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Author Topic: Electricity consumption and computers  (Read 6517 times)

Offline Guy

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Electricity consumption and computers
« on: February 02, 2011, 09:06:41 PM »
With the cost of electricity going up, like everything else, it is a cost to consider, particularly for those who leave computers on for long periods of time.

I have a device which can be plugged into the power, to measure how much electricity an appliance is using.

No doubt, different computers use different amounts electricity, and the same computer uses different amounts when used in different ways. Here is what I found with a couple of computers.

I use a 2.4 ghz desktop computer with a 21" crt monitor. This uses approximately 150 watts. When measured separately, the computer uses under 40 watts, and the monitor uses the rest.

I also have a notebook computer. This uses under 40 watts.

So no doubt, notebook computers use much less electricity than desktop computers with crt monitors.

I don't have a lcd desktop monitor, but I assume lcd monitors use less electricity than crt monitors.


In addition, I found the crt monitor uses over 30 watts when turned off, but still connected to the power. I suggest people using crt monitors turn off the power at the wall, when it is not in use.

I also found the notebook computer uses a similar amount of electricity whether turned on or off. Some of this may be charging the battery. However, I suggest people using notebook computers turn off the power to the computer, when the battery is charged, and the computer is not in use.


A similar thing happens with television. It uses a significant amount of power when connected to the power, but turned off. It is a good idea to turn off the power to the television, when it is not in use.

A similar thing happens with a number of other electrical appliances.

Many people are paying for electricity being used by appliances when they are turned off.


For those concerned about conserving electricity. By far the largest amount of electricity is used when heating or cooling. For example, hot water systems, heating the house, and air conditioning.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 09:39:46 PM by Guy »
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Offline Lee

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 10:00:21 PM »
Tell us more about the measuring device you are using - brand, model, cost, etc.

The only thing I have for that purpose is a smart UPS on my PC at work that I could use to measure different combinations of hardware - but of course I could only see the Powerchute utility when my CRT was actually turned on.

I'd be interested in measuring the power consumption of a -bunch- of computer hardware at home - but I'm not interested in spending big bucks to do so.  :)
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Offline Rich

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 10:09:43 PM »
A fairly popular unit is the "Kill-A-Watt". I've seen them either at Lowes or Home Depot.
My memory is a little fuzzy but I think it was in the 30 to 50 dollar range.

Offline Guy

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 11:22:51 PM »
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productResults.asp?keywords=ms+6115&keyform=KEYWORD&SUBMIT.x=8&SUBMIT.y=8

If you buy one, it costs $19.95
for 4 or more, they cost $17.70
for 10 or more, they cost $15.70

at http://www.jaycar.com.au/

Other shops are selling the same thing at higher prices.

This is Australian, and works on 240 volts or similar. The official range is 200 to 276 Volts AC. It has an Australian plug and socket. It would work anywhere in the world with a similar voltage, but would need adaptor plug and socket in countries where they are different.

It would not work in USA or other countries with 110 volts. There may be similar devices available for 110 volts.

It measures:
Volts
Current = Amps
Watts
Maximum watts, which is useful when the power consumption may vary.
You can enter the rate at which electricity is charged at, and it will calculate the cost.

The same product is shown on many other websites. Some have a larger picture, and more details. However, they are also more expensive. If you search for the model number, you can find them.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 12:02:04 AM by Guy »
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Offline thane

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 01:11:28 AM »
Based on what I've seen on other websites, most of the electricity used over the life of a computer is consumed during manufacture. The single biggest thing you can do to save computer electricity is to extend the life of the computer(s) you have for as long as reasonably possible before buying new ones.

Offline Guy

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 01:44:47 AM »
Even extending their life by using computers which other people discard.

I have not bought a computer which I have used on the internet since the 1990s.

I use computers which other people discard. It is not that I cannot afford to buy computers. It is just that I don't need to when I get them free.

I now have three 2.4 ghz computers and one 2.2 ghz computer which were free, as they were discarded by other people.

Each situation was different: One computer only needed Windows reinstalling, as the filesystem had become corrupted, and it ran very slowly. Some people don't know how to reinstall Windows, so they throw it away and buy a new one. Of course, I installed Tiny Core.

I have had other computers which I have just taken parts from, such as hard drives and ram.

Obtaining computers which other people discard, may not be possible for people living in poor countries.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 01:47:39 AM by Guy »
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Offline Arslan S.

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 12:45:47 PM »
lcd monitors consume much less energy (around 30-50 watts) but most important, it is good for your eyes, and i didn't even mention about the radiation from crt monitors

Offline vinnie

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 09:15:34 AM »
The international vendors Lidl sells a wattmeter  whit price below 10 €,  sells it occasionally during a specified period of time on the web site.
I possess and it is great.
Is this



Offline Guy

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 09:09:14 AM »
Since doing this, I have changed the way my computer is connected to the power.

I have set it up so I can turn the power off to the monitor, while the computer is still running. I will use this in certain situations, for example, when doing downloads.
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Offline jur

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2011, 05:04:18 PM »
I use an automatic power board, which turns off stuff after a certain period. EG, for my media center PC in the lounge, it will go to standby consuming a tiny amount (1W) if left alone for 10 minutes. The lack of video signal will turn the TV into standby as well. The power board monitors all the power consumed and if it is lower than a previously learned amount, will turn everything (TV, amps, subwoofer etc) completely off, except the PC which needs to switch on by itself to record TV programs.

There are power boards for media centers as described and for computer rooms.

Offline Guy

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Re: Electricity consumption and computers
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2011, 08:05:34 PM »
jur

I had one of the very early digital TV tuners in a computer. It was only standard definition, and I could only get it to work on the first release of Windows XP. I could not get it to work on Windows XP sp2. I could not get it to work on Linux. Since then, the motherboard died in that computer.

In the future, I may get another Digital TV tuner. I would like it to receive both standard definition and high definition. Ideally, it should be able to receive 2 channels at once. Ideally, it should work on Linux. I think a usb tuner is the way to go. I believe, some tuners require some processing by the computer, while with others, the processing is done in the tuner, which is ideal.

Is your TV tuner, one you would recommend? Is it a recent model?
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