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Thread: In theory . . .

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    Red face In theory . . .

    I have no interest in building a system designed for this, but I've been thinking about the 'ideal' system for downloading.

    Low power usage, silent, and small (physically).

    Any suggestions?

    Lets assume the system is on 24/7, using nothing but uTorrent.

    /discuss.
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    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
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    Re: In theory . . .

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=18158

    Or maybe the cheapest netbook you can find with an external drive plugged in.

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    Re: In theory . . .

    I've considered this, but the problem I've found with this is that the initial cost of bringing online an additional computer into your household (assuming that you already have one that you use during the daytime) negates the savings in electricity cost of running your existing computer overnight.

    For my downloading needs, I use an ancient Pentium III 650MHz and from the wall with an old inefficient PSU, it draws 40W. That machine effectively cost me nothing because it would be sat in the attic unused otherwise. This is for a machine running 24/7 and as a bonus it functions as a file-server too.

    Assuming that you pay £0.15 for every kWh unit of electricity:
    40W running 24/7 = £52.42 (1 year), £104.52 (2 years), £262.08 (5 years)
    Initial cost = £0.00
    Total cost = £52.42 (1 year), £104.52 (2 years), £262.08 (5 years)
    Even after 5 years, this cost less than a typical nettop machine's initial purchase cost (before you even factor in electricity costs) and considerably less than a Mac Mini.


    Now consider the second scenario where you leave your main PC running overnight. I'll assume that it's left on from 22:00 to 08:00 for downloads (typical ISP off-peak times) and a typical idle power consumption of 100W.
    100W running 10hrs/day = £54.60 (1 year), £109.20 (2 years), £273.00 (5 years)

    Being conservative and taking a machine with 150W idle (but bear in mind that most newer systems come in considerably lower than this when sat at the desktop downloading):
    150W running 10hrs/day = £81.90 (1 year), £163.80 (2 years), £409.50 (5 years)

    Again, the total cost of these are just electicity running costs, because you already have the system.


    Next, the Mac Mini running roughly 15W idle:
    15W running 10hrs/day = £8.19 (1 year), £16.38 (2 years), £40.95 (5 years)
    Total cost including the £499 cost of the machine = £507 (1y), £515 (2y), £540 (5y)
    This ruled out the Mac Mini for me - there is just no break-even point no matter how long you keep it. It only makes sense to replace an existing innefficient PC (maybe).


    Finally consider the ASUS EeeBox at roughly the same as the Mac Mini.
    Total cost including best £180 price = £188 (1y), £196 (2y), £220 (5y)
    This one might make a bit of sense, but only if you have a regular PC drawing more than 100W when at idle. My HTPC idles at 60-65W. If you have an older PC similar to my Pentium III, it might be cheaper to bring that back into use than to retire it. My 40W P3 would cost £109.20 to run over 5 years.

    Of course, this is simplified, and doesn't take into account things like inflation and fluctuations in energy prices. The picture might change if you're downloading 24/7, but then you have to subtract the time that you're using your machine during the day.

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    Re: In theory . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraz View Post
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=18158

    Or maybe the cheapest netbook you can find with an external drive plugged in.
    if i ever plan on downloading large files.. i use my netbook cos it draws (i think) 20 watts from the wall while downloading and i have a 1TB external drive for it..
    probably the cheapest way

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    Re: In theory . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by matty-hodgson View Post
    if i ever plan on downloading large files.. i use my netbook cos it draws (i think) 20 watts from the wall while downloading and i have a 1TB external drive for it..
    probably the cheapest way
    Agree that a netbook would do.
    Alternatively a high end core2duo laptop (T7/T8/T9/P8). I find that the C2D laptop use less power than the netbook (Assume you use integrated graphics).
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    Re: In theory . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    Agree that a netbook would do.
    Alternatively a high end core2duo laptop (T7/T8/T9/P8). I find that the C2D laptop use less power than the netbook (Assume you use integrated graphics).
    a C2D laptop CPU will use more power than a whole netbook..

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    Re: In theory . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by matty-hodgson View Post
    a C2D laptop CPU will use more power than a whole netbook..
    Not when it's idling.
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    Re: In theory . . .

    Use an atom board , slap in some cheap ram, put it in this case. Then put in a low power big HDD and you have a nice efficient downloader. Just don't try playing HD Movies on it.

    Total Cost - £192.80 (1TB storage)

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    Re: In theory . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by badass View Post
    Not when it's idling.
    Just tested, my Dell 1525 C2D T8300 use 12.7W from the wall with screen off, my Dell Mini9 use 10.2W. Though the Mini9 have a SSD and the 1525 have a 5400rpm disk.

    Not to mention the T8300 can handle 1080p while the Mini9 can't even do 720p.

    The peak power for the T8300 is obviously higher (34W at 100% Load, screen off) but it can do 4-5 times more work than the Atom.
    You can take the power usage further down by installing less ram (e.g. 1 stick). That made a 30 minutes different when I run on battery. (Out of 4 hours)

    I'm not so sure about the Atom boards. Almost every Mobile-on-desktop board I've seen use significantly more power than those board used in a laptop with the same configuration. Probably due to the desktop ram installed.
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    Re: In theory . . .

    Some great replies, cheers!
    "Don't wanna see your face, don't wanna hear your voice . . ."

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    Re: In theory . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by cmndr_andi View Post
    Use an atom board , slap in some cheap ram, put it in this case. Then put in a low power big HDD and you have a nice efficient downloader. Just don't try playing HD Movies on it.

    Total Cost - £192.80 (1TB storage)
    D945GCLF uses 22W for the chipset alone plus the rest of system makes 35W or so..

    Asus Eee Box is around 17W when loaded (or mine is!) and silent. Perfect download box and mine is FS in the forum right now.. that'd do a better job (and hides away behind the monitor). Mine is a 24/7 download box and media/web server

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    Re: In theory . . .

    NAS box with as many HDD slots as you require. Cheap, pre-assembled, redundant (if you use RAID), and just enough power to get what you need done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
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    Re: In theory . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    NAS box with as many HDD slots as you require. Cheap, pre-assembled, redundant (if you use RAID), and just enough power to get what you need done.
    Like this...
    http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/796357...Torrent+Client

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    Re: In theory . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    Yup, that's a nice, no frills downloading box.
    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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