I’ve recently got to setup up a Shuttle XH61V for a friend. I’ve read a few posts about how they make good VMware ESXi hosts for those power conscious folk running home labs. I figured this would be a good time to see just how power hungry, or not, one of these boxes is and how well ESXi runs.

The box would end up with an Intel i3-2120 processor, 16GB RAM (2 * Crucial CT102464BF1339) and 126GB Crucial mSATA SSD (CT128M4SSD3). Quite a beefy XBMC media centre PC build from a selection of new bits and pre-owned bits! Anyhoo, while putting the components together I took some power readings along the way:


Description Power (VA) Power (W)
Power supply alone, i.e. without computer attached 20VA 2W
Power supply with bare case off 20VA 2W
Power supply with bare case on (turned on but obviously doing nothing) 24VA 3W
PSU + case + 2*8GB DIMMs (turned on but obviously doing nothing) 24VA 3W
PSU + case + CPU + 2*8GB DIMMs (idling at BIOS) 46VA 37W
PSU + case + CPU + 2*8GB DIMMs + SSD (idling at BIOS) 46VA 37W
PSU + case + CPU + 2*8GB DIMMs + SSD (switched off) 24VA 3W
Installing ESXi 32VA – 46VA
ESXi with no VMs (High Performance power option) 40VA
ESXi with no VMs (Balanced power option) 32VA 21W
ESXi with no VMs (Low power option) 32VA 21W
ESXi with three busy VMs (Balanced power option) 64VA
Windows 7 x64 SP1 idle (balanced, low, high power options) 32VA 21W
Windows 7 x64 SP1 put into sleep mode 28VA 3W


So, not too shabby when it idles. I will be interested in seeing what power a 22nm 3rd or 4th generation processor would consume while idling. It seems that this i3-2120 CPU idles at approximately 18W. During a heavy work load, the processor seems to consume approximately 21W extra for a total of roughly 40W – not quite the 65W TDP max Intel quote.

I installed it with the standard ESXi 5.1U1 installation media. No issues, once I found a suitable USB drive to USB boot from! Both onboard NICs were seen and the mSATA SSD was recognised too.

Note: It seems the included Realtek 8186 has reliability issues under VMware ESXi 5.1. The odd thing is that when I first installed ESXi 5.1 it worked fine and I was able to use to successfully. However, once I rebooted a couple of times, the NIC does not really work. It manages to get a DHCP IP address and is pingable for about 30 seconds before it drops off the network. No log entries on the host or the switch indicate the cause. Very curious!

2 thoughts on “Shuttle XH61V power consumption

  1. Hi Mike, did you manage to overcome your NIC issues? I’m about to buy one of theses boxes, I don’t know yet if I will use esxi or a standard linux distro.

    • Hi,

      Unfortunately, I don’t still have access to it as I was setting it up for someone else. I did not try and install any other drivers for it though. I’ve seem a number of people report success using the Shuttles with ESXi – but for me the NIC just was not reliable. I will try and pop round and see if I can borrow the box for a few minutes and test with ESXi 5.5.



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