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  • Pvt Brokeback
    started a topic Monitoring PC Power Consumption

    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.

  • marstein
    replied
    Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

    Another route is a battery backup. It does monitor your power and tells you the load you are currently using. It doesn't continuously monitor it though. Maybe you can hack a script that polls that information...


    battery backup screen by marstein, on Flickr

    Leave a comment:


  • Acreo Aeneas
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bamboo
    replied
    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:

    Leave a comment:


  • Acreo Aeneas
    replied
    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.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Zippy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bamboo
    replied
    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:

    Leave a comment:


  • Acreo Aeneas
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Bamboo
    replied
    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:

    Leave a comment:


  • Acreo Aeneas
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zippy
    replied
    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, 01:39 AM. Reason: typo

    Leave a comment:


  • VoodooIT
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pvt Brokeback
    replied
    Re: Monitoring PC Power Consumption

    Ahh thanks, i'll check it out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Acreo Aeneas
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pvt Brokeback
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:

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