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 Post subject: Whats using all my power??
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:13 am 
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Posts: 64
Hi,

I finally got a device to measure the power consumption of my PC and I have to say I was shocked when it settled at 140w @ idle..

My system..
An E6700 C2D at stock speed (2.66Ghz but undervolted and speedstep enabled (1.6Ghz idle)..
4 x 1GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 memory sticks (1066Mhz memory currently running at 1000Mhz)..
GeForce 7600 GT - 256MB graphics card..
500GB Seagate 7200PRM drive..
Asus Striker Extreme motherboard..
Antec Phantom 500 PSU..
3 fans..
Gigabit Ethernet network card..

Does anyone have any ideas what the power consumption is of each component so I can see where I can make improvements..

Thanks..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:36 am 
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140w at idle is exceedingly high for your components. I just can't see your components drawing >100W DC at idle. Maybe 70W tops, imo. Makes me ask: what is your AC power measurement tool?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:41 am 
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Wow, that power consumption is really high. My first thought was maybe your graphics card, but according to Xbitlabs idle power consumption is only around 15W, and full load is around 38W. Maybe your motherboard has components that aren't powering down? I had a semi-similar build that only took 80W idle, so I have no idea what else could be drawing the power.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:45 am 
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the e6700 should draw no more than ~30W -- http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/di ... html#sect0

The 7600gt might pull 15W at idle -- http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/ ... html#sect1

The rest -- I doubt it would total 30W at idle.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:51 am 
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What environment is it idling in? See what the power consumption is like while sitting in the BIOS. If it's very different then something running in your OS is ramping up the power usage.

Try running a minimal config with only one stick of RAM and no ethernet card. This will eliminate these items and allow you calculate the rough usage of them. Then pull the HDD out and if possible switch to onboard graphics, then again measure power usage. If it's still there it's motherboard/CPU.

What temperatures do you get on all components both at idle and load? CPU and GPU should both have much lower power requirements at idle and therefore much lower temperatures. If not, something is wrong with their power management.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:07 am 
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First I'd check the wattmeter.

If it's a cheap Kill-A-Watt or similar then that's most probably the source of fault; these are notorious for showing the wrong numbers when measuring on switched PSUs.
(If your PSU is of very good quality and doesn't send ripple back out on the line then it should work fine.)

Cheers
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:58 am 
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The meter I am using is just a cheap plug in one but its been fairly close to the rated outputs on other things I have plugged onto it so I cant see its that far out..

I have just removed everything from my PC excluding RAM and switched it on and it was still showing 113W usage.. Putting the graphics card in added 32W and the hard drive added another 9W.. Clocking the RAM back to 800Mhz made about 1-2W difference..

As for temps.. Ambient is about 23 - 24C.. CPU with HR01+ and no fan idles at 38C (remember this is undervolted and speedstep has dropped it to 1.6GHz).. Under load it gets to about 48C.. Graphics card has an Accelero S2 running passive and showing a temperature of 50C..

OS is Ubuntu Linux..

Maybe this is a very power hungry motherboard??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Well, that mobo isn't the most power friendly mobo there is, I'd say. at least 6 phases it looks like, LEDs both left and right, lots of gadgets and extra gizmos. I've not found any review of that mobo, but here is a review of another 680i SLI mobo with a not so different setup (7900GT 25w idle, but no extra Gb NIC) reaching 140W idle as well, although I do not know how that system was set up. That review also reports idle as ~30W higher than a P965 board, a type of board SPCR meassured at 100W (with a 7950-card)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:19 pm 
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Interestingly according to this review the numbers are probably about right as scary as that may be..

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=34 ... ert&pid=19

See bottoe of the page..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Probably correct then :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:49 pm 
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Thats quite insane. No wonder nvidia chipsets are a rarity at SPCR. Maybe something to do with the 680i that doesn't power down the CPU during idle or something.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:01 pm 
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FartingBob wrote:
Thats quite insane. No wonder nvidia chipsets are a rarity at SPCR. Maybe something to do with the 680i that doesn't power down the CPU during idle or something.


It is insane.. Means I can almost justify the cost of a new motherboard just for the electricity savings over a year..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:04 pm 
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a pc uses alot more W when in bios than when actually in idle, so make sure you wait a few minutes in your OS to see it level out.

to quote a review:
Quote:
Image

Note that this cooling system is a very important component of this mainboard. Nvidia nForce 680i SLI chipset dissipates quite a lot of heat, which requires the mainboard based on it to feature pretty complex cooling solutions. Even though ASUS Striker Extreme uses three copper heatsinks to cool down the chipset, these heatsinks may heat up to 65-70o C during work (the actual chipset components get even hotter than that).


If they manage to get this high with such big heatsinks, they must use a lot of W...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:22 am 
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Seems like chipset power consumption is an overlooked area in motherboard reviews...

Cheers
Olle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Tobias wrote:
Well, that mobo isn't the most power friendly mobo there is, I'd say.


Agreed, for some reason, I always know that any mobo with Striker in it is going to be a pig for power...

Question to the OP, though. Why do you have a gigabit card when your mobo already has two gigabit connections onboard (nForce and Marvell)?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:26 am 
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jhhoffma wrote:
Question to the OP, though. Why do you have a gigabit card when your mobo already has two gigabit connections onboard (nForce and Marvell)?


Thought someone may pick that up.. :)

For some reason the onboard NIC's stopped working in Ubuntu, wghat I mean is they were working when I went to bed and when I booted the next day they didn't work anymore..

They detect but just will not get an IP address from DHCP.. Even setting a static IP doesn't work.. They just don't seem to send and receive data.. I didn't have a chance to look at it in depth so I just stuck in a PCI card I had in a box.. If you have any ideas how to fix it I am all ears.. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:23 am 
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Sounds like a driver issue...

It's not likely a hardware issue as they are separate chips. I found this link after a quick search. They don't reference the same mobo chipset, but I'm sure the Marvell chip is probably the same one they've been using forever. Might be worth a look, but I'm not a Linux guy, so I can't help there.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:04 pm 
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Does the power consumption vary significantly when running a 3D app compared to when at idle? It seems possible that Ubuntu is not dropping the core speed of either the processor or video card.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:21 pm 
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WipeOut: How come you got a SLI board in the first place?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:37 pm 
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Tobias wrote:
Well, that mobo isn't the most power friendly mobo there is, I'd say. at least 6 phases it looks like, LEDs both left and right, lots of gadgets and extra gizmos. I've not found any review of that mobo, but here is a review of another 680i SLI mobo with a not so different setup (7900GT 25w idle, but no extra Gb NIC) reaching 140W idle as well, although I do not know how that system was set up. That review also reports idle as ~30W higher than a P965 board, a type of board SPCR meassured at 100W (with a 7950-card)

Actually, LEDs barely use any power. They don't even have a dedicated PSU. I think they should be out of the calculation.

Did you try to go in the BIOS and disable any controllers you aren't using? Like IDE, RAID, COM, parallel etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:31 am 
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That's way too high. Did you turn off the onboard video in BIOS? Is the CPU power saving mode enabled? Ubuntu power management is very good in my experience.


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