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Thread: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

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    Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Just had my elec bill and it is very high!!

    Now, my PC is on all day so looking to replace it and buy a more efficient PC that is also powerful enough for day to day stuff.

    Needs to be nippy as all i do is surf the web, order stuff online (Wife's shopping) some photo manipulation, video editing from cam, no gaming, word processing.

    Any ideas? Not sure about budget.

    I have a quad CPU at the mo, 4gig ram, 500g hard drive, 530W PSU
    Last edited by golwg; 15-02-2010 at 07:26 PM.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Have you checked your power saving features are working on the rig you have now?

    On my AMD based machine I had to turn on Cool & Quiet in the BIOS and set the Windows power profile to Laptop to get the cpu scaling to really work.

    First thing to buy is a mains power meter though. I got mine from Maplin, I think it was on offer for 12 quid.

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    Senior Member oolon's Avatar
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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    First thing to buy is a mains power meter though. I got mine from Maplin, I think it was on offer for 12 quid.
    Good advice there from DanceswithUnix, personally I did a split I have an atom based system (35W) which i leave on all the time, and a powerful box xeon w3550 when need the speed (not measured the power yet). Most of the time, I use the atom. My switch takes 50W and my monitor takes 40W! So not much point in me getting my always on computer any lower power.

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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Photomanipulation and video editing are fairly power hungry apps (in terms of processor speed.

    I have a small 1Ghz machine using an ITX mobo that acts as a web and mail server, and runs Firefox quite happily (under a Linux operating system. It takes about 40W using a pico PSU. You might want something with a little more grunt if you are going to run a windows OS on it, but a 1.4 or 1.6 Ghz processor would be enough if all you are going to use it for is every day web stuff and e mail. Then keep the other one switched off until you need it for the specific apps that need it.
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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    The Atom will be perfectly capable of doing anything online, but may get a little slow on the photo & video editing side, but you can always do that on the other machine. You could go even lower powered and get an atom powered netbook, they use very little. Tiny screen but most can be hooked up to an external monitor.
    Then you can do your surfing from anywhere.

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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Here is a link to some power figures at Anandtech:

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=3733

    Which quad core do you have? Looks like I5-750 is rather nice on idle power consumption and very good on video encoding.

    Also, avoid high end graphics cards:

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=3733

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    I think you may be better getting a SECOND PC.. a tiny little efficient job.. and keeping the quad for your heavy work..

    let it shut down into Sleep Mode so tis only drawing 6 or 7W when you walk away....

    How to make a SLEEP mode shortcut on your desktop:

    Right click your Desktop, hover your mouse over NEW and then click Shortcut

    Paste this into the destination box

    %windir%\System32\rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState

    Click Next

    Rename it SLEEP

    Click Finish

    This will now work, but if you'd like a new icon for it, Right Click it, choose
    Properties and Change Icon and pick one from

    %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll


    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33 View Post
    I think you may be better getting a SECOND PC.. a tiny little efficient job.. and keeping the quad for your heavy work..

    let it shut down into Sleep Mode so tis only drawing 6 or 7W when you walk away....

    How to make a SLEEP mode shortcut on your desktop:

    Right click your Desktop, hover your mouse over NEW and then click Shortcut

    Paste this into the destination box

    %windir%\System32\rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState

    Click Next

    Rename it SLEEP

    Click Finish

    This will now work, but if you'd like a new icon for it, Right Click it, choose
    Properties and Change Icon and pick one from

    %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll

    Or.. Just:

    Start -> Sleep

  9. #9
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    you'll be suprised how few people can be bothered to do that when walking away for 5 minutes..... a desktop icon is easier.(or 4 in my case.. all in a clump so it's easy to hit with a mouse)

    OR....

    Windows Button on keyboard
    Right Arrow one
    Return
    Last edited by Zak33; 15-02-2010 at 06:19 PM. Reason: additional

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  10. #10
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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Fantastic help Zak. Works a treat!

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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    I was thinking of selling my PC and getting a Mac Mini though as they are supposed to be very energy efficient or am i wrong? Or, what about an Asrock 330 pc?
    Last edited by golwg; 15-02-2010 at 08:21 PM.

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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Another idea, what about an ITX build? Anyone built one that is both powerful and power efficient?

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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    I tested my i5 750 @ stock with 1 HD and it measured 78 watts idle. The average over an hour of web surfing was ~90 watts. One could get the idle down to 60watts with an SSD and better graphics card. Most of the time a PC is running at or near idle.

    1 watt 24/7 = £1 per year

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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Quote Originally Posted by sadbuttrue View Post
    I tested my i5 750 @ stock with 1 HD and it measured 78 watts idle. The average over an hour of web surfing was ~90 watts. One could get the idle down to 60watts with an SSD and better graphics card. Most of the time a PC is running at or near idle.

    1 watt 24/7 = £1 per year
    Waw, that is impressive. Didn't think it would be that good.

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    Senior Member oolon's Avatar
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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    The mac mini just runs a bog standard core 2 duo these days it is no better than a similar PC. The I prefer the Asus atom/ION EEE box eb1501i have at work for a low power computer. Even has a slot loading dvd drive in it.

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    Re: Power efficient yet powerful pc?

    Looks good.

    Do you findy it laggyt at all? Smooth running etc?

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