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Small Form Factor Would an Intel stick be good for ->

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Vault-Tec, 18 Oct 2017.

  1. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Hey guys. So I split with my wife about four months ago and I just got in my first quarterly bill. Now bear in mind I get up between 7-10am (depending on how well the sleeping pills work) and then switch on my PC and go off and set up the coffee machine etc, etc. I then come back, sit down and spend most of the day here back and forth between cleaning, hoovering.. You get the picture. Any way I leave the PC on all day and usually shut it down around 10pm and go off to bed.

    My leccy bill was about £80 a month. Gas was a fiver a month, but I only use that for hot water ATM.

    My current rig (all of the juicy power chomping stuff any way) is as follows.

    Broadwell E Xeon 14 core 28T. Usually sits at around 0.9v.
    Titan XP undervolted but still overclocked to around 2ghz.
    MSI X99 SLi Plus mainboard
    Two 3.5" HDD (one Raptor one 2tb) and two 2.5" laptop spinners
    Three 2.5" SSDs
    M.2 SSD
    Asus Xonar D2X.
    Corsair AX1200

    Oh and obviously water cooling (an AIO and a loop for my GPU).

    Now Eon are crafty and signed me up for the "I use lots of leccy at night" thing. I'm not overly worried about my bills but I would like to bring them down. So I had a few questions..

    Would I actually see a difference using something like either an Android PC thingermebub or one of those Baytrail compute sticks? And would either of those be good for multi tasking (like listening to music all day) and uploading photos etc?

    For some reason whenever I have a project on the go I do not game. At all. So I am beginning to wonder if using something like this would actually save me a decent chunk of change. I can get a compute stick for less than £100. I do use Photoshop a lot, as well as a couple of other desktop apps, but I can always use an old version of Photoshop if CPU power is a problem in later versions.

    Also, since my wife left I have noticed the bill has only gone down by about £15 a month, and she spent her life on her Ipad. And that was about it for her, just literally her Ipad.

    Edit in. Hmm, maybe I should invest in a power thing that shows me just how much my PC actually uses at my daily use. Can some one recommend one that is very easy to use and idiot proof please?
     
  2. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    I bought watt meter from maplin, it was about £15, it was very illuminating, I tested everything in the house and discovered the fancy pants uplighters the missus bought were burning 700w, I can’t remember if that was each or a pair now, my memory fails me, but even so :eek: a lot more than the sub 80w my PC would idle at and they would be on for at least 6hrs a night every night and more on a weekend.

    We also had a very inefficient beer fridge that was chomping down 100w continuous, replaced with a proper fridge, also a lot of the entertainment stuff was taking a fair bit on standby.
     
  3. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I use something like this, but older. My desktop draws about 30W when I'm not doing much, up to about 150W when I'm busting its chops - but I can guarantee yours will be drawing more.

    You'll want to plug it in, zero it, then use your PC as normal. It'll total up the kilowatt hours (kWh) usage, which is how much electricity your PC used over the course of the day. Times that by however much E.ON charges per kWh and you've got how much your PC costs to run.

    That'll give you a much better idea of actual cost than just looking at an instantaneous reading in watts and multiplying in your head.
     
  5. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    That's what I have
     
  6. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Egg cement ! thanks guys !

    Yeah, I do need to start proper snooping really. For example I have two headphone amps that don't have a power switch and the makers say to keep them plugged in. Thing is, sometimes I go for weeks without using them. Then I have two valve amps powering my surround system and also a subwoofer that are on 24/7. Problem is most of this stuff is on power strips and the wall switches are inaccessible. So I think what I may need to do is buy some power strips, isolate each group of things (like the PVR etc that need to stay on) and then fit power switches to the strips so I can turn things off when I don't use them. Example, since the wife has gone I hardly ever watch TV. I catch up whilst I am eating my dinner but that's it, yet all of the sound equipment for the TV Is on 24/7.

    So yeah, couple of wall mount power buttons in an easy to access place, isolation and hopefully I can save a few bob each month. I will order that power meter thing shortly.
     
  7. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Yeah, your PC ins't putting much in to that £80/month unless you're mining or stress testing all day, and it will be a good long while to break even buying something lower power.

    Watt meters are the best for peace of mind. I'm similarly inclined from what you say - not necessarily fretting about the bills per se, just don't want to be excessively wasteful. Most of this stuff that bugs you (as it did I) won't any more after you pick one up and realise that the difference between leaving it on 24/7 and messing with smart plugs, switches or timers in real terms is ~10p/month.
     
  8. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK so I found this.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/INTEL-1ST...875475&hash=item3f87655489:g:gikAAOSw7ehZcldq

    1gb memory 8gb storage. I have a hub/switch that would connect the K/M to it and a spare port in the hub I could put in say a 32gb memory card with some music on. Just one thing I don't know how to do.. Now I have a NAS (Dlink something) and I have an app for it for Windows that I have to open each time I boot which I then have to connect to the two separate drives in the NAS. This then assigns them letters and I have all of my music on one of the drives. However, I could not get my Ubuntu rig to connect to the NAS. Gareth, I suppose you are the expert to ask about this. One thing I never studied, bothered with nor understood was networking. Is there any way to get into my NAS from Ubuntu?

    Thing is I am pretty sure that this thing would pay for itself within a couple of months. Especially if I make sure that I only have the essentials on (fridge etc).
     
  9. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    You say you're only using gas for hot water ATM, are you using any electricity at all for heating (space heating, or basically anything that uses an element)? Often that will make any techy standby costs pail in comparison.

    Might be worth shopping around for other suppliers electricity rates too, or even simply checking you are on the best one with your current supplier.
     
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Gas central heating mate. So no, other than the oven (and rarely the kettle as I use a coffee machine) no. I've not turned the heating on yet. TBH I only put on full length PJs the other day* rather than cut down PJs or what I call bed shorts. I'm also wearing a Tshirt now as opposed to nothing too.

    My wife was tight with the heating but she had a point. All of the windows leak and the ceilings are over 17ft high. So the heating is kinda like farting down the underground. I don't like it on at night (I have a feather duvet and pillows so they are ice cold) and never sleep under the covers so I sleep in onesies over winter.I could probably do without it most of the time apart from my fingers. So I may try cotton gloves this year so i can still type etc but not have ice blocks for hands :D

    * depression means that I only really get dressed about 40% of the time. Right now I am really bad. I think the divorce/uncle dying of cancer/all sorts of other stress and pressures have pushed me into a ditch. I've been out of my flat twice in the past two months and today just so happens to be the anniversary (36 yrs) of my father's death so I've spent most of the morning wiping tears.
     
  11. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    I really think you're overestimating how much juice your PC is chewing through at idle or lightweight tasks - a low power system may or may not pay for itself within a few months (I'd be more inclined to say not, never mind the compromises you would have to make for day-to-day stuff), but a watt meter almost certainly would.

    I run a 3kW commercial espresso machine all day, every day, that I initially thought was going to cost a fortune to keep running. Even that is only costing me £3-4 month.
     
  12. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK well I ordered the meter Gaz posted :) that should be here tomorrow. I will then monitor what my entire rig costs (inc the subwoofer monitor etc etc) and then move over to the PC itself.
     
  13. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    Your rig is likely idling around 150 to 175w, I would imagine. :D

    Mine idles around 90-100w or so.
     
  14. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Of course if there is any old hardware in your machine like PSU it is always worth checking it is working in its efficiency island, when I was running a load of 290s with an OC'd 3770k I saved nearly 500w putting in a 90+ efficient PSU vs the 80+ psu I had that was operating well outside its comfort zone and as I was mining on it the saving was worth having and paid for itself :D
     
  15. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    The AX 1200 is super efficient, IIRC. But yeah, definitely want to see what is eating the most juice :)
     
  16. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    We have a smart meter and it's been quite an eye-opener to see how much (or little) juice things use.

    I'd be amazed if your PC was contributing massively to your bill: as an example, say it's on 24/7 and averaging 200W, that's 4.8KW/h a day or 144KW/h a month. If you're paying 15p for a KW/h then that's £21.60 a month.

    By contrast, running an electric shower for 10 minutes a day might cost you something like £7.50 a month, or boiling a kettle four times a day might be four or five quid a month.
     
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  17. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Well I know that valves can use a lot of leccy. My cinema amps have 6? something like that. The only annoying thing is that after you restart the front speaker amp it defaults to a different channel so you need to select it. Mind you, for the amount of time I use the TV etc it may be worth the aggro.
     
  18. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    That they can, though I'm not sure if it's the valves in themselves that use the power, or just the fact that valve amps tend to be of a certain design to use the juice. Class-A amps are thirsty as hell whether they've valved or solid state.

    Which amp? Is that a valve pre, or power as well? The only multi-channel valve/hybrid amp I can think off offhand is the Pathos Cinema-X... hnnnnnrgh.
     
  19. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    On my PC I have a valve pre (12A AC 2amp) and a Aune TK1 MK2 valve pre with trans out.

    I just performed some initial testing. Now here is what I have plugged in and switched on...

    Aune TK1
    Graham Slee Novo (neither of these have power switches)
    HP Envy 32" 1440p monitor with B&O speakers.
    Bose Acoustimass sub that has been modded to take a Chinese 12v 2a DC amp. I got it really cheap £45) and it was mint so yeah I modded it a year or so back to add some bass.
    Triad PC (listed above)
    two 28650? batteries charging for my Ecig.
    Oppo phone charging.

    When I plugged in the multi meter and booted it was using 270w all in. When Windows had done starting and it settled down it dropped as low as 212w. When I ran Unigene Superposition (which really goes hard on both the GPU and CPU) I was using 378w. I have my Titan XP undervolted (both power limit and temp limit) very low. However I still have it clocked to 2ghz, so long as it remains within the thermal window I set which IIRC was 60c.

    So yeah, I don't think the PC et al are the culprits... When Tom @ OC3D donated me the AX1200 he told me it had led a very easy life. Was in one of his review rigs for a year or so.

    I do run my washing machine quite a lot (every two days) but I cold wash everything so there is no heating element. I do cook every night too, sometimes running the oven for 45 mins or so.

    I will move onto the cinema system later. It's going to be a right dog to get to the power socket/s. I literally have to pull a very heavy unit out of a cove in the wall to get access.

    Edit. Sorry Tad I did not answer your question properly.

    The cinema system uses two valve amps (not cinema). One is a Fat Man which is all valve, then I have another amp that is pre valve and trans output. The sub is obviously powered, and the centre is on one of those Chinese amps I spoke about. I did this as I never turn it up very loud because I live in a human sandwich, middle flat between two others. So I am always pretty quiet where I can be.

    I was using a 5.1 decoder but it didn't work very well. So what I did was make up a RCA distro block and run it in stereo and flipped the rear speakers to give it a pseudo sort of effect. I think it was because nearly all of what I watched wasn't in surround (I don't watch Blus etc just the TV and the odd movie on Netflix out here) so I was forever having to get up and press the button to make it run in pseudo. Which was annoying, so yeah I made it perma psuedo lol.
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2017
  20. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    We recently had new smart meters installed along with the little monitoring pad, it was the lighting throughout the house, the electric shower, and wifes hairdryer that semed to burn through the electricity.

    Our house ticks over at roughly 3p per hour (fridge freezer, chest freezer, TV’s and set top boxes on standby, PC idle with monitor off) so I’d say it’s unlikely the PC is the main contributor to your bills.
     

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