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Thread: Reducing power usage, ideas?

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    Reducing power usage, ideas?

    Well the power bill has been quite alot recently and i know why, the computer on load uses about 300(with the screen using ~40) and its on quite a bit and it almost makes up a half of the bill!. Now the system is in my spec <-----, any ideas on how to cut down on the power usage?. I can see the obvious one is to change the gpu, how much of a benefit would i see on going to a 9600/9800 and the value of my card at this time?. Im told underclocking doesnt help as it still uses a set voltage but im happy to be proved wrong.


    ANy help appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    The obvious one is to use the computer less and turn it off when not in use

    Buy a secondhand laptop for almost nothing to use for web-browsing, and save the main computer for when you need the power.

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    A couple of points.

    * Underclock and undervolt your CPU, or at least make use of C-States of your CPU.
    * Underclock and undervolt your GPU when you're not gaming.
    * Use aggressive OS power management, particularly with your display and disks. Make sure to make your computer sleep sooner when idle.
    * Swap out your big 3.5 hard drives for leaner meaner 2.5" laptop drives.
    * Consider a more power efficent PSU like an Enermax.

    That should get you down to about 80W idle (next to nothing in sleep, 0W in hibernation), 150Wish max. I'm actually surprised your machine uses that much juice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    I know they were coming . If using the pc less is not an option and a laptop couldnt be used then are there any other methods?. Looking at gpu watt usage it seems a 4850 uses 50W less than my 9800GTX and thinking about it with the psu having on average 80~&#37; then it could really be 60 in the real world which will cut down power alot.



    Edit: I was supprised aswell really, reviews that use higher spec computers use less than mine!. I have speedstep enabled and was thinking of keeping cpu underclocked, is it safe to use overclocking software in windows? If im underclocking i dont think it would affect stability. How would i undervolt the gpu? Would underclocking on its own do a bit? This PSU is ment to be i think 85 or 87% efficient but then its a high rated psu(700w) so it could be less at lower usage, unfortunalty its not an option to really replace any components like a psu or hard drives but a swap for say a 9800GTX to a 9800gt or something is do able. Also, will turning off hard disks crash the system? I never knew what the point of that option was .
    Last edited by Hicks12; 22-02-2009 at 04:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    I must also point out that the 700W PSU really should be more like 500W. Even though Enermax PSUs generally have a much flatter efficiency curve, it's still there, so I'd avoid silly high wattage PSUs anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    Yeh, i overlooked effciency to be honest and went for the best value(Xclio solid and cheap!) so got the best future proofed one i could.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    IT all depends what you want to do really. If you are gaming then I guess it a trade off between performance and running cost. If its just basic browsing etc then I suppose you could use a laptop but the cost of buing new stuff will probably outweigh the saving.
    □ΞVΞ□

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    Well i game quite a bit which is why i got the gpu(was a 8800GTS 512 originally) but i dont need to run the latest games at max and i only really play counter strike source and the later games like dow2(cpu based) but the 9800GT/9600GT are not that much slower than a 9800GTX AFAIK so i think its a sacrifce worth taking.

    Any ideas on what gpu i should get?
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    A 9600GT will do the trick, or a HD4830 if you want to go ATi. Both shouldn't use any more than 150W.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    How often is it used at load? What is the power draw when idle? How long is the PC on both idle and load during the day? You need to take all these into consideration tbh. A saving of 50 watts on load is of little benefit if you only game for 3 hours a day.

    50watts 24/7 = &#163;50 a year
    50watts 3hrs a day = &#163;6.25 a year

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    well heres what ive got at the moment:

    9 Hours aday- Half is idle and half is load, idle counts as using firefox/msn and skype+some downloading, appears to use ~220W under idle. Load is going to be tested in a few but i think around 300w

    weekend is about 11hours a day, about 7 hours idle the rest load.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    underclocking will reduce power consumption but only by a bit, undervolting and underclocking the cpu is ur safest option for now because it's an easy and proven undervolter. i would definitely avoid software overclocking tools and wouldn't touch a software that claims to change voltages with a barge pole. but since u want to play dowII i guess cpu underclocking isn't a great option. Tbh i can't see anything in your system that would draw a lot of power so i'm eyeing your power supply susiciously. How are you monitoring your power draw? Are you sure it is accurate?

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    All my PC kit (described here: http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...ml#post1575444) uses a total of 115 watts. If I take out the ATI HD3450 and put in an ATI 4850, power usage goes up by I think 50 or so watts at idle, obviously going up to 200+ in demanding games.

    I leave my PC on 24/7 and it costs about &#163;4.50 a week.

    I also have a PC which is a dual core E5200 on a GA-E7AUM-DS2H board, which uses a rather nice 50 watts during normal use.

    Make sure that the CPU low-power options in the BIOS are enabled - they're normally named similarly to C2E/C3E/C4E etc. My E8400 clocks down to 2GHz from the stock 3GHz most of the time. You could also underclock if you really wanted to, but the power saving probably wouldn't be that great. The main thing to check is that all the power supplies for your small devices are as efficient as possible, which basically means checking to see whether they are running hot - hotter == less efficient.
    Last edited by smargh; 22-02-2009 at 06:55 PM.

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    It seems my pc uses around 170 on idle now, 210 with screen on. I think i worked out the bills wrong as i thought it was &#163;80 a quarter and my pc makes up about &#163;25/&#163;30 so it wasa high but im thinking its &#163;80 a month so its not much. Would a 4850 use less power than a 9800GTX? Does it perform better than a 9800gtx aswell?(havent looked into the 4850 recently), and is there a 40nm version of the 4850 coming? Id get that if its due out in a few months.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    170 idle!

    Mines 133 without my screen and I have a B3 step Q6600.

    Somethings wrong somewhere, suggest you have a look at any programs using CPU cycles and anything keeping your videocard in performance mode.

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Reducing power usage, ideas?

    Hmm, how many fans you have in your system?. I have 11(including NB/cpu cooler), it could be my motherboard as its an nivida chipset and iirc they are known to be power hungry(and useless overclocking) chips. I really dont see how it could be more than your system though, you have a gtx 260 and a quad core which is alot more power hungry than my chip thats underclocked to 2.5ghz.

    Im going to try and take out every fan and see the difference on my system later in the week. It could well be my PSU not being as efficient at lower usage as if mine takes about 140w then an extra 20&#37; is needed(~80/85% effcient) so that would be about 170.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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