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Old Pentium III Running 24/7

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April 24, 2011 1:41:56 AM

I have just got my old Pentium 3 computer set up again, and I was planning on just sitting it in the back of my cupboard with an extension cable running through the door and leaving it on 24/7 to download torrents and contribute to BOINC projects.. And I was wondering if the power usage would build up over time, rendering it expensive to run. It only has a 200W power supply, so I know for a fact that it can't use more than that, but because BOINC tasks keep it very busy at all times, it could easily use, all day long, as many watts as my good computer does at idle.

Here's a few specs for it: 200W PSU and Pentium III (as already mentioned), one 20GB 5400rpm hard drive, 128MB of 357MHz RDRAM (haven't even heard of it before), two optical drives and a floppy drive but I disconnected them from the PSU, and an old graphics card with 8MB of memory and without any kind of cooling design, so I assume it bareley uses anything. And finally it runs Windows XP Professional, but I have stripped it down a lot - no unnessecary processes, startup programs, lowest possible screen resoloution, 16-bit color, and I have activated XP's "Advanced Power Management" feature. By the way, I couldnt find anywhere that says how many watts a P3 processor is.

So yeah any estimates as to how many watts this thing is really using, and how expensive or inexpensive it is to run 24/7, and if you have any recommendations as to how to make it even more power saving, let us know :) 

And sorry if this post has a bit too much useless information, I just wanted to include everything I know in the original post.

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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 2:03:02 AM

as a guesstimate
I dont think even at 100 percent load that is going to go over 150watts at max
really not running more than a standard flood light

lets say it is 200w just for a round top end number
in 24 hours that is 4800 watts
or 4.8 kilowatts per hour
or times average 10c per KwH about 40.8c a day
or about 148 dollars a year
using US dollars and rates
would be different in other areas
look at your electric bill and see how much they charge by KwH unit

Here this explains it better than me
pasted from here

http://www.sci-ed-ga.org/modules/k6/elec/elec.html

Units Of Electricity Use
The watt (W) is a unit of electrical power, which is the rate at which we use energy. We pay the electric company for the use of energy. A kilowatt (kW) is equal to 1000 watts: kilo is a prefix that means 1000. (Note that k is the normal prefix for kilo, W is the normal abbreviation for Watts and h is the normal abbreviation for hours). A watt-hour (Wh) and a kilowatt-hour (kWh) are units of energy, where 1000 Wh= 1 kWh. The equation relating energy and power is:

Energy = Power x Time

For example, if a 75 W bulb (power) is turned on for 2 hours (time), it will use 150 Wh or 0.15 kWh of energy (energy = power x time).

The cost for each unit of energy we use is measured in cents (c) or dollars ($) per kWh. The typical cost per unit of energy is 10 c/kWh or $0.10/kWh. Using the equation below, we can determine the cost of our energy use:

Cost of energy use = Energy used x Cost per unit of energy:

Using our example above, the cost of using a 75 W bulb for 2 hours is:

Cost of energy use = 0.15 kWh x 10 c/kWh = 1.5 c



so basically at full 200watts max it would cost you @150 USD a year
that is the cost of a 4 person family eating at a restaurant one time

Just FYI
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a c 472 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 2:21:13 AM

A Pentium 3 CPU generally consumes a max of 10w - 28w of power depending on which one you have.

Your CPU will be idling most of the time, except when it is scanning for viruses. Based on the parts that you have I would guess-timate that your PC will use roughly 60w of power.

If you live in NYC where it costs about $0.19 per KWH, then you are talking about $100 per year in electricity running 24/7. Is it worth building a new computer to reduce power consumption by a little bit? The answer is no.

Edit:

The above is assuming you are using the 1.0GHz Coppermine Pentium 3.

I also forgot to take into consideration the power supply. If you are using an older power supply, chances are it will probably only be about 65% efficient. That means while the PC may actually be using 65w of power, the power supply will be drawing 92w from the outlet. 35w of that 100w is wasted as heat and noise. That would bring up the cost to $153. Also, as a PSU ages it's efficiency drops and becomes more prone to failure like any electronic component.

Many modern PSUs have an 80Plus rating which means they are at least 80% power efficient. If you replace your old PSU with one that has been 80Plus certified, then you will be drawing about 75w from the outlet which means your electricity cost will work out to about $125 per year based on $0.19 per KWH.
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April 24, 2011 2:27:52 AM

@EXT64 and king smp - Really useful info, thanks :) 

@jaguarskx - Really, That little? Thats amazing! Are you sure about the CPU wattage?
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a c 472 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 2:38:19 AM

Yeah, that's based on some quick research.
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April 24, 2011 3:25:26 AM

Okay, we got the computer around 2002 (to be honest I dont really remember), do you still reakon 65%? And would you say buying a newer, more efficient 200W psu would be worth it? Or even a 150W?

And it's a 733MHz Coppermine.
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 4:20:15 AM

Has the computer been running a lot over the past 9 years? If so, it might be worth getting a new PSU as that one will be a bit worn out.
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April 24, 2011 4:34:04 AM

EXT64 said:
Has the computer been running a lot over the past 9 years? If so, it might be worth getting a new PSU as that one will be a bit worn out.


Well we only used it for about 5 years before buying a new computer.. So it's been lying around for ~4 years without use. And that link you provided was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, how come you could find it so quickly? Good googling skills there
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a c 83 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 4:34:16 AM

I'd like to point out that efficiency that high tends to happen at 50% load or higher. Meaning if you buy a 500W PSU, you'll need to pull 250W to hit 80%+ Seeing as this is a simply low wattage unit, the lower the wattage unit you buy the better. Even the Antec 380W Green would need you to pull around 190ish to hit good numbers. I'd have to look up where it hits 80%.

The other bigger issue you'll have is needing to find one that can power that unit. -5V rails disappeared from modern system, and the +5V might not have enough power. You can't plug a modern PSU into an older system and be positive it will work.
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 5:10:40 AM

even though I like keeping old tech going as long as possible (Green thinking)
I would really hesitate to put any money into system
Plus with compatiblity issues like 4745454b talks about
it wouldnt make sense

Just run until it drops
Just make sure it doesn have any crucial files without backup on it

then gives you excuse to pick up little Atom shuttle system cheap :) 
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a c 112 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 5:28:58 AM

buying a new pc wouldnt pay for itself in power consumption at all even after a few years.
todays pc's use a lot more power than the old p3's i have (check my info) and it idles at about 50-80 watts (cpu 40 gpu 20ish 3 fans 10 motherboard 5ish) as the gfx turns off after 20 mins the p3 should use less than that even at medium load.
so unless you replaced it with a net book its unlikely you will save anything and more likley you will use more.
my current setup added just over 120 pounds to my bills over the year but its on 16 hours a day 7 days a week at the least. so at an estimate your pc will add about 50 pounds ($75ish) for a year.
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 6:32:26 AM

Your actually doing pretty good with that rig

Rignt now I am doing alot of rendering/encoding of video mainly for Youtube and
my daughters new PSP 3000
so I set up a Vegas Pro network render machine to offload the jobs to
a SFF HP Pentium 2.8 HT 3.5gbs ram XP gutted out 40gb HD no Optical drive
audio uninstalled, and going to look into uninstalling USB and other devices
While the Northwood P4 was better than the other ones it still is a little power sucking
brute
In a perfect world I would have a Intel Atom HT as light duty cost efficient renderer
(jobs are not time critical) but the cost compared to nothing since I already had the tower laying around is just not worth it
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April 24, 2011 6:32:50 AM

Thanks for all the input guys :)  Really appreciate it

One more question though while we're on the subject of power consumption - can someone do the same calculations for my current 'normal' computer (the one I actually use). The specs are as follows:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE
Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3
2 x 2GB sticks of DDR3 ram at 1.74volts
Two Samsung Spinpoint 500GB HDD's
Regular DVD/RW Drive
+ a few fans
all running on a Corsair HX-650

This computer is on for a max. of about 15 hours per day. And CPU usage is on 100% alot of the time as im going through a distributed computing phase ;) 

I understand if you want me to delete this post and start a new thread. Just let me know
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 6:36:59 AM

You will find this handy
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
wattage calculator though remember it is showing total wattage for PSU
and not actual wattage used
roughly minus about a 150watts off of result
that is just a ballpark number

as somebody else posted it is only about 20 bucks for a piece that plugs in the wall
that will tell you actual wattage
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April 24, 2011 6:55:06 AM

278W - 150W (like you said) = 128W

Seems odd. In a good way though..
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 7:02:12 AM

maybe my numbers were
off
cpu- 125watt i think
2 sticks ram - about 20 watts or so
2 hds - about 50watts
dvdrw spinning about 30watts
few fans about 20 watts
would give you about 275watt as long as you dont have a video card
so I would go with the PSU calculation
now Jag needs to come back with his percentage calculations of efficiency to figure
out actual draw from outlet
I can never figure out the efficiency numbers without a formula to plug into
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April 24, 2011 7:20:33 AM

So go with 275 or 128 watts?

According to thte back of the PSU's box, at 100% load, it's about 84.25% efficient. Don't you then just add the remainder after the efficiency percentage?

So like:

100 - 84.25 = 15.75%
15.75% of 275 = 43.3125
then;
275 + 43.3125

= 318.3125 Watts?

I don't know..
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 7:27:18 AM

go with 275w
as far as the math
it is 330 am where I am at
and fractions and percentage have never been my
strongpoint :) 
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April 24, 2011 7:35:43 AM

Lol, great sleeping pattern you got there.. Thanks for the help man
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a c 83 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 7:52:54 AM

It's easy to double check your work. 318 * .85 = ? (270ish)
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April 24, 2011 7:57:47 AM

... = 270.3

Cool, I was just taking a stab in the dark there..
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 8:40:17 AM

dylan_m said:
Lol, great sleeping pattern you got there.. Thanks for the help man


I am a work from home tech (refurbing towers,virus cleanings,speeding and cleaning up OS,Windoze installs etc)
and make my own schedule

with a high maintenance wife, high maintenance 10yr old daughter,high maintenance 6yrold female AmerBull Staffordshire Terrier
and a grumpy old mother in law this is my time to work uninterrupted

I only sleep about 4-5 hours on a good day LOL
Semi-insomniac also LOL

Pretty cool though
kill time on Toms helping people while doing my thousandth XP Pro install and making money at the same time :) 
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April 24, 2011 9:02:11 AM

king smp said:
I am a work from home tech (refurbing towers,virus cleanings,speeding and cleaning up OS,Windoze installs etc)
and make my own schedule

with a high maintenance wife, high maintenance 10yr old daughter,high maintenance 6yrold female AmerBull Staffordshire Terrier
and a grumpy old mother in law this is my time to work uninterrupted

I only sleep about 4-5 hours on a good day LOL
Semi-insomniac also LOL

Pretty cool though
kill time on Toms helping people while doing my thousandth XP Pro install and making money at the same time :) 


Haha, high maintenance.. Sounds like a alright job though, minus the working all through the night part. And why are you still installing XP, it's so old? Microsoft's only supporting it till 2014 anyway..


Anyway getting off topic :pt1cable: 
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 9:09:23 AM

Ah it is your thread afterall :) 

To answer your question
I am in a income challenged urban crime challenged zone (Ghetto)
Most of the towers I fix are XP Pro :( 
I would love to work on some new builds but most people are still
chugging away on Pent4,PentD and Athlon 64 x 2 towers with XP
remember this is an enthusiast board where members are mostly
up to date
money isnt the greatest but compared ot working 60-70 hour weeks plus travel time
and never seeing my kid it was worth taking the pay cut
I think she would rather have me around and skip the expensive vacations and shiny toys :) 
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a c 83 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 9:17:40 AM

LOL. I was in a local shop the other day picking up some SATA cables. There was a lady in front of me just finishing up dropping her tower off. When she left, he left her tower sitting there while he went and got the cables. When he came back I told him thats why I could never work in a shop. With a puzzled look on his face he asked me why. I told him because if someone came in and dropped off a Celeron 700MHz machine, I would just bust up laughing. And thats not good for business...
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 9:24:23 AM

Oh tell me about it!
I am happy when I get a Pentium 4 HT to work on LOL
A Athlon Turion dual core is actual joy!
the funniest though every once in awhile I will have somebody with a Core I-series
complaining it runs slow (hard drive full of crap,viruses,too many unnecessary startups etc)
Had that happen twice in past two years or so
All they were doing was email,browsing and Facebook Farming!
That is like using a 12 guage shotgun to go Fly hunting LMAO
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 9:26:23 AM

BTW Dylan are all your questions answered?

if so select a best answer (definitley NOT me) that helped you the most
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 9:28:48 AM

jaguarskx said:
A Pentium 3 CPU generally consumes a max of 10w - 28w of power depending on which one you have.

Your CPU will be idling most of the time, except when it is scanning for viruses. Based on the parts that you have I would guess-timate that your PC will use roughly 60w of power.

If you live in NYC where it costs about $0.19 per KWH, then you are talking about $100 per year in electricity running 24/7. Is it worth building a new computer to reduce power consumption by a little bit? The answer is no.

Edit:

The above is assuming you are using the 1.0GHz Coppermine Pentium 3.

I also forgot to take into consideration the power supply. If you are using an older power supply, chances are it will probably only be about 65% efficient. That means while the PC may actually be using 65w of power, the power supply will be drawing 92w from the outlet. 35w of that 100w is wasted as heat and noise. That would bring up the cost to $153. Also, as a PSU ages it's efficiency drops and becomes more prone to failure like any electronic component.

Many modern PSUs have an 80Plus rating which means they are at least 80% power efficient. If you replace your old PSU with one that has been 80Plus certified, then you will be drawing about 75w from the outlet which means your electricity cost will work out to about $125 per year based on $0.19 per KWH.


this was a really well thought out and researched post IMHO
Even though I dont like his avatar and quote :) 
Jag REALLY knows his stuff
no offense to other posters please
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April 24, 2011 10:53:34 AM

Best answer selected by dylan_m.
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April 24, 2011 10:54:50 AM

Yeah I'll best answer that one :)  You were just as helpful though.
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a c 126 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 2:10:33 PM

I know this is done, but i bet your system(you daily use, not torrent box) stays well under 200 at load. Seeing as you have no video card in there.

Gonna guess your idles are under 70 with ease.

You should hit up a local hardware store for one of those meters.

X4 955 overclocked to 3.7 with 4870 video card. 80+ silver psu
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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 8:30:17 PM

dylan_m said:
Yeah I'll best answer that one :)  You were just as helpful though.


Thank you very much

I enjoy helping people
and hearing that is very nice
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a c 472 à CPUs
April 24, 2011 9:29:16 PM

king smp said:
this was a really well thought out and researched post IMHO
Even though I dont like his avatar and quote :) 
Jag REALLY knows his stuff
no offense to other posters please


Is this something more to your liking?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZlVaAMsoM8


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a b à CPUs
April 24, 2011 9:37:39 PM

LMAO

Its all good jag

I feel in a Puppy Dog and Butterfly kinda of mood



for dinner that is.........
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!