Mini-ITX 100% fanless HTPC: MPC-HC+LAV+MadVR 1080p OK ==> 13W power under WIn7 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 05-15-2012, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,



I just wanted to share some feelings about my new HTPC build.



Objective:

_ no noise : I really mean 0dB

_ powerfull enough to run XBMC with MPC-HC external player with LAV filters + MadVR configured for maximum video quality

_ HDMI Full HD Video and bitstream audio (including HD)

_ minimum volume

_ decent look



Do not need:

_ DVD / Blu-Ray player

_ TV/SAT card

_ HDD

_ Remote management (I'm using PS3 blutooth remote and love it)



Will run under Win7 64.





Build:

Case : STREACOM FC8 - Mini ITX Fanless : http://www.streacom.com/products/fc8-fanless-chassis/



Motherboard : Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3 : http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pro...pid=4030#ovCPU

Note: the motherboard choice is not ideal to use with a PicoPSU and this case as it is very difficult to plug the picoPSU into the ATX connector due to a heatpipe blocking the spot. It's a very good motherboard, but the layout is not ideal for this very specific situation.



APU : AMD A6-3500



RAM : 2*4Go DDR3 1600Mhz



SSD : Corsair F40 40Go (re-use)



PSU: PicoPSU 90W XLP : http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-90-XLP





RESULTS:



It's a very clean built, small, nice looking, and of course 0 noise !

The case (all aluminum 3.5mm thick) and the huge external heatsink are impressive.



And now the resultats... what can I say ? The PicoPSU-XLP efficacity at such low power usage is wonderfull !!! this A6-3500 is wonderfull !!! this case is wonderfull !!! I'm totally in love with this HTPC.

I know I'm excited with a system that is more than a year old now I think, but it fits perfectly all I need, and even more!



First of all, the voltage settings done in BIOS.

_ DDR: 1.175V (-0.325V)

_ NB : .... (-0.3V)

_ CPU: 1.025V (-0.375V) !!



Of course, with these low settings, the system is still 100% stable. I've checked with different stress tests OCCT (CPU, 3D and PSU), MemTest, Cinebench, Unigine Heaven, WPrime...



I did not touch any of the frequency settings: APU, DDR and everything is running at full stock speed (APU tri-core 2100Mhz and "turbo" 2400Mhz, DDR3 1600Mhz).



After more than 3.5 hours of 1080p24/DTS video reading, CPU load is close to 50% and GPU load about 20% (according to GPU-Z).

Maximum stabilized temperatures (22°C ambient temperature in the room):

_ system : 59°C

_ APU : 41°C !!!



Well, excellent! Even the almost 60°C for the system seems acceptable considering the APU load and the fact there is not any fan to move air.



I might even underclock a little bit, and undervolt again a little bit more to get closer to 70-75% CPU load when working on the hardest task it will ever perform as a dediacated HD player. It might maybe save a little bit more watts and degrees. But for the moment it will run like this, with stock performances.



The picture quality is excellent. I wonder if it is not even better than with my previous HTPC which was more powerfull, but based on Nvidia video for CUVID: i3 + GTS 450. AMD shows again all its knowledge in video display.



Checked after 3.5 hours of 1080p24 video via a Ctrl-J in MPC-HC in order to display MadVR stats: display frequency is almost perfect 23.976 FPS !! (something like 23.9758 I think), and 0 dropped frames in 3.5 hours of non-stop 1080p reading.





And finally, the cherry on the cake (not really sure about the direct english translation of this expression, but... ), the power consumption !

I've tested the system with 2 PSU: 1 classical 300W PSU from my previous HTPC (Sugo SG06), and my new PicoPSU-XLP-90.



Before the numbers, what is exactly included and powered in the system:

_ Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3

_ AMD A6-3500 (stock frequency)

_ 2x4Go DDR3 1600Mhz

_ SSD Vertex 60Go

_ blu-tooth dongle to manage PS3 remote (don't laugh about that, it consummes almost 2W alone !! )

_ UHF dongle to manage wireless mouse/keyboard

_ Gigabit ethernet connection

_ HDMI output: full HD video and bitstreaming audio

_ Soft: XBMC + MPC-HC + LAV filters + MadVR when reading video



Power consumption with 300W PSU:

_ IDLE in Windows: 18W

_ IDLE in XBMC : 19W

_ Maw power in OCCT PSU : 44W

_ 1080p24 reading : 38W



And now with the PicoPSU:

_ IDLE in Windows: 12.8W !!! yes

_ IDLE in XBMC : 14.8W

_ Maw power in OCCT PSU : 40.1W

_ 1080p24 reading : 35.3W



Note: tests have been made with 2 Kill-A-Watt from 2 different companies showing similar results.



12.8W power consumption idling in Windows, it's possible with something else than a weaky weak ATOM or AMD E-350/450 :







The case:





Conlusion: totally happy with this new build !

I even imagine to build another one for a 24/7 Internet/mail browsing in another room, and would recommend it without any doubt to anyone (used to assemble computers) who's looking for a dedicated HD player totally inaudible, energy efficient and in a minimum space.

Note: consider another mini-ITX board for an easier integration though



I'll maybe add some pics later.

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post #2 of 48 Old 05-15-2012, 07:01 AM
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VERY NICE, do you have pics of inside the case?
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post #3 of 48 Old 05-15-2012, 07:28 AM
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Nice. I'm using that APU but also do some light gaming on it, so the ram is bumped to 1866 and the GPU to 587.

What are your madvr/LAV settngs?
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post #4 of 48 Old 05-15-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaaden View Post

And finally, the cherry on the cake (not really sure about the direct english translation of this expression, but... )

Cherry on top.
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post #5 of 48 Old 05-15-2012, 04:12 PM
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Great work! This is why I want to stay with AMD. IMHO nobody does PQ better than AMD/ATI.

This means my new build will be very thrifty on power which is what I want!

This also means my next server build will be thrifty on power.

Viva La AMD!

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post #6 of 48 Old 05-15-2012, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

Great work! This is why I want to stay with AMD. IMHO nobody does PQ better than AMD/ATI.

This means my new build will be very thrifty on power which is what I want!

This also means my next server build will be thrifty on power.

Viva La AMD!

Trinity is suppose to be a pretty big improvement in power consumption.
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post #7 of 48 Old 05-15-2012, 05:47 PM
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Yes! Pics of the inside, please!!
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post #8 of 48 Old 05-16-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaaden View Post

Hello,
_ powerfull enough to run XBMC with MPC-HC external player with LAV filters + MadVR

Checked after 3.5 hours of 1080p24 video via a Ctrl-J in MPC-HC in order to display MadVR stats: display frequency is almost perfect 23.976 FPS !! (something like 23.9758 I think), and 0 dropped frames in 3.5 hours of non-stop 1080p reading.

Do ATI cards support MadVR? I thought it required either software decoding or Nvidia CUVID in order to access the decoded frames on the CPU.
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post #9 of 48 Old 08-01-2012, 04:59 PM
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I have more or less the same build:

- GA-A75N-USB3
- AMD A-Series A6-3500
- Kingston DDR3 HyperX 1600MHz 2GB CL9 (x2)
- OCZ SSD Agility 3 Series 2.5" 120GB
- ASUS PCE-N15 11n PCI-E Adapter
- Streacom 150W PicPSU Adapter Kit

Although a similar build, I am not able to get the same results that you do. The plan was to run Ubuntu 12.04 desktop on it, and consider going for Win7 if it were to become a success.

I must admit, that I at first ordered the wrong cpu by a mistake (the 100w AMD A-Series A6-3650, while the case's passive cooling only can handle 65w), but I have now corrected this, and the problem persists. With the AMD A-Series A6-3650, the computer kept overheating. I was able to install ubuntu on it, but it were to suddenly reboot and then keep rebooting, never reaching the desktop.

So I changed the processor and tried again. Ubuntu installed nicely, I started installing some extras, such as Wine, VLC and spotify (through Wine), and started configuring Wine so Spotify would play me some sweet music. At this time, the computer rebooted and would keep rebooting. As the case was not put completely together, I felt the temperature on the cpu-block, the memory and the north bridge. The memory was at room temperature, and the cpu-block was a bit warm, but not as warm as the north bridge, which was around 60 or 70*C if I were to guess.

Due to some problems with my keyboard, I have not been able to access bios yet, but I am suspecting a hardware problem. I tried re-installing ubuntu, and also tried to install Debian, but the both fail pretty quick after I hit install, but not while in the menu itself, nor when I try to run a memory check.

Do you have any suggestions to my issue?
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post #10 of 48 Old 08-01-2012, 07:35 PM
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Try undervolting. My A6 runs stable at 1.15vcore.
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post #11 of 48 Old 08-02-2012, 04:36 AM
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Ok, first question; this is in France where the power mains are 208/220/240 volts (whichever they actually are), are they not?
If so, then those current figures should be doubled (more or less) for 120vAC here in the US correct?

Second question; all of those AMD Axx processors have a integrated video chipset inside as a all in one package that were designed for Laptop's, correct?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #12 of 48 Old 08-02-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Ok, first question; this is in France where the power mains are 208/220/240 volts (whichever they actually are), are they not?
If so, then those current figures should be doubled (more or less) for 120vAC here in the US correct?
Second question; all of those AMD Axx processors have a integrated video chipset inside as a all in one package that were designed for Laptop's, correct?

Regardless of mains power, the AC adapter delivers 12V to the PC. There might be a small difference in efficiency in the AC adapter. All the numbers should be within a few percent.

 

 

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post #13 of 48 Old 08-03-2012, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Regardless of mains power, the AC adapter delivers 12V to the PC.
You obviously don't understand the relationship between voltage and current. The output has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. The measurement was taken at the input of the PS, not the output. Bottom line, assuming that poster is in France, those reading should probably be doubled to be meaningful for the US.

France is 230v, around twice what it is here;
http://www.kropla.com/electric2.htm

Double the voltage, basically halves the current. Highere voltage less current required, smaller conductors for the same results. The reason high voltage power lines are "high voltage";
http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_1/chpt_2/1.html

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #14 of 48 Old 08-03-2012, 09:45 AM
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Depends on if it is 3 phase or single phase. If it is 3 phase, it isn't double but rather factored by √3, which is also tan(120°) where 120° is the "phase angle" (360°/3 phases of transformer wiring).

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post #15 of 48 Old 08-03-2012, 09:54 AM
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How would that affect what the consumer sees at the outlet?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #16 of 48 Old 08-03-2012, 10:01 AM
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how many consumers in France plug their HTPC's (or any other CE gear) into a 3 phase outlet?
how many of the residential house's/apartments in France actually have 3 phase outlets?

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #17 of 48 Old 08-03-2012, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

You obviously don't understand the relationship between voltage and current. The output has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. The measurement was taken at the input of the PS, not the output. Bottom line, assuming that poster is in France, those reading should probably be doubled to be meaningful for the US.
France is 230v, around twice what it is here;
http://www.kropla.com/electric2.htm
Double the voltage, basically halves the current. Highere voltage less current required, smaller conductors for the same results. The reason high voltage power lines are "high voltage";
http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_1/chpt_2/1.html

Wrong again.

He never told you what the current reading was. Current is measured in amps.

12.8 watts = 12.8 watts It doesn't matter what the voltage is.
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post #18 of 48 Old 08-03-2012, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

You obviously don't understand the relationship between voltage and current. The output has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. The measurement was taken at the input of the PS, not the output. Bottom line, assuming that poster is in France, those reading should probably be doubled to be meaningful for the US.

What does this have to do with it? Regardless of whether the source is 120V or 240V, the load isn't going to change (in this case ~12W idle). Assuming 100% efficiency on everything, all that means is instead of pulling 0.05A @ 240V, you'd now need to pull 1A @ 120V. Of course, efficiency isn't 100% and converting from 240V is generally more efficient so power consumption would likely be a bit higher in the US.
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post #19 of 48 Old 08-04-2012, 03:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

You obviously don't understand the relationship between voltage and current. The output has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. The measurement was taken at the input of the PS, not the output. Bottom line, assuming that poster is in France, those reading should probably be doubled to be meaningful for the US.
Sir, it is you who doesn't seem to understand and your question makes no sense. Input current and voltage is irrelevant to this discussion. What is important is the wattage consumed by the box and that's determined by the components within the box. It will be the same no matter what the mains voltage might be.
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post #20 of 48 Old 08-04-2012, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Wrong again. He never told you what the current reading was. Current is measured in amps.
Ok, my bad, I'm use to measuring amps, not watts. I forgot that reading just watts doesn't change with voltage. My argument was based on current as in amps, not watts.
.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #21 of 48 Old 08-04-2012, 05:29 AM
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videobruce, use some specific examples with numbes to explain.

half the voltage, double the current gives you the same wattage.

note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.
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post #22 of 48 Old 08-04-2012, 05:52 AM
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You win. Post corrected. redface.gif

Found this. The OP's example is well below these;
http://www.upenn.edu/computing/provider/docs/hardware/powerusage.html

BTW, where is the OP??
.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #23 of 48 Old 08-28-2012, 06:38 AM
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Hej, wondering... Did you solve that issue. I have about the same problem, using also the AMD 3500 cpu and no fan. Mine keep shutting down with a certain temperature (MB = 60degrees or something). Not really stable. Thinking of buying a bigger northbridge block. Even turning the voltage down didn't help.

What did you do?

obs I also have that strange non reactive keyboard thing... not reacting to delete with startup
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post #24 of 48 Old 09-27-2012, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radovate View Post

Hej, wondering... Did you solve that issue. I have about the same problem, using also the AMD 3500 cpu and no fan. Mine keep shutting down with a certain temperature (MB = 60degrees or something). Not really stable. Thinking of buying a bigger northbridge block. Even turning the voltage down didn't help.
What did you do?
obs I also have that strange non reactive keyboard thing... not reacting to delete with startup

To fix the issue with delete,i have disable Full Screen LOGO show.

I am running F3c bios.
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post #25 of 48 Old 09-30-2012, 03:06 PM
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Hi, do you know if it is possible to put a big low-profile fan inside the case, over the cpu? I understand that the case was designed to be fanless but you never know...
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post #26 of 48 Old 10-01-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radovate View Post

Hej, wondering... Did you solve that issue. I have about the same problem, using also the AMD 3500 cpu and no fan. Mine keep shutting down with a certain temperature (MB = 60degrees or something). Not really stable. Thinking of buying a bigger northbridge block. Even turning the voltage down didn't help.
What did you do?
obs I also have that strange non reactive keyboard thing... not reacting to delete with startup

Make sure the CPU heat transfer block is seated on the CPU correctly and there are heatsink compound in between. Make sure the heat transfer tubing has heatsink compound where they are seated. I have the HDPlex passive cooling case and it works fine.
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post #27 of 48 Old 10-27-2012, 11:31 PM
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Very nice build Shaaden, I've ordered the same parts basically. At least with the same motherboard, an A6-3500 and the FC8 evo. I had seen your comment regarding the motherboard in combination with this case prior to ordering, but in my country only the ASrock and the Gigabyte are available when it comes to mITX FM1 boards. As various reviews stated the ASrock doesn't look quality and has some bios-issues, I decided to go with the Gigabyte anyway.

Would a power extension cable have helped in solving the power connector being in the way of the heat pipes? Something like this? http://akasa.co.uk/img/product/common/gallery/00/AK-CB24-24-EXT_g02.png

I can imagine the pcb of the PicoPSU being rather high and thus blocking the path of the heat pipe. With this extension cable, as long as there the connector itself is not in the way of the path of the heat pipe, there is always a way to solve it I guess. Hope you can fill me in, so that I can buy the cable along with the rest of the parts.
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post #28 of 48 Old 11-17-2012, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomafred View Post

I have more or less the same build:
- GA-A75N-USB3
- AMD A-Series A6-3500
- Kingston DDR3 HyperX 1600MHz 2GB CL9 (x2)
- OCZ SSD Agility 3 Series 2.5" 120GB
- ASUS PCE-N15 11n PCI-E Adapter
- Streacom 150W PicPSU Adapter Kit
Although a similar build, I am not able to get the same results that you do. The plan was to run Ubuntu 12.04 desktop on it, and consider going for Win7 if it were to become a success.
I must admit, that I at first ordered the wrong cpu by a mistake (the 100w AMD A-Series A6-3650, while the case's passive cooling only can handle 65w), but I have now corrected this, and the problem persists. With the AMD A-Series A6-3650, the computer kept overheating. I was able to install ubuntu on it, but it were to suddenly reboot and then keep rebooting, never reaching the desktop.
So I changed the processor and tried again. Ubuntu installed nicely, I started installing some extras, such as Wine, VLC and spotify (through Wine), and started configuring Wine so Spotify would play me some sweet music. At this time, the computer rebooted and would keep rebooting. As the case was not put completely together, I felt the temperature on the cpu-block, the memory and the north bridge. The memory was at room temperature, and the cpu-block was a bit warm, but not as warm as the north bridge, which was around 60 or 70*C if I were to guess.
Due to some problems with my keyboard, I have not been able to access bios yet, but I am suspecting a hardware problem. I tried re-installing ubuntu, and also tried to install Debian, but the both fail pretty quick after I hit install, but not while in the menu itself, nor when I try to run a memory check.
Do you have any suggestions to my issue?

First, sorry for the long delay !

My first guess : undervolt APU and memory at their maximum. Perform full stability test after each undervoltage.
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post #29 of 48 Old 11-17-2012, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Ok, first question; this is in France where the power mains are 208/220/240 volts (whichever they actually are), are they not?

Yes, this is in France, plugged on a 230V source indeed.

But my very basic knowledge in energy would tell me that 13W is the same consumption on a 230V than on a 110V input. Might be wrong though.
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post #30 of 48 Old 11-17-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

You win. Post corrected. redface.gif
Found this. The OP's example is well below these;
http://www.upenn.edu/computing/provider/docs/hardware/powerusage.html
BTW, where is the OP??
.

OP here ! wink.gif

Well, I double-checked my results using 2 different Kill-A-Watt.

It should not be very difficult to find similar builds now as I've built this a few months ago.
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