Energy consumption advice

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by RedCroissant, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    As some of you on here know, I have a PowerMac G5 Quad and am very happy about it. VERY.

    What I was wondering though (especially in light of newer deices becoming more and more powerful and more energy efficient), is if I should be considering a different machine or if my energy use is actually negligible.

    If it's not negligible and using my Quad is doing terrible things to my electric bill, then keeping this might not be financially wise.

    Any ideas? I still like the ability to upgrade hardware and make other modifications in the future, but that's less important than a powerful yet energy efficient machine that might outperform my machine.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. flyrod, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2015

    flyrod macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2015
    Sure, there are more energy efficient computers out there, but the scale of things depends on what you're doing. If you use the G5 for heavy, constant number crunching, video processing, etc. then it's possible you would be better off with something else.

    More likely, whatever you spend on a new computer would be a lot more than your electric bills would be with the old one.

    Power concerns are more for things running on batteries and things like data centers or super computers.

    Also, in some cases electricity use can be beneficial. For example, my house is electric heat. So running my mini cluster constantly is a more productive way to turn electricity into heat during the winter.
  3. 128keaton macrumors 68020


    Jan 13, 2013
    Thats what my winters have been like. Come winter, the upstairs heat is going off and I'm keeping the MDD + QS on.
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    A Quad G5's power usage is definitely not negligible, but it may not be significant enough for you to worry about. Power usage specs are here:
    At maximum power usage, it'll cost you perhaps up to 9 or 10 cents an hour to run, so at about 8 hours a day of usage it's costing you around $20 a month in just electricity. If you're also having to cool that space, the cost goes up dramatically.
    By comparison, the least efficient of Mac Minis sold uses a maximum of 110W (, which would cost about $4-5 per month at 8 hours a day and only generates about 376 BTU per hour, so cooling load of a Mini in full use is significantly lower than even an idle Power Mac G5. The most efficient of Minis idle at 6W and use up to 85W. The difference in power draw between these and a G5 is massive.
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    That's partly why I never fire up my PowerMac G5 these days. Lot's of power being used for little practical benefit to me. I've also stopped using my 27" iMac because the screen, at 100% brightness, draws 100 watts all by itself!

    I've since bought a new Mac Mini and use my MacBook Pro these days.
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    All I have to say is that until some Mac I have draws more power than my air conditioning on an August day in Phoenix I don't stress.

    Our A/C is our single biggest cost on my electric bill. But when you live in Phoenix, A/C is not a luxury - it's just as necessary as heat in the midwest during winter.
  7. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2014
    A PowerMac's power usage is pretty high but nothing out of the ordinary of that class of computers from the last 10-12 years. My gaming PC in 2011 pulled a good 500-600w during intensive "work". It never was enough of a financial drain that I really worried about it but it seems like a lot compared to say, an ultrabook that at max will pull a total of 30 watts.
  8. mzs.112000 macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2015
    Do you have a central air system?
    If so, maybe invest in a swamp cooler, they use less energy than a normal system, and they work better.
    The Home Depot has one that cools 1600 square feet, and with a remote, for $615.
  9. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Thank you. But there are a couple of things that prevent that.

    1. We don't own the house. We rent, so that would have to be approved by the owner.
    2. Above 100º swamp coolers aren't as effective. This is Phoenix where the first 100º day occurs between April and May and the last 100º is some time in mid to late October. In between it's solid 100º+ heat. The average is about 112º from June to September with August being the hottest month.

    We managed to hit a few 117-120º days this year as well.

    Swamp coolers are nice (my parents have one) but they generally are really only useful at temps around 90º or below.
  10. 128keaton macrumors 68020


    Jan 13, 2013
    I won't even mention the King of the Hill scene where Phoenix is 'mentioned'. I've always wanted to visit.In Memphis, we get 100*+ days too, but they are humid... The HQ for my job resides there, ER2. I'd check there for PowerPC parts.
  11. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Get a plug-in meter, see what it's drawing at the wall. My 2.0DP G5 typically pulls 270W at the wall, it only seems to vary by 25W between CPU idle and load. Contrast that with the somewhat quicker intel Mac mini 2GHz, that pulls 15W idle, and sub 40W under typical load. Guess which one runs 24x7. ;)

    I'd estimate a quad to be in the low 400W range, possibly more with a grunty graphics card.

    The G5 being a bit of a dinosaur doesn't have all the power saving tricks that we take for granted today that give low idle power. Hence the intel transition...
  12. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Well I did some more research and believe it or not, I am using too much energy.

    With my Quad running, the BenQ HD display, the Harman Kardon Soundsticks, and the fact that I have other peripherals plugged in, my usage is far surpassing my needs. Now I am looking (begrudgingly) for a replacement. This is LAME!
  13. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I feel incredibly lucky today!!!! I met a person while at work and she was surprised that I had actual knowledge of Macs when that isn't generally the case with employees of Best Buy. Anyway, today I was given a Powerbook G4 (5,2). the 1.25GHz 15"!!!!!! It has AP/BT, a 160GB HDD, 512MB RAM and in overall pretty good shape! The superdrive works and mostly it seems like it was taken care of. So now I think I might have a replacement machine for my Quad.

    Yes, I know it's not nearly as powerful, but FW800 and 400 with a 15" display is pretty nice!!!

    All I need now is a new battery and a RAM upgrade and I'll be good to go!
  14. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    And as it turns out, I need a new PRAM battery as well! At first I thought having the PRAM inside the battery (as far as the iBooks are concerned), as an annoying move, but now I have to replace the PRAM battery, the actual battery, and increase RAM. Maybe I should sell my Quad first and then have fun with the upgrades/replacements.

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