HTPC + Kill-A-Watt: Power usage thread (With Pics) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 186 Old 10-01-2011, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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A Kill-A-Watt meter is a meter that connects between your wall plug and HTPC and show you how many watts your HTPC is drawing from the wall. You can either buy a Kill-A-Watt for about $20-$30 or check with your local library to see if you can borrow one (many local libraries allow you to check them out to use just like a book).



Link to buy Kill A Watt

This thread is meant to document how much energy various HTPC are using. There are rules to this thread so that we can compare apples to apples and know exactly what is being used.

RULES
  1. List all components in your HTPC which are using energy (e.g. CPU type, RAM type, case fans, etc)
  2. You must provide visual evidence as proof
  3. Idle wattage (consumption used while the Windows desktop is being displayed) and 1080p Video Playback should be included. Other measurements are encouraged as well.

=========================================================

I have 2 HTPCs and will list them both.

1. Main HTPC: Assassin HTPC "Frankenstein"

This is my main HTPC and I am constantly tinkering with the hardware and experimenting with what it can do.



Current components:

-i3 2100 CPU at stock speeds
-Silverstone CPU cooler on "Silent" setting
-ASRock Mini-ITX Motherboard
-4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
-60GB SATAII SSD
-2 2TB Green Hard Drives (1 WD EARS and 1 Samsung F4)
-PICO PSU 120 watt
-1 80mm case fan

Idle Watts


1080p Wattts (WALL-E)


Sleeping Watts


2. Bedroom HTPC: Mini Mini-ITX

This is my bedroom HTPC which is 8"x9".



Components:
- Sandy Bridge Pentium G620T CPU
- Stock CPU Cooler
- ASRock Mini-ITX Motherboard
- 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
- 64GB SATAIII SSD
- External PSU

Idle Watts


1080p Watts (Thor)


Post your HTPC power usage...
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post #2 of 186 Old 10-01-2011, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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POST YOUR HTPC and KILL-A-WATT PICS!

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post #3 of 186 Old 10-01-2011, 11:52 AM
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I just returned my Kill-A-Watt to the library yesterday. For those of you in Portland, OR, the library has a ton of them.

As it happens, I did take a couple pictures of the KAW running with my HTPC.

My build:
i3 2100t with stock cooler
Intel DH67CF motherboard
4gb ddr3 1333 Mushkin RAM
64gb Crucial M4 SSD
2tb WD greed drive
Asus DVD burner
Apex MI-008 case with included 250w power supply
120mm Scythe fan
80mm Nexus fan

Here it is at idle:


Here it is during 1080p playback (I think one of the Shreks):


I didn't take pictures of off and sleep, so you'll just have to take my word, but 1.8w off, and 2.7w in sleep.
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post #4 of 186 Old 10-01-2011, 03:34 PM
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No need for pixs, we believe you. A spreadsheet with all the numbers will suffice. While u are at it how about temp and noise levels.
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post #5 of 186 Old 10-01-2011, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

No need for pixs, we believe you. A spreadsheet with all the numbers will suffice. While u are at it how about temp and noise levels.

I like pics.

I can add temp pics as well.

I don't have a sound meter. A good one costs $100 or more so those measurements will likely not make it to these pages.
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post #6 of 186 Old 10-01-2011, 09:40 PM
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HTPC draws 120-122W in BD ISO playback and 2 W in sleep, but that does not give you the real picture. Took some KILL-A-WATT readings a few months ago. Based on actual real world usage.......

1) TV+AVR+DVR+HTPC (includes e-SATA drives)
38.23 kw in 168 hrs= 5.46 kw a day

2) Plasma TV alone
12.35 kw in 168 hrs= 1.764 kw a day

3) HTPC alone
18.48 kw in 168 hrs=2.64 kw a day

This is Q9400/HD5670/8GB DDR3/1TBHDD/BD-ROM/DVD-RW/620HX PSU
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post #7 of 186 Old 10-01-2011, 11:51 PM
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I don't have a kill-a-watt on my PC, but I do have an APC UPS:



Phenom 9650
5GB RAM
500GB C Drive
2x 1TB Data drive (Mirrored)
Blu-ray
20" LCD Monitor
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post #8 of 186 Old 10-02-2011, 04:49 AM
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Assassin's #'s look pretty close to my Zacate/picoPSU/ssd/green HDD rig.
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post #9 of 186 Old 10-02-2011, 05:10 AM
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I have a bedroom & living room, both exactly the same. I never sleep or turn off. Basically, the "on" switch for me is turning the TV on.

Habey 600S & 600B
Intel DH61AG Motherboard
i5-2405s cpu
Intel 310 80GB mSATA SSD
8GB RAM SODIMM
Gelid Slim Silence i-Plus
2 50mm evercool fans
1 Dell 90W PSU => DH61AG

pics/build here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post20820400

Sorry complying with rule 2 is kinda hassle, plus I could just take a pic of anything I wanted at the outlet....anyhow:

20-21 w on idle at WMC screen [short term idle; going to check after idle of 2 hours as I believe some internals like the ethernet sleep later]
26-27 w playing thor blu ray folder rip on tmt3+wmc over gigE
28-29 w playing TV on an HD channel via WMC + HD Home Run Prime + FIOS

I have made builds with 4gb of ram and a pentium of about the same as above otherwise idle at 15w.

I think the type of PSU should be named too. Makes a big difference and in mine I saw a 10W diff between using a "real" brick and chinese knockoffs, and also from mfgr itself.

My QNAP 859 + pro with 8 drives is about 80-90. I can't tell anymore as its plugged into a kilawatt powerstrip with other stuff running and addiding it up to 120w.
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post #10 of 186 Old 10-03-2011, 11:43 AM
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OK, I'll contribute to your Kill-A-Watt thread.

Here's my stuff. I've tried to list everything that I think is drawing power:

HTPC #1:
-Gigabyte GA-MA785G-UD3H
-AMD Phenom II X4 905e
-2x 1GB PQI DDR2-800 (4-4-4-12) @1.8V
-2x 1GB Patriot DDR2-800 (4-4-4-12) @1.8V
-1x Kingston SSDNow V-Series 64GB
-1x WD Green 1TB
-2x Samsung F4 2TB
-1x Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 PCI
-1x AVerMedia AVerTV Combo M780 PCIe
-1x Linksys WMP600N WiFi adatper PCI
-1x LG GBC-H20L blu-ray drive
-1x Soundgraph iMon front LCD and IR
-1x Enermax Cluster 80mm CPU fan
-2x Noiseblocker 60mm case fans
-2x Noiseblocker 80mm case fans
- Enermax Liberty 500W PSU

Idle = 101W
Blu-Ray (WALL-E) = 115W
Sleep = 2.8W
Shutdown = 1.2W


HTPC #2:
-ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe
-AMD Zacate E-350
-2x 2GB G.Skill ECO DDR3-1333 (8-8-8-24) @1.35V
-1x Crucial M4 64GB SSD
-1x Fugitsu 2.5” 120GB 5400rpm
-1x AVerMedia AVerTV Duet A188 PCIe
-1x LG CT21N Slim blu-ray drive
-2x Silverstone SUSCOOL 80mm case fans
-Antec 150W PSU

Idle = 36.0W
Blu-Ray (WALL-E) = 46.7W
Sleep = 1.6W
Shutdown = 0.8W


Desktop:
-ASUS P5B-Deluxe WiFi/AP
-Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650
-4x 2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-667 (4-4-4-12) @1.8V
-1x XFX HD6950 1GB
-1x Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
-1x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB
-1x ASUS BC-08B1LT BD Drive
-1x Phobya 120mm CPU fan
-3x Scythe S-Flex 120mm case fans
-Corsair 450W PSU

Idle = 117W
Blu-Ray (WALL-E) = 174W
Sleep = 7.2W
Shutdown = 2.9W


I took pics if you really want them. Didn't want to clutter up my post with 12 kill-a-watt pics.

My ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe + Antec ISK 310-150 HTPC Project: HTPC Nirvana
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post #11 of 186 Old 10-03-2011, 12:20 PM
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I'll have to buy myself a Kill-A-Watt eventually to where I can give my usage for my next htpc build and future i7 workstation.
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post #12 of 186 Old 10-03-2011, 12:56 PM
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Great reference thread.
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post #13 of 186 Old 10-03-2011, 02:45 PM
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Not my HTPC, but my server that I built in November 2008. It has a few more drives now, but nothing else has changed.

Corsiar CMPSU-450VX PSU
Asus M3A78 PRO AMD 780g chipset MB
Athlon X2 4850e

If I remember right, each drive added about 10 watts.

The picture below is with only 6 HDDs installed.





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post #14 of 186 Old 10-09-2011, 06:11 PM
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What is the relationship between the PSU A/C wattage draw and the PC components DC wattage draw? In other words, is there a way to determine your DC power draw from the PSU using the Kill-a-watt readings?
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post #15 of 186 Old 10-09-2011, 06:13 PM
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Just wondering when I will get my PC built and post my kill-a-watt pics.
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post #16 of 186 Old 10-09-2011, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak2000 View Post

What is the relationship between the PSU A/C wattage draw and the PC components DC wattage draw? In other words, is there a way to determine your DC power draw from the PSU using the Kill-a-watt readings?

Measure the voltage and current on each output from the power supply. Multiply voltage by current and add them. You would need a meter with a current probe.
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post #17 of 186 Old 10-09-2011, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak2000 View Post

What is the relationship between the PSU A/C wattage draw and the PC components DC wattage draw? In other words, is there a way to determine your DC power draw from the PSU using the Kill-a-watt readings?

Not exactly. The wattage into a PS will always be more than the wattage output, and efficiency of the ps depends on design and how much load is on it and some other factors.
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post #18 of 186 Old 10-11-2011, 07:23 PM
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Well, I picked up a Kill-a-Watt meter and finally got around to taking some measurements. I guess you would classify my HTPC as a Premium one...

Intel Core i5-2500K
GIGABYTE GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 motherboard
Saphire Nvidia GT-440 card
Seasonic X-560 PSU
LG WH12LS30 Blu-ray, etc. drive
Avermedia duo TV tuner card
Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB (x2)
Crucial Technology 64GB M4 SSD (boot drive)
OCZ Platinum Extreme 4GB DDR3-1600 CL7 1.35V memory
2x Noiseblocker MF12-S2 multiframe case fans
Noiseblocker PFM fan for CPU cooling
4x USB 3.0 expansion card
Hdplex IR receiver

Kill-a -watt readings:
112 – BluRay (TMT5 via WMC)
103 – WMC playing live TV
100 – WMC playing recorded TV
99 – sometimes drops to ~73 for AVCHD 720p video via WMC
94 - MKV playback with 1080p/DTS-HD & MadVR
72 – WMC Netflix plugin
68 – WMC 10-megapixel picture slideshow
68 – WMC Zinc internet TV / Netflix
64 – streaming music via MOG web app
2.6 - sleep

(pictures here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post20555940)

I'm running Lucidlogix Virtu as well, but am using the Nvidia card as the default display device - so it does not have a major effect unless I am transcoding (I tried it the other way around, but TMT5 playback is unacceptably jumpy running on the IGP).

Here are a couple of quick measurements with Virtu running with the IGP as default
64 - MOG streaming
78 - BR playback as above

I'm sure I could crank some serious watts by playing video games, but it's not my thing. 60-100 watts for typical use seems pretty reasonable to me. The amount I could save by deleting the video card is dwarfed by the amount of energy I consume for hot water/heating/refrigeration/AC/dehumidification in any case.

I'm still not 100% sure whether the perceived MadVR video playback quality is mainly a placebo effect or not, but I'm happy with it.
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post #19 of 186 Old 10-15-2011, 03:58 PM
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Running, watching TV, Bluray: 95W OR 73W
Sleep: 0W
Shut down: 0W

Questions
1) when I boot up and running my kill-a-watt, it's indicating 95W. But when I start watching live and recorded TV, it drops to 73w right away and will stay there forever. Any idea why it will drop when watching TV?

2) Why sleep is 0W here?

Asus Z68 i5 2500K
OCZ Revoderive X2 PCI SSD
2TB HDD data drive
Bluray drive
8G 1866 XMP DDR3
Seasonics 450 fanless Gold PSU
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post #20 of 186 Old 10-30-2011, 08:24 AM
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I put this box together:
Case: Apex MI-008
Motherboard: Intel DH67CF
CPU: Intel i3-2105 (Has HD-3000 IGP)
RAM: G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
Cooler: Stock for now
Boot Drive: Samsung Spinpoint 7200RPM 120GB 2.5" SATA (until I can $$D)
Storage Drive: Samsung Spinpoint M8 HN-M750MBB 750GB 5400 RPM 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s
Optical: Old laptop slim DVD burner in an external USB case. Just in case. I don't use optical anymore.
PSU: Tested on stock MI-008 PSU then got my picopsu. Numbers below.
PicoPSU: PWR-PICOPSU-90-XLP along with EDAC 12v/6.6A 80W AC-DC Power Adapter

All numbers according to KillAWatt P3. They are the highest or lowest I observed during a few reps of testing. I have it sitting right next to my monitor.

Stock PSU
Standby: 1.5W
Boot Peak: 56W
Install App Peak: 47W
Youtube 1080P Fullscreen: 32W
Idle Lowest observed: 24W

PicoPSU
Standby: 0 - Too low to register?
Boot Peak: 49W
Install App Peak: 47W
Youtube 1080P Fullscreen: 26W
Idle Lowest observed: 14.8W
Highest observed during Team Fortress 2: 72W
Regular web browsing: 16-20W
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post #21 of 186 Old 11-06-2011, 08:47 AM
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Core i5 SB
MSI h61 mobo
8 gigs ram
nvidia gts 450
ssd
WD green drive
antec earthwatts 500
3 large case fans running
DVD burner

55W idle not bad for a quasi gaming rig
LL
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post #22 of 186 Old 11-06-2011, 08:55 AM
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My e350 setup
MSI mobo
2 gigs of ram, single stick
WD green drive
corsair 400W 80plus power supply (definitely not optimal).

23W idle

My numbers seem a lot better than some other systems on here. Do you think this is because MSI boards are possibly better at power consumption? Neither one of my PSU's should be supper efficient at those power levels.
LL
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post #23 of 186 Old 12-10-2011, 12:58 AM
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I see a lot of recommendations for 400W to 500W PSUs. And when I look at graphics cards it seems most manufacturers recommend about a 400W to 450W PSU. But then I see data such as in this thread & no one is anywhere near 400W. And there are postings in other threads where some people use 250W supplies.

What's the straight story?

I wanted to add a graphics card to my HP p6710f computer with an AMD quad core running Windows 7. It has integrated graphics using ATI Radeon 4200 and a 250W PSU.

I thought about adding this card.
http://www.frys.com/product/6815056?...H:MAIN_RSLT_PG

But the manufacturer's website states Minimum Power Supply Requirement:400 Watt.
http://xfxforce.com/en-us/Products/G...-R-Series.aspx

Previously I took some Kill-A-Watt measurements and got the following.
92W when authoring a video with 4 cores at 20-25% CPU usage.
56W when playing a video.
54W at idle.
3W in sleep mode.

I'm not implying the PSU in my PC is the highest quality available. But do I really need a 400W PSU? Is the card maker presuming most people are going to use it in a high powered gaming computer?
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post #24 of 186 Old 12-10-2011, 04:13 AM
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Supposedly it is for peak power. My "home-work" system (AMD 64 FX dual core) with GTX-460 card and 5 hard drives draws about 120 W at idle. The video card wants a PSU with a single 12V 48A rail! Thats some 576 W right there. My PSU is a 600 W Corsair gaming supply that meets the specs. While a 200 W PSU would supply the average power, I'm sure the system would be very unstable.
Hope this helps.
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post #25 of 186 Old 12-10-2011, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

What's the straight story?

It's called C.Y.A. Cover Your Ass. Manufacturers don't know what other hardware you may be running so they always aim unrealistically high. For all they know, you're running a 130W 3.6GHz Pentium D space-heater, 10 hard drives, etc, etc. and sit at 300W idle. They don't want to take the blame if you add their component and push it over the edge and blow something.

My ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe + Antec ISK 310-150 HTPC Project: HTPC Nirvana
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post #26 of 186 Old 12-11-2011, 02:29 AM
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Some postings, and this link, from the forum suggest using a PSU with double the power you are actually going to use. Here they refer to delivered power.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/181/9

I ran through several scenarios using the calculator on this website & the difference between Minimum PSU Wattage and Recommended PSU Wattage varied between 65% and 80%.
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

If they indicate a Minimum of 150W and Recommended of 200W, would that usually mean that the 150W figure is double the actual delivered power or the 200W is double?

I’m not trying to get by with lowest priced or cheapest PSU, I’m trying to learn how to make an educated decision.
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post #27 of 186 Old 05-06-2012, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solderbot View Post

Stock PSU
Standby: 1.5W
Boot Peak: 56W
Install App Peak: 47W
Youtube 1080P Fullscreen: 32W
Idle Lowest observed: 24W

PicoPSU
Standby: 0 - Too low to register?
Boot Peak: 49W
Install App Peak: 47W
Youtube 1080P Fullscreen: 26W
Idle Lowest observed: 14.8W
Highest observed during Team Fortress 2: 72W
Regular web browsing: 16-20W


Hi Solderbot,
do you know if the same thing with celeron g500-600 would have similar or even lower wats? those cheap cpus are usually stripped of many features, i hope power usage control is not one of them.
reviews on xbit for example shows much higher consumption, though they were not using htpc components (mb, psu)
(sorry, i know this is an old thread, but those numbers with picopsu are still brilliant)
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post #28 of 186 Old 11-03-2012, 10:07 AM
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I know this is an old thread but I've got a question about calculating power. I'm about to start testing my HT peripherals and wanted to make sure I understand what I'm doing. I've been running an ongoing reading of my refrigerator and here's what my readings are. 2432 hours read using 152 KWH. The price per KWH I used was $0.088 and the total cost for that time period is $13.41. Here's the math I've done using the formula taken from US Dept. of Energy's website.

(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

Modified to fit the total reading time:
(Watts*Total Hours Read) / 1000 = Total Kilowatt hours used

(w*h)/1000=k
(w*2432)/1000=152
(w*2432)/1000*1000=152*1000
w*2432=152,000
w*2432/2432=152,000/2432
w=62.5 watts

Does that sound possible for a fridge to average 62.5 watts? I know it's not always running the compressor but that seems incredibly low. Anyway, I'm about to start running it on my TV, AVR, BDP, and HTPC.
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post #29 of 186 Old 11-03-2012, 11:08 AM
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It will be interesting to see how much Haswell drops these numbers, its suppose to be pretty significant.
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post #30 of 186 Old 11-03-2012, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

It will be interesting to see how much Haswell drops these numbers, its suppose to be pretty significant.
20% on the desktop I believe. The big power savings are only going to apply to ULV chips.
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