Last weekend I had just received all the parts to complete what I felt was a pretty exiting build. With the primary goal of low power consumption and secondary goal of fits-in-my-house, I chose MSI’s new “Nettop” barebone:

MSI Wind Nettop 100

  • Intel Atom 330 (Dual-core with Hyperthreading!)
  • Small Form Factor (11.8” x 9.5” x 2.6”)
  • Low Power Consumption (31 Watts idle, according to my Kill-A-Watt)

Okay, so now for some pictures:


Here we see that the machine is quite an exercise in minimalism.


Rather than waste what few bay expansion options I had, I opted to install this SATA hot-swap bay in place of a seldom-used CD drive for future storage/backup needs!


Here is a shot of the front of the "mini-server" after the SATA bay was installed. Note the presence of the multi-card reader...

MSI “Net_server_” Final Specs

  • CPU: Intel Atom 330 Dual-core @ 1.6GHz with HTT
    • This processor appears as four logical cores to the OS which could come in handy for dealing with many threads at once (simultaneous background tasks and multiple server requests)
  • Memory: 2GB SODIMM
    • For the stripped down Linux Distro I’m using, this is overkill. But at $19 there was no reason not to go for max capacity!
  • Storage: 74GB Raptor 10,000 RPM
    • A trusty old standby from a previous PC build, rated at twice the lifetime of standard hard drives and for continuous operation, this is server-grade stuff.
  • Network: Gigabit Ethernet


So far, I’ve been quite pleased with how the build went—there were a couple of snags when I set out to install the OS from a USB stick, my advice: just plunk down the cash for an external CD drive and save yourself the grief.

Low Power Consumption, Kills 66% Fewer Baby Seals!

Operating between 30-40 watts, the Nettop platform sucks far less electricity from the wall than my daily PC (which idles at around 150 watts!), the Intel Atom has some serious “green” cred. (sorry Brian, I couldn’t avoid using the preppy word ). Not to mention, stands to take a chunk out of monthly power bill.