Oppinion on Power Usage
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  1. #1
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    Oppinion on Power Usage

    I was reading an article at the Inquirer here:

    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=16952

    It talks about a few differant articles about the power requirements and heat generated by the new Prescott cores. The coolest thing was when he talked about the total system power draw (strate from the power plug) for a P4 3.2C, P4 3.2E, and Athlon64 3200+. He did two systems, an average system and a top-of-the-line gaming machine. He gave the idle and load temps and the Cool and Quiet (for the Athlon64 of course) power draws:

    Standard PC - No load/Full load/Cool'n'Quiet
    P4 3.2 GHz Prescott - 114/192
    P4 3.2 GHz Northwood - 76.5/144
    Athlon 64 3200+ - 106/115/70.6

    High-end PC - No load/Full load/Cool'n'Quiet
    P4 3.2 GHz Prescott - 165/248
    P4 3.2 GHz Northwood - 113/182
    Athlon 64 3200+ - 158/168/120
    Now that got me thinking, so I e-mailed the Inq (which I have done several times before) and this was my thought...

    What about the cost to run these things? From what I have heard (and could be wrong) is that the cost of electricity for businesses in the US is about 5x what the home user pays and power is even more in most other countries than it is in the US. I have heard that the power savings of an LCD will pay for the increased cost of the LCD in 1-2 years for businesses. Now look at the total system power for the “standard system” of 114/192w for the Prescott. Now figure that the servers are likely sitting idle about 50-75% of the time you are looking at about 140w on average. Now look at the older P4 system at 76/144w, you will average about 100w. That is about a 40w power premium PER server to use the new Prescott core and I'm guessing that is in watts per hour. Imaginer if you were a business with 1000 servers. That is 40,000 extra watts you are paying for per hour. If my power bill is correct that would cost a business about $0.67 per KW/H (plus the cost of AC to keep the server room cool), times 8544 hours in a year, times the 40w premium, times 1000 servers. That would be an extra $230,000 in one year to power those 1000 servers just by replacing the Northwood cores with Prescott cores. Maybe my concepts and calculation (and the cost of electricity is way off), but it makes you think. $230,000 is a lot of money. Now for the average home user with one computer, that would likely less than $4 a month and only if they ran it 24/7, but in say Tokyo Japan, that could be as much as $20 a month extra.

    Now we throw in AMD’s Cool and Quiet. Those numbers are just impressive… 106/115/70w. Now lets do a similar server configuration (full load say 1/3 the day) and you are looking at 85w average. That is about 15w LESS than the Northwood. That would make the 1000 server scenario work out to a savings of $86,000 in 1 year over the Northwood or $313,000 over the Prescott. That is $313 per sever per year! Now think of some of these server venders like Rack Space. They could save millions of dollars a year and how much do you think it would cost to cool a room with 1000 Prescott servers generating about 140 watts each? This is not even based on the top dogs either. This is based on average machines with these cores.
    So what is your appinion on this. Do my numbers and theories sound right? Or am I messed in the head? I should here back from him soon.
    AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro

  2. #2
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    Todd
    Your figures could be argued up or down but your concept is right on the money (pun intended).
    A better AMD vs. Intel comparison would be with the Banias or Dothan, but AFAIK only AMD has the C&Q implemented for desktop applications. Intel has traditionally had a lead in more electrically effieient cpu's, but they're in danger of losing even that advantage. But I'm sure they will follow AMD's lead and all of us can benefit.
    Western industrial society has been behaving as if energy is infinite. It isn't.

  3. #3
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    After proof reading a little those Cool'n'Quiet numbers are VERY imressive. To save the system about 35% on total power usage when at idle (or likely even serfing, word proccessing, or watching a DVD) is amazing. Think if ATI used features like that in their graphics cards (like they do on laptops). Think if the graphics card could turn off un-used portions too. Those power draws would be even lower. If you had an Antec True Power in there with all your case fans attached to the thermal controll, the case fans would back way off too. I would not be too supprized if a pretty full blown system could get down to 40-50w when under 10% load. It would be wisper quiet and make a perfect HTPC with all the fans at 5v most of the time and the CPU running at 800Mhz.

    I also was thinking that dual CPU servers would benifit even more during slow times of the day. These servers have no sound and little graphics, so most of the power is the CPU, memory, motherboard, and hard drives. Heck no keyboard and mouse even. Unless you are running massive SCSI arays, the CPUs would like be about 80% of the power draw. Cool'n'Quiet would be mighty. Instead of 200w likely, you would draw closer to 100w at idle. That would be a 50% savings! What about a Quad server?
    AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro

  4. #4
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    Good point I hadn't thought of about the video card. Power saving can spin down the hdd and black the monitor, but cooling down a powerful gpu is a great idea.

  5. #5
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    Oh and DanceMan,

    One of the main reason why I think about all this is how much companies look into shaving pennies off the price of EVERYTHING to keep their share holders happy. I know of this first hand as 30% of the company I work for has "moved to Mexico". We were making good money on the products and the overall savings was not really that big (save $10 on labor, but pay $9.50 extra on shipping, non-returnable packaging, and logistics kind of thing).

    They have been cutting everything. Our medical insurance has trippled (along with the co-pays), we now have to use a week of vacation during the summer shutdown instead of lay-off. We had out bonus checks cut in half. We lost our general increase (what used to be called "cost of living" increase). They used to reward tickets for the salad bar for doing good "extra" stuff (helping out other lines, hitting all your goals for the month, no injuries for a year..). If the company was doing good we would get t-shirts, sweat shirts, Christmas ornaments, $100 bill... They would do cook-outs for the plants, we did team building exorsises (volley ball was always a good one). They even cut the walking time to and from breaks! They cut 4 unpaid sick days too.

    It is getting so bad, that they wont even accept new business unless the profit margin is high enough to not "drag down" their earnings per peice kind of thing. We are looking at the work force in this area cutting another 25% over the next to years from lack of new business. We used to take any bid that would break even because we could always improve the proccess for extra money as the launch progressed.

    I've been noticing that if they do not have tours coming through they turn down the air conditioning in the lunch room a bit. The production froor is not air conditioned. During the Summer it is about 10'F warmer than outside. We used to get extra brakes for pop-sickles or drinks 1-2 times a day if the plant got above 90'F, but that looks to be gone too. They shave anything they can. They squease everything they can into the plants. They refuse to warehouse almost anything. If there is not a 90% chance it will be used again it is imediately thrown away. They even removed all drinking fountains on the floor as it encorrages people to stop working. They can purchase approved containers from the office and refill them during brakes!

    You'd think power usage of their 2000+ Comaq 2Ghz P4 systems and 15" CTR monitors that they lease would be a big deal!
    AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro

  6. #6
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    Man your messages are too short!

    I'm not talking about sleep mode either. Coll'n'Quiet works dynamicallybased on load. It is like their Power Now. If you need 2Ghz, you have it. If you only need 1.5 then you have it. If you only need 800Mhz, then you have it. The slower the CPU goes, the lower the voltage goes. To think... these are not even their low voltage versions. The other thing is they have been saying their tests with their 90nm Athlons are showing good thermal and power characteristics (unlike Intel's). If this is true, things could really start taking off for them.

    Now it kind of looks like Intel might uses something like Coll'n'Quiet for their XEON proccessors, but they already dynamically adjust the voltage on the Prescott cores. They also have completely locked the multipliers and are trying to lock the bus speeds with their new chipsets. The only thing they might be able to do is use their thermal theraottling when in sleep mode likely. Rumour has it they will continue with these thermal and power issues through all of this year and likely all of next. The only possibility is a dual cored Pentium-M that might hit as early as the middle of next year. AMD will have their dual cores out by then and by the end of 2006 be starting up their new 65nm 300mm wafer production facility next to their currant plant. All they need is MS to get their 64bit WindowsXP out (and have it work good) and get Dell to sell one dual Opteron server.
    AMD Phenom II x4 945 3Ghz | ASUS M4A77TD | 2X WD 1TB SATA 2 hard drive | 2x2GB Corsair XMS3 | nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS | ATI TV Wonder Theater Pro 550 | Antec P-160 case | Antec 650w Earth Watts | LG Blu-ray Super Drive | LG DVD RW | Windows 7 Pro

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