540 i3 Higher Than Expexted Idle Wattage HTPC Wrong PSU????

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vwsplitty
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:34 am

540 i3 Higher Than Expexted Idle Wattage HTPC Wrong PSU????

Post by vwsplitty » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:16 am

Hi All,
As the title says i im pulling higher idle wattage from my i3 HTPC than i expected.I have just built a HTPC from the following parts:

MB/ GA-H55M-USB3

PSU/ CORSAIR 450W VTX

RAM/ 4GB 2x2G CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 XMP

CPU/ Intel Core i3 540 3.06G s1156

SSD/ 60GB OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G VERTEX2E

HDD/ 1TB WD SATA2 WD10EARS 5400RPM

Scythe SHURIKEN big CPU Cool

CASE/ ANTEC FUSION REMOTE BLACK.

And i was expecting about mid 30s watts whilst idle but i seem to be getting about 57-60 watts idle which seem to be the same as my old p4 2.4(all via kill-a-watt)
The only thing i can put it down to is the psu is over kill right now,but ive read online of quite a few i3 systems with 400-500w psu and they still only pull 30-35 watts idle.

Any help would be greatly received???????

JamieG
Posts: 822
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: 540 i3 Higher Than Expexted Idle Wattage HTPC Wrong PSU?

Post by JamieG » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:39 pm

vwsplitty wrote:CASE/ ANTEC FUSION REMOTE BLACK.
From memory, this case comes with some sort of display in one of the DVD bays, which is hooked up to the case's power supply. I'm not sure if this display alone would account for the extra 20w or so though. Just a thought anyway. You could try unplugging the display and see if that makes a difference.

vwsplitty
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:34 am

Re: 540 i3 Higher Than Expexted Idle Wattage HTPC Wrong PSU?

Post by vwsplitty » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:06 am

JamieG wrote:
vwsplitty wrote:CASE/ ANTEC FUSION REMOTE BLACK.
From memory, this case comes with some sort of display in one of the DVD bays, which is hooked up to the case's power supply. I'm not sure if this display alone would account for the extra 20w or so though. Just a thought anyway. You could try unplugging the display and see if that makes a difference.
thanks for the input,i have already tried that and its onoly a few watts at best.IM still thinking towards the psu but i want to make a 100% sure before i change it or even if its worth buying another one to save 30watt???????

najames
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:44 pm
Location: Florida

Re: 540 i3 Higher Than Expexted Idle Wattage HTPC Wrong PSU?

Post by najames » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:05 am

Interesting, I've built a similar PC to use as a media server, perhaps virtually.

Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H (2 RAM slots)
i3-550
Intel LGA775 CPU copper slugged cooler modded to fit on the 1156 board, 2 120mm case fans
2x2GB OCZ high performance 1.65V RAM temporarily pulled out of my i7-920 rig
2.5" WD 320GB blue laptop drive (no OS installed yet)
Intel NIC in a PCI-e slot
Seasonic 330W PSU (pre 80plus efficiency standards)

Measuring with my Killawatt, it idled in the BIOS at 56W, scratched head. I pulled the PCI-e Intel NIC and it dropped to 54W. I unplugged fans except the CPU fan, didn't make much difference. I tweaked the snot out of BIOS settings, shut off everything I wasn't using, underclocked it to 2.93GHz, and got it down to 46W while sitting in the BIOS. I ran a Fedora Live CD from an external DVD drive, powered seperately, rechecked the power. Surprisingly it was only 33W idle with the OS running. I have a new Seasonic 300W Bronze PSU and two 4GB 1.5V RAM sticks arriving today and will retest.

b_rubenstein
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: 540 i3 Higher Than Expexted Idle Wattage HTPC Wrong PSU?

Post by b_rubenstein » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:16 am

Are you sure Speed Step and EIST are enabled in the BIOS? If not, the CPU speed will never drop and the CPU voltage won't drop at idle. You can check the behavior with CPU-Z, which should show a CPU multiplier of 6 at idle and the voltage should change between idle and load.

You won't see a 20w change with a different PS.

BillyBuerger
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Location: Somerset, WI - USA
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Re: 540 i3 Higher Than Expexted Idle Wattage HTPC Wrong PSU?

Post by BillyBuerger » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:17 am

najames wrote:... I tweaked the snot out of BIOS settings, shut off everything I wasn't using, underclocked it to 2.93GHz, and got it down to 46W while sitting in the BIOS. I ran a Fedora Live CD from an external DVD drive, powered seperately, rechecked the power. Surprisingly it was only 33W idle with the OS running...
Sitting in the BIOS is not the same as idle when running in an OS. When an OS is idle, it tells the CPU and other parts (GPU) to go into a lower-power state and is where you'll really see your idle power.

And I agree with b_rubenstein, you won't get a 20W change in power at that levels by changing the PSU. I've seen a little over a 10W difference around there between a good PSU and a really crappy one. Apevia with LEDs from that came with a crappy case I got from a friend. But your Cosair one is a decent PSU. You could maybe cut it down by 5W or so with a really good PSU.

najames
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:44 pm
Location: Florida

Re: 540 i3 Higher Than Expexted Idle Wattage HTPC Wrong PSU?

Post by najames » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:52 pm

Thanks for the replies gents!!

I guess historically I've just built a PC, tweaked the BIOS settings a bit, and was good to go. I usually install Windows to test it then either continue to run Windows or install Linux.

I initially had all the power settings enabled in the BIOS at one time, I'm now at work and can't tell you the current "EIST related settings". I think they are off now. I got started hacking after reading this, then also found another website where they had BIOS screenies of undervolt settings. My IGP video is also underclocked (500MHz?), etc.

irev210:
Setup:
-0.225 Dynamic Vcore reduction (~.85V in BIOS), CPU @ 2GHz w/ hyper threading enabled to support undervolt.
1.1V for the GPU (stock speed)
1.3V for the ram (stock speed)

Last night I got side tracked making a bootable DOS flash drive, updated the firmware on the 3 Samsung F4 2TB drives. Then ran Samsung ES Tools to check the drive settings. Now I need to look at performance of quiet, fast, medium, disable and the SMART enable/disable. Arrggg, more cotton picking testing needed. Anyone done this already?

The current Seasonic 330W only has 2 SATA power connections and the new one will have 4, my expected number of drives for this box. I might use some molex to SATA power adapters if needed to add another drive, trying to avoid them.

I have one nagging problem with the board. While in the BIOS the video randomly blinks, like the LCD monitor is running out of spec. I am using a VGA out through my 4port KVM, need to bypass it and recheck it. I don't recall seeing any of this blinking while running the live Linux CD though.

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