MacPro 1,1 power crazy? 550 watts idle?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by glassmanCZ, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. glassmanCZ, Feb 9, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011

    glassmanCZ macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2011

    my MacPro shows consumption of app. 550-630W during idle. It is 2,66GHz 2006 model, with SSD disk as boot and 3GHz memory. Recently I installed ATI 4870 card, which seems to have increased the draw by app. 100W. Before it had the original Nvidia 7300 and the power meter showed app. 450W, which is still way more than reasonable, I think.

    Attached is the screenshot from Hardware Monitor.

    Any ideas where all the power goes? Whats wrong, this does not seems possible to me.

    Thanks for any ideas.


    Attached Files:

  2. SmilesLots macrumors regular


    Apr 30, 2010
    SW Virginia
    What are your energy saver settings in preferences? How long before your computer sleeps? How many hard drives do you have and what kind. How many pci-e cards and what kind? Many things affect power requirements. It may be normal for your system.
  3. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    Get a 5770 - it performs pretty much the same as your current card, except with far saner power usage.
  4. glassmanCZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2011

    its set to sleep in 15min, but it actually never does go to sleep mode, not sure what is the problem. There are two SATA HD, WD 750GB. NO other pci cards then the graphics.

    I do not believe that is supposed to be normal, I have seen figures around 170w for idle MacPros, even on Apple pages.

    Also I do not understand the reading from Hardware monitor, because it does not add up to such total. What is Power Supply Line 1 supposed to mean, I thought it it the total power going from power supply into the system, maybe less the fans?

  5. glassmanCZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2011
    The graphic card added maybe 100w to the whole system, I just put it in, so I have direct comparison to the previous consumption with Nvidia 7300.

    It cost app. 100 USD, as compared to 250 for 5770 from OWC...

    What I am more concerned about is the 450w from the rest of the system, without the 4870...

  6. shokunin macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2005
    How are you measuring idle power consumption. Nothing in your screenshot seems out of the ordinary to me... when i had an '06 Mac Pro, it never drew that much power when idle.

    If I remember correctly, mine drew about 130w or so with the 7300gt measured on a kill-a-watt. When I added the upgraded ATI 2700xt ?? it went up by 50w or so.
  7. glassmanCZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2011
    Its digital plug-in meter, I guess very similar to what you call kill-a-watt.

    Your numbers seem much more what I would expect. Thats why I am so confused where all the power goes.
  8. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Your CPUs are drawing power equal to about 30 % load. I have 2.66 too and when idle CPUs are never drawing more than 10 -11W, sometimes even below 10. Did you try to measure some other devices to exclude your power-meter malfunction?
    BTW, your monitoring app is similar to Temperature Monitor. I use this one but it won't show me voltage/wattage sensors, only temperature.
  9. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    try performning a smc reset.

    shut down your machine, unplug all cables and let stand for a minute.
    or something like that, it was..
  10. glassmanCZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2011
    Did the SMC, no difference. Thanks. Any ideas?
  11. stiwi macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2010
    Unplug the power cable, press the power button for 5s, re-attach power cable, turn on Mac Pro.
  12. Phantom Gremlin, Feb 13, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011

    Phantom Gremlin macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2010
    Tualatin, Oregon
    test your power meter

    Take your power meter and use it to measure the power of a variety of incandescent light bulbs you might have. Ideally you should measure 50, 100, and 150 watt bulbs. Then you will have a good idea of whether the meter is working.

    Adding up the Watts displayed on the attached screenshot shows much lower power consumption than what your meter is reporting.

    [edit] Also I think that recent Mac Pros have "power factor correction" in their power supplies. If the 2006 model didn't do that, then the load presented by the power supply will not approximate a resistive load. It's possible that your meter is confused by that.

    The screenshot also doesn't seem to report power consumption by the disk drives. But that still wouldn't nearly account for the discrepancy you're seeing between the sum of Watts reported and what your meter says.
  13. glassmanCZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2011
    Thanks, your post confirmed my suspicion, that the number is simply wrong. I did some testing and investigating the power meter and it indeed measured way off, for 100W bulb showed 220W. So after setting the power meter straight, the MacPro now gives 215 W on idle, which is about what shall be expected with ATI 4870 card inside, I believe.

    Also the values from Hardware monitor now add up to the value measured by the power meter quite nicely.

    The power meter actually indicates the power factor value and for MacPro its about 96, so the PSU probably has some correction even on the early models. For compact fluorescent bulb its about 65, for incandescent 100.

    Once more thanks for showing the path...


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