Holy crap, that is a big power draw at idle! Are you running CnQ? I would have though that your system would idle a lot closer to 100W than 200W at most unless you have a lot of HDs in the system.
I forgot that my LCD monitor was plugged in and on at the time. I turned it off and measure it again, it's about ~167W. I do have CnQ enabled, but remember that my
"idle" is not a complete idle. I'm running someprograms in the background but not programs that require the power of a 3800+.
I'm not sure that most of the energy is used during manufacturing. I have heard that a third of a computer's lifecycle energy use comes during manufacturing, that would seem more reasonable.
It's not a question of what's reasonable; the matter has been carefully studied for years, and this is not my assessment, it's the assessment of an entire arm of environmental scientists specializing in electronics. Here is one of the key studies by a well-known author / prof:
Energy intensity of computer manufacturing: hybrid assessment combining process and economic input-output methods by Eric Williams
What I can derive from the study is:
Percentage of Total Energy From Use = (3.6*Use) / (Production + 3.6*Use)
We're given that Production of a computer (not counting the CRT) is 5400 MJ (2 sig figs mind you) thus
Percentage of Total Energy From Use = (3.6*Total_kWh)/(5400+3.6*Total_kWh)
And the average computer has an average use phase of 3 years consuming 420W/year. So only 22% of the total energy is from using it at home. 27% for 4 years, 31% for 5 years and 36% for 6 years.
I forgot to mention in the original post that I need storage space, so a laptop doesn't quite work (tons of external hard drives are annoying, expensive and probably not as green as internal). I actually already have a laptop but then I need to take with me so I can't leave it plugged into a wall 24/7.
I guess my original plan wasn't the best solution. I'm now consider building something akin to a NAS on steroids. It will just stay on and do my server biddings and I'll browse the web and such on my laptop.
I think my two choices are down to a used P3 or a VIA mini-itx. Anybody know anything about the carbon free computing? Their website isn't as informative as I would like it to be. Do they factor in production or is it just when it's in use? Used is better but then the 7W consumption of the mini-itx is just more tantalizing than the ~20W P3.