Mac mini vs. Mac Pro savings on electricity bill is amazing!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cocacolakid, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    Just for the heck of it I used an online electricity calculator to see actual amounts comparing a 2012 Mac mini to a Mac Pro PSU.

    Not everyone can switch to a mini, but for many users the HD 4000 graphics in the mini are able to run Photoshop, Lightroom, CS6, etc. without problems. This isn't an endorsement saying the mini will be the perfect match for any user, but for those that it does work for, the benefits in the electrical bill are amazing.

    If your electricity provider charges .10 per Kwh (about the average in the U.S., some providers are half that and some are 1 1/2 times that), a Mac mini using 50 watts running at full blast 24 hours per day would cost $3.36 per month or $43.68 per year.

    Even if you use Apple's numbers of 85 watts for the mini, that's $5.71 per month or $74.26 per year, running 24/7.

    A Mac Pro using 980 watts (a Mac Pro PSU runs 980 watts, from what I've found online) at full power 24/7 would cost $65.86 per month or $856.13 per year.

    While neither is going to run full blast 24/7, and actual Kwh used is going to vary greatly by each individual user, that's still a startling comparison.

    Basically, the electricity alone saved per year would pay for the mini. Even if actual usage on the Mac Pro is half that, the electricity savings would pay for the mini in well under 2 years.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #2
    Interesting. Thanks for sharing your research. Would be interesting to compare the mini vs iMac as that seems a common question of which one to buy on here. Mac Pro is in a league of its own, especially for professionals.
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    Germany & Hungary
    #3
    So you say, that 1 kWh electricity costs 10 dollar-cents in the US? WTF? This should go to 9GAG.:D

    Over here in Germany:
    - 1 kWh ---> ca. 25 euro-cents (= 0,334 dollar-cents)

    Also:
    - 1 liter gasoline (= 0,264 gallon) ---> ca. 1,45 euros (= 1,935 dollars)

    :confused:

    PS: shall I mention the european mac prices? LOL
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #4


    Here in the USA health care is $1000-1500/month ----> free in Germany

    Here in the USA a college degree is $25,000/year ----> Free in Germany.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #5
    You're confusing the power supply's capacity with its draw.

    I run fully-loaded Mac Pros at two different sites and I can assure you that I've never seen the kinds of bills you're suggesting.

    Right now I'm in upstate NY, in the winter, running a Mac Pro (hex, 4 internal drives, 2 externals, 27" Dell monitor) regularly using Lightroom, Photoshop, inDesign, FCP X and other apps . . . not to mention a couple of Macbook Pros, two laser printers, a NAS, sometimes an old AlphaServer, and the total electric bill for my 2200 square foot house runs $60-$80 per month. I'd have to look up my per-KWH rate but I'm sure it's more than $0.10.

    I have a Kill-A-Watt meter in a drawer somewhere, and if you doubt my numbers, I'd be glad to plug the Mac Pro into it and see what happens over, say, a week.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    #6
    I would like to see real numbers from somebody with a killawatt-type device hooked up. There's obviously no way the Mac Pro is using 980 continuously, as you're probably aware. That's just the absolute max the supply is rated for. Even half of that is an awful lot for a computer unless it's really running all out with lots of processor cores and multiple video cards.

    I'd bet that Mac Pro is using something like 300 watts when you're working normal apps, and a little more if you're doing video encoding or something. Given than most computers, even if they're "on" all day, are sitting idle for most of that time, your savings are a lot smaller than you're hoping for :)
     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    Germany & Hungary
    #7
    does everybody have college degree over there? if not, why do you compare such thing to electricity? :D
    i pay ca. 750 $ for my studium / semester. it's definitely not free.
    is it the same (25000 $) for an IT student and a medical student?

    health care in germany: ca. 333 $ / month. this is also not free.:D
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    Good to know, and as I said, obviously those are not running at full draw 24/7, not even the mini. The thread I linked to shows the 2012 mini 24-28 watts under heavy load, and another tester showing it maxing out at 40-41 watts. Either one is far less than the 85 watts the PSU is rated for.

    If the Mac Pro is using half of what it's rated for (980), that still puts in in the 490 watt range, about 12 times real world use of the Mac mini.

    And I understand we are comparing two drastically different systems, aimed at drastically different users. But for many casual and semi pro users of the Mac Pro, the 2012 mini might be a realistic option as a replacement. The savings in electricity is just a bonus, but a nice one.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    Germany & Hungary
    #9
    actually... this is not a big surprise. the mini has notebook components. my thinkpad (with sandy bridge i7 cpu) uses also ca. 10-14 watts in idle.
     
  10. utekineir, Jan 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #10
    My 2008 octo 2.8 mac pro idles at around 200 watts. Doesn't even double that at full utilization. You should look into real world numbers from owners of the machines which have been posted in many parts of the internet, or the apple pages documenting energy consumption, even numbers based off the consumption of the internal hardware components before pulling numbers out of your ass based on power supply specs and assumed draw.

    My machine with fully populated drive bays does not hit anywhere near the rated capacity of its power supply at any point, on the flip side of that nor does it hit the 150 or so apple says it should while at idle. The main idea behind the mac pros is that they are overbuilt to support just about whatever may be thrown at them that includes the capacity of the power supply.

    Still has me debating going to a mini for home server use, or atleast getting the sleeping under 10.8 fixed.

    My math based on .14 cents/kw has my mp costing over $200 a year run 24/7, vs a mini costing around $20.


    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2836 apple mac pro consumption documentation

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3468 apple mac mini consumption documentation
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    Poland, Warsaw and Masurian Lake District
    #11
    And what about the power for the monitor connected to the mini?
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    Germany & Hungary
    #12
    And what about the power for the monitor connected to the mac pro? :D
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    Poland, Warsaw and Masurian Lake District
    #13
    Right, I mixed it up with MBP.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #14
    I'll put my killawatt thing on for a week -- I'll try to remember to do it tomorrow.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #15
    the mini averages 20 watts the pro 260.

    I had a 6 core 2010. never goes to 600 watts almost no way that can happen. still 20 vs 260 is a big difference even if it is 12/365 or 4380 hours a year at 20 watts that is about 90k-watts for the mini vs 1170 k-watts for a pro.

    my juice is 16 cents 14 or 15 bucks for a mini vs 187 or 188 for a mac pro. to be fair double the mini to 30 for stand alone hdds as backups.

    so 30 vs 190 at 16 cents a k-watt this could be more or less but 160 more is a fair guess
     
  16. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #16
    Remember he was quoting the power supply of the Mini without a display attached, so you would need mini plus a reasonable display vs the iMac. The difference won't be that much.


    The problem is in the US in most place electricity costs is broken into 2 pieces and people forget to add those together. The actual cost of the electricity and the charge for delivering it. Of course that tends to bring it up by an average of 5 or 6 cents.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #17
    You can easily find a decent monitor that pulls 30-40W, maybe up to 50W depending on the size and features.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lcd-backlight-led-cfl,2683.html

    Even if you want to compare the 27" ATD you are looking at 106W at max brightness or the Dell UltraSharp U2711 @ 94W.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/apple-thunderbolt-display/4505-3174_7-34850107-2.html

    The mid-2011 27" iMac i7 pulls something like 140-145W. Even a Mini with ATD will still be slightly more efficient than a 27" iMac i7. But not really large enough of a difference to worry about (~20W).



    As long as the price being used to calculate is consistent, it doesn't batter how the pricing is used to determine the estimated cost for running the Mini vs. Mac Pro for a year. Just use the same cost/W for both calculations and you are good to go.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    #18
    Ok, then does someone want guess what my Mac Pro with a 30" and 3x 23"s costs to run a year? Who cares? Use em.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #19
    Some people actually care about their impact on the environment and trying to be conscious of their impact with their use of energy. :rolleyes:
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #20
    I care more about the effect on my cooling and electric costs, but yes.
     
  21. macrumors member

    Exodist

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    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    Buenavista, Agusan Del Norte, Philippines
    #21
    @OP, you do realize that your calculation on a MBP power usage is slightly flawed. Indeed it does have the potential to use up to 900ish watts per hour. It is actually using far less. Everything in the system has a power saving ramp. For example the discreet GPU is shut off and isnt used unless playing a game. The CPU cuts back on speed unless its needed to save on power usage as well. It can very well use less then 100w total per hour on average usage. Now if your running SETI at home or doing some Folding at home in the background using every core plus the GPU 24/7, then it could very well be using about 500 to 600 watts. Trust me I have a 1200watt PSU in my gaming rig, it doesnt use that much power on idle. Not even playing 8 hours of WOW will push it that high. If the MBP used 900wph the batter wouldnt last 5 mins from a full charge..
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #22
    OP talked about Mac Pro not Mac Book Pro.

    I think MP does not draw 900 watts all the time so without a tool like watt meter it is hardly calculate how much your electric bill will be.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    ybz90

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #23
    Even at full blast, the Mac Pro draws nowhere near the 1000W that its PSU is capable of putting out. If you've ever built a PC, you know how grossly overpowered most PSUs are relative to the actual load required. A top of the line desktop with the latest overclocked Intel i7 3970K and a GTX 680 wouldn't need more than 500W at highest load, which wouldn't be sustained.
     
  24. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl
    #24
    AFAIK, only basic health care is free in the UK & Germany.

    No. Not in the UK & certainly not in many parts of Germany. iAgree, in some parts of UK & Germany, these costs are much lower. Books & other needed materials are also not cheap in the EU.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    Germany & Hungary
    #25
    no, it's not free in germany (not even in my home country...). doesn't matter if you're an employee, freelancer, ... you have to pay for health insurance. in other forms though (obvious).
     

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