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Do I really need to consider electricity costs for i7 processor?

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August 12, 2010 6:32:09 PM

I was doing a bit of research on the i7 860 and the i7 930, and many reviews are stating that the latter uses 50% more electricity. There are forums with people commenting how the electricity bill goes up.

Is this something really to be concerned about or are we talking about cents here?

Generally, what % increase in the bill are we talking about?

I live in LA so electricity isn't cheap either.
a b à CPUs
August 12, 2010 6:33:22 PM

Depends on your area, but I would say if you were to leave it on all day or something like that you will see a considerable increase, for me it would be $30.
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August 12, 2010 6:44:01 PM

So say I use it 8 hours a day, that would be around $10 a month.

If I go with the 860, I would save $10 a month or $120 a year?

I don't recall having to factor in electricity costs in the past, I wish they made it more energy efficient. What happened to all the going green bulls*.
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a b à CPUs
August 12, 2010 6:46:53 PM

The, next generation of processors are supposed to be much more energy efficient, while more powerfull, if you can wait another 6 months to upgrade I would wait!
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August 12, 2010 6:48:06 PM

Hi, you mean $30 a month ?
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a b à CPUs
August 12, 2010 6:49:32 PM

Yes, but that's because I live in a house built with 1954 electric wires, talk about inificiency..
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a c 203 à CPUs
August 12, 2010 6:53:20 PM

bapc said:
So say I use it 8 hours a day, that would be around $10 a month.
The are plenty of good low power PCs and laptops out there.
Anything with a Core i7 860 or Core i7 930 is not going to be one of those.

By 'use' did you mean gaming? If not your GPU is idling away in 2D graphics mode all day and the difference could be as little as $1 or $2 a month.


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August 12, 2010 6:57:38 PM

WR2 said:
The are plenty of good low power PCs and laptops out there.
Anything with a Core i7 860 or Core i7 930 is not going to be one of those.

By 'use' did you mean gaming? If not your GPU is idling away in 2D graphics mode all day and the difference could be as little as $1 or $2 a month.


I don't game but I do video editing and some 3D work with C4D, so I use the GPU for a while.

I was thinking going with the GTX 460 for this build. That's kinda heavy on the power side too.

The CPU I don't think I can benefit as much with the 930 so I'll probably drop to 860. And save money on the motherboard at the same time.

Too bad I can't wait 6+ months, a more efficient powerful processor would have been nice.
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August 12, 2010 7:03:28 PM

The i7s actually scale back really nicely when not under load. Even if you do leave them on all the time, you'll only see very very minute power differences. Under normal usage (i.e. what I'm doing now-- browsing the web... listening to music) my i7-920 is only drawing 9W on average. While sure it can get up to over 130W (I've overclocked to 3.33GHz) it'll only use that much while encoding video. You could save more power by turning off a light.
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a b à CPUs
August 12, 2010 8:47:03 PM

If the i7 used, say, 50 more watts under load than some other CPU, at 10 cents per kilwatt-hour (not uncommon in many areas) the extra 50 watts would cost you $43.80 extra over a full year, running 24/7.

So that would be about $3.65 extra per month, and reduce that proportionately if you don't max out your i7 system 24/7.

Another factor to consider is how much energy (kilowatt-hours) the i7 takes to accomplish a specific task. AT generally has such a calculation in their power consumption reviews. Not surprisingly, if a particular task takes twice the power but a third of the time to finish, then the higher-power system is the more energy efficient.
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a c 83 à CPUs
August 12, 2010 9:15:54 PM

bapc said:
So say I use it 8 hours a day, that would be around $10 a month.

If I go with the 860, I would save $10 a month or $120 a year?

I don't recall having to factor in electricity costs in the past, I wish they made it more energy efficient. What happened to all the going green bulls*.



The high end of every generation is always a power hog, there are plenty of low power products out there, they just don't match I7 in performance.
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