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I live off the grid, with an office powered only by solar panels. My main work machine currently is a Macbook Pro. For various reasons, I want to ease off it and build a small, extremely energy-efficient desktop workstation. It would be in use about 10 hours during a typical day, with many spikes in resource usage (programming, desktop publishing, Photoshop, but no 3D, so decent on-board graphics might be sufficient).

I may have to take the workstation on travels a couple times a year so it should be compact. There is a specific, very good-looking fanless case that I would like to use that comes in Mini ITX format.

I understand things well enough to make informed energy-efficient choices re CPU, storage, etc., but the choice of mainboard remains a puzzle! Apparently, they all tend to consume 35-50 Watts while idling.

MSI offers the H100M Eco which promises an idle consumption of 16 Watts, but its form factor is Micro ATX!

Any ideas would be welcome.

  • Why not going for an Intel NUC or equivalent (GB Brix, MSI Cubi etc.) ? – Jules R Oct 29 '18 at 10:16
  • @Jules hmm, I have a NUC (one very light on resources) and would have worried they don't quite cut it performance-wise, also apparently the cooling system can be insufficient in higher-powered devices and the processor will slow down quickly. But I'll take another look! – Pekka Oct 29 '18 at 16:24
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    The other brands may do better on this side. However there are dissiaptor on the market for NUCs, might be interesting too. I've seen one at Silverstone. – Jules R Oct 30 '18 at 10:04

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