Folding and power consumption

praetorx

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 7, 2010
160
0
I've been folding 24/7 for almost 5 days and I'm curious as to what my electricity bill will look like at the end of the month.

My primary folding rig is a HP xw8600 workstation with 2x Xeon E5450 3GHz, 16GB DDR2, 73GB Fujitsu SAS 15000 RPM HDD, Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 768MB

How much more has folding added to your electricity bill? I'll post my numbers after the end of my billing cycle.
 

rwh202

macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2010
114
11
UK
In the UK it works out at about £1 ($1.55) per watt continuous for a year.
(24*365 watt hours at £0.12 per kWh)

I'd guess at 400W for a dual CPU machine (not including GPU) whilst folding, so less than $2 a day, depending on your electricity price.

You also need to consider air-conditioning and heating costs - In summer you may end up paying for the aircon working harder to remove the heat.
In winter you have the opposite - every watt taken by the computer is a watt not drawn by the heating.

I've got 6 i7s @ 200W each plus a few GPUs and other bits and bobs so my electricity usage has doubled since folding. On the plus side I haven't had the heating on yet this winter!
 

lordonuthin

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2007
452
0
Iowa
A couple years ago I had about 5 machines with 7 or 8 GPU's folding and it tripled my electric bill! Now I just have a mac pro and i7 980 with 1 gpu so it's not so bad.
 
Last edited:

twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
15,307
26
Right side of wrong
i've had some pretty high electric bills - over $300! mainly in the summer, bc of the heat. i have quite a few GPUs folding, which use more power and produce a lot of heat.

in fact, i gave one rig away to a friend, and only asked the person to fold with it (2 GPUs, and CPU every so often). it's saving me by not having that extra power consumption (even though the GPUs are energy efficient 9800GTs, so they don't consume much power)
 

praetorx

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 7, 2010
160
0
My bill arrived $32 higher given my current load so I'm only going to fold at night when prices are lower (10pm ~ 7am). Might also replace the 15000 RPM HDD (consumes 1A = 110W) with a SSD.
 

rwh202

macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2010
114
11
UK
Might also replace the 15000 RPM HDD (consumes 1A = 110W) with a SSD.
Are you sure?
I'd have thought 1A at 12V was a more reasonable figure (12W). Indeed, reviews for 15000rpm Cheetahs suggest 12-16W.
Obviously, go for an SSD for speed, but power savings are only likely to be ~10W
 

praetorx

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 7, 2010
160
0
Are you sure?
I'd have thought 1A at 12V was a more reasonable figure (12W). Indeed, reviews for 15000rpm Cheetahs suggest 12-16W.
Obviously, go for an SSD for speed, but power savings are only likely to be ~10W
You're right, it struck me later that the HDD runs at 12V not 110V...doh! :D
 

twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
15,307
26
Right side of wrong
My bill arrived $32 higher given my current load so I'm only going to fold at night when prices are lower (10pm ~ 7am). Might also replace the 15000 RPM HDD (consumes 1A = 110W) with a SSD.
well i must say that $32 for one month isn't huge. i'm not exacting sure what mine is just for folding, but i can guarantee it's much higher than that! :eek:
 

praetorx

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 7, 2010
160
0
well i must say that $32 for one month isn't huge. i'm not exacting sure what mine is just for folding, but i can guarantee it's much higher than that! :eek:
It's not a big number but that's $384 more for electricity per year.
 

twoodcc

macrumors P6
Feb 3, 2005
15,307
26
Right side of wrong
It's not a big number but that's $384 more for electricity per year.
oh i understand. i probably pay almost that per month! :eek: i have backed off a little from what i was doing with folding, to keep my bill somewhat manageable. it's hard to fold and keep the costs down, but in the end it's a good cause.
 

praetorx

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 7, 2010
160
0
oh i understand. i probably pay almost that per month! :eek: i have backed off a little from what i was doing with folding, to keep my bill somewhat manageable. it's hard to fold and keep the costs down, but in the end it's a good cause.
In my ideal world where electricity comes free I'm folding with a rack full of 1U servers :D
 

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