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I set up FreeNAS on an Asus P5B (Basic) with a Pentium D 3ghz processor (may be overkill, but it is a spare machine). The CPU usually runs around 750mhz-1500mhz. I am aiming for a quiet machine so the only fan is on the CPU's Heatsink and the power supply. The hard drives and cpu heatsink remain cool to the touch, but the Northbridge's heatsink and the area around the power supply are very warm to the touch, bordering on hot.

I am not sure if too much can be done for the power supply, but for the North bridge, are there any settings I can change in the BIOS (or even FreeNAS) which will help that run cooler?

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Try reducing the FSB from the stock 200MHz to less than 100MHz while keeping the multiplyer at x15, which should be enough for NAS.

Why do you care about the heat from the machine? If it's stable under stress you should leave it like that IMO.

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Heat makes me think there is excess power being used. I'd like the machine to consume the smallest amount of power which it needs to function properly. –  Bob May 27 '09 at 13:48
    
underclockinf will certainly reduce energy usage. You can also consider removing second DIMM (hey, it's just a nas...), switching to Celeron cpu (your p4-D is considered to be VERY power hungry), or get a more efficeient PSU. In any case remember that heat is natural and some machines will cause you burn if you'd get intimate with their heatsinks –  Dani May 27 '09 at 15:17
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I am actually considering an E5200 or Celeron 430 Conroe-L. They seem to be the most energy efficient. I just happened to have an extra P4-D so I used that. I am trying to build the machine from spare parts. –  Bob May 27 '09 at 15:23
    
I actually ruled the Celeron 430 out because it doesn't support Speed Stepping. –  Bob May 27 '09 at 15:25

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