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Old Feb 18, 2011, 04:07 PM   #1
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What does folding "cost"?

Just out of curiosity has anyone ever sat down with a meter and figured out what folding costs you in electricty. I shut down a server I ran 24/7 for years (and replaced it with a HP WHS) and realized a $20/month decrease in my electric bill. That server wasn't really doing all that much. It hosted some web sites that no one visted and ran an email server that serviced one user. I imagine had that thing been folding with all its unused cycles (which were many) it would have been much more than $20.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 04:39 PM   #2
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Simply measure the amount of volts it uses while folding with a physical electrical meter, (I don't know if there are any programs that can actually measure electrical output) And see how much your electricity bill charges you. Folding DOES cause an increase in electricity usage, so if I were you, I wouldn't do it.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 08:11 PM   #3
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I was running seven GPU's on 4 machines and my lectric bill was $300. before all of that I was paying about $50 or so.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 08:19 PM   #4
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If you grab a power meter (something like a Kill-A-Watt meter) it will tell you your live power usage in watts. So compare your idle and folding power usage. The meter might tell you the consumption over time as well (in kWh) so run idle for say 1 hour, then fold for 1 hour and compare the usage. Then simply multiply out the difference and multiply by your cost per kWh.
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Old Feb 19, 2011, 11:20 AM   #5
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I work on 1 per watt per year based on UK electricity prices:

1 W * 24 hrs * 365 days = 8760 WHrs/yr = 8.76 kWHrs/yr
8.76 * 0.12 per kW/hr =~ 1 per year

So thats 1000 per year for 3 quad cores with 3 GTX 460 GPUs.

The other cost to consider is cooling if you are lucky enough to live somewhere warm enough to need aircon. You'll not only be paying to generate the heat, but also paying to pump that extra heat out.
Conversely, in cooler climates, you can save on heating costs - I've not had to turn the heating on this winter, despite december being our coldest on record!

I think I've reached my max comfortable expenditure, so I'm now focusing on optimising efficiency - a new 90%+ efficiency power supply saved 30W in one rig and I'm going to stop the GPUs soon - they each use 170W for 11k ppd whereas my complete 2600k i7 rig does 49k ppd on 220W

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Old Feb 20, 2011, 06:12 PM   #6
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yeah folding can cost quite a bit when you have a lot of systems in one house folding. this summer my numbers will go down b/c of the heat around here
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