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Blogs How Much Does Your PC Cost To Run?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 6 Nov 2011.

  1. arcticstoat

    arcticstoat New Member

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    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...

    http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2011/11/06/how-much-does-your-pc-cost-to-run/
     
  2. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
     
  3. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    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.]
     
  4. DriftCarl

    DriftCarl Member

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    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
     
  5. daverobson08

    daverobson08 New Member

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    This may be a stupid question, but did your main gaming rig consume more power than your HTPC did whilst in Sleep mode?
     
  6. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. tonyd223

    tonyd223 king of nothing

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    I use a phone and an external speaker...
     
  8. Jehla

    Jehla Member

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    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.
     
  9. feathers

    feathers Well-Known Member

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    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??
     
  10. Arkanrais

    Arkanrais New Member

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    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.
     
  11. ZeDestructor

    ZeDestructor Member

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    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...
     
  12. amdavies

    amdavies New Member

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    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.
     
  13. Zinfandel

    Zinfandel New Member

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    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.
     
  14. Zinfandel

    Zinfandel New Member

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    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)
     
  15. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    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.
     
  16. mrbens

    mrbens New Member

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    Informative article. I'm going to get myself a power monitor :)
     
  17. runadumb

    runadumb New Member

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    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 :/
     
  18. Blackshark

    Blackshark New Member

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    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.
     
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  19. Ross1

    Ross1 New Member

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    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...
     
  20. Ripitup121

    Ripitup121 MMMMMMm watercooling....

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    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.
     
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