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Old Jul 7, 2008, 09:25 PM   #1
Decrepit
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Mac Pro: How much electricity does yours consume?

Hey there.

If anybody here has a current for former generation Mac Pro, and a wattmeter, I'd really like to hear how much power it draws in normal usage.

I'm defining normal as at the desktop, using mail, safari, and office applications. Nothing exciting like rendering or photo editing, just daily driving. I'm just planning ahead for my next Mac. If Apple decides it doesn't like the Mini line anymore, if I want to stay using OS X, I'll have to get a Pro to be able to fit my needs.

If somebody here has both a Pro and a wattmeter, could you give it a look some time and post back?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 10:01 PM   #2
dimme
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Here is what my system consumes
Mac Pro Octo 2.8 Nivida 8800, 4 hd's 2 dvd burners & wacom, Modems, airport usb hub UPS
Mac Pro 20 LCD 360 watts
Mac Pro 20 LCD at rest 280 watts
Sleep 45 watts

Mac Pro stand alone 269 load
Mac Pro stand alone 200 idle


MacBook Pro 21watts
G5 stand alone 183 load
G5 stand alone 130 idle
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 10:52 PM   #3
Decrepit
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Originally Posted by dimme View Post
Here is what my system consumes
Mac Pro Octo 2.8 Nivida 8800, 4 hd's 2 dvd burners & wacom, Modems, airport usb hub UPS
Mac Pro 20 LCD 360 watts
Mac Pro 20 LCD at rest 280 watts
Sleep 45 watts

Mac Pro stand alone 269 load
Mac Pro stand alone 200 idle


MacBook Pro 21watts
G5 stand alone 183 load
G5 stand alone 130 idle
Woof. Thanks for the info.

Man they need to update the Mini.

I use a Mini for my daily driving, and it's just getting so chunky. I don't want a notebook, and the iMac is not what I'm looking for.

I can't believe your MBP pulls so little. I might have to get a notebook anyway and just never take it on the road if I want to stay low power with decent performance.

Thanks again for the indepth reporting.
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 12:08 PM   #4
FireSlash
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Don't know how accurate this is, since it's coming from my UPS.

08 Mac Pro quad, 8800GT, 4gb ram, HP w2408 24" LCD, and an 8 port off-brand 10/100 switch:
Idle: .233Kw
Gaming: .305Kw
Sleep: <.001Kw
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 04:19 PM   #5
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Maybe this will help you too?
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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Interesting thread.

What type of meters do people use to determine the watts used? I've seen the Kill-A-Watt Power Strip but what others are out there?

Any input would be appreciated.
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 09:29 PM   #7
dimme
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I use the kill a watt. P4400
http://www.amazon.com/P3-Internation...5570499&sr=8-1
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 09:33 PM   #8
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Is it safe to putt a kill-a-watt kind of device on the wall side of a UPS, or do you have to e.g. unplug the computer from the UPS and insert it between the computer and the UPS?
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 10:20 PM   #9
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I have used it both ways.
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Old Jul 8, 2008, 10:37 PM   #10
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No, it doesn't matter. Wall side will also add the UPS draw.

Just be careful not to exceed the current rating of 15A max. (1875W max.).
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 06:35 AM   #11
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All i can say is:

in my opinion it consumes too much. Intel has excellent power saving features but apple seems not to use the intel speed step technology properly with the mac pro.

On the other hand they do with the macbook series better, which is a bit odd. The Mac Pro is not downclocking when the cpu is not busy...

Apple could realise that with a kext so easily since there are alot of open source solutions out like powernowd, cpufreq, ... which they could adapt.

Greets
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 07:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by urknall View Post
All i can say is:

in my opinion it consumes too much. Intel has excellent power saving features but apple seems not to use the intel speed step technology properly with the mac pro.
What?

You do realize that the mac pro uses two XEON processors, power hungry FB-DIMM memory, and server-grade hardware, right? If anything I'm surprised how low these numbers are.
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 07:31 PM   #13
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ya, i would like a MB to comsume less power when it has 4 hds, a 8800 gt, 4 fb dimms that draw a good 10 watt a piece, two 4 core processors, 4 fans, 2 super drives. I have seen similar builds of PCs that draw around a 100 watt more then the MP under similar load. I think it does pretty well.

But yes, if power could be saved WHEN it's not being used, then it should. BUt with FOLDING AT HOME, should any computer be left on not doing anything? (Team 1971 wants YOU)
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 10:48 AM   #14
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Does anyone know of any programs you can use to help things be more efficient / reduce cpu useage on idling etc? I'd like to try and bring my wattage down as much as possible.

Also, would the more memory sticks present represent higher wattage or would more meory (gb) and less sticks mean higher wattage? i.e. would 4 x 1gb sticks use more or less energy than 2 x 2gb sticks?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 01:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Uncle Pinny View Post
Does anyone know of any programs you can use to help things be more efficient / reduce cpu useage on idling etc? I'd like to try and bring my wattage down as much as possible.

Also, would the more memory sticks present represent higher wattage or would more meory (gb) and less sticks mean higher wattage? i.e. would 4 x 1gb sticks use more or less energy than 2 x 2gb sticks?

Thanks!
Well, for one thing I would suggest no installing things like Folding@home or SETI or whatever other feel-good-save-the-planet-and-humanity app. That would mean your computer wouldn't idle, worst than wasting electricity by leaving the computer on is not letting it idle. My 2 cents.
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Old Jul 15, 2008, 03:15 PM   #16
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That wasn't really what I was talking about. There must be some sort of app / intel program that can cut things down a little more when idling etc.... To be honest I'd even be willing underclock if that is possible seeing as I'm only using my Pro for day to day stuff at the moment.

Do some of the mac overclocking apps allow you to go 'the other way' ?
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 11:52 AM   #17
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Took a peak at mine yesterday with the killawatt device.

3.0 quad core (early 2007) machine, 8GB ram and 3870ATI card, 4 hard drives. Various USB devices (can't imagine that would matter)

Was running around 250-270 at idle and went up to 350 or so when I was downloading something. Didn't try it encoding handbrake - will do that maybe tonight and see what happens.

Edit: with all 4 cores maxed out encoding handbrake I'm seeing 350-360 watts. That's surprisingly low to me. My monitors add another 100 watts.

I have used a 1250VA UPS for this setup - it only lasted a few minutes, so I recently went to a 1500VA UPS and using the smaller one for RAID and accessories.

Last edited by pprior; Jul 17, 2008 at 08:34 PM. Reason: added data on watts when encoding
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 12:47 PM   #18
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Hey guys I'm greatly interested in this thread because I run my Mac Pro on batteries 6-7 hours a day because I'm living in India and there are scheduled power outages.

When my inverter changes over from mains to batteries (and back, several hours later) there is a 1 second gap that I have to use UPSs to absorb the 1 second delay in power. I quickly found that my standard 400va UPS couldn't run my computer desk equipment, then I got a second one just for the Mac Pro, but that couldn't do it either. So then I got a 1KVA UPS exclusively for the Mac Pro and I can handle the change over - except when I'm gaming! I still use the X1900 (will upgrade the next time I'm back in the US) and I'd love to hear how much power that pulls while playing a FPS. 1KVA is not equal to 1,000 watts, but maybe 700 or so. I would think the UPS could handle it but I regularly lose power and the machine reboots (often in the middle of LAN parties at very inopportune times!).

I emailed Barefeat to ask about the two new cards (3870 vs 8800 and how the compare to the X1900) and the response was the x1900 draws 132watts, the 8800 pulls a max of 100w and the 3870 is the cheapest at 80w. This makes my decision on which card to upgrade to more difficult. 50 watts cheaper has some appeal - might be the difference between tripping the UPS or not.

Also, I read ages ago that each pair of SO-DIMMs takes 15 watts (or was it 15w each?) and I've got 6 of the 8 slots full, just for general information.

Right now I'm leaning toward the 3870, although I don't need the extra power for Apple Pro Apps (don't use 'em) I figure it's cheaper on energy now, better than the X1900, and I can buy a second one a year later and run crossfire (in Windows) if I feel I need better gaming performance. But since I have a first Gen. Mac Pro (2.66 dual core) I'm afraid that crossfire might not work since I can't have two 16x lanes.

Insight appreciated
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 01:05 PM   #19
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Would you consider changing to a larger UPS? (Say, 1500VA)?

Keep in mind, VA is not Watts.
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 03:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
Would you consider changing to a larger UPS? (Say, 1500VA)?

Keep in mind, VA is not Watts.
When I spec'd out my UPS, I bought the APC Back UPS RS 1500VA UPS with the extra battery pack. It sits on the floor, and I haven't needed it.

But I drive a Mini, a huge graphics workstation (PC), KVM, 24" LCD, etc.

So, I'd agree that if somebody needs to safely drive a Mac Pro with all of its goodies, a good sized UPS is key. The fact that you can add an extra battery to the RS model that I have made it that much better.
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 11:15 PM   #21
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When I spec'd out my UPS, I bought the APC Back UPS RS 1500VA UPS with the extra battery pack. It sits on the floor, and I haven't needed it.

But I drive a Mini, a huge graphics workstation (PC), KVM, 24" LCD, etc.

So, I'd agree that if somebody needs to safely drive a Mac Pro with all of its goodies, a good sized UPS is key. The fact that you can add an extra battery to the RS model that I have made it that much better.
Nice UPS, and the perfect rating.
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 11:39 PM   #22
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I've wished for a larger UPS, but here in India, it doesn't appear to be available. The next step up from 1kva is a monster $700 system that provides 8 hours backup at 1.4kva. I already have a 3.5kva inverter system so yeah, wish the switching was faster.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and data.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 10:40 AM   #23
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UPS in India...

I am just curious, how did you get a mac pro in India. Did you get it shipped there and how? Because I have been asked to send one there and I am wondering how I can do that and how much would it cost? Plus looking at the electricity bill, should we turn the whole system off, because I have been told that the system burns a little bit of electricity even when it is in the sleep mode.
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Old Jul 18, 2008, 12:12 PM   #24
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Bringing the Mac Pro to India was a trick Basically I gutted it (for weight) and wrapped it in jeans and clothes and it took up 1 suitcase then shoved the drive and memory risers and video card into random carry-ons and brought it that way.

Shipping will be a job because customs are corrupt and backward, better to courier it personally.
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Old Jan 1, 2009, 12:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly13 View Post
Bringing the Mac Pro to India was a trick Basically I gutted it (for weight) and wrapped it in jeans and clothes and it took up 1 suitcase then shoved the drive and memory risers and video card into random carry-ons and brought it that way.

Shipping will be a job because customs are corrupt and backward, better to courier it personally.
Wow!! That's a interesting way of doing it!

Aren't MacPro's available in India? or just too costly?
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