Question Building an "energy efficient" PC - advise needed

Kristi2k

Golden Member
Oct 25, 2003
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I have an 8 year old desktop that uses anywhere from 95 - 180watts. It idles at 95. It's a large tower that I never really needed.

Uses:
Web Design, development, Photoshop, video conversions from time to time, basic Office use.

Recovery cost of the new system is not a concern.


CPU: Intel Core i7-12700 2.1 GHz 12-Core Processor ($379.93 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Slim CPU Cooler ($59.90 @ B&H)
Motherboard: ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 Mini ITX LGA1700 Motherboard ($245.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial CT2K16G48C40U5 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-4800 CL40 Memory ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 990 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($169.99 @ B&H)
Storage: Seagate IronWolf NAS 8 TB 3.5" 7200 RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.99 @ Adorama)
Case: Lian Li TU150 Mini ITX Desktop Case ($119.99 @ Adorama)
Power Supply: Corsair SF600 600 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! Silent Wings 3 50.5 CFM 120 mm Fan ($21.90 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! Silent Wings 3 50.5 CFM 120 mm Fan ($21.90 @ Amazon)
Total: $1474.57
 
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Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
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The title stated that I'm looking for advise. Mainly energy use.
Well, if you take all of it and put it into PCPartPicker.com it tells you the max power.

The trade off for low power is app performance though. Power shouldn't be a huge number though since you don't have a GPU listed here. Idle should probably be around 100w or so.

The max power on my setup with a 12700k and tons of fans and drives is about 350w but it rarely hits that 99% of the time which is good because it's on 24/7.
 

igor_kavinski

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
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The title stated that I'm looking for advise. Mainly energy use.
For lower power at affordable price, your best bet is 5950X with DDR4-3600 CL16 RAM. Run the system in Eco mode with Ryzen Master software for cooler operation and low power usage. Run it in Creator mode if you need something done quickly.
 
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Kristi2k

Golden Member
Oct 25, 2003
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I don't trust the part picker, I put in my current system and it was way over 200 watts and my kill a watt registered at 1001 or so.
 

Kristi2k

Golden Member
Oct 25, 2003
1,351
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81
yup, that was a typo. I meant 300+ watts when in reality it's 110w. I don't care about max, but idle and normal use.
 

Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
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Like I said before....

I have a 12700K / 8 fans / 16GB RAM (2 sticks) / 5 spinners / 1 NVME / PCIE quad port 5GE NIC and PCP puts the max @ 395W

Reality though is much much lower 99% of the time.

Figure on 5W idle / 10W max per drive
CPU has a TDP 125W could be as low as 10W in idle or much higher under load

It ultimately depends on what's going on at the time of measurement though. Right now this is what my system output looks like.

Adapter: ISA adapter
in0: 744.00 mV (min = +0.00 V, max = +1.74 V)
in1: 1.70 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in2: 3.42 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in3: 3.36 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in4: 1.02 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in5: 880.00 mV (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in6: 1.34 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in7: 3.42 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in8: 3.20 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in9: 528.00 mV (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in10: 528.00 mV (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in11: 416.00 mV (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in12: 1.01 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in13: 456.00 mV (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
in14: 1.50 V (min = +0.00 V, max = +0.00 V) ALARM
fan1: 641 RPM (min = 0 RPM)
fan2: 741 RPM (min = 0 RPM)
fan3: 0 RPM (min = 0 RPM)
fan4: 660 RPM (min = 0 RPM)
fan5: 0 RPM (min = 0 RPM)
fan6: 0 RPM (min = 0 RPM)
fan7: 645 RPM (min = 0 RPM)
Using some of the commands here https://www.golinuxhub.com/2018/06/how-to-measure-power-consumption-in-watts-powerstat-linux-examples/

My idle says it's 5-10W which is near impossible considering all of the drives and everything else mentioned above.

Using the "stress" command mentioned tough does push the CPU to 99.9% utilization and the power program shows ~125W

Summary:
CPU: 125.61 Watts on average with standard deviation 1.42
Note: power read from RAPL domains: uncore, package-0, core.
These readings do not cover all the hardware in this device.
The issue here for me is I don't think the power stat program is taking into account the complete system power draw and is only focused on the CPU.

At idle w/o stress
CPU: 5.19 Watts on average with standard deviation 1.82
Note: power read from RAPL domains: uncore, package-0, core.
These readings do not cover all the hardware in this device.
So, if we take the idle numbers...

CPU - 5W
Drives x 5 - 25W
NVME x 1 - 10W
Misc - 30W
Should be about 70W of power in "idle" state.

Might be more as I'm just giving a rough estimate off the top of my head based on common values. Yours being at ~100W doesn't seem unreasonable with legacy components as the name of the game is performance / efficiency with each new generation. Either way it shouldn't be more demanding than an incandescent lightbulb in most cases while sitting there humming along in a corner.


1669155706424.png
 
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KMFJD

Lifer
Aug 11, 2005
26,562
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How about something like a beelink mini pc?

i've got two, they work great

Power Consumption

The unit draws about 7 to 8 W when idling on desktop with no running applications which is more efficient than the 11th gen Core i5-powered Intel NUC11 or 10th gen Core i5-powered Zotac ZBox Nano. When running more demanding loads like games, the system will draw only 18 W on average compared to 41 W or 33 W on the aforementioned Intel and Zotac models, respectively. Of course, GPU performance is significantly slower on the Beelink Mini-S and so the lower power demand is expected.
We're able to measure a maximum draw of 27 W from the small (~7.9 x 4.8 x 3.4 cm) 36 W AC adapter. This is the same adapter that also ships with the original U59.

7-8 watts....can't get better than that
 
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Kristi2k

Golden Member
Oct 25, 2003
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Tech Junky and KMFJD, thank you for your help. That linux tools is nice--- I'm going to give it a try on my proxmox system and other linux systems.

I'm spoiled by my Lenovo tiny computers that take up ~10 watts, I have 3 of them running and is less than my beast of a computer. I am leaning towards an Intel NUC or ASUS' equivalent but am hesitant due to the graphics. I'm not really a gamer but do use Photoshop a bit.
 
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Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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Photoshop
This is why I brought up GPU.... Intel doesn't do too bad w/o one but, I'm not sure how dependent PS is on a GPU for rendering. The closest thing I do is video post processing from Plex to remove commercial and the 12700K does a quick job of stripping them out compared to some other methods. I also use a program that converts them from TS to MP4 to make for easier playback and reduced size by 80%. That program also has a comskip function to remove them but, it's a bit rate limited in comparison. Even my prior build though with a 8700K did a quick processing of files but, I wanted to play with new tech that was a significant leap from 8th gen to 12th gen so, I rebuilt it.

I'm spoiled by my Lenovo tiny computers that take up 1- watts
I'm sure they use more than that as even just charging my laptop can draw 15-20W to refill the battery, Idle w/ a few programs open can easily hit 45-65W and 100% utilization hits 180W max. On the flip side my 5G Gateway has a 45W charger but, in my setup it only uses 5W or less once I figure out it needs a 15V input to trigger power up.

Things are odd in how the power is regulated and passed from the wall to the components. The only true measurement is with a power meter or some utilities that can capture the info. That's how I figured out how to get the 5G working using a USBC cable through a power bank for backup power / portability. Same with the laptop being bale to use USBC trigger cable to make it more portable w/ an extra 2 hours of power using the power bank.
 

Kristi2k

Golden Member
Oct 25, 2003
1,351
4
81
I'm awful with the typos today. They measure out at 9-12 watts on average form the Kill a watt.

I use Photoshop on a few older gen Intel CPUs at work, gen 7, 8 and 9 and it seems fine but I'm not working on LARGE PSDs with them like I do at home. The GPU I have now as more for games when I played. I may give that ASUS a try.
 
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ralfy

Senior member
Jul 22, 2013
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I remember reading that there are power plans or features in operating systems that help in saving electricity.
 

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