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 PostPost subject: Power Supplies and Energy Costs        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:03 pm 
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Someone might know this, what does the gPC (supposevly) use for energy saving in the Power Supply? I want to get some energy saving power supplys for a few systems that stay online 24/7 to hlep cut down on power costs. My power rate is about to go up.

Any tips and recommendations?


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:06 pm 
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There is no such thing as an energy saving power supply. The hardware connected to it will always use the same amount of power, no matter what power supply you use. Its the hardware you should be considering changing.

For example, if you use a Pentium 4, change it for a Core2Duo. Not only do they use a lot less power but they run cooler as well.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:13 pm 
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Unplug stuff you dont need/use ie CD-Roms, PCI cards etc


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:16 pm 
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happy dude wrote:
Unplug stuff you dont need/use ie CD-Roms, PCI cards etc


I always forget the obvious ones.

Also, don't turn the monitor off at the monitor, totally unplug it. Even TFT monitors use 1-2 watts when on standby or just off on the monitor.

Also set your hard disks to spin down when not in use.

Reduce disk activity by storing programs in memory and dumping to hard disk as little as possible. This can be achieved by turning paging off (unless needed).

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:56 pm 
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Andy wrote:
Also, don't turn the monitor off at the monitor, totally unplug it. Even TFT monitors use 1-2 watts when on standby or just off on the monitor.


Actually ANYTHING without a toggle switch is "leaking" power at any given time. How else could it tell that you pressed the power button? Something HAS to be on for it to know that.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:58 pm 
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RentedMule wrote:
Andy wrote:
Also, don't turn the monitor off at the monitor, totally unplug it. Even TFT monitors use 1-2 watts when on standby or just off on the monitor.


Actually ANYTHING without a toggle switch is "leaking" power at any given time. How else could it tell that you pressed the power button? Something HAS to be on for it to know that.


Exactly. And actually, some things -with- a toggle switch as well can still use power. If its badly designed the switch could be after the transformer and not before, thus the transformer will still be on even if the toggle switch is not.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:06 pm 
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You are forgetting the PSU efficiency.

A PSU has a certain efficiency at any given percentage of its maximum load. Generally speaking, a PSU that has an efficiency of at least 80 percent starting from 20% of its maximum load is considered "80 plus", which is desired nowadays.

As an example, if you have a 400W PSU with an efficiency of 80% at 25% of its max load, then a system drawing 100W of DC power will draw 125W of AC power from the wall. 80% of that are going to the system, the rest (20% or 25W in this case) is "lost" in the AC-DC conversion process, i.e. converted to useless heat.

Thus, as a general rule, try to get the most efficient PSU that you can, in other words, look for "80 plus" devices and get the right one, i.e. if you have a system that can get by with a 300W PSU, then get one, don't waste money on one of those 600W monsters. Only get a PSU as "big" as you really need, and the majority of today's systems can indeed get by with a high-quality 300W one, unless you have one or more really high-end graphics cards, at least a quad-core CPU etc.

You can look into DC-DC converter boards as well. Maybe this is what the gPC uses, don't know. These boards are fed by a single 12~19V DC input IIRC which has to come from an external power brick (just as on a laptop) and those boards convert the single input to all the different voltages a PC needs. A personal favorite of mine (which I'm considering for my next build) is the picoPSU-120 which is really tiny. As the name implies, it's rated for up to 120 watts and requires a single 12V DC input so you have to acquire a (laptop-style) power brick as well. This solution is more expensive than a conventional PSU, but it's inaudible and as efficient as you can get, if your systems can run off of it, that is.

Another reason the gPC's power draw is so low is that it uses the VIA C7 CPU which is optimized for low power draw and heat, and the CPU is additionally sitting on a mainboard with a highly integrated chipset w/integrated graphics and all. The C7's performance-per-clock ratio is awful though, in other words, a C7@1.5GHz is much slower than even a low-end Celeron at the same clock speed.

Also, the others are right of course as well. Always remember the majority of the power drawn goes to the hardware, so use energy-saving hardware as well, remove unnecessary components, configure the OS'es power management correctly etc.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:13 pm 
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My new pc uses 115watts idle and less than 200watts at full power. I got a 580watt power supply thinking I'd need it (after the review said minimum 400watt).

My specs are
C2D 2.66GHz
4GB OCZ RAM
2x80GB SATAII HD's
Radeon HD 3870 GFX
Couple of fans

It actually uses less than my old celeron idling, so thats says something doesn't it.

If you want a power efficient PC, go with a new low end core2duo, onboard graphics etc.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:46 pm 
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@Andy
Basically exactly what I was referring to. Your system would be fine with a good 300W PSU. All these reviews are often exaggerating, or maybe they just don't know any better and believe the marketing nonsense. The C2D is a quite efficient CPU too, even more so if it's 45nm. Your "full power" value, is that with both cores and the GPU loaded to the max?

As for a power-efficient box, if you can get by with less performance, I'd rather choose a cheap Pentium Dual Core than a Core 2 Duo. These are slower than C2Ds, but require considerably less power. Throw in on-board graphics and you're set. Such a system may use less than 50 watts at idle, if carefully configured. Or a low-end Athlon 64 X2, such as a 3600+ or a 4000+.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:55 pm 
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I haven't got both cores maxed yet (find that quite hard, lol) but running in a GPU intensive game and one core loaded, its a little less than that value.

AMD's can often be further clocked down when not in use by a piece of software called RMClock which uses VID and PID states to reduce the voltage and multiplier on the fly depending on performance required or cpu load requested by an application. You can even lock it to a certain speed.

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