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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:38 am 
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you have to plant a whole hectare of coleseed for instance to keep a truck going for a year. There's simply not enough land to let all trucks drive on biofuel


Using a higher-yield crop like switchgrass (or GM crops) will produce abundant biofuel.

Quote:
there isn't enough platinum (I believe) to produce enough fuel cells


Fuel cell companies are working all the time to reduce the amount of catalyst needed, also catalysts can be recycled.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:17 am 
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I hope the heat has now dissipated, so I can touch this subject again :)

First of all, thanks for all the replies.

I think people bring forward many good points, from various points of view.

Just to make one point clear:

I don't advocate nor do I believe in outside set draconian limitations (esp. imposed by me, like Tibor suggested in jest).

I'm not an eco-fascist.

I'm just trying to gauge an alternative between the two extremes:

1) Continue business as usual scenario: use exponentially more energy, power and materials (most of us are in this camp)

2) Become an eco-hippie and shun technology altogether (most of us don't want to be in this camp)

It seems that most of us are doing number 1 (not blaming anybody, I'm in this camp myself, but trying to transition).

I think 2 is out of the question for many of us and I don't personally see it feasible for me, unless it's imposed on me.

However, this binary opposition begs the question: what lies in between?

What are the personal trade-offs and what limits are each one willing to live with?

Using less, but not giving up completely. Trying to intentionally to limit one's electricity/energy intake, CO2 emissions and raw material feeds to something that at least doesn't grow, but hopefully even diminishes for a while, before leveling off.

A recent exercise gave me more fuel to try something in this direction:

My current computer + display + UPS would use 6.5 kWh/day of electricity if it were on 24h/day (it's not). That's roughly 3kWh if it's on 10-12h and used 6-8 hours of that (it is). This includes very little high-intensive CPU/GPU usage. Most of my hard drives are idling and certainly almost all of my optical drives are (I test media/drives professionally, but certainly not all the time).

3kWh is a lot. It's almost three times the amount my fridge uses and even that is not particularly green model for a fridge.

I know I could seriously cut this down by going the laptop route (I am doing that) or building a small "good enough" Core ULV box with enough resources to cover 90% of my activities. The rest of the number crunching and game playing I could do on the heavy machine and I could even optimize that for it's energy use a lot.

If you combine this fact with the the following facts:

- Oil maximum production is peaking (even the most optimistic scenario from CERA/2006, say it'll happen between 2030-2050, some say already between 2005-2015)
- natural gas is not too far behind in it's production peak
- current fuel alternatives do not scale to fill this gap (at least not yet, fusion remains the big IF, as does massive solar with few additional technological generations ahead)
- if we have to turn to coal for energy, it's going to increase CO2 emissions even further (CCS capacity for 'clean fuel' plants is not online to produce clean coil now or in the next 10 years)
- even current CO2 emissions have been and are rising alarmingly (trust peer-reviewed IPCC, not oil company backed lobby groups)
- climate is warming (at least partly due to this) and this poses serious challenges to environment (incl. livelihood, not just the length of the warm season or amount of hurricanes)

So, instead of just waiting for politicians or the industry to come up with the solutions, I can also contribute a little bit of my own. Maybe use a little less.

Even in the (imho unlikely) case that most of the above scientists' opinions are proven wrong in hindsight 50 years from now, at least I've learned how to optimize my own usage better.

Maybe it's a worthwhile effort on it's own, just like silent computing.

Food for though.

friendly regards,
Halcyon


PS If you aren't putting your idle cycles to use, consider the following:

http://www.climateprediction.net/

Or just turn it off ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:57 am 
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Smilingcrow mentioned in one of his recent posts a Core Solo setup that he built that draws ~15W at idle: Core Solo 1.83Ghz (undervolted), 1GB DDR2, Gigabyte MB w/ onboard graphics. Now this rig is powerful enough for watching DVDs, email, web surfing, office apps, basically everything except gaming, HD video and physics simulations. Imagine if we replaced every computer in the world with one of these!

So there are already solutions today, for drastically reducing PC-related power consumption, the only thing missing is the will of ordinary consumers to adopt them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:24 am 
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halcyon wrote:
My current computer + display + UPS would use 6.5 kWh/day of electricity if it were on 24h/day (it's not). That's roughly 3kWh if it's on 10-12h and used 6-8 hours of that (it is). This includes very little high-intensive CPU/GPU usage. Most of my hard drives are idling and certainly almost all of my optical drives are (I test media/drives professionally, but certainly not all the time).

3kWh is a lot. It's almost three times the amount my fridge uses and even that is not particularly green model for a fridge.

I think the rest of your post is very worthy of attention and response.... but your energy numbers just jumped at me and I can't help thinking how high they are. :shock:

6.5kWh/day = 6500w for 24 hrs or 270W/hr.

Is that right? Your system draws 270W just sitting there?

Here's what mine does:
1) two 19" lcd monitors, each ~28W on, 0~1W turned off (after 15 mins of inactivity)
2) main system: 75~80W in idle, peaks up to ~125W in high load (which does not happen often). 55W in standby (after 15 mins of inactivity)
3) HP 4050n network laser printer -- on 24/7 -- 20W standby (99%), 330W when priniting.

In typical use, the total system draw is 150~155W active idle (like right now as I type this), with peaks to ~200W, and drops to 75W or 95W (much of the time, sleep mode is turned off for the main box for convenience). It's on whenever the household is up -- it's used for serve music. It's often on 24hrs... which it does not have to be; it could be turned off for 8hrs at least. But I doubt it would draw more than about 2.64kWh a day -- average 120W given my settings and usage patterns. Turning the printer off would save 20W or 240Wh a day.... and that's something I should probably do, although it does draw a fair bit of power for a half minute when it's turned on.

The system is a P4-2.8 Northwood, Matrox P650 vidcard, 2 std HDDs, 1 GB RAM, modem. Optical drive rarely used.

270W for your system sounds high. What are you running?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:04 am 
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MikeC wrote:
2) main system: 75~80W in idle, peaks up to ~125W in high load (which does not happen often). 55W in standby (after 15 mins of inactivity)

Whoa, is that right? I just double-checked my own system since it's plugged in to a Kill-a-watt for other testing and confirmed mine draws 6 watts in standby. They must be in some different kind of standby to have a 10x difference in draw. It seems like you'd be able to gain a lot of savings if your system can do a more complete standby. I'm guessing yours must leave the power supply running and all fans spinning, etc. when in standby?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:04 pm 
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MikeC,

thanks for asking that. I was really amazed at that myself, when I saw the figures.

I am running:

- Asus A8N SLI Premium
- Opteron 180 (dual core, default voltage, no OC)
- 2 x 1GB DDR (@ 2.75V)
- 6 x DVD+RW burners 5,25" internal
- 2 x WD3200JD (320GB SATA)
- 2 x WD5000KS (500GB SATA)
- 1 x PCI PATA Controller (CMD 680)
- 1 x Soundblaster X-fi Elite Pro (with external break out box)
- 1 x Sapphire Radeon X1900XTX (default voltage, no OC)
- 1 x USB webcam (bus powered)
- 1 x USB mouse (bus powered)
- 1 x PS2 keyboard
- 1 x USB touch sensitive drawing pad (Wacom, bus powered)
- 1 x USB flatbed scanner (bus powered)
- 1 x USB mem card reader (bus powered)
- 1 x USB bluetooth dongle (bus powered)
- 1 x Dell FPW2405 24" widescreen TFT
- 1 x APC Back-UPS RS 800 UPS (runs both PC & TFT)
- 3 x 120mm Nexus fans (with fanmates)
- 1 x Seasonic M12 600W (I know, I know, but I couldn't get a smaller one and I wanted a 80+ fairly quiet PSU)

I also hook up to the computer:
- 3 x CDRW burner 5,25" external (both fw/USB, but NOT bus-powered and their electricity consumption is not metered through the electricity consumption meter)

I'm also quite amazed.

In addition, I have have done two measurements of the consumption:

1) With my utility company's calibrated (Oct 2006) electricity consumption meter: 286W when my screen saver is NOT active & I do nothing on the computer (HDs are NOT griding). The OS is sitting on the desktop, TFT is NOT in power-save mode.

When devices are off, I get: 20W

2) With my "off the shelf" $40 non-calibrated meter: 211W (exact same situation)

When devices are off, my cheap meter gives: 15W

That's a consistent -26% mistake. The cheap meter is showing too little consumption.

BTW, the electricity utility company's meter matches what I'm being billed.

Regardless, I agree the setup's consumption is very high and I'm not quite sure why.

Unfortunately, it's probably easier for me just to start pushing that consumption down by building another system than start taking that a part and finding out what's consuming all the power.

I don't have spare PSUs, video cards, mem dimms or cpus to start swapping with. I could just remove all the opticals, but I doubt they account for more than max. 60-70W (and only if they were all active at the same time).

Unless you or others have good ideas :)

PS I just checked my cheap meter on simple loads (incandescent bulub, of which I still have 1 in my house): error only 0.2%. It seems that the computer (switching mode PSU) load is more difficult for the cheap meters to measure correctly. Nothing new probably to you guys, but interesting for me.


Last edited by halcyon on Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:19 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
Smilingcrow mentioned in one of his recent posts a Core Solo setup that he built that draws ~15W at idle: Core Solo 1.83Ghz (undervolted), 1GB DDR2, Gigabyte MB w/ onboard graphics. Now this rig is powerful enough for watching DVDs, email, web surfing, office apps, basically everything except gaming, HD video and physics simulations. Imagine if we replaced every computer in the world with one of these!

So there are already solutions today, for drastically reducing PC-related power consumption, the only thing missing is the will of ordinary consumers to adopt them.


That's true, although there are at least two caveats:

1) Manufacturing computers uses up a lot of clean water, lots of energy and release lots of CO2 (and hazardous materials). It's not very clean to swap to a new computer. At what point does switching to a new, less polluting computer make sense? When its future lifetime savings balance out it's manufacturing related environmental damage. We don't have numbers like these widely available.

2) The upgrade cycle never ends. I don't know who has the update stats, but I'm assuming the hobbyist changes computer once per year and the average person every 3-5 years. Hence, problem number 1 again. Also, the development hasn't always been towards less power hungry components, like the recent P4 power draw fiasco and the current runaway-power GPUs demonstrate (and I'm not even mentioning SLI. Oh, but I did :) )

BTW, somebody asked how to find out which companies are green, which not. There's a list compiled by Greenpeace, based on public disclosure materials and very rough disassembly of some of the companies' products:


Your guide to green electronics

http://www.greenpeace.org/international ... aste250806
http://www.greenpeace.org/international ... es-line-up

It's not perfect, but it's a start.


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 Post subject: Power measurements
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:56 am 
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The idle vs full power thing is interesting.

Can we start a campaign for measuring load of various systems doing different tasks - for example, idle, word processing, DVD watching, HDTV decoding...?

Unfortunantly, there seems to be no good repository for this, and it might help in understanding the impact.

I'll get a cheap power meter this weekend for Austraila - I don't think it's fair to ask people to spend on professional equipment, but it might just help undersating the consumption in a home. After all, manufactuer's specs are notorious...

Plus, it's going to vary by OS and setup as well.

----------------

p.s. Via may have a market here with their mini-ITX boards... if only they have multiple SATA (e.g. 4 or more) to serve as a good file server/mythtv backend. They have the front-end captured (somewhat), but if you have 200W of grunt under the stairs, it's not much good, is it?

EDIT: Minor edits for examples


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:12 am 
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Quote:
Regardless, I agree the setup's consumption is very high and I'm not quite sure why.


The reason it is so high is because you have a 100W+ graphics card and a 100W+ CPU/mobo combo.

Quote:
PS I just checked my cheap meter on simple loads (incandescent bulb, of which I still have 1 in my house): error only 0.2%. It seems that the computer (switching mode PSU) load is more difficult for the cheap meters to measure correctly. Nothing new probably to you guys, but interesting for me.


This is because the incandescent bulb is a purely resistive load, which has a power factor of 1. A computer is an inductive/capacitive load, which has a power factor less than 1 (if no power factor correction is present).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_factor


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:35 am 
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jaganath wrote:
This is because the incandescent bulb is a purely resistive load, which has a power factor of 1. A computer is an inductive/capacitive load, which has a power factor less than 1 (if no power factor correction is present).


He has a Seasonic M12, the power factor should be in the immediate vicinity of 1.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:17 am 
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jaganath wrote:
The reason it is so high is because you have a 100W+ graphics card and a 100W+ CPU/mobo combo.
Not to mention that he's also running a UPS which typically adds another 20% or so to the power utilization to account for maintaining the battery charge.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:41 am 
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jaganath wrote:
The reason it is so high is because you have a 100W+ graphics card and a 100W+ CPU/mobo combo.


Not quite.

Standard x1900xtx at idle and at 2D:

Image

That's below 50W at 2D, below 30W at idle.

Opteron 180 at idle with CnQ should be somewhere between 35-60W. At full load between 90-120W.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=30774
http://techreport.com/etc/2006q4/gpu-fo ... dex.x?pg=1

All of my measurements were for a machine at idle. Sitting on desktop, doing nothing. No background processes (except antivirus, firewall and windows services).

I need to measure again without UPS. Unfortunately I don't have the calibrated meter anymore. Must borrow it again.j


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:17 am 
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AZBrandon wrote:
MikeC wrote:
2) main system: 75~80W in idle, peaks up to ~125W in high load (which does not happen often). 55W in standby (after 15 mins of inactivity)

Whoa, is that right? I just double-checked my own system since it's plugged in to a Kill-a-watt for other testing and confirmed mine draws 6 watts in standby. They must be in some different kind of standby to have a 10x difference in draw. It seems like you'd be able to gain a lot of savings if your system can do a more complete standby. I'm guessing yours must leave the power supply running and all fans spinning, etc. when in standby?

Well Mike never replied, but I figured out how to replicate this. If you have either your keyboard or mouse set in the control panel to permit coming out of standby then it will not do a full shutdown. I was able to substantiate this with my own PC.

Fully off: 4w
Full standby: 6w
Standby w/ kb or mouse resume: 67w
On, fully idle: 95w

Image

Just something to keep in mind if anyone else has a PC that isn't doing a full shutdown when you go into standby mode. The box must be unchecked for both the mouse and keyboard in order to permit full suspend standby.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:17 pm 
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Sounds like it'll make the computer go to S4 instead of S1


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:28 pm 
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I think my system is too old. No way I can get it lower except by putting it into hibernate.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:53 pm 
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MikeC, others,

Something seems very wrong about that number.

If you look at maximum power draw of 5VSB, you get 2-3 amps (depending on PSU).

That's a maximum of 15W extra power.

AZBrandon, your power consumption climbs by almost 11 times!!! That's way over the two-times theoretical increase.

What is going on here? Deep sleep (not hibernate) should kill everything but the RAM and external "wake up" devices, such as the USB ports and any WOL or PME devices. Network cards don't take up much more wattage, I would assume, since you can run even a NIC on a USB port.

Also, I would think that the northbridge would have to remain powered no matter what, as if the RAM is powered, so is the MCH. Am I wrong?

Where in the hell is the extra power coming from? To me, this makes no sense, but your measurements prove that it's there!

Is this some kind of inefficiency in the PSU because of the conversions to 5V? Is this because the PSU is still technically providing power, but with no active cooling the efficiency goes kerblooey?

What effect does unchecking a box in the OS have on the sleep state of a computer? I thought most of that was integrated in the BIOS - meaning regardless of what the OS says, the BIOS is the final answer? Or does Windows XP bypass this kind of like bypassing the hard drive settings?

All in all an 11-times increase just doesn't make much sense to me, and I'd be open to your theories on where this extra power comes from!

And, even better, would be an explaination of what the different power states really are. I've read on the EPA and Energy Star websites and even the articles here on SPCR, but none of them really eludes to the different ways that computers SAVE power with their settings!

I would love to be able to set my computer to remain active (I need it for communications purposes 24/7) but in a very reduced-power state. Currently, the only thing my computer does is EIST and powering down the LCD to standby - meaning everything else is idling most of the time.

As you can see below I have a very powerful system (I do use it to play games as well as everything else) and I would love to reduce the power it uses. Any suggestions appreciated, though I hesitate to turn the drives off.

Gigabyte P965 DQ6
Core 2 Duo E6700 (EIST enabled)
4 WD 320GB SATA
5 Nexus 120mm at 7V
1 Antec TriCool 120mm at "low"
Seasonic S12-500W
Soundblaster X-Fi Platinum (Breakout box not installed)
X800GTO2 flashed to 16 pipes (only OC'ed during heavy 3d apps)
Swiftech MCP655 water pump at lowest setting
Only USB-powered devices are keyboard and mouse (all others have power bricks)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:02 pm 
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thetoad30 wrote:
AZBrandon, your power consumption climbs by almost 11 times!!! That's way over the two-times theoretical increase.

What is going on here?

Where in the hell is the extra power coming from? To me, this makes no sense, but your measurements prove that it's there!

The best I can tell, if I mark the keyboard or mouse as being able to wake up the computer, it ONLY shuts down the video card and hard drives. I have 4 Seagate SATA2 drives (about 7w each according to the mfgr) and a 7800GT video card. That's easily the 28 watts or so. Everything else seems to stay on - the CPU stays hot, memory stays hot, all fans continue to run at the same speed, and so on. Mike is probably right that his PC is just too old to do standby "right" and it just goes into a reduced power, but not full standby mode.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:23 am 
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0) would you be willing to use shared computer resources? I.e. not fully own your own computer or at least not all the CPU cycles/storage/memory that you use.

1) Would you be willing to limit your computer use to X hours / week (on average) to limit it's energy use?
No.

2) Would you be willing to limit your re-purchase cycle to Y years and not upgrade until the minimum safety time has passed? This could mean passing up on "revolutionary" faster cpus/gpus/hds, etc and having a relatively "slow" computer compared to the best available.
To save money.

3) Would you be willing to buy only from companies that are deemed at least fairly "green" and shun companies that are not (currently Apple is a good example of an environmentally disasterous computing company)?
If they would both offer the same price on nearly the same thing, I would choose the more enviormentally friendly one.

4) Would you be willing limit the power of your computer if it means staying under a certain limit of power draw and material intensity load (due to mfg/logistics)?
No.


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 Post subject: Re: Radical rethink on green computing
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:56 pm 
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I haven't yet read this thread, or much else in this forum, but...
halcyon wrote:
So, my question is: what could truly radical green computing be like, using current mass produced technology?

Repair when possible or better yet try to avoid making repairs neccessary; making modifications to enhance something instead of buying something new, or converting something to another use might also be helpful. I think there should be a thread here on repairing stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Radical rethink on green computing
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:09 pm 
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halcyon wrote:
don't buy it, unless you really need it.


this is absolutely the *most* important idea in the original post.

only very very rarely do i observe any green "talk" coupled with an appreciation for reducing consumption. and any green "talk" that doesn't tells me that the entity "talking" doesn't really grok (or doesn't really care about) the issue of sustainability.

thank you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:53 pm 
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Location: Shi-Khan: Vulcan or MosEisley Tattonnie
In answer to your questions:

0) have already begun planning Home Server setup with smart terminals for security purposes

1) No - Spare CPU Cycles donated to folding or other distributed computing project

2) Already Done - Upgrade Cycle strictly based upon system requirements. Means 5+ Years as I build for longevity not high performance

EG: Current System is XP1800 with 1 gig RAM, planning upgrade due to memory starvation - Have examined options and looked at simply replacing mobo with model that accepts double ram, instead will build new usingSempron64 & Socket 754 setup gaining minor upgrade to USB 2.0/Sata1 while recycling AGP card (several old/slow spares) and hand me down to family member current system as upgrade for them.

3) Impossible to confirm that they're sufficiently green. Instead plan purchases around current Green Standards such as RoH's compliance and Price.

4) Already Do as my decision to upgrade has only recently been made based upon actual need. Not a Gamer or Enthusiast, so don't need latest/greatest or Fastest hardware.

Recently attempted to determine maximum power consumption of entire system with information on chipset, onboard GPU's, CPU, Memory, hard disk, CD/DVD burners, Video cards, NIC, Modem, Sound card and so on. Only problem is that I couldn't find information on more then CPU, Nforce Chipsets and onboard GPU's, hard drives and Video Cards. So completely unable to determine proper size PSU as desired to meet 65 percent loading although based upon estimates I had, should have been able to use 240 watt PSU except ISX form-factor instead of ATX.

I'm also looking into something called the Arm9 Risc System for my main system based upon power demand.[/url]

Now halcyon: I've been looking at this from another direction, mainly photovoltaics as I live in both the desert and California. Having suffered through the rolling blackouts before Enron collapsed after screwing the entire state.

Mainly what I've decided to do is build a dome house with a 7.5-10kw PV array and take my entire home off the grid. In other words, I'll be damn near energy independent year round. the only thing I'll then have to do is balance any new tech against my total energy production to ensure I don't need to add any elements to the PV array.

Also looking into possibly going with Hybrid/EV for local driving needs. Much nicer if range increased to 60-70 miles as means I can use locally and make longer trip to town for neccessary shopping as most shopping is 15-25 miles one way for me so increased EV range definately needed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:55 pm 
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fastturtle wrote:
Mainly what I've decided to do is build a dome house with a 7.5-10kw PV array and take my entire home off the grid.

How do you turn on your computer or TV or even reading lamp at night? PV doesn't work at night. If you live in the southern CA desert, you're familiar with the 6-week monsoon season when moisture comes roaring up from the gulf of California (I think it's called) and you get cloudy skies for six weeks straight, so PV doesn't work 24/7 for six weeks. Are you daydreaming, or have you really thought this through?

I assume you'll want to live in this dome house. You'll get older, you know. How close is the nearest hospital, and how quickly can you get there in your Hummer? If you're unable to drive, who will get you there in your Hummer? :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:31 am 
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I like the thoughts of "respect nature, then commit in your actions".

Here are three bizarre questions for you all:

1 - Do you agree that a random animal is equal to the human species?
(Thus not thinking like: humans can do more, and therefore a life of a
bug is less important than a human's)

2 - Would you be able to sacrifice people's lifes for a greater cause/good?
(Would you kill someone, if you could save the lifes of a thousand?)

3 - Would you sacrifice someone's life for the forthliving of nature's
animals/plants/environments?

Think about that - the energy-bill can be solved with the Thermonuclear Reactor :P


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:55 am 
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"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" is not fundamentally sound.

Reductionism is self-defeating. If we use less and less, at what point do we stop? Who decides that point?

Reusing things only works to a point (only so many people can read an old book until it falls apart).

Recycling is inaccurate. A better term is "down-cycle" because the things made from recycled material are not better (or even as good as) the things they were recycled from. Recycling just delays the trip to the landfill.

Please read "Cradle to Cradle" by William McDonough & Michael Braungart. They propose an environmentally beneficial system that allows humans to use as much as they want. Sounds crazy, eh? :)

http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:38 am 
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Location: UK
Quote:
If we use less and less, at what point do we stop?


At the point where we are in material equilibrium with the renewable resources available on Earth.

Quote:
Please read "Cradle to Cradle" by William McDonough & Michael Braungart. They propose an environmentally beneficial system that allows humans to use as much as they want. Sounds crazy, eh?


Yes, it does sound crazy. I have not read it, so let me guess what's in it and you can tell me if I'm right: there's a load of handwaving about how everything can be made ecologically sustainable, citing uncommerical technologies which will never make it out of the research laboratory (ie hydrogen fuel cell cars) as an example of the green revolution that is just around the corner. So, accepting that these new green products will be more expensive than their non-green counterparts, what is to stop the manufacture of those goods shifting to places like China where environmental standards are appallingly low? The race to the bottom on environmental quality is paralleled by the race to the cheapest price. I am also guessing that they cite battery-electric vehicles as an example of a zero-emission vehicle; they are no such thing, they simply shift the emissions to dirty coal-fired power plants.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:26 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
If we use less and less, at what point do we stop?


At the point where we are in material equilibrium with the renewable resources available on Earth.

Quote:
Please read "Cradle to Cradle" by William McDonough & Michael Braungart. They propose an environmentally beneficial system that allows humans to use as much as they want. Sounds crazy, eh?


Yes, it does sound crazy. I have not read it, so let me guess what's in it and you can tell me if I'm right: there's a load of handwaving about how everything can be made ecologically sustainable, citing uncommerical technologies which will never make it out of the research laboratory (ie hydrogen fuel cell cars) as an example of the green revolution that is just around the corner. So, accepting that these new green products will be more expensive than their non-green counterparts, what is to stop the manufacture of those goods shifting to places like China where environmental standards are appallingly low? The race to the bottom on environmental quality is paralleled by the race to the cheapest price. I am also guessing that they cite battery-electric vehicles as an example of a zero-emission vehicle; they are no such thing, they simply shift the emissions to dirty coal-fired power plants.


Not remotely, my cynical friend! It was not an answer book, but an encouragement to think differently about what it means to be environtmentally conscious. A central concept of the book is that being less bad, is still not good. You can make things so that they're only a tiny bit bad. But they're still bad. Wouldn't it be better to make them good? And we could, if we thought about things differently.

However, they say it so much better than me. You should read it, jaganath. I promise there is very little handwaving. Cheers!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:57 am 
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I think most of the ideas in the original post are off the mark. I can't imagine mandating power or time usage will work. (how are you going to tell every business in the country/world that they can only operate for a couple of hours a day). I agree with the 'if you don't need it don't buy it' angle (do you really need a 1000W PSU?). I used to have a 19" TV and only got a 27" when my sister moved across the country and didn't want to take it, but almost everyone I know is talking about the new 40+" plasma or LCD TV that they are getting or thinking of getting. (People are gluttons in general)

I'm all for environmentalism but I have never heard of any solution(s) that will replace fossil fuel. Are you aware that a majority of fossil fuel use in the USA goes to making Nitrogen to pump into the dead topsoil so we can grow food (including soy, corn, and all the other things that bio-fuels would be created from) Or, that larger and larger chunks of the Amazon rain forest are being cut down to grow soy (that's kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul as they say). And then keep in mind the the US military (with the exception of a few nuclear powered subs and ships) runs on fossil fuel! Not to mention the majority of the trucks that bring food (and computer components) to your stores.

I don't think I will be able to create new technologies base on systems that don't exist yet (but I hope some one is working on it)

As far as what I can do:

LCD's to replace CRT's will help with power consumption (the company I work for has almost all 5-10 year old CRT's on everyones desk. For a small investment they could replace them with LCD's and re-coup the money from the reduced power bill)

Higher efficiency power supplies would be a big help.

do you really need lights on your fans?

I just built a new pc:
E6600 C2D
Asus P5N E-SLI
BFG Nvidia 7800GT OC
1 gig ram
1 SATA WD HD 320GIG
1 OPTICAL DRIVE (probably get a second eventually)
Antec NeoHE 430w psu (efficient, but not the most efficient, it came with the case P150)

My last pc that I'm replacing is about 5years old:
Pent III
IBM deskstar 75gig hd
32meg vid card
Creative dvd player and Creative CD burner.
(I'm probably going to give this computer to a friend of mine whose house burnt down)

My computer is powered off for the majority of the day.

As far as recycling only delaying a trip to the land fill, are you suggesting we should skip the recycling and just throw everything in landfills to begin with? (I know the book your talking about says we can make products in the future that can be recycled without loss of quality, but can you point me to somewhere that I can buy a computer like this now?)

I'm wearing a fleece jacket right now, guess what, it's made from recycled plastic bottles (it's also much warmer and more comfortable than wearing a bunch of Pepsi bottles) The deck on the back of my apartment is made from recycled plastic that is stronger and lasts longer than wood with out the need for paint or stains.

I still have a CRT at home and will probably keep it until it dies then I will get a LCD. It's only on a couple of hours a day as it is, and shuts itself off after 15min.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:03 pm 
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Posts: 247
Shhh,Peaceful wrote:
(the company I work for has almost all 5-10 year old CRT's on everyones desk. For a small investment they could replace them with LCD's and re-coup the money from the reduced power bill)


Get them to do this, man! You don't want to know how much energy I've helped saving at my company. It takes a while before the coin drops, but with a little friendly tenacity you'll get there. The gains that can be made at offices worldwide are enormous.


Quote:
I just built a new pc:
E6600 C2D
Asus P5N E-SLI
BFG Nvidia 7800GT OC
1 gig ram
1 SATA WD HD 320GIG
1 OPTICAL DRIVE (probably get a second eventually)
Antec NeoHE 430w psu (efficient, but not the most efficient, it came with the case P150)


What is the power consumption of this system, if I may ask?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:46 pm 
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Posts: 270
Location: CA
I believe parts of this process should be:

Convincing people to USE the power-saving features already at their command.

You have no idea how many PC's I see people using that have that stupid Windows screen-saver function running, instead of letting power-save do it's thing. Or that fail to use the suspend and hibernate functions, instead leaving their PC on all the time.

I have a 5-year old PC that until recently was my main PC. It used 75-120 Watts and I had every power-saving function enabled, including having it hibernate when not in use. I used the "Wake-on-LAN" function if I had to get into it remotely, I could have the router send packets to bring it alive.

This PC was recently recycled to my brother for whom it is more than powerful enough. SImply using some of the technologies we have available in smart ways, and recycling and continuing to use older PC's seem to me the best course.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:16 am 
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Posts: 247
vincentfox wrote:
I believe parts of this process should be:

Convincing people to USE the power-saving features already at their command.

You have no idea how many PC's I see people using that have that stupid Windows screen-saver function running, instead of letting power-save do it's thing. Or that fail to use the suspend and hibernate functions, instead leaving their PC on all the time.


You're absolutely right there. The other day I was checking out a school for my little daughter. It's a school where they give the individual child a lot of attention. It's not about results and exams, but about development so that the children of today can create a better world. The head of the school showed us around and when we got to the computer room there were like 10 screensavers smiling at us with no one there. I told the head that I'll be coming this week to activate power management.

My mother-in-law is a teacher and when I told her this today she said that at her school they have 30 computers which are more or less on 24/7. I'll have to pay that school a visit soon as well.

I'm driving everyone nuts at one of the places I work. At first they hated me telling them what to do ('turn off what you don't need, even if only for half an hour'), because I forced them to think about it and common sense told them I was right. Funny thing is, now they are used to it and they act as if it's the most normal thing in the world. Great, isn't it?


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