[clug-talk] Slightly OT Power usage

Kevin Anderson list-server at myrealbox.com
Mon Nov 22 07:26:23 PST 2004

On Friday 19 November 2004 17:11, Jason Louie wrote:
> Back on topic... Would there be a significant difference with a duel
> processor system than with a single one?  For my IPCop system I've
> gone as far as removing the CD-ROM since I've heard that that can also
> drain power.  What part of the computer would use the most power?  The
> CPU?  The power supply?  The HDD?

The easiest way to think of it would be to follow this rule.

The more heat it generates, the more power it's using.

-So CPUs will generally use lots.  2 CPUs will double that load.

-Video Card and HDD are probably second.  You can optimize this by using old 
crappy video cards, where there is no real work done.  (IE, your Gforce 4 
needs a huge heat sync because it's using LOTS of power.  Your old pci, 1 meg 
POS won't use very much power at all.)  Newer HDDs (and motherboards) will 
spin down the HDDs when they aren't needed.  This again, will save some 

CDroms almost always spin down, and therefore, I doubt that it would use much 
at all when it's idle.  But in an IPcop box, why not just pull out the power 
cable, so it isn't used at all, since it's a useless device, except during 
the install.

RAM.  This is a hard one.  I'm guessing here, but personally, I'm a fan of 
HUGE PILES OF RAM.  My reasoning is like this.  HDDs take energy to spin, ram 
doesn't.  RAM will respond faster, and allow you system to 'need' the HDD 
less frequently.  This (in my thinking) should allow the HDD to remain idle.  
Of course you'll need to change the frequency that the graphs are updated 
then.  Once every 24 hours seems fine to me, but it totally depends on how 
you use the machine, right?  If you use the graphs, then you'll want them 
updated more frequently.  Your Mileage will vary on this one though.

Power supply.  If you don't need big, then don't buy big.  It's cheaper up 
front, and it might save money later too.  If you're just running a P1, with 
128 Megs of RAM, and a 8 Gig HDD, and some little PCI video card, you won't 
need a 450 watt power supply.

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