What is the lowest wattage system you can achieve?

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jones_r
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Post by jones_r » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:37 pm

Ok, after witnessing today how a notebook hard-drive behaves in my computer (WD passport), I think I will buy one.

First I have some questions:

1. Is it worth to invest in a 7200RPM drive ?. This computer is going to download files from the internet, and transmit them to another computer. Will I see a noticeable difference between 7200RPM and 5400RPM for these usages (I'm sure not for the downloading part, but maybe for the file transfer to the second computer). I simply remember the 5400RPM era of desktop pcs, I didn't like it then.

I can get a 5400RPM 120GB drive, for the same price as a 7200RPM 80GB drive. Not sure what to choose... The difference between 7200RPM and 5400RPM drives seems small in terms of power consumption and noise, at least accoring to specs...

2. Will the new WD green drives be as good as a laptop drive ?, if so I will probably be able to get a 320GB green version for the same price as a 120/80GB laptop version. The problem then will be that the WD green drives are not IDE, like my Pentium 3...

3. Can you recommend a good 120GB laptop drive ?, how about this one ?: http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?v ... cale=en-US#

AZBrandon
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Post by AZBrandon » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:13 pm

jones_r wrote:Regarding the speed of the VIA in relation to the P3 system, a much more important thing for me than speed, is stability. The Pentium 3 is rock solid, while the VIA has issues under max stress.
Were you running the VIA totally passively? I had the same issue with mine. When running totally passively (no fans of any kind) it was fine so long as you didn't run it at max CPU load for more than 5 or 6 minutes at a time. After a while, i decided to add an 80mm low speed fan running at 5v, so it's nearly inaudible and I haven't had a single lock-up since the addition of the fan.
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loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:45 am

Unless you use gigabit ethernet, you would never encounter the ceiling of hd transferring speed. So, pick 7200rpm if 1000mbps network. On the contrary, go 5400rpm.

As for WD green drives, no definitive proof right now. But any 2.5' 5400rpm only draw 1W~2W at idle, I highly suspect any 3.5' would compete in this field. Typical 3.5' drives draw 7~10W at idle.

My personal preference of 2.5' is Hitachi, they tend to be faster. But I think any 2.5' drives would satisfy your needs.

jones_r
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Post by jones_r » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:29 am

Unless you use gigabit ethernet, you would never encounter the ceiling of hd transferring speed. So, pick 7200rpm if 1000mbps network. On the contrary, go 5400rpm.
Currently I have an even more harsh constraint, the Pentium 3 motherboaed that I'm using, support only Ultra ATA/33, which limits me to a theaoretical transfer rate of 33Mb/sec. If I will be able to get anything close to this rate, I'll be satisfied.

Yesterday I tried to copy a file from one hard disk to a second hard disk, both at the Pentium 3 computer (connected as master and slave), and got barelly 10MB/sec, which is horrible.

Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:02 am

Look.....you obviously have some sort of problem with your P-3 setup. Which means no matter what HD you use, your transfer speeds will be well below normal.

Also.....there are a number of different VIA boards available. I have never heard of any general instability problems across the line. A particular board with certain configurations might have problems, but that is true with any brand/chipset/CPU, etc. I usually never buy the first version of a new board when it comes out......I wait for others to try it before I buy. That being said....I wouldn't hesitate to use a VIA board, any VIA board, in a low power/usage computer.

For instance.....my C3 Jetway board is maybe 4-5 years old. It did not support USB2 or SATA. I put a USB2 card in the thing......I can transfer data much faster than you report, even though the laptop drive in it, is only 4200rpm. File transfer over the 10/100 LAN is just as fast as any of the other hi-power computers in the house.

For the general low-power usage you report, any of the newer VIA boards should be fast enough for you, along with any modern laptop drive you can find. But only as long as the configuration of the OS is normal.......
[size=75]"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke[/size]

vg30et
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Post by vg30et » Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:42 am

jones_r wrote:Yesterday I tried to copy a file from one hard disk to a second hard disk, both at the Pentium 3 computer (connected as master and slave), and got barelly 10MB/sec, which is horrible.
I noticed the same slow file transfer rate with my old P3 server. Even with a PCI gigabit ethernet adapter, my max transfer rate to other gigabit clients was ~10 to 15MB/sec.

I recently ditched the aging P3 system for a BE-2350 X2 chip + Nvidia 7050 motherboard w/ gigabit ethernet and noticed a decent jump in transfer speeds. I am now getting ~45 to 50MB/sec file transfer rates and enough processing power for other applications such as vmware. Power consumption wise, the old P3 with its non-integrated video, PCI ethernet and PCI usb 2.0 expansion card was drawing 35W idle while this new and much more powerful system is at 30W idle.

jones_r
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Post by jones_r » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:55 am

Power consumption wise, the old P3 with its non-integrated video, PCI ethernet and PCI usb 2.0 expansion card was drawing 35W idle while this new and much more powerful system is at 30W idle.
1. And how many watts as max load ?

2. Are you getting 30 Watts idle with a laptop HD ?

3. Which power supply are you using ?

4. Are you underclocking the CPU ?, it has double the TDP of my Pentium 3...

kentc
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Post by kentc » Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:49 pm

22-26w idle from a 7050 / X2 3800+ system:
viewtopic.php?t=41682&start=30#358909
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vg30et
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Post by vg30et » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:09 pm

1. And how many watts as max load ?
Mid 50's max load
2. Are you getting 30 Watts idle with a laptop HD ?
Yes, 2.5" laptop hdd.
3. Which power supply are you using ?
Morex 150w brick power supply
4. Are you underclocking the CPU ?, it has double the TDP of my Pentium 3...
Using C&Q, it idles at 1.1GHz and ramps up to 2.1GHz at 100% load.
[size=75]P180B | Asus M4A785-M | BE-2350 @ 0.912V to 1.056V | Ninja | 4GB DDR2-800 | Morex 150W Brick | OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD| 1x Scythe SFF21D + 1x Nexus 120mm | 29W Idle, 60W Max
[/size]

jones_r
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Post by jones_r » Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:02 pm

vg30et,
Which motherboard exactly do you have, and can you undervoltage/underclock it ?, I haven't seen undervoltage/underclock results on the BE-2350/2300 at all.

The 30W at idle seems great, but mid 50's at max load, for me it's too much (if I buy a new system, that is). I would like to know if it's possible to keep it around 40W at max load. I think that theoretically, if you can go to 1Ghz, even without undervoltage, your CPU power consumption will be halved (suppose to go linear with undeclocking), and this should put you at ~40W. But, at 1Ghz you won't need the same voltage as in 2.1Ghz, so undervolting will probably get you to around 30W (at max load!), and still your computer will be 10X faster than my Pentium 3 computer.

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:14 am

jones_r wrote: I would like to know if it's possible to keep it around 40W at max load.
You can limit yourself to max 1G @ 0.9V, it's still a lot faster than P3 533. You would get power and energy with newer components at the same time. I don't think you need to take full running into consideration, download PC doesn't need full power at all. The only problem is, you'll pay too much for energy-saving. Since P3 533 was enough for your needs, save money for electricity bill is more realistic. 40W is green enough, 20W difference won't give incredible benefits to noise/electricity bill.

As for undervolt, I can easily get 35W X2 3800+ to 1.15G @ 0.84V. I also can undervolt 65W X2 3600+ 90nm to 1.15G @ 0.88V. Take a look at CrystalCPUID, user configurable CnQ of SPCR article. Your results may vary with your luck.

frank2003
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Post by frank2003 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:57 am

I have a VIA EN12000E system with this config:

* EN12000E mobo
* 500GB WD 3.5" drive
* Hauppauge PVR-500
* Casetronic/Morex 2699 mini-ITX case with 60W brick

It draws 40W idle, 44W under load.

drees
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Post by drees » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:53 am

loimlo wrote:
jones_r wrote: I would like to know if it's possible to keep it around 40W at max load.
You can limit yourself to max 1G @ 0.9V, it's still a lot faster than P3 533. You would get power and energy with newer components at the same time.
You have to also keep in mind that limiting maximum CPU speed typically results in worse efficiency than letting the CPU ramp up as necessary for high loads as the faster the CPU is able to get the job done, the faster it can go back down to idle.

frank2003
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Post by frank2003 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:07 am

frank2003 wrote:I have a VIA EN12000E system with this config:

* EN12000E mobo
* 500GB WD 3.5" drive
* Hauppauge PVR-500
* Casetronic/Morex 2699 mini-ITX case with 60W brick

It draws 40W idle, 44W under load.
I forgot to mention that I also had two Hauppauge HVR 950 HDTV tuners attached to the USB ports. After removing those, the power consumption is now 37W idle, 40W under load.

I'd imagine if I also removed the PVR 500 (which I'm not ready to do) and replaced the 3.5" drive with a 2.5" one, I could shave off at least another 10W of power. That would make the power consumption 27W idle, 30W under load.

drees
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Post by drees » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:25 pm

frank2003 wrote: I'd imagine if I also removed the PVR 500 (which I'm not ready to do) and replaced the 3.5" drive with a 2.5" one, I could shave off at least another 10W of power.
Any chance you could measure the power draw of that PVR 500? I have 2 PVR 250s in one of my systems (MythTV) and each one draws about 10w all the time.

frank2003
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Post by frank2003 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:01 pm

drees wrote:Any chance you could measure the power draw of that PVR 500? I have 2 PVR 250s in one of my systems (MythTV) and each one draws about 10w all the time.
I'll be happy to do this over the weekend, when my recording schedule is lighter.

mimwdv
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Post by mimwdv » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:45 am

replacing the 3.5" drive with one (or two) 2.5" should shave off 10W by itself.

frank2003
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Post by frank2003 » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:16 pm

drees wrote: Any chance you could measure the power draw of that PVR 500? I have 2 PVR 250s in one of my systems (MythTV) and each one draws about 10w all the time.
I took out the PVR500 dual tuner card. The system power consumption is now 25W idle, 29W under load. So the power draw of the card is about 11-12W.

drees
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Post by drees » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:17 pm

Thanks, so I can basically get 2 tuners for the power draw of 1 with a PVR500 vs a PVR250.

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:17 am

Refresh an old topic :lol:

VIA EPIA 5000 (C3 533, oldest EPIA)
80GB Hitachi x1, 80GB Seagate x1, 40GB Seagate x1
NEC USB 2.0 PCI card
Delta 180W Power, fan modified


It draws 41W idle, 45W under load, all AC draws. It's an incredible result, considering 3 HDDs installed.

jones_r
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Post by jones_r » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:31 am

When it comes to power consumption per se, nothing can compete with EPIA.

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:20 am

It's past, sigh. I cut and paste the same results from previous page. It's a relatively powerful machine which draws less power than most EPIAs. I just can't stand one IDE channel, but it's doesn't matter with only one HDD.

"From a friend's computer

INTEL D201GLY, Celeron M 215
1xDDR2 667 1GB
1xWD 40GB, 3.5'

Idle 25W, full running 31W"

papakoo
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Post by papakoo » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:23 pm

How these little mobos are in terms of graphics speed? Comparing with AM2 mobos with nvidia 7050 and ati's 690g (and i don't know if there are chipsets maybe equal with those AM2, for intel and 775socket)

Comparing speed 3d and for HDTV/home cinema use.

vg30et
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Post by vg30et » Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:21 pm

Just for fun, I decided to see how low I could get this AM2 system.

Specs: Biostar TF7050, BE-2350 (0.85V@1.0GHz), 1x 1GB DDR2-800, Morex 150W brick, 2.5" notebook drive, 2x Scythe fans w/ Noisemagic controllers.
Result: Image
This is with the LAN cable disconnected ... with it plugged in, power consumption rises to 25W.
With a dvd-r, floppy, 3rd fan, 2nd stick of RAM and stock AMD C&Q voltage, this box idles at 33W and 75W at 100% CPU usage.
[size=75]P180B | Asus M4A785-M | BE-2350 @ 0.912V to 1.056V | Ninja | 4GB DDR2-800 | Morex 150W Brick | OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD| 1x Scythe SFF21D + 1x Nexus 120mm | 29W Idle, 60W Max
[/size]

papakoo
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Post by papakoo » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:35 pm

vg30et wrote:Just for fun, I decided to see how low I could get this AM2 system.

Specs: Biostar TF7050, BE-2350 (0.85V@1.0GHz), 1x 1GB DDR2-800, Morex 150W brick, 2.5" notebook drive, 2x Scythe fans w/ Noisemagic controllers.
Result: Image
This is with the LAN cable disconnected ... with it plugged in, power consumption rises to 25W.
With a dvd-r, floppy, 3rd fan, 2nd stick of RAM and stock AMD C&Q voltage, this box idles at 33W and 75W at 100% CPU usage.
very nice, but from 33W idle you go to 75 full load? You should try undervolting from bios, you might run at stock speed at about 1V and your full load will be about 40-45W. Try it. ;)

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:38 am

Stock CnQ of BE series voltage is 1.2~1.25V at full load, 1.1V at idle, pretty high from a silencer's viewpoint. Manual CnQ with CrystalCPUID or RMClock would give us decent results. :wink:

vortex222
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Post by vortex222 » Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:17 pm

slot 1 Pentium 3? It is probably the .25u Katmai core which are more power hungry then the Coppermine. If you do some research you can probably find information to do the 'nailpolish mod' to reduce the vcore down to 1.8volts, (if the stock is 2.0) and that is about there low side.

If it is a coppermine on a slotkit adapter then consider lowering the voltage on it via its jumpers to possibly 1.35 volts. If it is one of the rare slot 1 coppermines then the nailpolish mod could probably reduce the voltage as well.
Antec P180, Intel e8400@3.2ghz(400x8)1.2v w/ninja b passive, 16gb Corsair DDR2, Corsair HX520, 2x120mm Noctua, BFG gtx260-55nm@stock (software fan controlled), Asus P5Q-ProTurbo, sb-xfi premium, Corsair F60 SSD, 2tb WD green and 5lb Peal&seel /w some acustipac type product=faint, needs no work and weighs 60lbs.

vortex222
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Post by vortex222 » Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:20 pm

MikeC wrote:
PS -- if you're interested I have a really early VIA m-ITX board you could fool around with for cheap. Email me.
it would be a real honor to whomever ends up with that, the "breadbox" is something of legend.
Antec P180, Intel e8400@3.2ghz(400x8)1.2v w/ninja b passive, 16gb Corsair DDR2, Corsair HX520, 2x120mm Noctua, BFG gtx260-55nm@stock (software fan controlled), Asus P5Q-ProTurbo, sb-xfi premium, Corsair F60 SSD, 2tb WD green and 5lb Peal&seel /w some acustipac type product=faint, needs no work and weighs 60lbs.

pmahoney
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Post by pmahoney » Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:09 am

I've been looking for a low-power low-cost always-on server as well.

The price of D201GLY is really good - 3rd party at Amazon has the board for $60 w/ $8 shipping - and the power numbers are respectable (~25W).

Does anyone have any idea of the performance? Can one do DiVX/XVid decode? Play iTunes video? Play Netflix video?

I have a Via Epia M10000 system now and it runs Ubuntu fast, and it does well on DiVX and XVid, but it chokes badly on both iTunes and Netflix. On iTunes video (playing Lost for example), I seem to get about 0.3 frames per second or something like that.

I'm tempted to give it a shot just due to the price - $60 is amazing. But I can't quite bring myself to press "buy" without some idea of how fast the CPU will be.

scaryduck
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Post by scaryduck » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:46 am

My new Core 2 Duo system idles at 25W DC. Load is 36W (measured at the output from the AC/DC brick).

MSI 945GT Speedster
Core 2 Duo T5600 - 1GHz/0.85V idle, 1.86Ghz/0.87V load (down from 1.1V)
1 x 1GB DDR 667
120GB Momentus 5400.3 laptop drive

There's a Zalman 7000 atop the CPU so the system is fanless, even with two Prime95s running.

C states higher than C1 aren't supported on this motherboard so idle power has the potential to be lower with a motherboard that does (e.g. the Asus).

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