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I3 4340 idle power usage

klootviool
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Hi guys,

 

I had some spare parts laying around and decided i want to make a nas with them.

Since this will be powered on 24 / 7 i want to make it use ass little power as possible.

 

Parts are:

- CPU intel I3 4340

- RAM 4 x ddr3 2gb at 1333mhz (unmatched sets does this matter for power use??)

- MOBO ASUS B85M

- SSD Kingston 128gb 

- HDD 1 tb (will be replaced if i can fix the power usage)

- PSU Cooler master RS 850 emba (±15years old)

- Case fan and basic intel cooler

 

With windows 10 and all the bios and windows power setting i could find turned to power efficiency and and the drives in sleep (ore simply unplugged to make sure), the system still uses around 35 Watts in iddle (40 to 50 in bios???).

Since i currently have an old laptop as a nas (also windows 10) wich idlle's at 9 watts i find 35 quite high .

 

So to get the iddle power lower is was thinking maybe to replace the PSU, since it is around 15 years old and with 850watt quite the overkill for this system.

However when i only powered up the PSU by connecting the green and a black wire i found out the psu alone only uses 7.3 Watts??!!

 

So could it still be the PSU that maybe is just not efficient when being used??

Ore is 35 Watts just as good as it gets with this combination?

 

I you guys could give me any advise to get the power usage down please let me know 🙂

 

PS i prefer to use a atx PSU a pico PSU just does not look nice i know this is stupid reason but i cant help it (i blame autism).

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Doesn’t matter for power use.  Might make them harder to run, but intel chips are pretty good at sucking that up.  If they all have the same CAS there’s a pretty good chance it will be fine.  The standard method for reducing power usage is undervolting.  If you’ve got a really well mannered chip you can overclock while undervolting, getting a cpu that performs like it isn’t undervolted. An i3 won’t overclock though.  Might undervolt on a b series motherboard.  I don’t know. A 15 year old PSU probably needs to be replaced just for hardware safety.  An 850w PSU is going to use a lot of power anyway though unless it’s got a good 80+ metal color rating.  I’m assuming it’s mentioned because it’s on hand.  No reason for such a big PSU unless it’s already lying around.   You want to check the voltage from the wall to get real numbers though.  There’s a brand called kill-a-watt that has such a device.  You plug it into the outlet and the computer into the device. I don’t know what competitors they have.  Might consider nano PSUs they’re sort of like internal adapters for laptop style power bricks.  They’re generally under 300w

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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Undervolt it!  It'll do the same work for less power.  You can get amazing results undervolting stock systems.  Bring that voltage down, run P95 for a couple of hours, bring it down some more, keep doing so till it crashes, keep bringing it up till you're sure it's stable.

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13 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

.  An 850w PSU is going to use a lot of power anyway

Uhhh that's not how it works. 

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--An 850w PSU is going to use a lot of power anyway though unless it’s got a good 80+ metal color rating.  I’m assuming it’s mentioned because it’s on hand.

the psu is 80 Plus certified

https://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/coolermaster_realpowerpro850/

but yeah still quite old and mawbe made to be efficient at higher loads instead of low?

And yes the reason i am using it is beacause i had it laying around

 

--You want to check the voltage from the wall to get real numbers though

i am using one of those things for the measurements

 

ok so i am defenetly going to try undervolting then.

But when i check how many Watts the cpu is using with msi after burner it only reports 3+ Watts 

 

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26 minutes ago, klootviool said:

--An 850w PSU is going to use a lot of power anyway though unless it’s got a good 80+ metal color rating.  I’m assuming it’s mentioned because it’s on hand.

the psu is 80 Plus certified

https://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/coolermaster_realpowerpro850/

but yeah still quite old and mawbe made to be efficient at higher loads instead of low?

And yes the reason i am using it is beacause i had it laying around

 

--You want to check the voltage from the wall to get real numbers though

i am using one of those things for the measurements

 

ok so i am defenetly going to try undervolting then.

But when i check how many Watts the cpu is using with msi after burner it only reports 3+ Watts 

 

80+ with no metal color is known as 80+ white. It’s the poorest legally sellable efficiency rating in the US. Bottom shelf.  80+ bronze (which is a lot better) still isn’t considered very efficient.  Silver or gold is where they start to be pretty efficient.

 

3+ watts on idle is likely a small percentage of what the PSU will use on idle.  No real point in undervolting then.  That’s less than an LED bulb.

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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On 1/20/2022 at 1:47 AM, klootviool said:

Ore is 35 Watts just as good as it gets with this combination?

We can shave off a few here and a few there, but that motherboard and RAM is drawing nearly half of it, and you can't undervolt to fix that, you'll crash the system.  Undervolting works for systems under load, but doesn't reduce idle draw in any significant way.  And you haven't even gotten your NICs running yet, those draw a few W each just to be connected.

 

If you want a low power NAS running on x86, you need to start looking at the Intel Atom lineup.  While the CPUs are power sipping for a desktop, the rest of the platform certainly isn't.  On the other hand, you need a certain amount of computing power to feed SMB3 at speed to a number of clients - either CPU power, or offload processors in the NIC, or both.  There's no free lunch here.

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Grab a 80+ Titanium PSU fanless, Seasonic has good models. For 24/7 NAS, maybe using something like Ubuntu Server or FreeNAS would be less power hungry than Windows OS.

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I have a Dell R210 II with a quad core Xeon, a quad-port Intel NIC, one boot SSD, and an 80 Plus Bronze 250 watt power supply running 24/7. It pulls between 40 and 50 watts on average (measured at the wall with a Kill-a-Watt). I've also checked a couple HP and Dell desktop PCs, and they pulled about the same amount of power sitting idle. I think you're already around the power consumption floor for your hardware, from here you're just going to see diminishing returns.

 

You should only replace the power supply for reliability reasons if the existing one is unstable or giving you trouble. It's not worth replacing for only the sake of power efficiency.

 

Let's say a new power supply will save you 10 watts on average (which I think is on the high end). That will save you 1 kWh on your utility bill for every 100 hours it runs. I don't know where you are, but lets use a utility cost of USD $0.15/kWh (roughly the average in the US) for this exercise. A 30-day month has 720 hours, so you'll save 7.2 kWh of electricity, or $1.08 per month. A Seasonic SSR-650PX 650 watt 80+ Titanium power supply costs USD $140 on Amazon right now. At our estimated savings rate, it would take 130 months of 24/7 operation just to break even. That's almost 11 years, or November 2032, before you see a return on that investment.

 

On 1/20/2022 at 1:47 AM, klootviool said:

Since i currently have an old laptop as a nas (also windows 10) wich idlle's at 9 watts i find 35 quite high .

That's comparing apples to oranges. Laptops are designed to sip as little power as they possibly can. That laptop running full-tilt will draw less power than a desktop at idle. It probably parked its internal hard drive as well. Does that measurement include all the external drives?

Oh no my chronic foot-in-mouth is flaring up again...

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On 1/22/2022 at 2:35 PM, jec6613 said:

We can shave off a few here and a few there, but that motherboard and RAM is drawing nearly half of it, and you can't undervolt to fix that, you'll crash the system.  Undervolting works for systems under load, but doesn't reduce idle draw in any significant way.

20 hours ago, Needfuldoer said:

I have a Dell R210 II with a quad core Xeon, a quad-port Intel NIC, one boot SSD, and an 80 Plus Bronze 250 watt power supply running 24/7. It pulls between 40 and 50 watts on average (measured at the wall with a Kill-a-Watt). I've also checked a couple HP and Dell desktop PCs, and they pulled about the same amount of power sitting idle. I think you're already around the power consumption floor for your hardware, from here you're just going to see diminishing returns.

 

You should only replace the power supply for reliability reasons if the existing one is unstable or giving you trouble. It's not worth replacing for only the sake of power efficiency.

 

Ok so 35 watts is probably close to the bottom of what i can get out off this system.

 

20 hours ago, Needfuldoer said:

Let's say a new power supply will save you 10 watts on average (which I think is on the high end). That will save you 1 kWh on your utility bill for every 100 hours it runs. I don't know where you are, but lets use a utility cost of USD $0.15/kWh (roughly the average in the US) for this exercise. A 30-day month has 720 hours, so you'll save 7.2 kWh of electricity, or $1.08 per month. A Seasonic SSR-650PX 650 watt 80+ Titanium power supply costs USD $140 on Amazon right now. At our estimated savings rate, it would take 130 months of 24/7 operation just to break even. That's almost 11 years, or November 2032, before you see a return on that investment.

 

hehe fair point, i pay €0.23/kWh (±$0.27/kWh) so it will be a bit sooner but still not worth it for power saving.

 

20 hours ago, Needfuldoer said:

That's comparing apples to oranges. Laptops are designed to sip as little power as they possibly can. That laptop running full-tilt will draw less power than a desktop at idle.

 

True but i expected them to be closer, since power efficiency was one of the selling points of the 4th generation intels

 

20 hours ago, Needfuldoer said:

It probably parked its internal hard drive as well. Does that measurement include all the external drives?

 

It runs on windows 10 from an SSD, and for storage a usb3.0 HDD, when in use it roughly uses 21 Watts and when idle with the usb drive put to sleep 9 Watt. all measured at the wall.

And since it is a laptop it also automaticly has build in backup power so basicly perfect.

But i was using it as a nas because the screen was broken wich i recently fixed because i found out i could fix it very cheap.

And since it is still a relatively good laptop its a waste to use it as a nas.

 

But then i think the conclusion to be made is that with the desktop 35 Watts is roughly the best it will get and for further power savings i need to look for different hardware.

(out of curiosity i will still try undervolting when i have some time)

 

Thanks for your help guys  🙂 (and ore girls, genderfluid, attack helicopters etc)

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22 minutes ago, klootviool said:

 

Ok so 35 watts is probably close to the bottom of what i can get out off this system.

 

 

hehe fair point, i pay €0.23/kWh (±$0.27/kWh) so it will be a bit sooner but still not worth it for power saving.

 

 

True but i expected them to be closer, since power efficiency was one of the selling points of the 4th generation intels

 

 

It runs on windows 10 from an SSD, and for storage a usb3.0 HDD, when in use it roughly uses 21 Watts and when idle with the usb drive put to sleep 9 Watt. all measured at the wall.

And since it is a laptop it also automaticly has build in backup power so basicly perfect.

But i was using it as a nas because the screen was broken wich i recently fixed because i found out i could fix it very cheap.

And since it is still a relatively good laptop its a waste to use it as a nas.

 

But then i think the conclusion to be made is that with the desktop 35 Watts is roughly the best it will get and for further power savings i need to look for different hardware.

(out of curiosity i will still try undervolting when i have some time)

 

Thanks for your help guys  🙂 (and ore girls, genderfluid, attack helicopters etc)

So buy a headless laptop off eBay that isn’t so cheap to fix and therefore will cost less.   This seems to be all about amortized budget.  What is the cheapest long term solution?  How many years do you wish to amortize for?

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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22 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

So buy a headless laptop off eBay that isn’t so cheap to fix and therefore will cost less.   This seems to be all about amortized budget.  What is the cheapest long term solution?  How many years do you wish to amortize for?

 

Well its more like i have these parts laying around lets do something fun with it, i don't really need a nas but its nice to re use these parts and not let them go to waste.

So long term solution i dont know yet but no nas is an option

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1 hour ago, klootviool said:

 

Well its more like i have these parts laying around lets do something fun with it, i don't really need a nas but its nice to re use these parts and not let them go to waste.

So long term solution i dont know yet but no nas is an option

Fair enough.  Anything already purchased is effectively free.  Still a cost amortization thing though even if the only cost is the electricity it uses.  Is it cheaper to use an overpowered PSU that won’t be terribly efficient because of higher parasitic power draw?  Or buy a more efficient PSU? The power draw is a variable cost while purchasing a more efficient PSU would be a fixed cost plus a lower variable cost. This means the longer the device runs the closer the two costs get until the bigger PSU eventually passes the smaller one in cost.  The question is how long that will take?  This is why I mention the laptop.  It will have a lower power draw yet.  Becomes a question of how much it costs though.  I suspect if such a thing is even $150 it stops making sense, but if it’s $30 it might.  It sounds right now like that amount of time is a good bit longer than the useful life of the parts, let alone how long you would actually want to use the thing which is probably a good deal shorter than that.  Steel also takes energy to make, so by not buying a new one you could actually effectively be saving energy.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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