CPU idle consumption chart

All about them.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
robnas
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:10 am
Location: Netherlands

CPU idle consumption chart

Post by robnas » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:44 am

I'm searching for idle power consumption of CPU's.
Not TDP, not total system consumption.

Why? To choose a processor for a NAS/nettop/HTPC/downloadserver.

A computer that stays on night and day.

Meato
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:37 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK, USA

Post by Meato » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:04 am

http://www.anandtech.com/bench

It keeps throwing my browser to an error page today, but if memory serves me, they have idle power consumption on the charts.

If you could give specifics about what duties the CPU would be performing, I'm sure some of the HTPC/NAS savy users could point you in the right direction.

Also, Clarkdale is due out Q1 2010. You might wait to make your final decision until you see the reviews on that product.

robnas
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:10 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by robnas » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:25 am

Meato wrote:http://www.anandtech.com/bench

It keeps throwing my browser to an error page today, but if memory serves me, they have idle power consumption on the charts.

If you could give specifics about what duties the CPU would be performing, I'm sure some of the HTPC/NAS savy users could point you in the right direction.

Also, Clarkdale is due out Q1 2010. You might wait to make your final decision until you see the reviews on that product.
I'm familiar with the Clarkdales, very promising... Anandtech throws errors at me too. So that's no-go for now.
But Clarkdale is not a long term answer. I want as much information that's usable for over a very long period (read eternity).
It could be possible that an older (and much cheaper) sempron does the trick also.

ava__
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:55 pm
Location: Romania

Re: CPU idle consumption chart

Post by ava__ » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:56 pm

robnas wrote:I'm searching for idle power consumption of CPU's.
Not TDP, not total system consumption.

Why? To choose a processor for a NAS/nettop/HTPC/downloadserver.

A computer that stays on night and day.
Even for your kind of usage, the relevant figure is the total system consumption. This is in the end what you will be paying for. It's not only the CPU that needs power, but the complete system, including motherboard, memory and peripherals.

Also consider the fact that controller chips on the MB tends to consume more and more power these days, there are even situations when they need more than the CPU itself (see the infamous Atom + 945 GC boards).

There are also the architecture differences between manufacturers: AMD CPUs have integrated memory controller on the CPU die, therefore adding to CPU power consumption, while on the Intel Core2 CPUs the memory controller belongs to the chipset.

ava__
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:55 pm
Location: Romania

Post by ava__ » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:07 pm

If you still want the CPU only power consumption, you'll find it in this review at LostCircuits:
http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//inde ... mitstart=4

There was also a good review about low-end platforms , with power consumption figures, at xbitlabs.com. The site is down ATM so i can't provide a link, but it's worth checking IMO.

You might want also to look at the DC power consumption figures in this recent article at SPCR:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1003-page6.html

colm
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:22 am
Location: maine

Post by colm » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:32 am

ava__ wrote:If you still want the CPU only power consumption, you'll find it in this review at LostCircuits:
http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//inde ... mitstart=4

There was also a good review about low-end platforms , with power consumption figures, at xbitlabs.com. The site is down ATM so i can't provide a link, but it's worth checking IMO.

You might want also to look at the DC power consumption figures in this recent article at SPCR:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1003-page6.html

the lost circuits link...it has a missing link, the prescotts...
that pin grid array is quite scary to the stampede. wouldn't they poop on thier wallet if they knew...
if you got a good "old" sempron or whatever...just keep it. acpi is acpi and pin grid array is undoubtable. It is the winners.
I can't wait for the big head to climb out of the big ass....this whole generation reminds me of slot one madness. Even the pci-e is a sucking a**hole.

dragonfire
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:23 pm
Location: Massachusetts, USA

Post by dragonfire » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:50 pm

Some recent news may be relevant for your purposes:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/sh ... spx?i=3692

robnas
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:10 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by robnas » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:08 pm

A bit late, but thank you very much for your answers!
Especially the link on lostcircuits is promising.
The D510 is quite a promising conficuration, but I'm doubting.

I can go two ways:
1: Atom + game/powerrig
2: Core i#

Both have it's advantages:
1: low power idle. back-up, girlfriend watching movie and me playing game (future)
2: one time the costs

Both have it's disadvantages:
1: two systems, costs
2: only one at a time.

At this time I don't want Atom. It's overrated. It's enough for doing 1080P etc, but the energy/prestation ratio isn't as good as core i#

I now have an AMD 4850e+, which I am ok with. Energyconsumption is about 50 watts idle with an Nexus 430 value PSU.

I see the core i7 870 is doing quite the thing idle: 7,2 watt.

So it's easy on the idle consumption, but can deliver power when necessary. Tempting.

So, what about A H55 mobo (low-power idle), an i7 870 (low power idle),
with Intel SSD and a WD15EADS 1,5TB green power?
Only problem is I can't use a 120 watt picopsu, so I have to miss the low power efficiency (~80% instead of ~65%). Plus I have to add a graphic-card, and I don't know what hybrid-graphics can do about it's powerconsumption.

So, best option is probably:
Sticking with the AMD, keep gaming rig.


And in the future:
H55, Core i7 870 (or comparable), graphic-card (hybrid graphics).
Keep the Nexus value 430. Try something with virtual machines.

In that way, I could do this:
Me gaming, using graphic-card, using 5.1 surround.
Girlfriend watching HD-movie, using optical/SPDIF to external receiver, and using internal graphic-card

And still have the relatively low power idle.

Is this interesting?

robnas
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:10 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by robnas » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:14 pm

Sorry to use a new post, but it's completely different:
I've tried a sleeping state of the system to save power.
When an other computer sends a "magic package", mny computer would wake up (it's functional as NAS).
Only problem is: not n00b-friendly, and I want it (guess what) n00b-friendly.
So I've arranged it to let it wake up with whatever packet it receives.
Set computer to sleep, and within about 10~30 seconds: awake, with no activity in-house.

So I want my computer to sleep, and when my harddisk is approached from within the network (in house), my computer have to wake up, and get to sleep in xx minutes.

Who could help me?

RBBOT
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:02 am

Post by RBBOT » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:00 pm

I believe the technical manuals on the Intel site list the idle power consumption for each model.

rocket733
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 1:39 pm

Post by rocket733 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:30 am

robnas wrote:Sorry to use a new post, but it's completely different:
I've tried a sleeping state of the system to save power.
When an other computer sends a "magic package", mny computer would wake up (it's functional as NAS).
Only problem is: not n00b-friendly, and I want it (guess what) n00b-friendly.
So I've arranged it to let it wake up with whatever packet it receives.
Set computer to sleep, and within about 10~30 seconds: awake, with no activity in-house.

So I want my computer to sleep, and when my harddisk is approached from within the network (in house), my computer have to wake up, and get to sleep in xx minutes.

Who could help me?
Your router/switch is probably sending out an Ping to all the network devices it has listed to make sure the device is still available, this occurs even regardless of network utilization.

robnas
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:10 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by robnas » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:54 pm

rocket733 wrote: Your router/switch is probably sending out an Ping to all the network devices it has listed to make sure the device is still available, this occurs even regardless of network utilization.
Ok. Does every router does that? Can I switch that function off?
I have a different router at the moment, so maybe I can try it later.

Rebellious
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:53 pm
Location: EU, USA

common problem

Post by Rebellious » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:59 am

robnas wrote:Sorry to use a new post, but it's completely different:
I've tried a sleeping state of the system to save power.
When an other computer sends a "magic package", mny computer would wake up (it's functional as NAS).
Only problem is: not n00b-friendly, and I want it (guess what) n00b-friendly.
So I've arranged it to let it wake up with whatever packet it receives.
Set computer to sleep, and within about 10~30 seconds: awake, with no activity in-house.

So I want my computer to sleep, and when my harddisk is approached from within the network (in house), my computer have to wake up, and get to sleep in xx minutes.

Who could help me?
It's internet / network "noise" waking up machine every few seconds. Open Power Management for Network adapter in Device manager, and check "allow only management stations...". That will fix it in Windows, Linux seems to work without tweaks on my systems. When done, only magic packet from YOUR machine(s) will wake from surpend S3.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:18 am

The focus on just CPU idle power is too narrow. So many CPUs will get down below 10W these days that it's no longer the primary limit to how low your system can idle. Using all low power components is what you need, and on top of that, a power supply that is really efficient at that low power range.

For example, motherboards of the same chipset & form factor can vary nearly 10W in idle, at least at the AC level, which is what really counts anyway, the total power. Using a laptop drive instead of a desktop means 1W DC instead of 4~8W. Finally a PSU that's 85% efficient at 30-50W load instead of the more typical 65% will save you 10~12W at the wall.

My current HTPC is using an MSI 785G, AMD 240e, 4gb ram, stock PSU in Antec nsk1480: It idles typically at 36~40W AC, about 40~45W doing light tasks (torrent, web browsing), and around 50~55W watching 720p/1080p video. I might get 5W less with a more efficient PSU but not keen on hacking into the box again right now.

MtnHermit
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:25 am
Location: Colorado

Post by MtnHermit » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:50 am

MikeC wrote:The focus on just CPU idle power is too narrow. So many CPUs will get down below 10W these days that it's no longer the primary limit to how low your system can idle. Using all low power components is what you need, and on top of that, a power supply that is really efficient at that low power range.

For example, motherboards of the same chipset & form factor can vary nearly 10W in idle, at least at the AC level, which is what really counts anyway, the total power. Using a laptop drive instead of a desktop means 1W DC instead of 4~8W. Finally a PSU that's 85% efficient at 30-50W load instead of the more typical 65% will save you 10~12W at the wall.
This review of four P55 motherboards makes your point, an 11W spread at idle and even more under load. Clearly not a low power test, but illuminating since they all used identical components except the MB.

So how do we identify the best MB's for low power PCs? I'd be glad to help.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:21 am

MtnHermit wrote:
MikeC wrote:The focus on just CPU idle power is too narrow. So many CPUs will get down below 10W these days that it's no longer the primary limit to how low your system can idle. Using all low power components is what you need, and on top of that, a power supply that is really efficient at that low power range.

For example, motherboards of the same chipset & form factor can vary nearly 10W in idle, at least at the AC level, which is what really counts anyway, the total power. Using a laptop drive instead of a desktop means 1W DC instead of 4~8W. Finally a PSU that's 85% efficient at 30-50W load instead of the more typical 65% will save you 10~12W at the wall.
This review of four P55 motherboards makes your point, an 11W spread at idle and even more under load. Clearly not a low power test, but illuminating since they all used identical components except the MB.

So how do we identify the best MB's for low power PCs? I'd be glad to help.
Our own mobo reviews, mostly on mATX boards, always include details of power measurements with standard components that we try not to change as long as possible (tho we are sometimes accused of being not uptodate as a result of this approach on many areas). Power comparisons with previously tested boards of the same class/type are usually included.

Forum members could set up a new thread on the topic to share info on their own boards, but this will not be easy because of the huge variety of CPUs out there. You could start with a summary of info from SPCR mobo reviews, then expand from there. Some quick thoughts on what's needed:

1) An accurate AC power meter, preferably one that's widely known and available: Kill-a-watt or Seasonic power angel (which are identical under the skin)
2) A PSU that's been tested by SPCR -- with known efficiency at 20W, 40W and 65W loads -- so the loss through the PSU can be calculated.
3) "standard" load of 1 HDD (maybe a "classic" 7200, 2-platter 3.5" because almost everyone has one, and the idle power characteristics are well known -- or use one we've tested so the precise idle power can be factored out)
4) "standard" single stick of RAM... the variance between sizes and types is fairly small- probably under 1W.
5) It would have to be limited to boards with built-in graphics, discrete video cards will be a major spanner in the works.

Who will volunteer to start/monitor/run this? -- and find a replacement volunteer when you tire of it. You'd probably need some level of moderator rights. MtnHermit?

MoJo
Posts: 773
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:20 am
Location: UK

Post by MoJo » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:58 pm

I think rather than just looking at CPU or even system power consumption, we need to look at Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). By that I mean the cost of the parts and the amount of electricity.

The old EPIA boards were a classic example of a high TCO. Sure, they could idle at 17W with a good DC PSU, but they cost so much to buy you would have to run them constantly for at least a decade before you saved money compared to a Sempron system with a few tweaks.

Atom has changed the low power landscape considerably. The performance is pretty poor though, which may or may not be an issue depending on what you want. For a simple NAS box Atom is fine when paired with a reasonable gigabit NIC. People seem to have trouble getting Atom boards over about 30MB/sec peak file transfer speed though, and if you want encryption then Atom performs extremely poorly.

Of course much of the performance of a NAS system is down to the chipset.

In short it's very hard to pick the best CPU. Lowest power does not always mean lowest cost.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:36 pm

Mojo,

You make some good points there, but my own interest in low idle power is not about saving $$, it is about reducing energy consumption in general. A green PoV. If you look at the big picture, TCO should include all the environmental cost factors -- but these are not included in traditional TCO calculations.

It's also true that being miserly with power makes silent computing much easier to achieve.

MoJo
Posts: 773
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:20 am
Location: UK

Post by MoJo » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:30 am

MikeC, that's a good point. It would be interesting to calculate the cost of various parts in carbon as well as £. I have a feeling that it would still be much cheaper to offset the small amount of extra energy used by a cheaper system with carbon offsetting rather than paying more up front for a super low power system. In fact, planting a few trees could cost you nothing.

I suppose the best thing to do would be to get an older system which would otherwise be discarded. A Sempron would probably be the most likely candidate.

HFat
Posts: 1753
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Location: Switzerland

Post by HFat » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:13 am

MoJo wrote:I have a feeling that it would still be much cheaper to offset the small amount of extra energy used by a cheaper system with carbon offsetting rather than paying more up front for a super low power system.
Briefly, because this is off-topic: carbon offsetting != green

Low-power systems are not necessarily expensive anyway.

lm
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1251
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Location: Finland

Post by lm » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:20 pm

MikeC wrote:Mojo,

You make some good points there, but my own interest in low idle power is not about saving $$, it is about reducing energy consumption in general. A green PoV. If you look at the big picture, TCO should include all the environmental cost factors -- but these are not included in traditional TCO calculations.

It's also true that being miserly with power makes silent computing much easier to achieve.
And doesn't this mean that buying stuff JUST to make the system use less power OFTEN just increases your total power usage when you distribute the energy used to build the stuff over the time the said device will be used?

Imho it makes sense to improve power draw in situations when you need new hardware for other reasons anyway.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:12 pm

lm wrote:
MikeC wrote:Mojo,

You make some good points there, but my own interest in low idle power is not about saving $$, it is about reducing energy consumption in general. A green PoV. If you look at the big picture, TCO should include all the environmental cost factors -- but these are not included in traditional TCO calculations.

It's also true that being miserly with power makes silent computing much easier to achieve.
And doesn't this mean that buying stuff JUST to make the system use less power OFTEN just increases your total power usage when you distribute the energy used to build the stuff over the time the said device will be used?

Imho it makes sense to improve power draw in situations when you need new hardware for other reasons anyway.
Of course. I do not encourage replacing perfectly good gear to save 5-10W. But this thread began with a question on choosing components to minimize power draw in a new home server.

MoJo
Posts: 773
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:20 am
Location: UK

Post by MoJo » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:36 pm

MikeC wrote:
lm wrote:Imho it makes sense to improve power draw in situations when you need new hardware for other reasons anyway.
Of course. I do not encourage replacing perfectly good gear to save 5-10W. But this thread began with a question on choosing components to minimize power draw in a new home server.
So what you guys are basically trying to say is that the best choice for components in a low power system is the local rubbish tip? ;)

Seriously though, you can get old Sempron or Celeron systems for next to nothing and underclock/undervolt them. Maybe replace the PSU with a more efficient one.

- Lower initial cost means it will take years for a ~20W power saving to actually save you money.

- By not manufacturing new components it will take years for the total carbon cost to outweigh the savings made by reducing power ~20W.

Just don't use second hand hard drives. Actually, that is an interesting question - at what point does it make sense to ditch old hard drives and replace them with a single larger one? Assuming you data storage needs keep increasing, of course.

Vicotnik
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1828
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
Location: Sweden

Post by Vicotnik » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:49 pm

MoJo wrote:Just don't use second hand hard drives. Actually, that is an interesting question - at what point does it make sense to ditch old hard drives and replace them with a single larger one? Assuming you data storage needs keep increasing, of course.
That's easy. When the cost/GB is low enough for the new drive and you have a buyer for the old one.

robnas
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:10 am
Location: Netherlands

Post by robnas » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:19 am

Well,

Nice for so much reactions.
It's worth the time to think about a proper system to review info.
My reason for low power consumption is total costs.
There is an aspect of luxury in it, though.
I've bought a Intel SSD. That's just because I wanted it.

But how do we talk about it?
I think it is good to make some "channels".
Each channel is for specific users.
For example:
NAS
HTPC
Game-rig
(download)server
etc.

Each channel could represent a topic. In the topic the startpost gives all formulas (how long is the system in use, times cost/watt makes energy-cost). Be sure people who post are using a template for the info.

Idle consumption @ the wall(corrected to pico-psu):
xx% CPU/system consumption
Cost system:
Costs over time:
Costs system + idling consumption times xx hours times costs/WHr.

With the right template, it can be very easy to calculate for your own situation if the system presented is cost-effective. When people just post some info on their own way, it takes a lot of posts and time for other people to ask for the right information.

I hope I've made myself clear...

Post Reply