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How Much Does Your PC Cost To Run?

Posted on 6th Nov 2011 at 11:09 by Paul Goodhead with 83 comments

Paul Goodhead
I’ve recently put together a media PC for playing music in my kitchen. It’s just a simple little Intel Atom-based box, but it does all I need for the 40 minutes or so I usually spend cooking or washing up. Its one negative issue is that it takes a little while to boot up and get into Windows Media Centre - a fact that has put my housemate Jack off using it as he doesn’t tend to spend as long in the kitchen as me. By the time it’s booted up and ready to go, he’s nearly ready to turn it off again.

This led to him suggesting that we simply left it in Sleep mode, rather than turning off the PC when we were done with it, meaning it would boot up in a fraction of the time. This was something I was initially dubious about; most of my childhood was spent being told by my parents that leaving things on standby cost money. Are you using it? No? Well turn it off then. That was how the conversation usually went.

Fortunately, a lot of advice that parents give kids isn't true (my eyes still aren’t square from sitting to close to the TV), so I thought it was worth looking into just how much power the PC would consume if we left it on standby between uses. To this end I borrowed a power monitor from the labs and set off home to see just how much juice my little media PC drank.

How Much Does Your PC Cost To Run? *How much does your PC cost to run?

Plugging in the monitor and powering up the system showed the entire PC (that’s the box, screen and speakers) to consume around 50W when active and only 5W when in standby. The screen was also found to be a major energy draw; turning it off while the PC was playing music dropped the power consumption down to 29W.

What does this actually mean, though? Is this a lot? How much would it cost to keep the PC in standby? Is this media PC going to bankrupt me? To find out, I had to look up how much we were paying for electricity and convert my Wattage readings into the Kilowatt hour units that form the basis of charging for energy in the UK.

Doing this required some simple maths, which essentially runs like this:

How Much Does Your PC Cost To Run? *How much does your PC cost to run?

Assuming a worst case scenario of the PC being left in standby for every hour of every day in a month, and using the standard dual fuel, quarterly billing electricity tariff for central London from Southern Electric - the equation then becomes this:

How Much Does Your PC Cost To Run? *How much does your PC cost to run?

Following the equation through to its natural conclusion gave us a frankly laughable figure of 41p. That's 41p to keep my media PC in sleep mode for an entire month. You can’t even buy a chocolate bar for 41p these days. It wasn't quite the huge power drain that I’d imagined then, and the cost was well within our household budget.

With the media PC examined we naturally started wondering what other electrical items cost to run. We were amazed to find that the kettle consumed 2,250W when turned on - a prodigious amount compared to the media PC. Given that it’s only in use for a short while though, its energy cost is relatively minor. Allowing for the kettle to be boiled 41 times a week (5 per weekday, 16 times over the weekend) and allowing 1 minute per boil still works out as a measly cost of 74p per month.

More interesting possibly was my main gaming rig. This consumed 355W when both its CPU and GPU were under maximum load (again, this is a worst case scenario; few games are likely to do this). Allowing for 20 hours of gaming a week (two hours a night in the week, and five hours a day at the weekend) this equates to £3.43 a month, or roughly £10.29 per quarterly bill or £41.16 a year.

In truth, I was surprised by how little energy everything consumed, especially given the size of our normal bill. There are, of course electric devices in the house, such as the immersion heater and oven, which we simply can’t gauge with our equipment, no matter how interesting it would be to do so. Have any of you done anything similar at your own home? Have you identified the single biggest power drain in your house? Let us know your thoughts in the comments thread below.

83 Comments

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javaman 6th November 2011, 11:25 Quote
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
RedFlames 6th November 2011, 11:35 Quote
For the long boot times, you tried hybrid sleep/hibernate? my pc goes from off the the logon screen in seconds [and that's without an SSD], can't say how much if any leccy it uses when 'sleeping' though [though it is most definitely 'off', no fans spinning etc.]
DriftCarl 6th November 2011, 11:35 Quote
I am with eon and every month I check the site as they have an energy tracker. Over the last 2 years I have managed to cut my electricity usage each month(compared to the same month on the previous 2 years)
I am a big gamer and I probably play games more than 20 hours a week :D. But I dont have a TV, hifi or console so all my entertainment is via my PC.
You can get cheap(sometimes free) energy readers that plug directly into your electricity meter, the energy company will do this for you. You will get a wireless panel in your home and this will tell you exactly how much energy you are using for your oven and immersion heater(if both electric).
I pay £46 a month for my electricity over the year, still trying to find ways to save though :p
daverobson08 6th November 2011, 11:36 Quote
This may be a stupid question, but did your main gaming rig consume more power than your HTPC did whilst in Sleep mode?
sandys 6th November 2011, 11:38 Quote
Did similar when the missus complained about the large electricity bills, discovered that yes the PC used a lot when in use, it pulled 1kW from the socket when in use. Switched out the 60% efficient PSU for one that was about 88%, quite a drop, the moved to more efficient CPU/GPU setup eventually but as I didn't use the machine much it wasn't the main contributor.

Testing household equipment we discovered that the fancy uplighters the missus bought would burn a consistent 700w and in the winter they could be on 10 hours a day, switch them out for some energy savers, they burn a more reasonable 40w when both are on.
tonyd223 6th November 2011, 11:49 Quote
I use a phone and an external speaker...
Jehla 6th November 2011, 12:16 Quote
This is something I've wanted to do for a while, just put off by the price of the meters, my curiosity is not worth that much!

I'm really looking forward to the possibility of an ARM powered windows file/document/itunes server.
feathers 6th November 2011, 12:19 Quote
I have a friend in Netherlands who told me his electricity bill came to 500 pounds. He couldn't understand why so expensive as he only had a laptop and little else in the house that would use much power. I questioned him for some time, going through each item in the house. Then we got to his coffee maker... He said it was a Bosch and told me the model number. I looked online and it used 1200 watts and he left it running all day.

I have a philips senseo which produces the fluffy coffee. I switch it off as soon as the coffee is done (takes less than 2 mins).

My dutch friend will never again leave his coffee maker running.

My PC was based on i7 860, 8gb ram, 2 x 560Ti GPU, several hard disks and used 140 watts+ idle when overclocked and 200w+ if the cpu was doing stuff (again while overclocked to 4ghz), if I ran a game in SLI like crysis 2 then the power consumption was between 350 and 520 watts. SLI is very efficient in idle but when u have a DX11 game with both GPU at full load then expect 520 watts.

I will be changing mobo and cpu + ram soon. X79??
Arkanrais 6th November 2011, 12:28 Quote
I really should check my PC setups power usage.
My graphics card and CPU don't clock down (OC'd CPU doesn't adjust multiplier and 2 monitors stop the GPU clocking), and my monitors stay on all the time. One of the monitors is a 40" led TV and a dell 20" LCD. Audio comes through a home theatre amp, floor standing front speakers, 100w sub and some average looking surround/centre speakers.

I'd love a small media pc on an itx board to play all my music/movies from to cut back on power consumption, but I dont have the cash for it. That and my desktop is pretty damn loud when I'm trying to sleep.
ZeDestructor 6th November 2011, 12:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehla
This is something I've wanted to do for a while, just put off by the price of the meters, my curiosity is not worth that much!

I'm really looking forward to the possibility of an ARM powered windows file/document/itunes server.

The base boards are there, but no SATA or PCI-E ports means its not viable yet. They make good media PCs though thanks to ethernet and 1080p over HDMI... (Google ARM developer kits for more info)

The main power hog in my flat (in Australia for studies) is the immersion heater. Wish it were an instant gas or solar heater so much...

Hilarious fact: My usage on my laptop (30-150W power draw from mains) and my P4 filesever (well over 130W) are pretty epic powerhogs back home. Since I left, my parents have informed me that power bills have been halved. Most likely this is 2 computers less, no baking done and a solar heater so non need for an immersion heater. We have an instant electric heater as a boost for the winter, but that's not much over the hour its used daily vs my computers. I'm building an Atom NAS/fileserver when I get back... Damn P4 is too hungry...

tl;dr: computers take up a lot of power if they're accountable for 1/4-1/3 of your electric consumption with tiered pricing...
amdavies 6th November 2011, 12:42 Quote
The are (about) 8760 Hours in a year so drawing 1W at the wall constantly uses 8760Wh or 8.76KWh over the course of a year. Working out your price per unit (KWh) you can then work out the cost of drawing 1W from the wall constantly over a year (Price per unit (KWh) * 8.76)

A quick and dirty method of figuring out the cost of electricity for something is: Watts per year = £ per year. So if your machine draws 100W at the wall then it'll cost (very) roughly £100 per year to run if left on all day and every day.
So for every hour a day that the machine is drawing 100W, it''ll cost you (VERY roughy) £4 per year. It'll work out to be more during the day when peak power cost is in effect and less during the night when it's cheaper.
Zinfandel 6th November 2011, 12:58 Quote
You're charged different rates for the first x amount of kwh per year (which will be divided and apportioned over each individual billing period)

Say you have 94 days in your billing period, the first 232 (Tariff depending) units used in the house would be at say, 24 pence per unit and thus it will actually cost slightly more to run that as calculated here, but useful information none the less.

Sorry for the pedantry, four years of working at EON makes it thus.
Zinfandel 6th November 2011, 12:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by amdavies
The are (about) 8760 Hours in a year so drawing 1W at the wall constantly uses 8760Wh or 8.76KWh over the course of a year. Working out your price per unit (KWh) you can then work out the cost of drawing 1W from the wall constantly over a year (Price per unit (KWh) * 8.76)

A quick and dirty method of figuring out the cost of electricity for something is: Watts per year = £ per year. So if your machine draws 100W at the wall then it'll cost (very) roughly £100 per year to run if left on all day and every day.
So for every hour a day that the machine is drawing 100W, it''ll cost you (VERY roughy) £4 per year. It'll work out to be more during the day when peak power cost is in effect and less during the night when it's cheaper.

It's only cheaper at night if you're on Economy 7 (or some god forsaken random weirdo tariff installed in the midlands in the 70s)
faugusztin 6th November 2011, 13:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
Hilarious fact: My usage on my laptop (30-150W power draw from mains) and my P4 filesever (well over 130W) are pretty epic powerhogs back home. Damn P4 is too hungry...

Considering my 24/7 server running i5-2500K & 10 hard drives & DVB-C card uses about 100W in idle when all drives are running and 65W with all hard drives in sleep - yes, your P4 a power hog.
mrbens 6th November 2011, 13:31 Quote
Informative article. I'm going to get myself a power monitor :)
runadumb 6th November 2011, 13:38 Quote
I honestly don't want to know what my 3 displays and 2x570GTX's use when gaming. I'm sure its a shocking amount each year :/
Blackshark 6th November 2011, 14:18 Quote
I worked for the largest energy supplier in the UK, for 14 years. Unless you have servers farming bit coins or finding genes or molecules to save person kind, the electricity used by your light bulbs and computer(s) are extremely unlikely to make up more than 20% of your total bill.

Those of you with immersion heaters, turn it down a few degrees and you will save more than any amount of gaming or adding a second or even third AMD card! He he he, yes possibly NVidia as well


The big push on energy efficiency you have been hearing about is all down to Europe agreeing on behalf of its people to cut energy usage. Yes, some will say every little helps, but it rarely does. Thats not to say we should become like americans, but 'replacing' a computers components with energy efficient harddisc, memory, processor, if you work out the cost to the environment in terms of the cost of manufacture (environmental cost), it is hardly ever better for the world to replace.

It is however wonderful for the government, which ever colour it is, to say look what we are doing. It is also just the BEST for your energy companies. They have to help customers reduce energy usage, by law now. The easy way to do this, buy some super cheap made in China 'energy saving bulbs' and send them to your customers. Thats what most of the companies did last year. They were shocking quality and again, if you factor in the cost to the planet to manufacture and get them to the UK, it was a crass and useless exercise. But my company and others are under a legal obligation and it was the cheapest way.

Now they could have taken the bottom 10% of customers homes and installed free cavity wall insulation, double glazing. But no, much simpler to stick a few bulbs in the post!


Anyway, I am glad that this article highlights how crazy all this low power ram rubbish and the like really is.
Ross1 6th November 2011, 14:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
Hilarious fact: My usage on my laptop (30-150W power draw from mains) and my P4 filesever (well over 130W) are pretty epic powerhogs back home. Damn P4 is too hungry...

Considering my 24/7 server running i5-2500K & 10 hard drives & DVB-C card uses about 100W in idle when all drives are running and 65W with all hard drives in sleep - yes, your P4 a power hog.

I have a very similar setup to you (i5-2500K, 12 hard drives, dvb-t2 card, HD5850), and yeah, it idles at 125W or so. Ive been doing a fair bit of encoding recently and that really ramps up the power usage.

The monitor also uses about 80W when its on, and my amp/speakers average about 20W during use. Its a fair bit in total, but I try not to use a huge amount of other things (wrapping up instead of going straight for the heating, only washing things that needs washing (and waiting for a full load) + we dont have a tumbledryer, try and keep my shower short...
Ripitup121 6th November 2011, 14:38 Quote
Picked up one of those plug in energy meters from aldi for about 10 euro (bout £8) a few months ago to measure power draw from my main rig. Bout 500w on full load.

Dunno of the Aldi ones are super accurate but cant be too far off. worth checking out.
pingu666 6th November 2011, 14:48 Quote
you should of checked vamparic power draw. when i compaired s3 sleep to off the difference was 2watts or less :o

you can get some extension leads which turn stuff on and off based off a master socket, so itll kill the power to devices like printers when the computer is off :)
John_T 6th November 2011, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
...electricity tariff for central London from Southern Electric [=12.07p per KWH]

Blimey that's cheap! I'm not in central London any more so I can't get that, but I still thought I was on a really good deal with Atlantic Electric, Economy 7:

Standard Day: 20.20p
Discounted Day: 14.52p

Need to have a look around I think...

Anyway, I did this myself a while back as I was thinking of building a web-surfing / emailing / basic PC to save money, (mine idles at about 135W) - turned out to not be cost effective, and as Blackshark said, it's hardly environmentally friendly buying loads of new stuff for the sake of it. (And I have a drawer full of those unwanted energy saving bulbs as well - I already had some fitted, what a waste!).

The biggest thing for burning electricity in my house is my 18 year old, (but still perfect condition) fridge freezer - which I think is costing me about £15-20 a month. I may have to replace that pretty soon, I should do the maths on it, though I hate getting rid of things that still work - I still have a perfectly serviceable CRT TV...
Material 6th November 2011, 15:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by daverobson08
This may be a stupid question, but did your main gaming rig consume more power than your HTPC did whilst in Sleep mode?

Didn't know so had a look. The main gaming rig consumes 8W when in sleep mode, so not too far off.
x5pilot 6th November 2011, 15:31 Quote
as put my housemate Jack off using it...

"Jack off" lol!!
MrWillyWonka 6th November 2011, 15:46 Quote
Faults in electricals can waste electricity. My parent's in law use around 1200W when nothing is being used (i.e. when everybody is out) and the bill is stupidly high. It was only this morning when turning on the oven caused the circuit breaker to cut out power (and did so every time) that we turned off the oven by the mains that the Watt monitor said we were using 450W.

Turned out that for 6 years the faulty oven was using about 750W an hour on "idle"... Ouch

So, get a Watt monitor and check out your electricity usage, incredibly useful and makes you aware of what you use.
LennyRhys 6th November 2011, 16:01 Quote
I remember discussing this on another forum (based in the US) and it was a really interesting discussion.

Based on a hypothetical cost of 15 pence per kwh and roughly 8 hours per day drawing 250W (includes 1 monitor), my PC costs under £10 per month. ;)

If anybody is curious about PC running costs, there's a great "electricity running cost calculator" here.

And the biggest power draw in our house is the heating - we don't have gas central, just electric panel/storage heaters which we use every day (especially in winter). Even so, still paying only £70 per month average for the entire electricity bill each year. Go go scottish hydro :D
fdbh96 6th November 2011, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
I remember discussing this on another forum (based in the US) and it was a really interesting discussion.

Based on a hypothetical cost of 15 pence per kwh and roughly 8 hours per day drawing 250W (includes 1 monitor), my PC costs under £10 per month. ;)

If anybody is curious about PC running costs, there's a great "electricity running cost calculator" here.

And the biggest power draw in our house is the heating - we don't have gas central, just electric panel/storage heaters which we use every day (especially in winter). Even so, still paying only £70 per month average for the entire electricity bill each year. Go go scottish hydro :D

Curiosity sorted ;) 50p a month :)
bulldogjeff 6th November 2011, 16:42 Quote
I'm probably better off not knowing what my rig uses..I just it'll make me cry..
steve30x 6th November 2011, 17:28 Quote
That may be true for your country , but electricity here in Ireland costs three times as much.
law99 6th November 2011, 17:55 Quote
But it works three times as hard
yassarikhan786 6th November 2011, 17:58 Quote
I've not really checked :p.
Farfalho 6th November 2011, 19:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by x5pilot
as put my housemate Jack off using it...

"Jack off" lol!!
I was going to quote that same part, it was hilarious and I can't help thinking another thing.

I have to do the same thing in my house, a 3 stories villa (it's a moradia/vivenda, don't know the word in english for that) and check every device plugged in to the power grid
Wicked_Sludge 6th November 2011, 20:00 Quote
i used to have my atom/ion based file server sleep automatically after an hour of inactivity, but ive discovered i was only saving myself about $0.50 or so a month by doing so. it costs me less than $2 a month to run it 24/7 and now i dont have to wait for it to wake up before i can access my files. it also means my vent and minecraft servers have 100% uptime.
leslie 6th November 2011, 21:29 Quote
Here is the U.S. they keep telling us the cell phone chargers are killing our bills.

Sure.
Granted, yes they are plugged in constantly. Yes, there may be two of them, but get real. If you figure out the actual cost of them staying plugged in, it's almost nothing.


The quick and dirty one watt equals a dollar/pound per year is just that, quick and dirty, but it does work quite well. Even if not very precise, it's still a fast easy way to see if what you are doing is worth doing.

For example, I had a small server running a P4, I had done all I could to it to drop the wattage, and according to my UPS (not accurate I admit) I had it down to about 35 watts idle. I thought I would try and lower that, I did, down to about 25 watts. However, it cost me $200 to do. Only later did I find that I could have run the old one for years for that much. Granted this is idle, off idle, the new system is faster and half the wattage of the old one. So while it could be said that it will take a while to recover, when you account for the increased abilities and speeds, I think it was worth doing. Especially when I sell off the old one for half the new one's cost.



Oh, and to those considering similar, research first.
Atoms are NOT always the best answer and they are not as efficient as people think. Look into idle wattage of more powerful processors before you go buy an Atom. An I3 may seem to use more power until you look at idle wattage and also consider how much faster it will process information. The same applies to P4's and the old Core series. You might be surprised at what you find.

More importantly, look at your drives. Drives use a LOT of power, especially older ones. A few drives can easily take a few dozen watts, while a new lower power 2Tb may only use 15-20. It's silly to go buy an Atom then throw a bunch of old drives in it. Keeping the processor and replacing those old drives would be a better investment.
tad2008 7th November 2011, 00:49 Quote
@blackshark

Individually each person reducing their energy usage by even a small percentage may not not seem like it achieves much but if everyone does so then that energy usage amount overall is going to make a bigger difference overall.

My main energy usage comes from heating hot water, the oven and heating during the winter months. All my lighting uses energy efficient bulbs and my PC uses high efficiency low energy components and when not in use is switched off completely.

I agree that insulation and other forms of energy conservation can be more productive and no doubt in the long term also more cost effective but surely a big part of this is also about educating people as a whole to their own usage, what the options and costs are what that costs them. Once people tend to realise a little effort and investment can save them money they usually tend to sit up and start to take notice.

There are of course always going to be people out there with more money than sense and I would love to see all the homes in the UK with properly insulated lofts and cavity walls, solar tiles (not eye sore panels) on south facing roofs of the house, shed, garage and even miniaturised wind turbines based on the newer design rather than the 2 or 3 bladed turbines out there.

Just consider how much more people do with recycling now and a lot of councils have made this easier with green bins etc and I have cut my waste down to 25% of what it was and once I get a composter will be able to cut it down further still.
mikewd 7th November 2011, 09:15 Quote
I believe an electric oven is somewhere around 3000 W when it's on, although it's on a thermostat so the element is probably not on continuously. That would be an interesting test.

For some reason it is never advertised with the product.....
faugusztin 7th November 2011, 10:18 Quote
You know, i like people who build a super-low power media PC, and then connect it to a CCFL LCD TV, which eats 200-400W constantly, all the time it is turned on. And then say how inefficient plasma TV's are, which sure, some eat 400-500W while watching ice hockey. But also 80-100W when you are watching a dark movie/horror/night scene in thriller.
kent thomsen 7th November 2011, 12:05 Quote
I´m not really surprised, I did borrow a "cost-meter" six months ago, and came to the same - surprising - result: It´s absolutely nothing to worry about, even with an old/powerful/both PC. That´s not what´s making your electricity bill go berserk. Not at all. Nice to know.
NethLyn 7th November 2011, 13:07 Quote
I did a similar thing when building this current PC of mine. Even though the PC was comparatively low usage, I was surprised to see dear old Steam adding 12w when idle on the desktop, and then another 30w on top when playing a Source engined game. To be fair though, that was nothing compared to Crysis and Cod 4. I balance it out by borrowing a laptop as often as I can, since that's 50W to charge for a couple of hours then nothing to use.

After the kettle and shower which are 2.2Kw but only used in short bursts, and the iron at 1.5Kw peak, Halogen is the big guzzler in my flat, the oven's 1.2Kw, and the heating 800W at a time/400 per bar. So I don't overcook and burn anything because it's costing money as well as wasting food! If the desktop PC uses 10% of the oven, then that's the best I can do until I build an A3850 for just web and streaming stuff.
keith_j_snyder2 7th November 2011, 13:48 Quote
I donno if someone mentioned this before but there is also another way to reduce on that 41p. The HDD Media Players, they consumes very less power & doesn't require much time to boot up & saves space too & the best part is that they come cheap too.
Waynio 7th November 2011, 17:33 Quote
Been meaning to buy a power usage checking device for ages now, very curious to find out what my rig uses over a typical week, I do want to make an ultra low power htpc though for light tasks so it uses around the same as a lamp, would be so cool :).
DraigUK 7th November 2011, 18:02 Quote
Your house mate Jacks off using it?
timmehtimmeh 7th November 2011, 18:56 Quote
nice article Paul.. go dislodge the oven from the wall please, I want more wattage analysis. Itemise your electricity bill :D
Res 7th November 2011, 21:15 Quote
We should all be grateful that we can access such energy for next to nothing, there no doubt will come a time, maybe within our lifetimes, that we will have to consider if we can afford a 5 hour gaming session on any given day.
tad2008 7th November 2011, 23:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmehtimmeh
nice article Paul.. go dislodge the oven from the wall please, I want more wattage analysis. Itemise your electricity bill :D

Now that will be a day to look forward to :o)
rogerrabbits 7th November 2011, 23:04 Quote
Yeah, oven dishwasher and tumble drier next please!
Eriol 7th November 2011, 23:36 Quote
I measured my avarage usage of PC+HDTV+speakers with a power monitor and it totaled <10€ per month. And that's with a pretty hefty rig, OC 2500K, 6950 CF and triple monitors + HDTV. I do try to save power though, since even idling with all monitors on can take 200-300W, while keeping only the rig powered drops it to 100W. The monitors only take around 15-20W each and the HDTV ~50W, but GPUs need higher voltages to keep them on so that adds a lot more power consumption.
Wicked_Sludge 8th November 2011, 04:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
You know, i like people who build a super-low power media PC, and then connect it to a CCFL LCD TV...

my server/HTPC is connected to an HD LCD projector which pulls about 250watts from the wall. but my projector is on at most a half dozen hours a week, whereas my server is on 24/7. the amount of wattage something pulls isnt as important as how long it runs. i still pay more per month for my 30watt atom than i do for my projector.
faugusztin 8th November 2011, 08:22 Quote
So does my TV, which runs few hours a week too (F1 trainings, qualis, race; NHL ice hockey matches in the week on TV). But i talk in general - people buy LCD TV because they think it consumes less power, while in reality most times plasma TV's will eat less power. Sure, they have higher maximum power consumption, but on average they will be lower for majority of customers. And your and my use cases are not that typical - most homes have TV's running for hours per day.
yakyb 8th November 2011, 15:48 Quote
this is why i run an I7 server at home cost is negligible compared to other costs and benefit to myself is way more than the cost potentially saved running a less power hungry machine
Wicked_Sludge 8th November 2011, 16:02 Quote
lol, i dont know about energy costs where you are, but here i would be paying over $20 more a month to run an i7 over a low power system. and thats just assuming its sitting there idle....loaded its even less efficient. thats not negligible to most people.
JerryW 8th November 2011, 18:10 Quote
Rationalise it however you like, this planet is under serious stress thanks to us.
Every Wh you save helps a little bit, so please save what you can. Forget the politics, forget the still-ridiculously-cheap price of electricity - just don't waste stuff if you don't have to!
leslie 8th November 2011, 22:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge
lol, i dont know about energy costs where you are, but here i would be paying over $20 more a month to run an i7 over a low power system. and thats just assuming its sitting there idle....loaded its even less efficient. thats not negligible to most people.
You are thinking by old rules.
Newer systems are more efficient in terms of chipsets, memory and processors themselves. A Core I3 idles down as far as an Atom, when the I3 does do work, it gets it done faster and returns to idle.

Similarly configured
An Atom 270 idles around 33 watts
A Core I3 will idle around 30 watts
An Atom D510 idles around 28 watts
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/d510mo-intel-atom,2616-11.html
faugusztin 9th November 2011, 00:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge
lol, i dont know about energy costs where you are, but here i would be paying over $20 more a month to run an i7 over a low power system. and thats just assuming its sitting there idle....loaded its even less efficient. thats not negligible to most people.

If we forget the hard drives and other stuff like that, Core i5-2500K idles around 35W for whole system.
AstralWanderer 9th November 2011, 01:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackshark
...The easy way to do this, buy some super cheap made in China 'energy saving bulbs' and send them to your customers. Thats what most of the companies did last year. They were shocking quality and again, if you factor in the cost to the planet to manufacture and get them to the UK, it was a crass and useless exercise. But my company and others are under a legal obligation and it was the cheapest way.
Didn't E.ON do something different - offering a free Powerdown plug (for sale here) to customers? It's a handy add-on for a PC system since it can be used to switch off peripherals (monitors, printers, powered USB hubs, speakers, etc) when the PC goes into sleep mode - switching them back on when the PC resumes.

I'd agree that most PC systems aren't going to be heavy electricity users unless folding or doing other 24/7 calculations. However it is worth double-checking power usage - one system I had continued using 200W power in sleep mode due to Logitech's SetPoint software having configured the mouse to be able to wake the computer from standby! A quick change in the Device Manager properties for the mouse fixed that, lowering sleep usage to just 10W, but without a power meter, there would have been no way of detecting this waste.

Another thing to watch out for are the "wall wart" power adapters which typically use 5-10W even when not powering anything. While one on its on is trivial, many posters here will probably have a dozen or more (USB hubs, speakers, chargers, etc) and that can make a significant difference to background usage. Moving non-essential adapters onto a switched powerstrip (and leaving that off unless needed) or using the Powerdown mentioned above is one good way of taming them.
Wicked_Sludge 9th November 2011, 04:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
You are thinking by old rules.
Newer systems are more efficient in terms of chipsets, memory and processors themselves. A Core I3 idles down as far as an Atom, when the I3 does do work, it gets it done faster and returns to idle.

im thinking by current rules. an i7 is not an i3 by any stretch of the imagination. depending on which i7 he is using it has at the very least 2 more cores and a discreet GPU to power. my modest little i5 system draws nearly 200 watts at idle with 3 hard disks and all energy saving features enabled. even if had a low power GPU installed i still doubt it would drop below 150 watts idle. an i7 will be pulling more then that.

my atom idles at 40 watts with 4 hard drives spinning and an inefficient brick PSU.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
If we forget the hard drives and other stuff like that, Core i5-2500K idles around 35W for whole system.

why would you forget the rest of the system? how many people do you know run their PCs for extended periods with no HDD?

my fiancees 2500k pulls just a shade over 100 watts from the wall at idle with 2 hard drives. shes only running a 5770, which is supposed to take under 20 watts at idle. so even using the on-die GPU its still pulling 80 watts.

there are more efficient systems out there then the atom these days, but a 2500k and i7 are not them ;)
faugusztin 9th November 2011, 09:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge
why would you forget the rest of the system? how many people do you know run their PCs for extended periods with no HDD?

Because we are comparing the power consumption of board+cpu with igp ? 18W for Atom+ION vs i5-2500K+IGP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge
my fiancees 2500k pulls just a shade over 100 watts from the wall at idle with 2 hard drives. shes only running a 5770, which is supposed to take under 20 watts at idle. so even using the on-die GPU its still pulling 80 watts.

there are more efficient systems out there then the atom these days, but a 2500k and i7 are not them ;)

And now look at power draw meter right now, 69W. For the system with i5-2500K, P8Z68-V PRO, 12GB RAM, X25-M G1 80GB, 6xWD20EARS & 4xWD20EARX at sleep, KNC1 DVB-C card, sound card (X-Fi), SATA port multiplier, 3 fans. Drop the 10 hard drives, that will take down another ~20W (10 drives, spin-down at 2W), then we are in ~50W range. Still a usable system, no ? But wait, that is 50W from the socket. That is about 40W if we remove the power supply inefficiently (i got a Seasonic X there) from the equation. And you must take in the account, that my board is pretty loaded compared to the typical Atom board, which means it "leaks" a watt there, a watt there (4 vs 8 SATA,0 vs 1 eSATA, 0 vs 2 Firewire etc etc).

Yes, of course Atom will have about a 10-15W advantage over i5-2500K+ cheap Z68 board, but does that difference really matters when thinking about the huge performance difference ?

And then there is the issue of what do you use it for. Sure, a HTPC is a nice thing, i have one too - it's my fileserver. Why have separate file server and HTPC, when you can have both in one PC ? Your HTPC uses maybe 25-30W when you put all the needed stuff on the board (memory, hard drive, power supply inefficiency). Now add on top of that the power consumption of your fileserver or NAS. If you have NAS, then it is again probably Atom based these days, which means another 20W at least. So now you are at 50W - and at similar power consumption as my all-in-one PC, with much higher performance.

Even my main rig with i7-2600K, 16GB RAM, Gene-Z, Gainward GTX570 Phantom, two SSD, bigNG, 3 fans uses 94W in idle from the socket. And Phantom ain't your power saving kind of graphics card in idle.

But you probably already know where does your higher power consumption comes from - it is the thing behind the @ sign in your sig. Yes, overclocking and changing core voltage of course increases power consumption. But i hope we are comparing stock performance and stock power consumption, right ? Right ?

And then there is the issue with the thing after C:\ in your location. No, it is not an anti-american remark :). It is more about the issue with voltage in your electrical system. 110V means a little bit lower efficiency in power supplies, which again increases your numbers compared to us in Europe.

PS: My previous non-OC i5 750 + HD5870 system pulled ~110W in idle. Your OC again strikes back.
Fizzban 9th November 2011, 20:58 Quote
I don't want to know. Well I do want to know, but I don't want to obsess over it, and I would if I knew. Ignorance is bliss, right?
leslie 9th November 2011, 21:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge
im thinking by current rules. an i7 is not an i3 by any stretch of the imagination. depending on which i7 he is using it has at the very least 2 more cores and a discreet GPU to power. my modest little i5 system draws nearly 200 watts at idle with 3 hard disks and all energy saving features enabled. even if had a low power GPU installed i still doubt it would drop below 150 watts idle. an i7 will be pulling more then that.
Sorry, but you have something wrong with your system or you are doing something on purpose that negates the savings you should be getting.

Oh look, you're overclocking.
Gee, I wonder why your power is so high, overclocking has no business in efficiency. Look into an overclocking wattage calculator, you will be amazed what happens.

Just so you know...
Your modest little I5 processor, at 100% is pulling AT LEAST 140 watts by itself, and that is if you don't up the voltage. A .1v increase adds 10 watts.
My entire system (Q9550, 8gigs, 6870, dual drives) idles at less than that, with no energy saving features. For 200 watts, I can include the dual 25in screens, surround system, high wattage usb hub, and even be watching a movie.

Your modest system, isn't modest by any means.
Another_level 10th November 2011, 02:19 Quote
I wish more PSUs state their efficiency figures below 100watts load since that is where the PC usually spend most of its time drawing power at idle.
faugusztin 10th November 2011, 03:11 Quote
There is not really that much reason for working on efficiency for such low power consumption. Why, you might ask.

Well, just look at simple math. The minimum efficiency allowed by ATX spec is 65%. The current efficiency maximum is around 90% and most power supplies still deliver 80% at such low power consumption. Let's calculate the power consumption difference between these two values at 30, 50, 70 and 100W :
30 - 46W at worst, 37.5W on average, 33.3W at best.
50 - 76W at worst, 62.5W on average, 55.5W at best
70 - 107W at worst, 87.5W on average, 77.7W at best
100 - 153W at worst, 125W on average, 111.11W at best.

Now while the first values look horrible, the second values are more typical representation of what you buy when you are considering power supply efficiency at all (that means you don't buy the cheapest PSU, but some quality stuff). And even at 100W then we talk about 14W difference at best between 80% and 90% efficiency. If i calculate correctly. even if it is running 24/7/365 that difference equals to 122.64 kW used in whole year (365*24*0.014), which in my case equals to insane 9.28 euros per year (@0,0757€/kWh), which pretty much equals to one and half good meal in restaurant here in Slovakia. And that is with the PSU running all year - if we talk about generic PC which runs 8 hour per day then we are down at 3 euro difference per year. And as you can imagine, pretty much no one cares about that small difference, especially if it means buying a much more expensive PSU.

By the way, if you want such high efficiency PSU even at low power consumption, just get yourself a Seasonic X-400, which is 80Plus Gold even at 80W (the minimum tested load 20% according to requirements of 80Plus testing, from the total 400W).
Wicked_Sludge 10th November 2011, 03:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Because we are comparing the power consumption of board+cpu with igp ? 18W for Atom+ION vs i5-2500K+IGP.

the topic of discussion was really geared more toward total power draw of our systems. the draw of individual components doesnt matter since you have to pay to power all of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
And now look at power draw meter right now, 69W.
thats very impressive for that system. even at stock speeds my fiancees power draw was never that low with her 2500k.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
That is about 40W if we remove the power supply inefficiently (i got a Seasonic X there) from the equation.

again, you have to pay money for the inefficiencies, so for the sake of accuracy it should be included.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin

Yes, of course Atom will have about a 10-15W advantage over i5-2500K+ cheap Z68 board, but does that difference really matters when thinking about the huge performance difference ?

it depends on what the system is used for. my server hosts a few small services, is my NAS, and plays movies through the projector. about the most stressful thing it does is host a minecraft server on occasion, all well within the capabilities of the system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin

And then there is the issue of what do you use it for. Sure, a HTPC is a nice thing, i have one too - it's my fileserver. Why have separate file server and HTPC...

i totally agree. my file server is my NAS and HTPC....it would be silly to run multiple systems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin

But you probably already know where does your higher power consumption comes from - it is the thing behind the @ sign in your sig.

so this whole discussion got me curious. i moved my meter back into the computer room and plugged my main box into it, and i was wrong when i said it was idling at 200 watts. its sitting at exactly 150 watts right now. the only thing i can think of was maybe i was thinking of idle before i re-enabled c-states, so i appologize for my inaccuracy. at any rate, my 4.0ghz OC idles at 1.8ghz with a 1.01v vcore. Just for fun i loaded the default settings in my BIOS and it idled down to 1.2ghz with a 0.88v vcore and was still pulling exactly 150 watts from the socket. overclocking with power saving features is great :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
Oh look, you're overclocking.
Gee, I wonder why your power is so high, overclocking has no business in efficiency. Look into an overclocking wattage calculator, you will be amazed what happens.

Your modest system, isn't modest by any means.

your sarcasm is unnecessary. if we cant remain civil im fine with ending the discussion now.

i am aware of the effects of overclocking on power consumption. the goal of my two main rigs was not power efficiency, and i never said that it was. although if you see the above, it turns out it hasnt effected my idle power draw at all (loaded is a different story :D).

and my calling my system modest was meant as a comparison to yakybs i7 server. but the whole point of comparing it to my i5-750 was to say that running an i7 server is going to cost considerably more than running a low power system. even if his total system draw is on-par with my i5-750, it would still cost almost $20 a month more to run vs the atom im running.
leslie 10th November 2011, 09:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge

your sarcasm is unnecessary. if we cant remain civil im fine with ending the discussion now.

and my calling my system modest was meant as a comparison to yakybs i7 server. but the whole point of comparing it to my i5-750 was to say that running an i7 server is going to cost considerably more than running a low power system. even if his total system draw is on-par with my i5-750, it would still cost almost $20 a month more to run vs the atom im running.
It wasn't meant to be taken nearly as harsh as you seem to have made it out to be.

As for the I7, it depends on which one. Sandy Bridge processors idle down within a couple watts of a typical I3 or Atom.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-review-intel-core-i7-2600k-i5-2500k-core-i3-2100-tested/21
faugusztin 10th November 2011, 09:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge
so this whole discussion got me curious. i moved my meter back into the computer room and plugged my main box into it, and i was wrong when i said it was idling at 200 watts. its sitting at exactly 150 watts right now. the only thing i can think of was maybe i was thinking of idle before i re-enabled c-states, so i appologize for my inaccuracy. at any rate, my 4.0ghz OC idles at 1.8ghz with a 1.01v vcore. Just for fun i loaded the default settings in my BIOS and it idled down to 1.2ghz with a 0.88v vcore and was still pulling exactly 150 watts from the socket. overclocking with power saving features is great :D

150W is still way too much. As i said, i owned the exactly same combo as you, the only difference i can think of is that i have just one hard drive. Still it was only 117W and not 150W.
Another_level 10th November 2011, 15:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
There is not really that much reason for working on efficiency for such low power consumption. Why, you might ask.

Well, just look at simple math. The minimum efficiency allowed by ATX spec is 65%. The current efficiency maximum is around 90% and most power supplies still deliver 80% at such low power consumption. Let's calculate the power consumption difference between these two values at 30, 50, 70 and 100W :
30 - 46W at worst, 37.5W on average, 33.3W at best.
50 - 76W at worst, 62.5W on average, 55.5W at best
70 - 107W at worst, 87.5W on average, 77.7W at best
100 - 153W at worst, 125W on average, 111.11W at best.

Now while the first values look horrible, the second values are more typical representation of what you buy when you are considering power supply efficiency at all (that means you don't buy the cheapest PSU, but some quality stuff). And even at 100W then we talk about 14W difference at best between 80% and 90% efficiency. If i calculate correctly. even if it is running 24/7/365 that difference equals to 122.64 kW used in whole year (365*24*0.014), which in my case equals to insane 9.28 euros per year (@0,0757€/kWh), which pretty much equals to one and half good meal in restaurant here in Slovakia. And that is with the PSU running all year - if we talk about generic PC which runs 8 hour per day then we are down at 3 euro difference per year. And as you can imagine, pretty much no one cares about that small difference, especially if it means buying a much more expensive PSU.

By the way, if you want such high efficiency PSU even at low power consumption, just get yourself a Seasonic X-400, which is 80Plus Gold even at 80W (the minimum tested load 20% according to requirements of 80Plus testing, from the total 400W).

Not quite Faugustin, PSUs have an efficiency power curve which doesn't always follow the 80Plus linear relationship. To make purchasing a PSU easier I'd like to see efficiency figures published for loads that are less than 20%. Especially as components are getting better in terms of energy performance and the fact the PC spends most of its time idling at less than 20% of power load.
Wicked_Sludge 11th November 2011, 03:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
As for the I7, it depends on which one...

according to anandtechs charts the i7 is still pulling 74 watts at idle. thats twice what an atom will pull.....heck of a lot better than a 1366 though. i wonder if thats with the on board GPU or a discreet card?
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
150W is still way too much.

ive got 7 case fans that pull 3.75 watts each at full speed (no idea what they pull at idle speed), a water pump (the 5870 is under water) that pulls 6.5 watts, and the 2 extra hard drives. i suppose that could add up to 20-30 watts.
faugusztin 11th November 2011, 03:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another_level
Not quite Faugustin, PSUs have an efficiency power curve which doesn't always follow the 80Plus linear relationship. To make purchasing a PSU easier I'd like to see efficiency figures published for loads that are less than 20%. Especially as components are getting better in terms of energy performance and the fact the PC spends most of its time idling at less than 20% of power load.

No one talks about linear, but the fact is that pretty much no 80Plus certified power supplies drop bellow 70-75% until you hit very low double digit power consumptions.

Don't believe me ? Right. Then believe the reviews :
Corsair AX850 : http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1073-page3.html - 850W PSU, at 22W (2.5%) load it is 65.5% efficient, at 43W (5%) you are already at 77.3% efficiency.
Antec TP-750 : http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1067-page4.html - 750W PSU, at 22W (3%) load it is 62.9% efficient, at 43W (6%) you are again already at 73.8% efficiency.
Seasonic X-400 : http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1062-page5.html - 400W PSU, at 22W (5.5%) you have 69.8% efficiency, at 43W (10.75%) you are at 80.4%.
Corsair X400, which is not even 80Plus : at 22W (5.5%) you are at 63.2%, at 43W (10.75%) you are at 73.2%.

Long story short, for better PSU you are looking at 75% or higher efficiency at 43W, for a bit worse ones at 70% or higher efficiency at 43W. At 22W, we are looking at power consumption from socket of difference between 31.51W vs 34,97W between the worst and best of above. That is 3.5W difference, which is about 2€ when you run the PC at that power consumption through whole year. At 43W, we are looking at difference between 53.48W vs 58,26W. That is 3.2€ difference through whole year.

And at this low power consumption, we are back at the point when you should ask yourself if you really need to care for something which makes a single digit euro difference in a year when running 24/7/365. You can care about efficiency when you start hitting 3 digit power consumption values, but up until that point, it is really pointless unless you need to save every cent.

And if you think for some reason i choose only recent power supplies, feel free to read more reviews at SPCR, even old power supplies like Corsair HX520 from 2006 had 67.7% efficiency at 43W or Enermax Liberty 500W from 2005 had 69.6% efficiency at 40W.

Long story short, we are talking about cents or few euros at best at double digit power consumption figures, when running it 24/7/365.
Another_level 11th November 2011, 14:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
No one talks about linear, but the fact is that pretty much no 80Plus certified power supplies drop bellow 70-75% until you hit very low double digit power consumptions.

Don't believe me ? Right. Then believe the reviews :
Corsair AX850 : http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1073-page3.html - 850W PSU, at 22W (2.5%) load it is 65.5% efficient, at 43W (5%) you are already at 77.3% efficiency.
Antec TP-750 : http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1067-page4.html - 750W PSU, at 22W (3%) load it is 62.9% efficient, at 43W (6%) you are again already at 73.8% efficiency.
Seasonic X-400 : http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1062-page5.html - 400W PSU, at 22W (5.5%) you have 69.8% efficiency, at 43W (10.75%) you are at 80.4%.
Corsair X400, which is not even 80Plus : at 22W (5.5%) you are at 63.2%, at 43W (10.75%) you are at 73.2%.

Long story short, for better PSU you are looking at 75% or higher efficiency at 43W, for a bit worse ones at 70% or higher efficiency at 43W. At 22W, we are looking at power consumption from socket of difference between 31.51W vs 34,97W between the worst and best of above. That is 3.5W difference, which is about 2€ when you run the PC at that power consumption through whole year. At 43W, we are looking at difference between 53.48W vs 58,26W. That is 3.2€ difference through whole year.

And at this low power consumption, we are back at the point when you should ask yourself if you really need to care for something which makes a single digit euro difference in a year when running 24/7/365. You can care about efficiency when you start hitting 3 digit power consumption values, but up until that point, it is really pointless unless you need to save every cent.

And if you think for some reason i choose only recent power supplies, feel free to read more reviews at SPCR, even old power supplies like Corsair HX520 from 2006 had 67.7% efficiency at 43W or Enermax Liberty 500W from 2005 had 69.6% efficiency at 40W.

Long story short, we are talking about cents or few euros at best at double digit power consumption figures, when running it 24/7/365.

I knew about the efficiency curve for PSUs as this was started earlier. When you started to give calculated efficiency figures I knew they were more linear in nature. But now that you done a bit more research then perhaps you can see things at the same level as me, I hope. So now I refer you to my original statement at post #60 where I said the PC spends more of its time in idle below 100 watts and yes efficiency figure at single digits is just as important even if you're saving a few pounds a year.

On one of Tomshardware's articles they gave efficiency figures for PSUs where the loads were at 50watts and if my memory serves me right it the coolermaster m500 was 74% efficient.
leslie 11th November 2011, 21:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked_Sludge
according to anandtechs charts the i7 is still pulling 74 watts at idle. thats twice what an atom will pull.....heck of a lot better than a 1366 though. i wonder if thats with the on board GPU or a discreet card?

The first test (Toms) was just a board with Intel graphics.
The second test (Anand) was a complete system with dedicated graphics.

The first shows an I3 is as efficient as an Atom, the second shows the I7 is as efficient as an I3.

Quote:
ive got 7 case fans that pull 3.75 watts each at full speed (no idea what they pull at idle speed), a water pump (the 5870 is under water) that pulls 6.5 watts, and the 2 extra hard drives. i suppose that could add up to 20-30 watts.
Each drive can pull 15-25 watts, even an LP.
It wouldn't surprise me if your water pump pulls more than 6 watts. Especially if it's cheap or "leaks" electricity (more common than people realize).
faugusztin 11th November 2011, 21:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
Which is why if you can get your entire load below about 150watts, you are better off with a laptop style power brick and a Pico psu.

The issue with that is he talks abou idle power usage. For example my desktop is idling at 94W, but can go up as high as 400W when CPU & GPU is fully loaded. Same for the fileserver - it idles at 65W, but at boot it goes as high as 150W and with high CPU load it can easily go over 200W.

Of course for some use cases <150W PSU is fine, but those use cases are rather limited.
Noob? 14th November 2011, 12:29 Quote
I don't bother personally, if I need it, its got to stay on I guess, so it will!
leslie 14th November 2011, 22:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
The issue with that is he talks abou idle power usage. For example my desktop is idling at 94W, but can go up as high as 400W when CPU & GPU is fully loaded. Same for the fileserver - it idles at 65W, but at boot it goes as high as 150W and with high CPU load it can easily go over 200W.

Of course for some use cases <150W PSU is fine, but those use cases are rather limited.
No, I am not talking about idle use only, this is why I said if you can get your TOTAL below 150watts.

If your file server is peaking at 400, you either have a TON of hard disks (at 15-25 watts each, that equals a lot of drives!), or your file server is ridiculously over powered. It actually pays off in the long run to replace many small drives with fewer, larger ones.

Your desktop probably has a dual or quad core processor capable of 100-125 watts, plus a video system capable of 250-300 watts on it's own. Then you have a board with tons of features, lots of ram, a DVD drive, a few fans, maybe some lights. Then you power it with a power supply that needs to cover a wide range of power which adds inefficiency.


Here is a 100 watt (or less) PEAK server/desktop.
Atom, AMD 350, Sempron (35-45watt), FX (65watt), Old X2's (45-65watt).
LP drive (15 watts)
ITX board, single stick of ram and as few fans as possible (20 watts est.).
Use a USB stick or external DVD to install your OS and skip the DVD rom (18-24watts!).

Will it play Crisis? Nope, but I also don't expect it to. While a single core Sempron won't lightning fast, you can't tell me that an FX is going to be terrible for daily use. The LP drive isn't an SSD, but is fine for day to day browsing. You also don't need 50 sata connections or an Nvidia 580. One stick of ram is plenty and when was the last time you really used a DVD drive and couldn't get by with an external in those cases?
faugusztin 14th November 2011, 22:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
If your file server is peaking at 400, you either have a TON of hard disks (at 15-25 watts each, that equals a lot of drives!), or your file server is ridiculously over powered. It actually pays off in the long run to replace many small drives with fewer, larger ones.

No, file server is peaking around 200W and yes, it is overpowered (i5-2500K, 10x2TB drives, 12GB RAM - see the setups in the signature). But idling at 65W, which is 95% of the time. So that is fine. The issue is that i need few virtual machines for various testing, so it can't be that less powerfull and on other side i can't those virtual machines run all the time on my desktop.
Rikalicious 12th January 2012, 19:22 Quote
I too bought a similar energy monitor, after which I too wanted to know how much energy certain devices without sockets used. Its simple, use your mains meter, turn everything in your house off until it stops counting, then turn on the device you want to monitor, e.g. your oven, and see how many units it uses in 30min or an hour. Simple!
Waynio 13th January 2012, 03:10 Quote
Was this article which inspired me to do a new personal build so soon :) & the are big cases a dying breed article come to think of it :D so I can have good performance rig & tiny acceptable performance rig in 1 big rig so I can use electric better & to say no big rigs aren't a dying breed :D:) only if you want them to be :).

To be honest if I didn't use a PC so much I wouldn't need to but it's on nearly all the time which amounts to a fair bit of money wasted each year on bills.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikalicious
I too bought a similar energy monitor, after which I too wanted to know how much energy certain devices without sockets used. Its simple, use your mains meter, turn everything in your house off until it stops counting, then turn on the device you want to monitor, e.g. your oven, and see how many units it uses in 30min or an hour. Simple!

Good thinking mate :), I'll have to do the same for all the unmeasurables :D the bills at my house are high so doing all I can to slim them down.
leslie 13th January 2012, 21:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio
To be honest if I didn't use a PC so much I wouldn't need to but it's on nearly all the time which amounts to a fair bit of money wasted each year on bills.
It will take a very long time to pay for anything done just to save on your electric bill. 1watt running 24/7 is equal to roughly £1 a year. So if you spend £400 upgrading to save 20 watts, it will take 20 years to pay off and that's a best case scenario.

Remember, your system probably pulls under 200watts while doing things other than gaming, and if it goes into standby it likely drops under 20 (possibly ten). So the only you will lower your wattage significantly is while playing actual games.

If you think using an Atom instead will save you a bunch, look at idle numbers on the Core and I series compared to an Atom, it's not much different and once you need to use it, the Atom will run far longer to do what needs to be done before returning to idle, while the faster processors knock it out fast and get back to idle. Meanwhile your drives are still working and you are waiting with the monitor on. If Atoms were truly that much more efficient, batteries in netbooks would last a lot longer.

The only place you will make a significant difference that will actually pay off is the hard drives. If you have a bunch and can replace them for a single drive, you will recover it in a year or so. Almost everything else you will spend more than you save.
faugusztin 13th January 2012, 23:58 Quote
And the best part is - you can easily kill more than the power consumption of your computer by using a newer kitchen appliances, especialy the fridge, that one is a beast. Current fridges use around 200-300kWh/year (around 0.7kWh). Old ones easily use 500kWh/year or more.

Now when you think about that, and that a highend PC which consumes 400W (0.4kW) while gaming pretty much equals to the difference between the old and new fridge, and you would need to have that high load 24/7 to make up for the difference... I hope you got the idea - it is pretty much pointless to save energy on little devices like your PC or even on rarely used big power consumption devices like your vacuum cleaner. What you need to do is to replace your old refrigerator which has worse than A categtory power consumption, period.
Waynio 14th January 2012, 16:05 Quote
What you say there is very true but :D I should have mentioned about the components I'm going for with my greeny rig for simple pc stuff, already have most components to do it except for mobo & optional sound card so not like I'm buying everything I'll need for it with already having most of it.

Asus E35M1-I DELUXE AMD Hudson M1 Integrated AMD Zacate 18W, 8GB, auzentech x-fi forte sound card, 4 5400rpm 2tb hdd, 1 ssd, 1 optical, 1 slow fan :) which will be by far the most used out of the 2 rigs overall.

I expect it to use a little less than 50w, my main system is 210w doing light stuff with all the HDD's & light overclock & 350w gaming so estimate to trim £140 off each year with using power better, got to have good sound, me no likey on-board audio & love Auzentech sound cards :).

It would be very pointless if it was only 20w less :D but 160w less is £70 per year vs £210 per year & still be able to have plenty high performance PC sessions when I need the power rig :), sure I won't feel the benefit immediately but after 2 years I would & it would begin as soon as I switch ;).
faugusztin 14th January 2012, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio
I expect it to use a little less than 50w, my main system is 210w doing light stuff with all the HDD's & light overclock & 350w gaming so estimate to trim £140 off each year with using power better, got to have good sound, me no likey on-board audio & love Auzentech sound cards :).



And i was thinking my two S1155 systems (desktop PC and a 11 hard drive system) each using ~100W in idle was using too much power. Your one idling system uses as much power as my desktop, server and HP microserver together :D.
steveo_mcg 14th January 2012, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
It will take a very long time to pay for anything done just to save on your electric bill. 1watt running 24/7 is equal to roughly £1 a year. So if you spend £400 upgrading to save 20 watts, it will take 20 years to pay off and that's a best case scenario.

Remember, your system probably pulls under 200watts while doing things other than gaming, and if it goes into standby it likely drops under 20 (possibly ten). So the only you will lower your wattage significantly is while playing actual games.
.

You are of course quite right, although, those RaspberyPi boards might just kick that out the water. 2w draw decoding 1080p 1w as a file sharer and only £35 you could easily pay that back inside a year.
Wicked_Sludge 14th January 2012, 20:16 Quote
another factor to consider is that PC components are an investment. even if you only "break even" with the money saved on your power bill after buying the more energy efficient components, you can later sell those components for a profit. you cant sell your used electricity.....
confusis 14th January 2012, 20:29 Quote
My rig uses 200watts at full load, factoring in 80% efficiency in the PSU, this takes me to around 250watts drawn from the wall. with our power at 20c/kwhr, it costs 5c per hour to run at full load. $1.20 per day, $36 per month IF i run it at full load 24/7 (Folding). I sleep it at night and for the 16 hours a day its on it probably averages 30% load. So I'm more than likely closer to $0.50 per day of use. Which is paid by my board :D
leslie 15th January 2012, 00:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin


And i was thinking my two S1155 systems (desktop PC and a 11 hard drive system) each using ~100W in idle was using too much power. Your one idling system uses as much power as my desktop, server and HP microserver together :D.

It's going to depend on what all you have that you are measuring. My dual 25in screens use 40-50 watts on their own. Then you have a powered usb hub and speakers to add to the mix. All told my system idles around 160, but while gaming my power goes up almost 130 watts due to the graphics card. This is based on my UPS though, which isn't perfect but does give a from the wall number and while not perfect, is consistent with the numbers.

Hard drives and monitors use the most while idle. Most drives will pull 15-25 watts while while being used and about half that at idle. Put 10 drives in and you just used a lot of power.

On the other hand, my headless, micro server idles at about 25 watts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusis
My rig uses 200watts at full load, factoring in 80% efficiency in the PSU, this takes me to around 250watts drawn from the wall. with our power at 20c/kwhr, it costs 5c per hour to run at full load. $1.20 per day, $36 per month IF i run it at full load 24/7 (Folding). I sleep it at night and for the 16 hours a day its on it probably averages 30% load. So I'm more than likely closer to $0.50 per day of use. Which is paid by my board :D

200 watts is easy to hit depending on video card, monitors and hard drives.
NethLyn 17th January 2012, 21:02 Quote
It's good that the next generation of kit has halved the power usage again - a Llano desktop would come down to 40-55W depending on the efficiency of a 400W PSU, rather than the one used in issue 97's tests.

The flat telly I want, once calibrated, that's 55-60W, over 100W less than the old one and for that cost saving I'd just live with the pants speakers or use the old PC ones that barely add 10W or so. Just have to flip a coin about which upgrade comes first, since I could plug the current PC into the TV, I think it'll be the screen. No need for a second monitor then. ;)
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