PC Energy Use

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item PC Energy Use

  • good Article, something that I never expected to be doing but actually seem to spend a lot of my time with 🙂

  • Richard,

    Thanks for sharing your spreadsheet and for a good article, especially driving home how much energy those monitors consume! While I knew how to calculate the energy consumption, I didn't know how to calculate the carbon footprint. Your spreadsheet will make it easier for other people to think about power consumption. This can easily be expanded to other electric equipment.

  • Excellent article (and spreadsheet)to get the discusssion started

    A real firestarter is when you start to look at standby power (a completely unneccessary expediture)

    have you seen these?


    At my placeof work when you account for vacation time, stat holidays and average sick leave during a years means the average workstation / cubicle is in standby mode over 7200 hours per year

    You can get get a device like this:


    in orde to accurately measure your stanby usage at an a sample workstation and then multipy out from there based on the actual employees/workstations

    Also be sure to factor into the caost of payback on the usb power strip devices that you buy a power bar/surge protector anyways

  • Better yet for $15 retail you could use your existing pwer bar:


    If you work in a coporate environment and purchased say 100 or 1000 or more units at a time I'm sure that you could buy these in the $5/unit range

  • Thanks for your comments guys, appreciated.

    Your comments about standby time are something I've been concerned with for a while now - there's a company in Cambridge (that's the proper Cambridge) who've developed a standby chip which runs on 100ma, which is virtually nothing, but that'll take a while to come through - older stuff can take up to 40watts just on standby (mobile phone chargers are a pain - they use between 1 and 5 watts constantly). Those power strips look very useful, although better if they had a remote (turn them off as you leave the house or go to bed and just leave the recorder on). I wonder if there's a UK version yet?

    I also thought about buying a throughput meter, although our government are shoving huge amounts of money at the issue of power use/climate change, why should every concerned individual have to buy a plastic box shipped from China and spend hours monitoring the power use of applicances when there's a huge central body who could easily (and usefully) tell us this stuff....

    This was one of the reasons for the article in the first place, everything I've found is so blooming fluffy, just give me the numbers. Of course part of the problem here is that the people who do have the numbers are making too much money out of consulting to give them to the people who could use them....

  • my reason for the meter is that you need to show real hard numbers for a couple of individual applications to make a stromg case to higher ups in a corporation to extend the idea across 5 or 10 thousand PCS

    as for the remote thing- try insteon or x10

  • Excellent post, I look forward to studying the spreadsheet and other links that you posted.

    I've always configured my monitors to turn off after X minutes, usually my screen saver kicks in at 10 minutes of inactivity and the monitor powers off 10 minutes after that. I normally leave my work PC powered up 24/7 except for holidays and vacations, but I just finished reconfiguring it to stand by and hibernate, we'll see how that works out. I just have too much stuff running that I need to go through shut down and power up every day.

    [font="Arial"]Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson[/font]

  • Noticed the comment about monitors using as much with screensaver as running Office. Here in Wisconsin (USA) our public library system allows us to borrow a throughput meter (the "Kill-a-watt" meter it's called). I did this, and noticed that on our television, the wattage used depends very much on what is on the screen. A CRT is basically a light-bulb -- up to 60 watts or so when "lit up" with bright or white content, down to very little when dark. This was a TV, so no sleep mode or anything, just what was on the screen. I would presume that the power used by a monitor running a screen saver depends a lot on what the screen saver is showing.

    Those curmudgeons who insist on doing everything at the black screen DOS prompt may actually be on the cutting edge of green computing!

  • This is strictly from home.

    Some of the motherboards in the last 4 years actually can be polled to determine power consumption. As well, every box I build has only the motherboard, 1 HD, ram, CPU, nic, sound card and video in it. No other equipment is installed. This took my power consumption from 210 watts to about 160 watts per hours once I had the power consumption from the extra drives and dvd writer gone. All of those items are attached via USB in an external case (love the BYTECC ones personnally) and I only turn them on when I actually use. And when I shutdown most times I hybernate to reduce start power consumption but that is small.

    I also, changed all lights to CF (waiting for LEDs to become afforable) and all holiday decorations are LED lights. I also work from home 2 days (sometimes 3 days) a week and I open the blinds before I turn on the lighst most days.

  • Hi Mike,

    Yes, a common thing with CRT's, if you have a CRT use http://www.blackle.com instead of Google.

    However, it doesn't work for TFTs, some of them even use more power to display black.

    As far as light bulbs are concerned, don't use LED's, they're rubbish, the light quality is terrible and the lamp life is seriously not as good as stated (maybe on average, but not in practice, of the two halogen replacement LEDs we have 3 of the 9 bulbs in the arrays blew after a month).

    The main culprit is halogens for us - we have 10 in our kitchen, 10 x 50 watts. Ouch. We've replaced tham with flourescents, they are the same size as halogen bulbs, but draw 7 watts. They are a bit expensive and be warned they are too deep for some fittings, but just in our kitchen they save us £100 a year. UK site http://www.eco-lights.co.uk

    Another top tip - we've found with bayonet fitted flourescent bulbs that Tescos own brand actually fire up quicker than the more expensive brands.... It's worth buying a few different types because the difference in start up times is quite marked between them.

  • Every time I log in at work the global AD policy sets monitor power-off to disabled. Fortunately, I can override it but pretty much everyone else doesn't bother. There are a LOT of computers here at bigcompany and why the monitor off is set to disabled instead of set to 30 minutes or so is beyond me. Let people opt-in to keeping their screens on all the time, not out.

  • Here's another article related to this topic.

    This article on Tom's Hardware compared the energy consumption of an AMD vs. Intel CPU...



    Jeff M. Belina
    Sr. Database Developer/DBA

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