How much power usage question

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Infected, May 3, 2015.

  1. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

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    I've been wondering how much power my desktop is using. I have a Thermaltake toughpower 850w PSU. Q9550 CPU, 750 TI GPU, 4 sticks of RAM. SSD, Soundcard.

    How many watts do you think I'm using per day? I use my desktop probably 6 hours a day maybe?

    Just thinking about going greener, with my laptop only. Or will it make much of a difference?

    regards
     
  2. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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  3. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

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  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Probably much less than what you think. Note that it is not so much how long you are on, but what you are doing - that is, how much you are taxing your system with gaming or extreme graphics rendering. Note your 9559 is very efficient. And if you look at the chart here, you can see your graphics card is fairly conservative too. RAM does not draw much and SSDs are much more efficient than hard drives. A soundcard may eat a little more than integrated sound, but BY FAR the biggest power consumer in your sound will be the amplifiers and they are typically built into the speakers.

    So my guess is your computer draws less than 250W most of the time and rarely, if ever, peaks above 400. That means you would have to be on for 4 hours before you even consume 1kW/hr.

    It is critical to remember all your computer parts inside your computer will draw from the PSU only what they need. And the PSU will delivery only what is demanded of it. So if your motherboard, RAM, graphics, drive and sound card need 250W, that is all they will demand of the PSU. And the PSU will only pull from the wall what the computer needs, plus a little more due to inefficiencies. Not what the PSU is capable of.

    And since your PSU is a decent one rated at a respectable ~85% efficiency, with a 250W demand, it will only draw from the wall 287.5W. So clearly, you have WAY BIGGER power supply than you need! But that is no big deal because an 85% efficient 500W supply will draw the same 287.5W.

    Note right now, I have my 3.4Ghz i7 3770 (slightly overclocked to 4.1GHz), 2 sticks of RAM, 1 HD, 1 SSD, and GTX650Ti graphics AND my router, my modem, a 4-Port switch, AND two 22" inch widescreen monitors connected to my APC UPS which has an LCD status panel and I am currently only pulling just 152W! And that drops to 122W if I turn off one monitor. Now granted, sitting here entering text in a forum is not taxing my system much, but it still shows how little is used.

    Well, that depends on the notebook and what you do. But for me, they will have to pry my full sized keyboard, mouse, two widescreen monitors and my 5.1 surround sound speakers out of my dead hands before I switch to a notebook for my primary computer!
     
  5. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

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    Yeah, mine is hooked up to a Samsung 32" LED tv and I have a Creative 5.1 250w sound system also. Hard to give up
     
  6. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I have an APC UPS as well. I idle around 240w and that is with a bunch of stuff plugged into it:
    - Desktop (4770k overclocked, GTX970 overclocked, ram overclocked, 8 fans, 1 ssd, 2 hdd's)
    - Server (2500k, 4 hdd's, 3 fans)
    - Sub (KRK 10s)
    - Speakers (BX5D2's)
    - Audio interface
    - Router
    - Modem
    - 2 CFL monitors

    The most I've ever seen being drawn from it was 700W when I was REALLY pushing my speakers and running P95 on my desktop.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Are your speakers on the battery side of the UPS? I would advise against having any self-powered speaker on the battery side of an UPS - though certainly on the S&S side would be good. For sure the computer, monitors and networking equipment should be on the battery side.
     
  8. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Yes, a watt-hour meter measures current and voltage, you connect it in "line" (series connection) with the device you are monitoring.
     
  9. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Yep, they are. It helped clean up some noise I was getting. Whenever the washing machine or furnace kicked on, I'd hear a pop in the speakers. I don't think it's damaging, but it just bothers me.
     
  10. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I'm surprised that no one has made installable software that can monitor power usage.
     
  11. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I think I remember seeing a CPU wattage stat in some stat program (HWinfo maybe?). Not sure if there's anything that will show you the total wattage of your pc though. If you get one of the fancy Corsair power supplies, they provide a program that will tell you all kinds of stuff about it.
     
  12. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    All our HP servers do, but I have never seen on a desktop, Pcs have completely passive power supplies (lower cost) where as our servers have full embedded lights out management of all hardware (high cost but allows full remote management).
     
  13. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    When I was using APC UPS my computer was using 50W when computer was idle and monitor was off and ~ 100W when monitor was on. My new Socomec UPS unfortunately doesn't show this data.
     
  14. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Where would it be installed? That's the problem. To put such "intelligence" in PSUs and/or motherboards would cost more money. Yes, some servers have this capability but when servers are often ganged with 100s of other servers, that information can be critical to facility managers. But in those cases, you don't have monitors, external drives, external speakers, and other devices with their own power supplies connected to each server either.

    So for installable software, what would it monitor? Only what's going through the motherboard - not your whole computer's power consumption so not sure it would be that helpful on individual PCs.

    I note many UPS, including my APC, uses PowerChute software. And because my computer, monitors, attached devices, and network gear run through my UPS, I can see how much power I am using in a day. And I can set the KW/h costs and have it calculate how much it is costing me to run my computer every month (about $10.34).

    Depending on the gain (volume) setting, it could damage a speaker driver. I would still put it on the surge and spike protector side and not the battery side. And it may be a good idea to check the wiring of your wall outlets, including where the washer connects with a good AC Outlet Tester to ensure your outlets are properly wired and grounded. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Walmart. And if a fault is shown, have it fixed by a qualified electrician. One of these should be in every home.
     
  15. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I keep them a little over half volume on the speakers themselves, with -5dB in my interface software, and rarely push them over half volume on the interface. They're really quite loud even so, especially for an apartment.
     
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