Cost to leave PC on 24/7

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Andy Hall wrote:

This is often the case. Note however that with most modern PCs these days (i.e. with WinXP) the default CD Audio setup makes use of a modern CD ROM drives capability to do Direct Audio Extraction (DAE) over the IDE bus.
Hence CD playback is achieved by sucking raw sample data off the audio CD and then playing back through the PCs DACs as it would a .wav file. (this gives the PC chance to do pre-processing of the audio (like Media Player's "SRS WOW effects" and also to use the digital audio data to drive the various "visulisations").
--
Cheers,

John.

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in for deep power saving, is that you might be eating about 150W when you're "not doing much": your CPU will eat say 50-60W, the drives are spinning but not doing much else so just a few watts each, your PCI cards and memory modules won't be pulling more than a few watts each, and you have a few fans on the go. Call it 100W of consumption on the DC side, pretend your switched-mode PSU needs 120W of mains to supply that 100W, pretend your monitor in standby eats 20W, add 10W to keep Mr Maxwell and his thermodynamic demons happy, to arrive at the 150W handwave. That's one kWh every 7 hours (rounding off), so call it 3kWh for the 21 "unused" hours in each 24h period. Let's say one of those kWh's coincides nicely with your 2p-a-unit E7 tarrif, and that you're charged 8p a unit for the non-E7 units (typical 'leccy company E7 tarrif bumps the price up a tad for the non-cheap period); call it 18p or 20p a day for this "unused" power, or about 60-70 quid a year. Not peanuts, not massive, and in winter the extra bit of heat is something your central heating might otherwise be providing (at a cost more like 2 or 3 pence per kWh than the 6p-average you pay for leccy).
You may find you can persuade the motherboard, BIOS, and OS to do either deep power-saving or timed-on/timed-off for you; if Windows, fiddle around in the Power Options control panel; if Linux, apmd or (if you're ready for the bleeding edge) the acpi patches. You may find hibernation a useful thing to decrease the boot-up time. You may end up with a combination of methods - for example, using some freeware/shareware thing to do the shutdown, and using the motherboard's wake-up-at-given-time feature to start up. There's an eternal argument about whether machines last longer powered up 24x7 or turned on and off as needed; I'd suggest that in your case there's not a massive amount in it, with save-the-planet concerns tipping the balance towards non-constant running.
HTH - Stefek
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Make sure you have a good cooling system (put in an extra fan) and plenty of ventilation otherwise it will overheat and blow your CPU
AK

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A K wrote:

If the cooling is good enough to run it for half an hour, then its good enough to run 24/7 (a modern CPU with heatsink and fan will be up to full temp in a few mins).
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 20:52:10 +0100, John Rumm

After the thread I started the other week about PC consumption I've decided to leave both of mine on permanently, particularly since we've just had an electricity bill and it's identical (ish) to previous quarters when the second machine wasn't on so much.... -- cheers,
witchy/binarydinosaurs
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Never mind the operational cost, but you could feasibly buy a timer which plugs into the socket which turns the mains on and off at the appropriate time intervals.
Powering up shouldn't be a problem - the PC should boot normally.
Powering down is a seperate requirement though - you should close the operating system down before switching off the power. You can get a cheap shareware program to power down the PC and if you set that to happen say 15 minutes before the power went off then you'd be laughing.
Overall cost likely to be less than 50 quid for the above - which is very roughly what you might pay in a year for leaving the PC on 24x7.
PoP
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wrote:

Any idea what and where Shareware prog?
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Assuming you're running something silly like windows
http://www.cygwin.com /
get cron and shutdown, then you can just cron a shutdown whenever you want, if you also stuck a network card in and wake on lan, you wouldn't even need the timer to do anything - just poke it with the lan when you want to wake the thing up.
Jim.
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Jim Ley wrote:

Not worth the hassle of cygwin.
Just use a windows AT job or system scheduler job, with a tool like psshutdown from www.sysinternals.com
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writes

--
geoff

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writes

When did things change? Doesn't Economy 7 require separate metering/wiring?
--
dave @ stejonda

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name Economy 7 may have always meant "one set of wiring, two prices depending on time-of-day". The use of separate wiring for night-time loads was a feature of (some) storage heater installations, when the leccy boards and Dimplex still thought heating up bricks with overnight TooCheapToMeterYeahRightSellafieldWindscale leccy was a smart idea for wide use...
Stefek, glad his kernel rebuild has just finished and he can get back to work-or-near-offer...
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Oooops. Thanks.

I only ever saw E-7 wiring once - when renting a farmhouse on Anglesey. Someone had got the timer clocks out by 12 hours which caused a mess with us paying up at the end of the week.
--
dave @ stejonda

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switch which selects which meter runs or a new fangled electronic meter which has two sets of numbers.
--
Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

Which is why I've got timeswitches for the dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer.
Has the advantage that you can set them so the programmes finish just as you are getting up so that clothes in the laundry machines don't sit there getting creased and metal baking trays in the dryer don't go rusty because they can be removed almost as soon as the programme has finished.
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facility built in. This was one of the major criteria for our last washing machine and dishwasher purchases. It's less hassle than a separate timeswitch and many modern appliances won't start when turned on 'from cold', they need the electricity to be connected to be able to set the program etc.
However it can make nightbird children jump, my daughter was creeping through the kitchen in the wee small hours one night and said she just about died of fright when the dishwash burst into life all by itself!
--
Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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writes

errrm, you dry baking trays in a TD - doesn't that wake you up?
--
dave @ stejonda

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writes

are you on-line too i.e. are you a hackers dream ?
--
geoff

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I would suggest something similar to what other's have suggested.
I believe some (most?) motherboards support turning on at a certain time as set in the BIOS. With this, you can get the machine to turn itself on at 5pm (ready for you to get home and listen to music in the evening) and then set the machine to go into standby after 3 hours and hibernate after 5 hours (assuming you use Windows W2k/XP). This would mean that if you didn't use the machine for 3 hours, it would save electricity by going into standby, and after 5 hours (not 3+5 hours, just 5 hours) it would turn itself off. If you went to bed at 11pm and used it at that point, it would hibernate and turn itself off at 4am (worst case). You'd save minimum 4am - 5pm electricity, which would half the electricity bill for running it. If you didn't use it one evening, it would turn itself off at 10pm (5 hours after startup) and save you a further 6 hours of electricity. And, assuming you have W2k/XP and a motherboard that supports power on at certain times, you can do this for free.
If your motherboard doesn't support this, then you can just put the PC on a small timeclock and get it to turn the power off from 4pm to 5pm. As the machine would have shut itself down by those times, you should be safe, and having it powered (timeclock powering it) but turned off should be safe. All you'd be using it to do is to apply power to start the machine. Oh, and you'd need to set your BIOS to turn on when power is applied, rather than stay off.
Of course, all these things add some risk (ie. Windows going barmy and not hibernating and having power taken whilst its running, and also recurring quick power-cuts turning the machine off, and on repeatedly over a few seconds which has been known to cause problems).
Hope that may be useful to you.
D
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