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Old 08-21-2008, 11:17 PM
"Rich Emberson"
Default Estimating System wattage

So, I recently built a new system. I figured out what
motherboard I wanted, what cpu, how much memory and
disk and then I when and used a couple of the online
system wattage calculators and got somewhere between

500 to 650 watts. I could not get (find) a PSU
with the right connectors for the motherboard so
I ended up getting Silverstone Zeus 750 watt supply
(yea, overkill). I then got a UPS from a local store.
They had a sale and a higher end UPS turned out to

be cheaper than a 600 watt unit, so I got a
APC UPS BX1500LCD (865 watt) (again, overkill but nice).
What is interesting about this UPS is that it can
show the current wattage used by your system on its
LED (along with other stuff).

Now, my strategy for constructing the new system was to pick
a motherboard that was build for high-end power and then
pick cool components; I am a developer, not a game player
and this system will house MythTV and Asterisk someday,

well as serve as a development box.
So, what I ended up with was:

*** ASUS P5Q Deluxe
*** Intel quad core QX9550
******* 95 watts max for $550
******* (the QX9650 is 130 watts at $1000)

*** Asus EN7300GT silent graphics board
******* idle: 8.7 Watts
******* max: 16.1 Watts
*** 2 WD VelociRaptor Model: WD3000GLFS 300
******* Read/Write* 6.08 Watts
******* Idle******* 4.53 Watts
******* Standby**** 0.42 Watts

******* Sleep****** 0.42 Watts
*** 2 WD Caviar GP Model: WD10EACS 1 TB
******* Read/Write* 7.50 Watts
******* Idle******* 4.0 Watts
******* Standby**** 0.97 Watts
******* Sleep****** 0.97 Watts
*** ASUS V60 cpu cooler (overkill)

*** Logitech SBF-90 Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel
*** Logitech 967738-0403 Black 104 Normal Keys
*** SST-ST75ZF Zeus power supply (overkill)
*** APC UPS BX1500LCD (overkill, but very nice)

*** Lian Li PC-A71 Black (overkill, but very, very nice)
*** BIOS 0803
*** Fedora 9 64

Now, with no applications running, idle, according to the UPS
the system uses 70 watts.
The highest wattage I can get it to use running bunches of

parallel compiles is about 125 watts.

My question is: whats with the online wattage estimators?
Are they all implemented by folks selling power supplies
who want to sell users bigger ones than are needed?

In terms of power needs, I ended up way over-specing $$ the system.
Basically, I ended up with a system that
uses as much power as a 120 watt light bulb.


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