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HTPC + Kill-A-Watt: Power usage thread (With Pics) - Page 2

post #31 of 186
Interesting. I just get back from the library after checking out a Kill-a-Watt and this thread pops up. Been meaning to do this for quite some time and when I found out that the Public Utility here just started making these available at the Public Library I went and checked it out. I have it for two weeks so be patient but results coming..
post #32 of 186
You would laugh at mine. I bet it's pulling double of any of the PC's listed here....

I'm scared to plug it into kill-a-watt. I'm better off not knowing.. Especially since I have a 24TB server sitting next to the desktop that run's 24/7 too.
Those two machines alone are just killing my electric bill.



Never mind the 3570k/Z77 HTPC running 24/7 in the bedroom.

My desktop is a i7/16GB-DDR3/Asus Deluxe build with dual video cards. CPU sometimes overclocked 4.6ghz. I have 9 HDD's in my desktop (2x3TB, 2x2TB RAID 0, 4x1TB RAID 0, 2X 120GB SATA3 SSD RAID 0 for OS, second OS install on single 120GB SSD)
1 Bluray reader and 1 BluRay writer. I have a 1000 watt $250 PSU. The worst part of my build is I have serious cooling fans. 2 on back- 3 on top case- 2 front case- 4 on side - two on side case and 2 on door to HDD cage. My case has fan control and they run on LOW most of the time- but I'm sure if I'm overclocked and encoding a 1080p MKV video for my iphone4 - or playing a game... It's sucking some power.

PSU:

Some Random pics:










post #33 of 186
How about size and weight ? I noticed Assassin's nice little tiny HTPC. My smallest PC is my HTPC and it's located inside an Antec 300 case- consisting of a full ATX Z77 mobo and 3570k i5.

My server is in a full tower Thermaltake case. Even larger. It has three HDD cages, and a few HDD's I mounted to the bottom cause I ran out of room.

And the largest is my Desktop- Which is a COSMOS II case. I't by far the largest and heaviest. It easily weighs 125+ pounds. I'm pretty sure I could put assassin's mini HTPC inside my case (with a full build inside) and close the door to the side of the case. lol.
post #34 of 186
I put the Kill-a-Watt on the recepticle feeding my equipment enclosure and HDTV. If I left my AVR/HDTV/HTPC on 24/7 it would cost me $1/day based on the top tier rate of $.165/KWHr. It is about $0.60/day when the AVR and HDTV are off. The ehternet switch, enclosure cooling fans, standby power for the AVR/BRP, etc probably eat up a third of that but I'm going to move the Kill-a-Watt around and take some more measurements but it costs maybe $20/mo to leave my HTPC on 24/7. My pc probably costs another $30. Time to re-think my stratagy. Can a pc feeding media be set up for WOL?
post #35 of 186
Sure- let your HTPC go to sleep mode. It's my 24/7 server and desktop that suck my power.

My HTPC is nothing compared to those.
post #36 of 186
Assassin or others,

What's the difference in whs 2011 running plex (has to be logged in I believe) with drives spun down and a w7 box running with attached drives spun down?

Assassin's would be the better comparison since I believe both his server and habey mini itx use the g620
Edited by Dark_Slayer - 11/4/12 at 6:27pm
post #37 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The largest is my Desktop-Which is a COSMOS II case. I't by far the largest and heaviest. It easily weighs 125+ pounds. I'm pretty sure I could put assassin's mini HTPC inside my case (with a full build inside) and close the door to the side of the case. lol.

Does the cosmos fan controller actually turn the fan led off? What kind of fans do you have to use? I have a cooler master 4 in 3 HDD accessory with LEDs, and some other led fans I'd like to have lights out
post #38 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I put the Kill-a-Watt on the recepticle feeding my equipment enclosure and HDTV. If I left my AVR/HDTV/HTPC on 24/7 it would cost me $1/day based on the top tier rate of $.165/KWHr. It is about $0.60/day when the AVR and HDTV are off. The ehternet switch, enclosure cooling fans, standby power for the AVR/BRP, etc probably eat up a third of that but I'm going to move the Kill-a-Watt around and take some more measurements but it costs maybe $20/mo to leave my HTPC on 24/7. My pc probably costs another $30. Time to re-think my stratagy. Can a pc feeding media be set up for WOL?

Ouch, your PC power bill costs more than my entire electricity bill.
post #39 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Does the cosmos fan controller actually turn the fan led off? What kind of fans do you have to use? I have a cooler master 4 in 3 HDD accessory with LEDs, and some other led fans I'd like to have lights out

Yes it has separate fan controls for LOW MED and HIGH for the FRONT / TOP /HDD/ GPU - you of coarse could use the 4 controllers for anything you wanted but that's how it's labeled and intended.

I basically use it as they set it up... 4 controllers for those 4 areas. The other fans are controlled via the motherboard and ASUS DELUXE fan controller.

And,

yes- It has LED control switch too. It's integrated into the front of the case. All soft touch buttons. Pretty slick.

But for $350 for a PC case- I guess you would expect nothing less.

The quality of the case is really top notch. It's superior to anything I've seen before. People talk nice about certain cases but they honestly have no clue.
This thing is head and shoulders above the rest.

In terms of quiet- cooling performance - room to build- flexibility- and build quality it's really second to none.

Downside is it weights 75 pounds empty before you build in it... lol...
post #40 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Yes it has separate fan controls for LOW MED and HIGH for the FRONT / TOP /HDD/ GPU - you of coarse could use the 4 controllers for anything you wanted but that's how it's labeled and intended.
I basically use it as they set it up... 4 controllers for those 4 areas. The other fans are controlled via the motherboard and ASUS DELUXE fan controller.
And,
yes- It has LED control switch too. It's integrated into the front of the case. All soft touch buttons. Pretty slick.
But for $350 for a PC case- I guess you would expect nothing less.
The quality of the case is really top notch. It's superior to anything I've seen before. People talk nice about certain cases but they honestly have no clue.
This thing is head and shoulders above the rest.
In terms of quiet- cooling performance - room to build- flexibility- and build quality it's really second to none.
Downside is it weights 75 pounds empty before you build in it... lol...

I think its the best server case on the market, I took one apart at Fry's and couldn't stop drooling at the room and endless tool free expansion areas. Only thing it should have had different is wheels on the bottom smile.gif

Thinking about modding a replacement cosmos fan controller into my older atx tower, just wanted to be sure it would turn off my LEDs. I like push button fan controls, most other aftermarket units use switches and annoying led notifications on the controller
post #41 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I think its the best server case on the market, I took one apart at Fry's and couldn't stop drooling at the room and endless tool free expansion areas. Only thing it should have had different is wheels on the bottom smile.gif
Thinking about modding a replacement cosmos fan controller into my older atx tower, just wanted to be sure it would turn off my LEDs. I like push button fan controls, most other aftermarket units use switches and annoying led notifications on the controller

I've pretty much decided I am going to be moving my server into the cosmos on the next major overhaul.

My full tower is nice but I'm running out of room for more HDDs.
post #42 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I put the Kill-a-Watt on the recepticle feeding my equipment enclosure and HDTV. If I left my AVR/HDTV/HTPC on 24/7 it would cost me $1/day based on the top tier rate of $.165/KWHr. It is about $0.60/day when the AVR and HDTV are off. The ehternet switch, enclosure cooling fans, standby power for the AVR/BRP, etc probably eat up a third of that but I'm going to move the Kill-a-Watt around and take some more measurements but it costs maybe $20/mo to leave my HTPC on 24/7. My pc probably costs another $30. Time to re-think my stratagy. Can a pc feeding media be set up for WOL?

You think your standby appliances + cooling fans + switch are about 50 W ? I think, I had to backcalculate from your numbers. My gig switch spec sheet says 6.6 W (most are pretty low on power) Fans are low as well, and most appliances in the past 5 years have been heavily pushed towards the <1W standby initiative. However, it's likely that your AVR/TV/BRP standby at about 10W combined.

As for feeding from wol, I'd say yes it's possible (mostly). Most mobos offer WOL (required), and from within your local network it's pretty seamless.

To wake from remote connections for plex access, it's less straightforward. If you have dd-wrt / tomato router registered with a domain, you can send a WOL request to a networked machine. It would be nice if plex supported this directly, but last time I left for a weekend I just left my HTPC on and logged in to maintain access.
post #43 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Assassin or others,
What's the difference in whs 2011 running plex (has to be logged in I believe) with drives spun down and a w7 box running with attached drives spun down?
Assassin's would be the better comparison since I believe both his server and habey mini itx use the g620

I'd still really like to know this info . . .
post #44 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I'd still really like to know this info . . .

The answer is pretty easy to guess at.

A windows7 versus a WHS2011 machine running the same hardware will be about the same wattage.

running plex and spun down would be the same as spun down windows 7 PC.

Running plex and trascoding or serving media.. would use more. But not more than transcoding in a desktop.

Most servers post PC like numbers in power consumption with the only increase being if they have lots of HDD's

Encoding on any machine or running a CPU above 60% will always use more power. Encoding is a heavy process.
post #45 of 186
Thread Starter 
Flocko's goliath server that I built him used about 70 watts if I remember correctly. I believe it had 8 hard drives and an optical drive. Running WHS 2011 and FlexRaid.
post #46 of 186
I definitely see less point in WHS 11 over W7 as a server, cuts out a box and power difference is a wash (assuming you could hide a server sized htpc near your setup or make due with USB and HDMI extension cables)
post #47 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I definitely see less point in WHS 11 over W7 as a server, cuts out a box and power difference is a wash (assuming you could hide a server sized htpc near your setup or make due with USB and HDMI extension cables)

WHS2011 is $40.

You need Win 7 Pro to have remote access natively which is about $140 or so.

That's about 100 reasons right there.
post #48 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

WHS2011 is $40.
You need Win 7 Pro to have remote access natively which is about $140 or so.
That's about 100 reasons right there.

Teamviewer / Plex ???

All the remote access I've ever needed coupled with $0 additional cost


Also, the $100 savings is only applicable to someone using their WHS box as an HTPC (otherwise still need the license)
post #49 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I definitely see less point in WHS 11 over W7 as a server, cuts out a box and power difference is a wash (assuming you could hide a server sized htpc near your setup or make due with USB and HDMI extension cables)

I think your just wrong on this.

In addition to the cost difference- WHS is more secure and stable.

If you want to server your home- and multiple PC's a home server offers many advantages over just networked windows 7 boxes.

I do most of my "work" on the PC but store on server. The HTPC is set up to read from server folders (like movies, TV shows, Disney, blurayrips, DVD rips, etc.. )

It's a huge advantage to have a server.
post #50 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Teamviewer / Plex ???
All the remote access I've ever needed coupled with $0 additional cost
Also, the $100 savings is only applicable to someone using their WHS box as an HTPC (otherwise still need the license)

Which is why I said natively.

I thought we were discussing servers here. ?
post #51 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Which is why I said natively.
I thought we were discussing servers here. ?

You're right, I implied a lot with that. Seemingly a full tower w7 install would allow you to flexraid your "server" storage pool AND still hold an SSD and 3.5" recording storage drive. This is pretty much screaming to be used as a primary HTPC (again assuming you can hide it)

A WHS box, on the other hand, takes a fair amount of tweaking to really become an HTPC (and most server software recommends against this)

Full towers usually have 6+ 5.25 bays and 4-5 3.5" bays. Obviously the 6 5.25" bays grant 8 3.5" HDD slots with the 4in3 bay converters, so your up to 12-13 bays with most full towers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think your just wrong on this.
In addition to the cost difference- WHS is more secure and stable.
If you want to server your home- and multiple PC's a home server offers many advantages over just networked windows 7 boxes.
I do most of my "work" on the PC but store on server. The HTPC is set up to read from server folders (like movies, TV shows, Disney, blurayrips, DVD rips, etc.. )
It's a huge advantage to have a server.
Yeah, but the HTPC and other HTPCs can be set up to read from any storage pool. Separating your storage pool from your OS is the security factor, doesn't matter if it's W7 or WHS
post #52 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Which is why I said natively.
I thought we were discussing servers here. ?

I see now, I mentioned Plex / Teamviewer because I would get the same remote functionality (like you said not-natively) from a W7 box

I guess I see Plex as a needed Server service, so in a 2 HTPC configuration you would be either

WHS - 70+ Watts (24/7)
HTPC1 - Sleep or 20-35 Watts during usage
HTPC2 - Sleep or 20-35 Watts during usage

or

HTPC+storage - 70 Watts (always on or some robust WOL/WOW abilities)
HTPC2 - sleep or 20-35 Watts during usage

The server route seems like largely diminishing returns. I don't think there is a drive mount limit in windows
post #53 of 186
Also, thanks for this thread, it's a great resource. Eager to test my own set up but I'm trying to find my Kill-A-Watt (still packed up somewhere from last move)
post #54 of 186
Thread Starter 
You aren't going to get 25 watts with Plex using 8 hard drives.
post #55 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I see now, I mentioned Plex / Teamviewer because I would get the same remote functionality (like you said not-natively) from a W7 box
I guess I see Plex as a needed Server service, so in a 2 HTPC configuration you would be either
WHS - 70+ Watts (24/7)
HTPC1 - Sleep or 20-35 Watts during usage
HTPC2 - Sleep or 20-35 Watts during usage
or
HTPC+storage - 70 Watts (always on or some robust WOL/WOW abilities)
HTPC2 - sleep or 20-35 Watts during usage
The server route seems like largely diminishing returns. I don't think there is a drive mount limit in windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

You aren't going to get 25 watts with Plex using 8 hard drives.

You mean the second scenario correct?

It would be setup as follows . . .

HTPC+storage - 70 W (this is the one running PMS, MCM, Mediabrowser, XBMC scrapers, etc, etc)
HTPC2 - sleep or 20-35 W (this one is only running a preferred front-end - on demand not serving. Plex isn't needed and probably just a single hdd)
post #56 of 186
Thread Starter 
I would use Win7/Win8/WHS2011 plus something like FlexRaid that allows you to spin down drives when not in use in either scenario.

If you are wanting to run a bunch of different HTPC programs then you are going to want to use Win 7 or Win 8. Then I would run something like FlexRaid for redundancy, pooling and storage (I don't like Win 8 alone for this purpose for multiple reasons) as well as drive spin down. So in a way your primary HTPC is also doubling as a "server".

Or alternatively you could build a dedicated server and tuck it away in a closet or basement (mine is in the garage) running WHS2011/Win7/Win8 with, again, FlexRaid for the reasons listed above and use it to "serve" smaller low wattage HTPCs around your house.

I run the latter and absolutely love it. I run Plex server on my server as well. I was able to easily pull up movies this past weekend while I was in Pittsburgh on my Nexus tablet from my server located 7 hours away.
post #57 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I run the latter and absolutely love it. I run Plex server on my server as well. I was able to easily pull up movies this past weekend while I was in Pittsburgh on my Nexus tablet from my server located 7 hours away.

Plex on WHS requires you to be logged in to the desktop environment correct?

Even with the monitor disconnected, I wonder what difference (if any) this leads to in power consumption [all the way back to the point of the thread smile.gif ]

Without the desktop environment logged in, only WHS services are allowed to run (i.e. GPU off). I have this suspicion (un proven and untested) that booting WHS without logging in may use 70W (Goliath as example) and logged in (even with the screen disconnected) running Plex would use 70+. How much more?
post #58 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Plex on WHS requires you to be logged in to the desktop environment correct?
Even with the monitor disconnected, I wonder what difference (if any) this leads to in power consumption [all the way back to the point of the thread smile.gif ]
Without the desktop environment logged in, only WHS services are allowed to run (i.e. GPU off). I have this suspicion (un proven and untested) that booting WHS without logging in may use 70W (Goliath as example) and logged in (even with the screen disconnected) running Plex would use 70+. How much more?

I am not sure what you are talking about. I don't even have a monitor connected to my server. Don't need to remote in to run/use Plex either.
post #59 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I am not sure what you are talking about. I don't even have a monitor connected to my server. Don't need to remote in to run/use Plex either.

Plex just works after you reboot your WHS box?

According to their forums and other peoples usage, I thought that you had to have a user profile logged into WHS to actually run the Plex Media Server because it is not currently able to run as a service. (example link below)

http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/42503-run-as-a-service/

Do you use some kind of auto login for WHS like Anyup?

Rebooting WHS brings up the Ctrl+Alt+Del to login screen, and I thought that until you login Plex would be unavailable.

I could be wrong, I've always just ran PMS from my HTPC
post #60 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Plex just works after you reboot your WHS box?
According to their forums and other peoples usage, I thought that you had to have a user profile logged into WHS to actually run the Plex Media Server because it is not currently able to run as a service. (example link below)
http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/42503-run-as-a-service/
Do you use some kind of auto login for WHS like Anyup?
Rebooting WHS brings up the Ctrl+Alt+Del to login screen, and I thought that until you login Plex would be unavailable.
I could be wrong, I've always just ran PMS from my HTPC

No. I used my account once to log into the Plex Server to set it up (movies, TV shows, etc) and that's it. The Plex service just runs in the background. I don't have to do a thing.

Here are a few screenshots. I am using my laptop (Win7) remotely logged on to take some pictures for you. Otherwise I hardly ever need to access the server desktop. After I get everything setup the way I use things its on autopilot.


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