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low powererd PC / Computer ?


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#1 MedEvil

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:53 AM

Since the energy prices will take to the sky next year. (Again!)

I ran this weekend around the house and checked all elektrical devices with a meter for power consumption.

Some of the biggest 'eaters' turned out to be computers, which basicly only wait very fast for the user here.

I was wondering, have you already stumbled on this problem, of the 'too fast computers' and assembled for yourself a low powered computer?

What have you chosen? How low could you get the consumption?


:cheers:

#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:32 AM

I use a cheap tablet as server, don't know how much energy it saves but the tablet itself feeds on the same energy level as a smartphone.



#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:55 AM

I have found a very good source for "low powered" computers (like for firewalls/network file servers/etc.) on the used market.
 
Namely in Germany there is an evident surplus of used Fujutsu-Siemens Futro S200/220/300 which you can buy for a handful of bucks.
Example:
http://stores.ebay.i...d=p4634.c0.m322
http://stores.ebay.i...d=p4634.c0.m322
 
They are very small, have no fan (but cool alright) have no "external brick" for power supply :thumbup:, have internal connectors for both CF card and IDE + a raiser card that allows to add a standard PCI card, two front + 2 rear USB (USB 2.0) besides an internal NIC, VGA; 2 PS/2 for mouse keyboard and Parallel port and Serial port.
The processor is a Transmeta 800.
The BIOS is the stupidest of all (Insyde) which represents the only actual defect of the thingies IMHO.
 
Haven't measured actually the power needed, but it is very low, specs are: 
 

Electrical values (internal AC/DC power supply)
Rated voltage 100 - 240 V
Rated frequency 50/60 Hz
Max. Power consumption 0.7 A
Power consumption for standard configurations with XPe
Peak (running application) 15.9 W
Average (running OS, Idle mode) 10.1 W
Minimum (ACPI status S5, soft-off) 2.3 W

If you have a few spare bucks you could get one, so you could also experiment a bit with PLoP, JFYI:
http://www.zeroshell...opic.php?t=3686
 
:cheers:
Wonko



#4 dog

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:33 PM

I'm using a rasberry pi mainly for ssh and etherwake, I'll measure the power usage tonight.

I've not measured any of my kit so far, scared of what I'll find...



#5 Nuno Brito

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

I have found a very good source for "low powered" computers

Wow.. can't beat that price. 10 Euros for a nice machine. 



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:25 PM

Wow.. can't beat that price. 10 Euros for a nice machine. 

Yep, you know how cheap I am ;), depending on RAM on-board and size of CF card (if any) or installed OS you can spend as much as 30 or 40 or even 50 Euros, what I personally find an issue on many other similar models (excluded the mentioned ones and some IGEL models, but including the more powerful Futro S400) is the external "brick" power supply that tends to be a royal PITA when placing the little thingy to work (cluttering the desk or however the install).

 

The one thing you might want to get careful about is to check if the "stand" is included, the terminal NEEDS to stay vertical to cool, and some of the lower priced ones miss that.

I have (still being cheap) a number of plastic cases for old lamp reactors that with two easy cuts with a circular saw make a perfect (and additionally stylish) vertical stands for those.

 

:cheers:

Wonko 



#7 MedEvil

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

Really nice tips, especialy the Fujutsu-Siemens Futro. :thumbsup:

But i notice, that all mentioned solutions are for servers only. :confused1:

Is this just coincidence or has noone done something similar with a desktop computer?

:cheers:

#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

Is this just coincidence or has noone done something similar with a desktop computer?

 

I do have a few desktops running on low power boards/cases, we ALREADY talked of them:

http://reboot.pro/to...m-ion-platform/

http://reboot.pro/to...80-mini-pc-4x4/

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#9 MedEvil

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

Yes, i remembered that for once. ;)
But that was 2 years ago, that's half a lifetime in computer years.

Also as a result of that discussion, i got a little Atom based computer as server.
Yet as replacement for a desktop computer Atoms were a catastrophy even back then.

My quick and dirty test today consists of:
- my Flatscreen, Mouse and Keyboard = 21W
- my old Laptop = 16W (idle) 32W (full power)

This puts it in the 37W - 53W range, with 40W - 45W expected average, while being able to handle all tasks with sufficient power left for future developments.

Putting the computer into a bigger case should make the fan pointless and replacing the HDD with a SSD should reduce power consumption too.


:cheers:

#10 sbaeder

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:23 PM

Did you need windows ?  Or as mentioned above, things like the RasberryPi (about the size of a deck of cards) that use an ARM processor and output to HDMI are probably your best bet...



#11 MedEvil

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:01 PM

ARM systems are not really good as replacement for general purpose desktop computers.
The software just isn't there.

The day someone provides a VM to emulate a x86 system without too much performance loss, will be the day ARM finally takes over the world.

:cheers:

#12 Sha0

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:31 PM

The day someone provides a VM to emulate a x86 system without too much performance loss, will be the day ARM finally takes over the world.
Some ARMs can run Linux. QEmu can be compiled on Linux. QEmu can emulate x86. Putting these together, some ARMs can have x86 VM software compiled for them.

#13 MedEvil

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:54 PM

Then the question would be, how much computing power is left in qEmu?

From running qEmu on Windows on x86 hardware, i think to remember, that it's not a whole lot.

As an example, what's possible right now with a non ARM machine:
An i3 computer with selected components can make it below 20W in idle. (Without anything too fancy.)
With some resoldering and redesigning to below 10W.
http://ssj3gohan.twe...mputer-(english).html)

The stupid board kills the url every time. :realmad:
http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/6112/85w-core-i3-based-desktop-computer-(english).html
Both machines offer still the full power of a desktop system when needed!

:cheers:




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