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Other Cost of running my machine 24/7?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Parge, 10 Oct 2010.

  1. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Hi guys.

    Question: I have an old AMD Semprom machine. According to PSU calculator it will be drawing about 200w when in idle mode (300w PSU, passive AGP 9200 card, 2Ghz Semprom 2800+ CPU, 1GB DDR400 RAM, 1 x 160GB HD).

    I was thinking about running it 24/7 as a file storage server and also a media centre.

    However, if its going to cost me a shedload of cash to keep running, its just not worth it. Does anyone have any idea how much a machine like that would cost per day to run?


    Additionally, I was thinking of having it go to sleep (hibernate) from say 1am to 7am to save money, is there any way of making this process automatic?
     
  2. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    0.2Kwh x 24 x 365 = 1752Kwh
    1752 x 12.5p = 21900p
     
  3. MorpheusUK

    MorpheusUK a Noob that knows something

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    what about wake on lan, you could have the "server" hibernate and wake on lan when you need to access or dump anything.
     
  4. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    200watts seems excessive. You sure that's right?

    Underclock, and undervolt it... that will save you some power too.
     
  5. Reddoguk

    Reddoguk I Play WoW :(

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    12.5p Man your getting ripped off. I only pay 11p for mine :)
     
  6. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    200 W for that? Give me a break. At idle half of that will be closer.

    Underclock and if you really, really care about wattage, get an Atom board to act as the server/media player.
     
  7. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    the core i5 machine in my sig idles under 200watts, theres no way youll be pulling that much with your box.

    like jipa said, half that is probably closer.
     
  8. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    I googled the price. I'm in student accom atm so I've prepaid(as a result, I never turn my PC off unless it needs to install updates)
     
  9. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Try enable magic packet wake-up and allows the network card to wake up the computer from sleep (under device manager > your computer network controller). And put the computer to sleep. Now try access the server from a different computer. It should wake up the computer (this only works on a local network).

    If it works (or play around with the options and get it work), you can set your file server to sleep after 30min idle or something, and save power this way. I never did it, but I did play around with the ability to wake up the computer when you connect to a computer asleep via network, and did work.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    You won't need magic packet. It's a pain in the ass. Just accessing a LAN machine will not send a magic packet. If you activate magic packet it will just sit there waiting for something that will never arrive.

    Just set WOL to active in BIOS. It may occasionally wake up randomly as your router makes ARP broadcasts, but apart from that it should be OK.

    ...unless you have a D-Link router.... Grrrrr.
     
  11. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Oh yea? I though you needed magic packet. Huh, well that is pretty cool then.:thumb:
    It's ok if it randomly wake's up, as the computer will auto-sleep back with Windows sleep timer set in the power options. The idea is to save electricity and have easy access to your server, and it does just that.
     
  12. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Yeah. works fine. Just that some routers (mine included) may keep waking it up.... by which I mean every 90 secs!
     
  13. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Ok, fair points! I went onto PSU calculator, dialled in the specs and the minimum recommended PSU came in at 203w at 60% load. Obviously, most of the time, the computer won’t be running anywhere near that, so about half (or less) should be about right.

    That works out to be about £100 a year, which is then split between four of us, so about £2 a month. That’s a figure I can deal with, especially as if I can set up some of your suggestions.

    The machine is running XP at the moment for several reasons

    1. Since I want to use NTFS (I find it painful that most NAS solutions use a file system that is incompatible with Windows).

    2. I want to use it as a media player, and so I can install XBMC or something.

    3. It’s lightweight and given the specs of the machine, it probably won’t handle 7 (anyone run a copy of 7 on something like this before?)
     
  14. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    Hmm... running Win7 on that. Well for sure you need a RAM upgrade. You need minimum (my minimum) 2 GB of RAM. But assuming you can't.

    I made Win7 run on a AMD Athlon XP 2000+ with 1GB of RAM. I had to disable a lot of Windows 7 features, including SuperFetch. You can also use a fast USB key and use it as ReadyBoost (more RAM... just much slower, but also much cheaper), to ease a bit.

    The advantage of using Win7, is that you can use Windows Media Player 12 media streaming, much better security, improved networking, works better with Vista and Win7 OS, improve sleep feature (works better... but, assume your sleep feature won't work at all now, as you'll have no drivers).
     
  15. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Yeah, the RAM was always going to be the biggest problem. Its prohibitively expensive to buy 2GB of DDR400 RAM, the ones I can find on ebay seem to go for about £40! I would like WMP12 steaming and the Media Centre front end though. I might just 'find' a copy on the internet somewhere :nono: and test it out. The minimum specs are 1GB of RAM for the 32 bit version so maybe it'll be ok. I can always revert back to XP.

    I'll happily use a USB pen and enable readyboost, that could be the way to go. End of the day, its only going to be file serving, playing videos and watching iplayer (maybe some B.T overnight). I won't miss superfetch etc.
     

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