Computer Power Costs? Basic question

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Computer Power Costs? Basic question

Here's a basic question about computer setups from a layman. How do you estimate the power cost of your computer? I usually keep a computer on almost all day long at my workdesk, mostly in order to check on things on the internet, watch TV, listen to music, do light wordprocessing, and I'm not overly worried about performance and speed, so I'm wondering what kind of configuration would be the cheapest to run. I'm using an LED monitor, and right now I've got it hooked up to a PM8500 with a Newer G3 400mhz PCI upgrade. On another desk I've got a 400mhz B&W G3 hooked up to a 21" CRT which I use much less frequently. Which of these two computers would be the cheaper to run hooked up to the LED?

PM8500: 225W powersupply, 400mhz G3 processor, 3 PCI cards installed (ethernet, usb card, ATA100 controller), 512mb DRAM, 4mb VRAM, internal zip drive, CD ROM.

B&W G3: 200W powersupply, 400mhz G3 processor, 3 PCI cards installed (ATI 128 Xclaim VR, ATA133 controller, Firewire card), 1gb SDRAM, internal zip drive, DVD ROM.

Would there be any significant difference in energy cost between these two machines? Is the Wattage of the powersupply the major determining factor? thanks

Jon
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L *C* D monitor. ;) But the w

L *C* D monitor. Wink But the wattage rating of a PS is the maximum it can deliver. Actual usage is typically much less. You'd need to use an watt meter or an amp meter to find out how much jucie the machines are sucking at full bore and how much they use at idle/sleep. Both use less power than leaving a pair of 100W bulbs on all day long, and your LCD display probably uses 20-50W.

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I would imagine that the G3 w

I would imagine that the G3 would pull less juice because it's newer and newer equipment tends to be more energy efficient. As well, it's got double the RAM of the other machine, so theoretically disk accesses for virtual memory should be fewer.

It probably is a moot point, as both machines will be within a few pennies of one another. If you're really concerned about power consumption, put your Mac to sleep, as long as you don't need it doing things while you're away (downloading, etc.). I put my Beige G3 to sleep when I'm away and it's always ready within 30s.

Cheers,

The Czar

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Ooops, and what actually is sleep mode?

Yep, it dawned on me a little while later while I was in the shower that I was calling it an LED. If I remember correctly, the sleep mode wasn't introduced into Macs until the Powermac line. Are some Macs better at sleep than others? Are older CPUs incapable of sleep or is it a device that is purely software in function?

Jon
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Sleep came witht he PowerBook

Sleep came witht he PowerBook line, and I think some later 68ks might have had it, I really haven't thought much on it for a year or two... But this device might be the kind of thing to get to really find out what your power useage is.

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no 68K I have ever had was ca

no 68K I have ever had was capable of sleep. Also, my 6100 couldn't either. Just my 2 cents Smile

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I think...

68k's arent sleep capable.the closest are the 680x0 powerbooks.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Something we'll all be needing?

Hey thanks Jon for the link to the metering device! A future necessity, for sure. Looks like it won't be long until the days of SUV's and 21" CRT's will go the way of double D's centerfolds. Except...what about that 800Watt G5? Disconnect the fans and maybe it could double as a rotisserie.

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Power $$$?!

This post caught my attention, and I am wondering - are you looking to be "off the grid", or are you REALLY worried about the pennies? There are SO many other devices in the average home that sap power at an amazing rate... Hair Dryers? are you married? Microwaves, clothes dryers (electric) Any old electronics? The Fridge - food poisoning sucks... There are sites that weigh the pros and con's of energy efficent light bulbs... Most say the money spent on energy efficent products make you "feel" better, but don't actually save you much money in the long run. What makes you feel good is the best bet in any case... The premiums on Hybrid cars are the best example, who know's how much they will cost to fix in the future... Horray for a Greener Planet!

Cheers.

BTW: purchasing any energy saving device includes figuring the COST of the device over time to pay for itself.... this could be years of use before you realize any real savings. The future starts with us, I know, but these changes have to happpen on a larger scale to make much difference... Sorry for the bad attitude on my part.

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