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FYI ~ ~ ~ Power Draw usage from my PC...

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March 26, 2006 9:01:30 PM

These are my current PC specs...
Lian Li PC-60plus Black Aluminum Case (w/TR-3B Black Thermometer/Fan Controller 3.5” bay)
Opteron 175 (2x 2.42 GHz, 2MB cache, Socket 939, .09 micron, E6 stepping, OSA175DAA6CD)
ThermalTake BigWaterSE 12cm liquid cooling system complete kit
Asus A8R-MVP Motherboard (ATI Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire, socket 939, SATA2)
HiS X1800XT Graphics Card (625 MHz/700 MHz OC core/1500 MHz/1600 MHz OC mem, Dual DL-DVI VIVO 512 MB PCIe)
ATI TV Theater 550 PRO Tuner (PCI TV and FM Tuner)
4x 512MB Corsair Micro Xpert DDR RAM (2-3-3-8-2T (spd 2-2-2-5-1T) TwinXP 1024-3200XL)
2x 74gig Western Digital Raptor Hard Drives RAID-0 (WD740GD RAID0 150gig Boot Drive)
2x 250gig Western Digital Caviar SE16 Hard Drives (WD2500KS storage and data)
Plextor 716AL Black 16x DVD/CD Burner (IDE slot loading type)
Antec TP-II 550 Power Supply (550 Watt ATX12V v2.0 PSU)
Dell 2405FPW 24-inch LCD Monitor (UltraSharp Wide Aspect Flat Panel Display)
Logitech G-15 Gaming Keyboard
Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan
Case Fans 5 in total (2x SilenX 120mm intake, Adda 120mm exhaust blower, SilenX 92mm exhaust and SilenX 80mm Fan)

and according to FutureMark’s results ~ 4,935 3DMarks06 and 9,881 marks in 3DMark05 performs pretty well... IMO... ;) 

I bought a Kill-a-Watt power meter that you plug power cord into and it reports actual power usage from wall socket.
Surprisingly, my slightly overclocked PC and GPU while running 3DMark06 peaked at only 325 watts! also, this test was done while the TV Wonder was active in background running TV and several IE browsers were open plus a MS Word 2003 open too. This result only got me 4,777 3DMarks06 tho, it was intended for using more watts than high scoreing.
I kind of expected a bit more, basing this on results from specs and power draw hardware sites that you input hardware components like...

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp

but I am pleasantly surprised, just thought some readers might be interested in someones real life and unbiased independent results.

Just another report, I am running my
TV Wonder in a transparent window,
have 3 IE browsers open,
MS Outlook open, and
AutoCAD Land Desktop open and working in it...
Wattage power draw is pretty steady at 180 to 190 watts...

So far the highest power draw I have seen is running 3DMark06 with TV Wonder running in background and that was at
325 watts peak

That is a lot less than I would have guessed.

Based on this information from my PC, I preclude that my AMD Opteron rig overclocked at 2420MHz from 2200 consumes
≤ 200 Watts at Idle
≤ 250 Watts during Boot Up

and
≤ 350 Watts at Max 3D Benchmarking using 3DMark06

Note: This is only the PC measured at outlet from the Power Supply, my LCD Monitor is not measured in these results.

That means that my particular PC is only requiring 250 to 270 watts at peak maximum load, and generally usage requiring ≤200 watts at 75% efficiency, yet consuming from the wall 350 watts, the difference being transferred as heat.

More about : fyi power draw usage

March 26, 2006 9:35:18 PM

Quote:
I bought a Kill-a-Watt power meter that you plug power cord into and it reports actual power usage from wall socket.
Surprisingly, my slightly overclocked PC and GPU while running 3DMark06 peaked at only 325 watts! also, this test was done while the TV Wonder was active in background running TV and several IE browsers were open plus a MS Word 2003 open too. This result only got me 4,777 3DMarks06 tho, it was intended for using more watts than high scoreing.
I kind of expected a bit more, basing this on results from specs and power draw hardware sites that you input hardware components like...

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp

but I am pleasantly surprised, just thought some readers might be interested in someones real life and unbiased independent results.


That's interesting. I'll do a similar measurement when I get a chance (it'll be a while due to fugged up schedule) and report back. Overhead on a PS is a good thing.
March 26, 2006 9:40:31 PM

True, especially if O/C'ng...
I am fixing to upgrade mobo to a A8R32-MVP and GPU to a X1900XT along with a FSP Epsilon 700watt PSU...
That is one reason for this quick experiment.

BTW, the KaW cost was $19
Related resources
March 26, 2006 10:05:28 PM

Quote:
FSP Epsilon 700watt PSU...


I had not seen that PS before. Wow, FOUR 12V rails! Looks excellent. How much does that sucker cost?
March 26, 2006 10:22:06 PM

$169 at NewEgg, which is not expensive when looking at prices for quality 600 watt PSU's, much less 700 watt ones. Yes, I am excited about it.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 27, 2006 12:03:34 PM

Have you measured your startup draw?
March 27, 2006 3:28:04 PM

No, I will do that now... Back in a minute.
March 27, 2006 3:41:12 PM

Just did, booting up to the Log in prompt, it varied from a low of 170 watts, but mostly bounced around 225 to 240 watts.
After Log In to windows profile loaded, 225 watts was max, settling down to 180 watts idle with the TV Wonder and web browser running.

Edited idle reading, mis-typed 150 intended it to be 180, corrected now.
March 27, 2006 3:55:12 PM

Great post Rich. Its always nice to see some real world numbers.
March 27, 2006 4:27:27 PM

Just another report, I am running my
TV Wonder in a transparent window,
have 3 IE browsers open,
MS Outlook open, and
AutoCAD Land Desktop open and working in it...
Wattage power draw is pretty steady at 180 to 190 watts...

So far the highest power draw I have seen is running 3DMark06 with TV Wonder running in background and that was at
325 watts peak

That is a lot less than I would have guessed.

Based on this limited information from my PC, I preclude that my AMD Opteron rig overclocked at 2420MHz from 2200 consumes
≤ 200 Watts at Idle
≤ 250 Watts during Boot Up

and
≤ 350 Watts at Max 3D Benchmarking using 3DMark06

Note: This is only the PC measured at outlet from the Power Supply, my LCD Monitor is not measured in these results.
a c 158 ) Power supply
March 27, 2006 6:09:12 PM

Do you have any of the most recent heavey-hitter games: FEAR or Oblivion? Would be interesting to see that draw compared to the 3DMark06...

I know you've been seeing the recent posts on large PSUs and my responses. What's your thought process now that you've seen the numbers from your rig? Still stepping up to the 700W Epsilon for the added buffer for OCing? Thinking the 600W? It definitely makes me wonder on whether your PSU is your real OC barrier... Have you tried isolating the individual components (CPU, RAM and mobo) with minimal parts installed to see if your wall is one of those parts?
March 27, 2006 6:50:12 PM

I'm not surprised at all. People dreadfully overestimate the power required for computers. You certainly don't want to have a crappy PSU, but most people can get by just fine with much less than they think.

Inrush current is really not that much either. CRT's will have a larger surge, but generally speaking it's not going to be all that big for computers. You'll have some medium sized caps on the MB and the disks may draw a little at first, but it won't be excessive.
March 27, 2006 7:17:58 PM

You still need a quality PSU, with my system for example, if it peaks out at 350 watts, you would need at min a power supply that can output 440 watts at 80% efficiency, if I understand it right.
March 27, 2006 7:45:17 PM

I just played a about 10 minutes of FEAR at 1600x1200 max detail and quality.
During gameplay, it averaged around 290 to 310 watts holding pretty constant within that range, during mission load tho, it was around 250 watts being used.
March 27, 2006 8:00:13 PM

Quote:
I just played a about 10 minutes of FEAR at 1600x1200 max detail and quality.
During gameplay, it averaged around 290 to 310 watts holding pretty constant within that range, during mission load tho, it was around 250 watts being used.


So now I have a goal... Rather than spending time trying to eeek out a decent 3DMark06, I'm gonna go for the all-time power consumption record. Do active cooling watts count?

Need to talk to that guy that put a margarita mixer in his case...
April 1, 2006 2:48:12 PM

I added this to first post...

I had earlier used 440 watts minimum needed which is correct if you have a 80% efficient PSU, but I have a 70% efficient one.


If I draw 350 watts at max, then my Antec True Power PSU 550 watt is just enough juice, since it's output is 550 watts at 70% efficiency, 1/(0.70)=1.43, so 1.43x350=500 watts min PSU needed.

So a system that draws 350 watts total power needs a min good quality 500 watt PSU just to cover power requirements, and then at that, your PSU will be outputting as much power as it is rated. By adding more overhead power will enable the power supply to run quieter and cooler.
April 1, 2006 2:56:26 PM

BTW, crashman wrote an article reviewing the Fortron Epsilon PSU and he booted two PC's off it and ran them. Said he had to stagger boot since one machine had errors... I suspect those PC's with high end graphic cards would probably of crashed if both were benchmarked with 3DMark06. Both PC's would draw about 325 watts at load, totaling 650 watts needed, even if PSU is 85% efficient, it would need to be at least a 770 watt PSU
a b ) Power supply
April 2, 2006 3:01:15 AM

Maybe I'm missing something here, but if you draw 350w from the wall then the output from the PSU to the system should be only about 245w. Do I have something backwards?
April 2, 2006 4:06:58 AM

That may be correct... I just never thought about it before now.
April 2, 2006 8:57:11 PM

So my PC is based on an overclocked Opteron (220MHz), a HiS X1800XT overclocked (65MHz core/100MHz memory to 690/1600), a TV Tuner, 4 sticks Corsair 512MB DDR and 4 high performance hard drives plus water cooling to boot. Also 5 case fans and a 16x DVD Burner ( see first post for complete specs )
Total current being used from wall outlet is 325watts max ( even round up for error elimination to say 350 watts) as far as I can tell booting and torturing it.
My PSU is 70% effiecient, does this mean actual max power usage is 250 watts actual (350watts at the outlet) or so at maximum load?!?

If this is the case, then I could use an Antec True Power 380 watt and have power to spare even overclocking... and so could most other PC users...
Or am I overlooking something?
April 2, 2006 11:41:24 PM

The standard EE calculations: power = voltage x currrent (amps) thus, 110v @ say 10A draw = 1100 watts. Now then, using your wall plug power meter you are seeing 350w (your max adjusted value) being "consumed" by your system PS. Given your 70% efficiency rating for your PS, then 350 x 0.70 = 245 watts total used for supplying every single item powered by your system PS.

Have you ever heard the old accounting saying "figures don't lie, but liars figure"? Apply that to advertising for PS's. :D 
!