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Other What's your stance on power usage?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mrbungle, 7 Apr 2011.

  1. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    Just been having a wonder about this on the basis of things I have read around the forum recently and wondered what the general opinion is.

    Having come from my first rig of a celeron 466mhz with a voodoo 3 2000 I have seen peak power usage go from a desktop lamp to a microwave oven for a gaming desktop.

    My gaming hours are limited, no longer am I a student where I can game 24/7, so worrying about power usage isn't such a biggy to me. In my free time I just want to enjoy it, last thing that comes to mind is what it costs to play on it.

    To support this I have recently bought a bargain 480gtx, seemingly very unpopular on here due to heat and power usage. The model I have is the gigabyte special ed from ocuk, runs under 75 load and is fairly quiet. Its still a top line card. For £200 id say its prob the best bag for buck card around at the moment.

    I have seen more power concious people here rcomend the 5xx series cards recently, mainly due to the power requirements for the 480. The 560 is a similar price but the performance is nowhere near. I find this interesting.


    So can of worms :thumb:
     
  2. CrapBag

    CrapBag Well-Known Member

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    I don't quite see why you think the 560ti is nowhere near the performance of the 480, I've just flicked through the review of the 560ti frozr which is the same price as the card you have and its generally a few fps behind for the minimum which is all that really matters and in some cirumstances it even beats the 480.

    If your not bothered about the power and the temps then thats cool but I considered getting a 480 and at the res I play at it didn't seem to make sense to use all that extra power just for a couple of fps.
     
  3. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter New Member

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  4. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    power usage is something i keep a very close eye on. my computer idles at 140w, games at 350w. monitor uses ~50w (with brightness of 5%, i prefer not to blind myself) and my 24/7 NAS uses 35w with all drives spinning (most of the time, its got a lot of background services)

    how i found those out? buy a power meter from maplin/ebay.

    regarding 480 vs 560, it really depends on many different factors, 560 is definitely not enough for my resolution. but i don't fancy 480 inside my hotbox......... but with power concerns, 480 really isn't much to worry about if you don't game 24/7 (those MMO players)
     
  5. r3loaded

    r3loaded Well-Known Member

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    An overclocked 560 can easily match or beat a 480, while still consuming less power.
     
  6. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    This wasn't really my point.

    I play alot of bad company and with aa and af the min frames seems to be a better card across the board.

    Overclocking argument is null really as also 480's overclock great.
     
  7. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Actually, that Gigabyte version seems to have very positive reviews, and the 480 GTX, power wise, is still an absolute beast of a card. That was never in doubt.

    The biggest problem for me was always the amount of heat the thing pumped out into my case/room, combined with the strain it put on the PSU, and then the heat that put out.

    It never really bothered me that it might cost more in actual electricity. Maybe if someone told me it was going to cost me £50 more a year then I might start to think about where else that £50 could be spent.

    I actually picked up my 480 GTX for £250 off someone who got it as a RMA replacement and didn't want it anymore, it was only about 2 months after the cards release so an absolute bargain at the time. I'm like you really though, I don't game as much as I used to in my student days, so a £200 card seems like a justifiable investment, I'd have buyers remorse if I spent any more, but you still want the power right? Well, in that case a 480 GTX is a great choice!
     
  8. Pete J

    Pete J Employed scum

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    I'm currently ad a huge advantage as I live in a rented house with all bills inclusive. The landlord must be fuming! So, quite frankly, I don't give a crap about power usage.

    We'll see if this changes when I eventually get my own place!
     
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  9. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    More than the wattage, I care about the noise, and ofcourse these are very much related. I just switched a GTX470 for a GTX560 with a custom cooler and it really is a bliss. The load wattage dropped by 70W while the performance got a nice little bump.

    I do leave my PC on 24/7 and do "care" about the power consumption, but not an awful lot. Luckily I have absolutely no need to even think about CFX/SLI setups, but I think I would draw the line there, I'm just not going to have more than one graphic card, not with a 1200p screen anyway.
     
  10. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Guilty! I keep an eye on it to a point, but at the moment not really much of my kit is all that energy efficient... I'm working on it though. I'm going to downsize over the next few months and make sure that if i am browsing the internet or watching films, I'm only using a low power machine like the HTPC, not my gaming rig... and I'm upgrading my server at the moment to a spec that will be energy efficient and use less power than it currently does when it's on 24/7. I'm not even going to go into the folding hardware... over-volted and overclocked CPUs, GPUs and memory running at 100% resource load 24/7? Please.. we all know they're sucking more power per hour than some people's office PCs use in a day. It's worth it though, every single penny.
     
  11. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    TBH I dont give it a thought I have 4 fairly high spec computers on about 15 hours a day and one of them longer and most days a glass kiln going so I have very high electric bills anyway.
     
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  12. entity

    entity New Member

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    My stance is simple, lower power = less heat and(usually) less noise
    I used to want the latest and greatest when I built my systems but over the past few years I have become disillusioned with the GPU market. Both ATI and NVIDIA seem to be in a pissing contest, only caring about having the fastest most powerful card on the market with little to no thought over how much power they consume or even how big the card is(the cards are huge these days)

    The market for smaller PC's is growing, more and more people want a HTPC that will do everything but yet the one main drawback to this is that a "standard" size GFX card will not fit inside a small case and will produce too much heat and noise.

    Almost all other manufacturers have got the message that people want their power consumption lowered, why can't ATI and NVIDIA?
     
  13. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter New Member

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    Still can't understand how you guys can leave a computer on even if it's not doing anything. I mean, you wouldn't leave your tv running if you weren't actually watching anything? Pff. It's not just about your own electricity bill, it's also about the environmental outcome. Might not be something you can actually see, but it doesn't take much sense to know we're better off being careful with what we consume.
     
  14. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    I only leave mine on if it's doing something, normally folding in my particular case, never leave it on for ease or anything like that.
     
  15. NethLyn

    NethLyn Member

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    What you said. I'm **trying** to use this borrowed laptop for just web stuff during the day, since that equals less than half the power of my desktop to charge, then zero from the battery. I'm waiting to see what Sandy Bridge does to the market before I get one of my own. So the desktop's just there for gaming and I try not to leave it on unless I'm doing something with it.

    It's the same with TVs, when I just want the news I have an old 14in CRT here, that's 33W compared to the widescreen's 150. So it's only when gaming or watching DVDs etc that the big stuff gets used, I keep low power alternatives for the rest - and my £50 electric bill for winter time (including electric heating) has shown me that it works :) Though Crysis 2 might send the bill back up again.
     
  16. azazel1024

    azazel1024 New Member

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    I certainly consider it, but it just depends on what I think I am going to use the computer for.

    Mostly it is about getting the absolute minimum necessary to run at the settings I want in the games I want. No point in me getting a 6990 when a 5670 will do it for me (Sorry, I am an ATI, I mean AMD Fanboi when it comes to graphics). I am really looking forward to the 65xx and 66xx series to go retailer from OEM. Though in all honesty I'll probably wait till the process shrink to 28nm since I probably am not going to build a new machine until Ivy bridge or at least SB-E (late this year/early next year).

    Anyway, for me I care a lot about the environment and my power bill. That said, I also recognize that most of what my computer does is encoding, internet surfing or gaming if it is one. In a week I probably average about 2hrs of encoding, an hour of gaming and maybe 30 minutes of internet surfing per day. My son uses it maybe 30 minutes per day on average surfing. ATI cards use relatively little idle power, so even stepping up from a 5570 (what I have right now) to a 6850 or something wouldn't increase my power budget much except for the gaming. Of course I don't need a 6850 for what I game with. Its a combo of paying more for hardware I am not going to take advantage of as well as using more power than I need to, to get the video settings I want. 30+FPS minimum is just fine, sure 40-50 is nice or even 60, but I don't need 150fps in a game. I don't feel shy about using more power for just gaming though. 1hr a day using an extra 10 or 20 or 30w just doesn't add up to much over a year either on my wallet or killing the planet. If it was that much 24/7 I'd be concerned. Now a much faster processor would actually be a net electric savings even if it burned more when throttled up. If encoding finishes much faster, IE the performance per watt is better than my old chip, even if it uses more power at full throttle, it is actually better for the planet and my wallet. If the CPU uses 25% more power, but takes half the time to encode...

    My file server is on 24/7, but it is asleep most of the time.

    At some point once I get a better TV for my basement I am going to get another media player so that I can hook the basement TV up to one (if the TV doesn't have a built in media player that is). In that case instead of buying a 2nd external USB drive and having to keep both in synch with my video files (already a major pain with just 1 USB drive) I'll either build a super low power NAS or buy a low power NAS. I need little horsepower for just serving up files, and I could care less if it can only transfer at 10-15MB/sec. Its enough to serve 1080P and updating the video files on it can be done from my file server late at night.

    My file server burns 38w at idle with the disks spun down and around 42-44w when serving a file to watch on my media player (I don't actually stream per the meaning of streaming). Also the disadvantage that since it sleeps most of the time, if I want to watch movies off it I either have to hit it with a magic packet from my computer/my wife's computer, or if both are off, go down to my basement in to the storage room and hit the power button to wake it back up. I do that occasionally when I have files on the server that I haven't updated to the media players external drive, but it just rubs me wrong when I know I can get something like a WD mybook world to leave on and up 24/7 and only sip maybe 4-5w at idle and 8-10w when serving up files. A lot better than 38w 24/7 (and probably saving me $30-40 a year on my electric bill).

    Just some of my thoughts on the ole power use conundrum.
     
  17. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    My desktop is on from when I get back from work, about 6.30pm to when I got to bed, about 11.30pm. I'm out quite a few nights, too. I'd never think of leaving it on during the day! Anyone doing this should just buy an SSD - "hello, superfast boot times, I've been expecting you"
     
  18. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    My main pc is on around 15hrs a day doing something, folding downloading ect, electric bill not above £100 yet so must not be too bad
     
  19. azazel1024

    azazel1024 New Member

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    This. My computer boots with a vertex 60GB in about the time my wife's laptop resumes from hybrid sleep and is functional on the desktop (Vista, single core laptop and a 5400rpm notebook drive = long resume time). Hell most of the time if I turn the computer on, go to pour myself a glass of water or a beer in the kitchen and go and sit back down at my computer in the living room the thing is sitting on my desktop idling.

    I only have sleep mode enabled because my son uses my computer from time to time, and being not even 4 yet, doesn't really get the turning it off thing. My wife who SHOULD get it, rarely remembers (hell 3/4ths of time I have to turn lights off after her in rooms she hasn't been in in an hour). Otherwise I'd have sleep mode disabled. If I am not going to use my computer for more than about 15 minutes, I just turn it off.
     
  20. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Oh, you misunderstood me. All the machine that I leave on 24/7 are doing something... be it downloading, video encoding or folding. I would never leave a PC on just idling... that's what fast boot up times/hibernation is for ;)
     

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