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Thread: Laptop vs Desktop

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    Laptop vs Desktop

    Hi there!

    I recently bought an HP DV7 with Windows 7 Professional and have previously had a desktop PC.

    the reason why i bought a laptop is because of its portability, sleekness, price and of course the one who made it. (and the price:-)


    but recently i have been entertaining the idea what if i can save on my electricity bill with a desktop PC as well? i'm talking about those small cube-like CPU's that are available on the market.

    are they any good? do they save more electricity? (the most i use my laptop is 2-4 hours max. per day and so is my wife.)

    so, what is your advice please?


    Thanks.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    Some of the small cube systems use tiny power supplies of under 200w. Your laptop should already be quite power efficient compared to a large desktop. I am unsure how much real benefit you would see in terms of power saving if you bought a small cube. Of course it would depend on the spec of the cube, but assuming you go for the biggest possible efficiency, you could, depending on your needs and useage, find yourself underpowered and run into issues with some softwate and usb powered devices if you connect any number of them. Everything has a trade off. You might also end up never recouping the outlay on the cube during the lifetime of both it and the semi redundant laptop, if the cube even turns out more efficient than the laptop, which is no given certainty.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    You won't see any benefit dropping to a desktop I'm afraid, even with a huge 20" laptop that was high speced at the time my power supply is only 180w, i would suspect your laptop will be a 90w-120w supply.

    A mini ITX build desktop would be very efficient but i doubt you would recover the costs tbh.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    Curiously, your main issue isn't going to be the power of the internal components but the power of the monitor. Don't forget that your laptop runs its own monitor, whereas your little desktop boxes dont. A standard desktop monitor has a surprisingly high power draw compared to the displays used in laptops, which are deisgned to be power efficient as they have to run on battery a lot of the time.

    So basically, if you're mostly concerned about power draw, stick with your laptop
    Last edited by scaryjim; 04-10-2011 at 12:38 PM.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    Perhaps calculate how much you will save on electricity a year before dropping a couple of hundred on a new computer.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    I currently use a 9-month old HP DV7 Windows 7 Professional laptop.

    I use my laptop for 8-10 (give or take) hours a day sometimes 4 hours non-stop.

    In terms of "saving my electricity bills" (and saving my laptop from overheating) will 1.turning off my monitor when not in use, 2. putting my laptop on sleep mode and 3. changing my extension cord outlets or putting an energy-saving/energy-monitoring device greatly impact and reduce my bills?

    or just minimize my laptop use in general?

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    For light media playback and web browsing my little Aspire Revo is great - but it isn't my main PC. Sits behind the telly and uses netbook levels of power - quite happy web browsing any playing moves. Not sure you'd want to do anything 'heavy duty' with it though.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by gino_76ph View Post
    In terms of "saving my electricity bills" (and saving my laptop from overheating) will [the following] greatly impact and reduce my bills?
    1.turning off my monitor when not in use
    Assuming it's some form of traditional LCD, yes. The backlight draws a surprising amount of power. If you're using a laptop, have the power settings turn the monitor off after as little time as you think is reasonable - perhaps a couple of minutes.

    2. putting my laptop on sleep mode
    Yes, but consider whether you need sleep mode, or if you should just shut your laptop down. I currently have mine set to sleep when I close the lid, and hibernate after an hour, but if I know I'm not going back to my laptop for several hours I'll shut it down completely, because then it won't be using any power. Also, unplug the charger when you're not using the laptop - Sleep mode draws very little power so (unless your battery is on the blink!) you shouldn't need to keep feeding it juice.

    3. changing my extension cord outlets or putting an energy-saving/energy-monitoring device
    No. Your laptop will pull whatever energy it needs, and laptop PSUs are already pretty efficient. Energy saving / monitoring devices can't stop your laptop needing power so they won't have any affect. If you want to have a constant check on how much power your laptop is drawing feel free to do this, but don't think it will save you any money

    or just minimize my laptop use in general?
    Obviously, not using your laptop uses less power than using it But consider what you would be doing instead - would it end up using more power? If so then not using the laptop would be a false economy.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    Which does uses a wee bit power...Sleep mode or Hibernate? or do they use any power at all?

    On my power settings i chose "Sleep" when on battery or plugged-in whenever i close the lid. is that a sensible thing to do if you know that you "might" use your laptop after say 30 or 60 minutes?

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on laptop power states; this is my understanding as a well-read amateur and may not be entirely accurate

    Sleep mode basically turns off power to the processor and hard drives, but keeps the current computer state in memory. This means the memory has to be powered up, so the laptop is still turned on, but using very little power.

    Hibernate writes the current state of the memory to a file on the hard drive, then powers off the computer, so (AFAIK) hibernate doesn't use any power at all. However, the computer has to read back the file from the hard drive and push it into the correct memory registers at startup, so it takes longer for a computer to restart from hibernate than from sleep.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    A laptop costs very little to run electricity wise - roughly 1p per hour. If you used it for 4 hours per day every day it would cost about £15 per year in electricity. There are probably much easier and more effective ways to save money on power.

    A desktop definitely won't save you power - my desktop monitor alone uses 120W which is probably as much as your laptop uses in total.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    I suppose with a PC aswell you have to factor in the electricity costs if you're using a big 1080p TV or the likes.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    The bottom line is that the savings you would make would be pretty insignificant on an average electricity consumption.

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    Main advantage of a PC over a laptop even a small footprint model, is longevity and the ability to upgrade. My PC is made up of parts and components that I have upgraded over time. Example I recently upgraded to a new case, I bought my old case in 2002 and I am planning to mod and build a pc for my son.

    Just depends on what budget you have and how long you want it to last

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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    The Pc will cost alot more to run.

    Best to stick with a laptop for cost effectiveness.
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    Re: Laptop vs Desktop

    I don't think so that a PC can save more electricity as compare to laptops. Even laptops has many benefits as compare to PCs like battery and portability. So my vote is going with laptops.

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