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  • Monitoring PC Power Consumption

    Is there any software out there that I can use to track how much power my rig uses? I've currently got an i5 750 at stock speed with a 5870, and am looking to OC the i5 and add another 5870 in crossfire in the future (not at the same time). I've got a Corsair TX 650W PSU, and was wondering if it could handle the extra load.



  • #2
    Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

    Short of using a multimeter to test it directly, there's no software I know of out there.

    What you could do is use a PSU calculator like: eXtreme PSU Calculator

    That tends to be quite accurate in giving you what a worst-case scenario draw could be from the PSU. I highly recommend using the "Pro" version ($10 for a 100 years), as it gives detailed draw from each rail in amperages, so you can easily match it to the known max for each rail on your PSU.

    I've personally used it before and after for tons of builds so I know what I can or can't do with a particular budget.

    The other alternative would be to invest in a P3 Kill-A-Watt which would measure actual draw from your outlet at the outlet. Take off 20% (or whatever difference is for your particular PSU's efficiency rating) to get the actual wattage draw overall.

    This gives you a general idea if your PSU is able to handle the load based on known maximums for your PSU and the power draw data from the Kill-A-Watt. Honestly, my first suggestion would be your best bet (PSU Calculator) without the need to mess with a multimeter or invest in another product.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

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    • #3
      Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

      I saw something like this, but was wondering how reliable it was. Does everything have to be inputted manually, or is it able to read your hardware as input?


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      • #4
        Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

        Originally posted by Pvt Brokeback View Post
        I saw something like this, but was wondering how reliable it was. Does everything have to be inputted manually, or is it able to read your hardware as input?
        You'd have to enter it manually. It's a tool for system builders to see what sort of PSU they'd need to get before they go and spend the dosh on parts.
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

        TG Primer and Rules

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        • #5
          Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

          Ahh thanks, i'll check it out.


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          • #6
            Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

            Buy a P3 Kill-A-Watt meter:

            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-001-_-Product

            It's not that expensive and sometimes it's on sale. Works great.
            "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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            • #7
              Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

              This is an easy software calculator too: RaptorxX Calculator It's fun because you can enter many different parts, overclocks etc and see the power options needed and recommended.

              Fortunately, there are tests from review sites that have data already available, like this one at guru3d.

              Radeon HD 5870
              The card requires you to have a 500 Watt power supply unit at minimum if you use it in a high-end system. That power supply needs to have (in total accumulated) at least 40 Amps available on the +12 volt rails.

              Radeon HD 5870 CrossfireX (2-way)
              A second card requires you to add another 188 Watts. You need a 700+ Watt power supply unit if you use it in a high-end system. That power supply needs to have (in total accumulated) at least 55~60 Amps available on the +12 volt rails.
              Unfortunately, the tests show a PSU with no less than 55-60A on the 12v rail is required. The TX650 only has 52A. Close, but those extra amps become critical when your system runs up to load level. Idle you would be fine, but I know the games you play like BC2 and other (new) frostbite engine games push the system to high load capacity. The other minor yet relevant problem is the TX650 only has 2 6pin PCI-E connectors, while 2 5870's would require 4 6pin connectors. You could use molex adapters, but it's really not recommended. Your Corair TX650 is a nice PSU and perfect for a single GPU setup, I used the HX650W version on an AMD X6 build, but it just comes up short for your Crossfire needs. Overclocking your CPU won't be a problem and you should try it to see what the results are.

              Q: Do you really need a second 5870 for Crossfire? Why?

              So you'll be buying a second card and a new PSU for a few more FPS - right? Do you have any problems that you think Crossfire will help or fix? Just something to consider.

              If you do decide to get a new PSU, go minimum of 750W and stick with the single 12v rail ones like Corsair, Antec and other top brands.

              Coincidentally, you may want to check out NewEgg's sale on the XFX Black Edition XPS-850W-BES 850W on sale for 129.99 with coupon code EMCKHKG29 - $40 rebate = $89.99, which is a SUPER deal as it has 70A on the 12v rail and is modular. Review sites give it high ratings and it won the HardOCP Editor’s Choice Gold Award. It competes and even betters the Corair HX850W, which is what I have. For that price I may just by one in case I build another system down the road...:icon20:.
              Last edited by Zippy; 02-04-2011, 02:39 AM. Reason: typo

              :icon_frow
              |RIP| Counter=Ops 12.09.09 : Marine - Squadmate - Friend
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              • #8
                Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

                The RaptorX doesn't quite have as much to choose from as the eXtreme PSU one I linked to. Overall, the presentation requires a bit more knowledge beforehand (like how to work out multiple 12V rails on modern PSUs). In the end, they both present similar results. As to which one should use, well that's personal preference assuming the RaptorX one is kept up-to-date.

                I do like how RaptorX presents max sustained load for gaming sessions. Unfortunately, people might take this to mean they don't need a beefier PSU disregarding the suggested PSU wattage further down. The thing to keep in mind is that startup, everything draws power at once, hence it's peak load for all components. This is why most first-time DIYers fry most of their parts with cheapo PSUs. Those crap boxes can't handle the load and power just surges through. This in turn fries whatever it comes into contact with. In most cases, the PSU itself is burnt before any components are damaged. In other cases, people lose critical parts.
                |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                Former 9th & 13th

                Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                TG Primer and Rules

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                • #9
                  Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

                  While the PSU calculator websites listed (and many other like them) are ok, they can give very different answers, so aren't too acurate.
                  The Kill-a-watt mentioned above is awesome, and I have been meaning to buy one for a couple of years now, just haven't gotten around to it because my UPS has a digital display that tells me how many watts I'm using in real time. Currently it's 216-220 watts. That is pretty much at idle with 2 big LCDs plugged in.

                  The Kill-a-watt is cool though because you can test your whole house and find out where your power bill is really going. Maybe your fridge is more than 7-8 years old, when the efficiency standard went up, and you could cut $25-50 off your power bill by getting a new one. It goes on sale all the time for like $17 at newegg. I have seen it at Lowes as well for like $25. Harbor Freight Tools had them on sale for like $10 a while back, and I called every store in driving distance and they were all sold out.

                  If you don't already have it, everyone really should get a good UPS. I mean you spend $1000+ on a gaming rig, why not spend a little bit to protect it.
                  I got an older model of this:
                  http://www.bestbuy.com/site/APC+-+10...ups&cp=1&lp=13






                  Bestbuy had it on sale for like $89. If you have used a UPS in the past, you know that they break down after usually 3-5 years. They are battery based after all. The first UPS I got was a decent one at around $50, and it worked fine for 3 years or so. Then it just wouldn't hold a charge. I looked around and found a replacement battery for like $20, but the shipping was like $20 as well because it weighs a ton. Installing it was a bitch because it really wasn't designed to be user replaceable. To top it off that battery gave out in like a year. But the awesome thing about this new one, and most higher end models, is it is easy to replace the battery. A cover slides open, slide old battery out, and slide new battery in.

                  Edit:
                  It took me forever to dig through my bookmarks, but I knew I had some good articles:
                  The Cost of Running Your PC - anandtech article worth reading

                  The Cost of Leaving Your PC On - Ouch, glad I don't have a server at home

                  How Much Does It Cost To Run Your PC? - he uses a UPS to measure as well.

                  Edit #2:
                  Just an FYI, this post was my 7,000th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (the forum whore says as he takes a bow) :madsmile::icon_eek::row__523::row__536:

                  LINKS

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                  Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                  -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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                  • #10
                    Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

                    Yeah I still haven't bought the Kill-A-Watt yet. I too have been meaning to get one along with a UPS. Just haven't gotten there yet with all the school bills and such I need to pay. :(

                    Congrats on the 7,000th post! Now you're in the Lucky Sevens Club! :D
                    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                    Former 9th & 13th

                    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                    TG Primer and Rules

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                    • #11
                      Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

                      I know!
                      And Acreo, did you notice you and I both joined at the same time back in O6'.........
                      And you have almost exactly 500 more posts than me.
                      Somehow I now feel inadequate now. :row__735:

                      LINKS

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                      Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                      -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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                      • #12
                        Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

                        Congrats Bamboo! Best thing is your posts are full of help and information! You techno Nerd :icon16:!

                        FYI, Fry's has a bunch of Kill A Watt Meters starting at just $19.99. They even have a wireless one lol. Going to check them out and pick one up for myself.

                        :icon_frow
                        |RIP| Counter=Ops 12.09.09 : Marine - Squadmate - Friend
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                        • #13
                          Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

                          Originally posted by Bamboo
                          And you have almost exactly 500 more posts than me.
                          Somehow I now feel inadequate now.
                          Aww Bamboo! You're so cute when you're down! :D

                          Originally posted by Zippy-2-War View Post
                          Congrats Bamboo! Best thing is your posts are full of help and information! You techno Nerd :icon16:!

                          FYI, Fry's has a bunch of Kill A Watt Meters starting at just $19.99. They even have a wireless one lol. Going to check them out and pick one up for myself.
                          Wow, a wireless one. I'm definitely getting that when I get enough money saved! (Too bad the closest Fry's is in the suburbs.)
                          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                          Former 9th & 13th

                          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                          TG Primer and Rules

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                          • #14
                            Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

                            Tom's Hardware just posted an interesting article on the topic of power and gfx. cards:

                            What Do High-End Graphics Cards Cost In Terms Of Electricity?

                            Even if you aren't interested in the cost to run, it does have charts showing power usage for a lot of modern cards. Looks like I'm spending about $50 a year to run my 5870. :row__687:

                            LINKS

                            * *


                            Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                            -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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                            • #15
                              Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

                              I'm spending about the same as well since my HD5830 consumes about as much power as your HD5870 Bam.

                              Something to mention:

                              If you guys invest in one of those P4 Kill-A-Watts, keep in mind that the draw from the outlet is going to much higher than the actual usage in your rig. That's due to the power efficiencies of power supplies. The ideal efficiency is at least 80%. Meaning at idle or load (especially here), if you're consuming 500W from the wall, it means your rig is actually using 400W internally. 20% is lost to the AC-to-DC conversion, heat output, etc.

                              So don't go freaking out if you seeing some high wattage draw on those meters that's higher than your PSU's output. Do the math and you'll figure out how much your rig is using versus what you're drawing from the outlet.
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                              TG Primer and Rules

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