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Thread: Power consumption

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member stoop_uk's Avatar
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    Default Power consumption

    Hi folks.. apologies if this has been covered elsewhere on the forum - I couldn't find anything!

    I'm currently (still!) living with my parents, and I have undertaken to run cat5 throughout the house. This isn't the problem though - the problem is that in my Node 0, I have 2 racked PCs and a 3Com switch.

    It appears that this equipment is eating up a lot of electricity. Any tips on how to reduce the power consumption without powering these things down?

    Cheers.
    Stewart
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Power consumption

    PCs shoudn't use much power unless:

    a) They are working hard constantly
    b) you are running CRT monitors

    Set the screensavers to blank rather than pretty ones - that puts the pc in near-idle mode when nothing is going on.

    3-Com switch - depends which type - some of the older 10/100 switches have fans running all the time and get rather warm (and accordingly use power) whereas a lot of the modern cheapo ones use a wall-wart power supply and have much lower power demands.

    I certainly would not say two PCs and a switch use much power uless the PCs and switch are very old.

    You could also allow the PCs to go into power saving mode, as long as you make sure whatever process they need to run have the ability to wake the PC up again. Going into hibernate mode is even better - but harder to "wake up" and I rarely see Installs of XP that reliably come out of hibernate mode (or go into it for that matter) after you have used the PC (installed apps etc) for a while.

    Modern Dells are the best I have found so far for good power management behaviour.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member stoop_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power consumption

    In both PC cases, as well as the PSU fan, there is also a fan on the front of the case - it's a 19" rack case. I know these will create additional power consumption, but would it be a lot?

    Also, the switch is a 3Com Superstack II, but I've just (temporarily!) swapped it out for a Udex NetSwitch SD080s switch. I'm about to take a meter reading today, and I'll take another one tomorrow... do you think I'll see a significant drop in power consumption?

    Cheers.
    Stew
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  4. #4
    Automated Home Sr Member danward79's Avatar
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    Default

    You could buy a power meter and see which is the culprit.
    Cheers

    Dan

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member stoop_uk's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danward79
    You could buy a power meter and see which is the culprit.
    You know, that's not a bad idea!
    Stewart Priest
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Power consumption

    Like the other poster said, old equipment consumes more power than newer ones. Also, if your racked PCs are proper industrial 19" servers then they won't be designed with low consumption or quietness in mind, their aim would be to provide high up time; probably have lots of fans and may have one or two huge power supplies?

    We have a couple of 19" 4U servers lying around in the office, but no way am I tempted to take them home, free or not.

    I am waiting patiently for Core Duo motherboards to become more widely available, because they have good performance and very low power consumption. Also, Intel's Viiv spec includes an interesting requirement relating to power consumption too, in that it requires the PC to have instant "on/off" mode, off being a deep sleep mode rather than powered down.

  8. #8
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Re: Power consumption

    I have two PCs in my node 0 (garage floor) One ia a Compaq ENS (small form factor) PIII 550Mhz, the other a Presario AMD 500Mhz thing with an ADSL wireless router, a few small plug in PSUs for a switch and some HomeSeer stuff.

    I run all of this on an APC UPS, which claims that only 54w is used. I share a monitor, but this is turned off at all times and not connected tot the UPS.

    So not much at all.

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