in terms of CPU, I see that there's 1 VM that's performing worse than the rest; that's where the Plugwise Source is running, using 10 times more CPU than the 2nd most-CPU-consuming-process on that particular VM. If you have too much of those CPU hungry applications/services running, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal, no matter what hardware you use. It's all in the mix :wink:
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby edek » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:06 pm

I've been using a Fit-PC2 for about a year now, 7W max power consumption or something ridiculously low like that, running win7. No moving parts, I placed a SSD disk in it, and I also ordered the heatsink. It's been hanging in my garage, which can get a little warm in the summer, no problems at all. Enough USB connections, two 1Ghz network cards, wireless, etc.
It's dedicated to just running HS Pro, nothing else. It has no RS485 of course, but I use a USB-RS485 adapter for my Somfy gear.
I would really recommend this device.

Cheers
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby CRaZee » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:40 pm

I have a Shuttle Barebone XS35 with a 60 GB SSD and 2 Gb internal memory running homeseer.
It's fanless, and with the ssd drive it's absolutely quiet.
Powerconsumption is about 13W.
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby Jeroen Bartels » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:28 pm

As posted earlier my eeeBox is about to die on me. Looking for a replacement is kinda hard. Tweakers has lots of informatien but is too technical for me.
I'm looking for a quit, energy efficient pc to run homeseer, plugwise source and to use as a media/download server.
More hdd's than one and more than 4USB ports would be nice as I have problems with USB hubs. Current eeebox uses 17 watt's but 25 would be acceptable too.
Any tips or should I just get another eeeBox?
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby Rutger » Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:07 pm

Do you already installed a new system? I'm curious about your choice about the new energy efficient pc.
My home automation blog: https://rutg3r.com
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Re: Which PC for Homeseer?

Postby Art » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:23 am

The remodeling of our home (like all building projects, I suppose) ran wildly over budget and isn't finished even now. The plugwise software is now running on an Asus eee-pc 900 netbook that was surplus at work. It is woefully underpowered and lacking in disk space, only by using nlite and moving the swap file could I free 1GB on the boot ssd. Anyway, it only draws 15,7W or 0,15kWh per day so it satisfies my current fascination: cutting energy usage. Will it run Homeseer? That remains to be seen.
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