Truenas low Idle power CPU help

need CPU opinions.
Truenas system with Low Idle power as main goal, all containers and VM’s and such are offloaded.
5x12TB Z1, 2x4TB Mirror, 64GB ECC DDR4, Asrock IMB-X1314. Was using a 12600k but power usage was too high, hence using another LGA1700 chip.

was going to go i3-13100, but $147 feels a bit bad.
saw that the i3-12100 was $121,
and the new i3-14100 is $139,

I’m not sure how the idle wattage varies between generations, or performance for that matter, curious what people think.

To answer the stated question at face value - it depends and idle power draw on modern intel cpus has become suprisingly complicated.

Take a look at hwcooling comparison across AMD+INTEL last four generations (source here

Difference is wide ranging and non-obvious.

More important question is however - given the rest of your planned system, does it even matter?

Potential idle saving from cpu alone will be fraction of idle power consumption of the rest of the system.

Food for thought.


Thats an excellent point. Give the number of drives, fans, and other draws, the differences between i3 models is going to be negligible. Thanks for the reminder to look at the bigger picture.

Here is sample of what can be built on 5+y old hardware + power use:

High efficiency and right-sized psu helps a lot, so does offloading system dataset + apps from hdd pool to sata ssd pool.

That alone lowered average idle power draw from 40W->30W.

Modern setup on lower end xeon-w will likely be power competitive with this fossil.

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Another option would be to disable either turbo or some cores on the 12600k, if you have no other use for the chip. Both should be possible even on a industrial/server board. I bet if you took it down to 2 cores without turbo, you’d still not notice a performance difference from TrueNAS unless you’re doing deduplication or pushing data at really high speed.

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I thought about this, but my dockerhost machine has really been maxed out for some time on its current hardware so the 12600k seemed a better fit there. Definitely will look into disabling turbo though, so far ive been pleased with the asrock industrial BIOS, a lot of options are exposed

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Silly Ol me for thinking when Intel said “Alder lake consumer desktop CPUS are getting ECC support” that they included the I3 consumer desktop CPUs. Needless to say, the i3 12100 is lovely but is going back now.

Even more frustrating is now rather than pay $121 for CPU and cooler, my options are:

$195 for 12500 and have to buy a cooler
$235 for 12600 and still have to buy cooler
$178 for 12600k and have it drink power, and need to buy cooler
Or $244 for 13500 that comes with cooler.

Intel “retail” packaging sellers can eat some dirt and die.

Maybe i go to eBay and pick up a used 12500 instead of new.

Low end intel cpus (i3 and like) from last few generations support ECC if paired with ECC capable motherboards. They have effectively replaced cheap xeon-E3 lineup or cheap parts of xeon-w.

Like combo i3-14100 and w680 based asrockrack W680D4U-2L2T/G5. Prices are substantially higher though. Thats my candidate board, they are bound to be some cheaper ones without all the bells and whistles.

As usual, if you want ECC, you have to pay the price. There are no indications whatsoever that ECC support will be made widely available in consumer sector any time soon or at all. If anyone claims it, I would really like to see their sources.

re: 13500 - are you ready to deal with P/E core scheduling? Lower end cpus are P only or E only, but 13500 has both.

Heterogenous core systems can be messy from ops standpoint, they do not exist in enterprise space yet and docker will not like them or handle them natively.

I have seen reports of unxpected issues with P/E + docker host before. Be ready to encounter extra juicy problems.

from what I can tell from online (isnt much, very few articles) and Intel ARK, the 12100 doesn’t support ECC… even in my Asrock IMB-X1314 W680 board. I would love to be wrong on this, I guess I can boot up truenas and see what It says, is there somewhere it validates ECC? i know it shows ECC on the main info page, but more in depth info would be nice

Update: Truenas Scale dashboard no longer shows ECC, so it seems to not be working with the 12100, was present with 12600k prior

12600K for $170
12500 for $196

Neither come with cooler. Is there any reason not to buy 12600k, disables turbo/boost, drop PL1 & PL2 until wattage resembles 12500?

That’s a completely valid approach, IMO. Even my 12900K idles very low (as little as ~10W with only a single NVME attached)–it’s only when it boosts that the power goes through the roof.

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Also, while it is annoying that the 12600K doesn’t come with a cooler, even a ~$20 Thermalright HS/F will do an admirable job keeping it cool, especially if you’re tuning the power levels down.

It looks like the Asrock X1314 doesn’t have PL1/2 controls in BIOS unfortunately, I might be able to get by just disabling turbo altogether, since 90% of the time its going to be idling anyway.

An going with Noctua NH-L9i, slightly more expensive but my homelab is currently silent and i like it that way