The Power Saving Guide, Part 2

Test Results

RAM Speeds And Timings

Memory Speed Timings Voltage System Idle Power Max. System Power
DDR2-533 3-3-3-9 1.8 V 148 W 189 W
DDR2-533 5-5-5-15 1.8 V 148 W 189 W
DDR2-667 3-3-3-9 1.8 V 149 W 191 W
DDR2-667 5-5-5-15 1.8 V 149 W 192 W
DDR2-800 3-4-3-9 2.0 V 152 W 196 W
DDR2-800 5-5-5-15 1.8 V 151 W 193 W
DDR2-1066 5-5-5-15 2.1 V 158 W 205 W

Using DDR2-1066 RAM increases the system power draw (and memory cost) considerably, without delivering a huge performance increase.

Graphics Cards

Graphics Card System Idle Power Max. System Power
Nvidia GeForce 8800GTS 143 W 248 W
Nvidia GeForce 7800GT 103 W 184 W
Nvidia GeForce 6800GT 117 W 189 W

GeForce 7 can be considered the most efficient GeForce graphics card, as both its successor and its predecessor required more power. The latest GeForce 8 series is a power hog, which we cannot recommend for efficiency-aware users unless you want maximum performance or DirectX 10 support now.

Hard Drives

Hard Drive Specs Setup System Idle Power
Western Digital WD1500ADFD (150 GB) 3.5" - 10,000 RPM 4 platters 145 W
Seagate Barracuda ES (750 GB) 3.5" - 7,200 RPM 4 platters 143 W
Samsung HD321KJ (320 GB) 3.5" - 7,200 RPM 2 platters 141 W
Samsung HM160JI (160 GB) 2.5" - 5,400 RPM 2 platters 134 W

The difference between a 10,000 RPM WD Raptor and other 7,200 RPM drives is only noteworthy when compared to hard drives with few platters (1-2). In other cases, the energy requirements will only differ by a few watts.

Add-On Cards

Add-On cards System Idle Power
no add-on cards 143 W
Intel Pro/1000 MT Network Card 145 W
Adaptec 1430SA SATA RAID Controller 148 W

Adding expansion cards increases the power requirements, but the two test cards (a network card and a storage controller) didn't boost consumption by much.

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