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# HTPC + Kill-A-Watt: Power usage thread (With Pics) - Page 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by anikun07

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.

Could anyone please double check this if I calculated this right?

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Assassin is right, I almost never touch the server (WHS 2011, old Dell Box, 4TB). I may go Windows 8 Pro on the laptop since you need at least that for Remote Desktop and its cheaper than Windows 7 Pro.

If you're caught up on price my word, Plex runs on Linux (\$0). I am going to rebuild my WHS 2011 by taking the power hungry Dell out of the mix and putting it in the closet or something. E-350 boards have dropped below \$90 but the case I wasn't hadn't dropped, its still \$70 and while that doesn't sound like much, still unemployed so cost is always a factor plus I am doing something more important with my money early 2013.

But I will get a Kill-A-Watt from the Library and check what A6-3500 Triple Core Llano is doing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by anikun07

Could anyone please double check this if I calculated this right?

Right. But does this require several lines of calculation?

The average wattage (electric power) = 152 kWh / 2432 h = 152,000 Wh / 2432 h = 62.5 W.

That's it.

Mathematically

Time average of a physical quantity = (integral of the quantity from the initial time to the end time w.r.t. to time) / (end time - initial time).

- Power = Energy / Time
- Energy = Power * Time,

or infinitesimally

- Power = derivative of energy w.r.t. time
- Energy = Integral of power w.r.t. time
Edited by renethx - 11/6/12 at 10:17am
Thank Renenthx! I just put each line to "show my work" because I couldn't believe that a fridge would only average 62.5 watts. But so far my readings on my TV are much higher and seem more logical. As I take readings of each peripheral I will post them.
I'm reading my Kill-o-Watt in dollars consumed because that is all that really matters to me.

The old fridge in my garage costs just under \$0.50/day to keep some beer cold after two days of running the Kill-o-Watt. That is less than my AV Cabinet with the AVR on costs but the AVR isn't on all the time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie

Assassin is right, I almost never touch the server (WHS 2011, old Dell Box, 4TB). I may go Windows 8 Pro on the laptop since you need at least that for Remote Desktop and its cheaper than Windows 7 Pro.
If you're caught up on price my word, Plex runs on Linux (\$0).

We're specifically talking about running Plex on WHS 2011. If you are not running that or some other application (like uTorrent) that does not offer an option to "Install as a service" then it does not apply. You never need to log in to the server, even remotely, for it to serve after a reboot.

I find native remote desktop overrated, but that's not really on topic. Teamviewer for free has always accomplished everything I need. WHS offers remote web administration

I'm not caught up on \$40 price tag on WHS. I'm caught up on the idea of wasting power with no return when a W7 box pulling the same power would double as an always on HTPC

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin

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.

Thanks for posting that Assassin. Notice the option says, "Start Plex Media Server at Login"

You are saying that you don't have to login for it to work?? This conflicts with other reports here and here

I'll take your word on it, but are you sure that your not logged in to the server desktop as Administrator? I realize it's in your garage and there is no monitor connected, but you can log in, tell it to never sleep, and unplug all the video connections and everything would stay logged in.

If it seems like I'm trashing the idea of WHS, I assure you I'm really not trying to. There are plenty of reasons for it, but I have an un-testable curiosity about the software architecture of WHS. It's meant to run on reboot, not login, and start everything that you add to it as a service. We all know that you can install chrome, Plex, MCM, or really anything you want just like a W7 box. My mind can't ignore the idea of keeping an admin profile logged in to run those apps (Apps that can't run as a service) uses more power.

The science behind my suspicion is that WHS would sleep the GPU with no profile logged in (only requiring OS drive, CPU, RAM, and NIC) BUT when logged in to a profile it wouldn't be allowed to requiring OS drive, CPU, GPU, RAM, and NIC to be running
Fyi, this is how a run Plex on WHS2011. No need to login. Need AlwaysUp though (\$50).
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571

Fyi, this is how a run Plex on WHS2011. No need to login. Need AlwaysUp though (\$50).

My head can stop spinning a little, thanks

Yes, that is what I'd read otherwise. There is no need for you to PHYSICALLY log in with a keyboard, but that service continually keeps a desktop profile logged in so that you have the ability to use PLEX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer

My head can stop spinning a little, thanks
Yes, that is what I'd read otherwise. There is no need for you to PHYSICALLY log in with a keyboard, but that service continually keeps a desktop profile logged in so that you have the ability to use PLEX

Exactly. AlwaysUp is extremely useful, and I couldn't imagine using WHS 2011 without it (there is a similar program called FireDaemon which I haven't used personally). There's no need to figure out how to run each individual program as a service. Also, I've found that if you run any program in the normal WHS 2011 desktop environment not as a service (using task schedule or some other method), it runs extremely SLOW. Much slower than if you were just using Windows 7. I'm not sure why this is, but basically everything needs to be run as a service in WHS 2011.

I probably have close to 15 programs running on my WHS 2011 box using Always Up. It's very easy to use. The only annoying thing is you always get this message when running programs this way. It appears when you remote desktop into WHS or even launch the dashboard on a client. It's not a big deal though. You can just close it or ignore it.

Edited by lockdown571 - 11/6/12 at 12:25pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer

We're specifically talking about running Plex on WHS 2011. If you are not running that or some other application (like uTorrent) that does not offer an option to "Install as a service" then it does not apply. You never need to log in to the server, even remotely, for it to serve after a reboot.
I find native remote desktop overrated, but that's not really on topic. Teamviewer for free has always accomplished everything I need. WHS offers remote web administration
I'm not caught up on \$40 price tag on WHS. I'm caught up on the idea of wasting power with no return when a W7 box pulling the same power would double as an always on HTPC
Thanks for posting that Assassin. Notice the option says, "Start Plex Media Server at Login"
You are saying that you don't have to login for it to work?? This conflicts with other reports here and here
I'll take your word on it, but are you sure that your not logged in to the server desktop as Administrator? I realize it's in your garage and there is no monitor connected, but you can log in, tell it to never sleep, and unplug all the video connections and everything would stay logged in.
If it seems like I'm trashing the idea of WHS, I assure you I'm really not trying to. There are plenty of reasons for it, but I have an un-testable curiosity about the software architecture of WHS. It's meant to run on reboot, not login, and start everything that you add to it as a service. We all know that you can install chrome, Plex, MCM, or really anything you want just like a W7 box. My mind can't ignore the idea of keeping an admin profile logged in to run those apps (Apps that can't run as a service) uses more power.
The science behind my suspicion is that WHS would sleep the GPU with no profile logged in (only requiring OS drive, CPU, RAM, and NIC) BUT when logged in to a profile it wouldn't be allowed to requiring OS drive, CPU, GPU, RAM, and NIC to be running

You are missing the point of having a server. It allows you to have multiple small HTPCs with NO storage. It also allows you to use it as a central hub for all your other PCs and HTPCs. I used to also be relatively "anti-server" but once you have one you really can't go back. With that being said I will concede that its a luxury item for many.

Now on to the other issue...
I still don't see the confusion with running Plex Server on WHS. Yes, I have it installed. Yes, I leave my server running 24-7 (that's the whole point of a server). No, I don't have to log-in to the server/WHS everytime that I use it. No, there are no issues with using the Plex App when I am out the house. No, there is no keyboard or monitor connected to the server directly. I go weeks or longer without even touching the server even directly or indirectly using my laptop using the RDC.

No idea what you are talking about the log-in or service --- WHS2011 is based on a Windows 7 type environment. Again, no idea about the services or log-in issues you are describing. Again, there is no need to "log-in" every time you use anything --- that would completely negate the reasons of having a server in the first place.

Edit: Also regarding the GPU since the monitor isn't attached why would you even need a GPU?
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin

You are missing the point of having a server. It allows you to have multiple small HTPCs with NO storage. It also allows you to use it as a central hub for all your other PCs and HTPCs. I used to also be relatively "anti-server" but once you have one you really can't go back. With that being said I will concede that its a luxury item for many.
Now on to the other issue...
I still don't see the confusion with running Plex Server on WHS. Yes, I have it installed. Yes, I leave my server running 24-7 (that's the whole point of a server). No, I don't have to log-in to the server/WHS everytime that I use it. No, there are no issues with using the Plex App when I am out the house. No, there is no keyboard or monitor connected to the server directly. I go weeks or longer without even touching the server even directly or indirectly using my laptop using the RDC.
No idea what you are talking about the log-in or service --- WHS2011 is based on a Windows 7 type environment. Again, no idea about the services or log-in issues you are describing. Again, there is no need to "log-in" every time you use anything --- that would completely negate the reasons of having a server in the first place.
Edit: Also regarding the GPU since the monitor isn't attached why would you even need a GPU?

Weird, I thought you needed to login to start Plex. See here. I wonder why all these other people encountered issues and you did not. Also very few Plex channels work via a headless Windows server, because of the way flash and silverlight work. They need a GPU and a monitor connected to the PC to work.
Edited by lockdown571 - 11/6/12 at 6:43pm
Here is the task manager from my WHS server. As you can see I am running Plex and there are no Plex "services" running at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin

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.

+1

I don't have monitor on my server either. In fact I don't even have mouse installed and need to rob it from wife's laptop when I need it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571

Weird, I thought you needed to login to start Plex. See here. I wonder why all these other people encountered issues and you did not. Also very few Plex channels work via a headless Windows server, because of the way flash and silverlight work. They need a GPU and a monitor connected to the PC to work.

My server runs to a second input on my desktop monitor.

Since my desktop runs 24\7 the monitor is never on the server input

My plex runs fine on my server with no monitor.
In fact I just streamed video from server and plex on my iPhone.

I live in MA and currently in Hawaii. That's literally half way around world.

My monitor is definetly not on or hooked up to my server I doubled checked before I left.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571

Fyi, this is how a run Plex on WHS2011. No need to login. Need AlwaysUp though (\$50).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick

In fact I just streamed video from server and plex on my iPhone.
I live in MA and currently in Hawaii. That's literally half way around world.
My monitor is definetly not on or hooked up to my server I doubled checked before I left.

To be clear I was talking about Plex channels with regards to needing a monitor and GPU. Have you tried Netflix, Hulu, Comedy Central, etc.? How did those work? I have no trouble streaming my personal movies around the world either. Those aren't the issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick

Look at the link I showed Assassin. Many people are under the impression that you need to log in to the computer first for Plex to start. I'm not sure why there are conflicting reports. AlwaysUp creates a different session that's automatically logged in, hence why I thought AlwaysUp was necessary for Plex to work.
I too use PLEX with a WHS2011 Server and came across this discussion yesterday. I have Lights out installed on it and do allow the server to hibernate as it is not constantly being accessed even when at home in order to conserve energy on it. Most times when I use WOL to wake the server PLEX will work ok. However at times I do have RDP or Teamviewer into it and log in to my user for PLEX server to respond. I don't physically log out it simply goes into hibernation.

However the server is setup to do backups and automatically update. I suspect that if the server does an update and then requires a reboot it will do so but it won't log back in. So is this perhaps when an issue is occurring? I will have to look at the update log the next time this happens.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick

My server runs to a second input on my desktop monitor.
Since my desktop runs 24\7 the monitor is never on the server input
My plex runs fine on my server with no monitor.

Alrighty, I'll try and explain later

For now . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571

To be clear I was talking about Plex channels with regards to needing a monitor and GPU. Have you tried Netflix, Hulu, Comedy Central, etc.? How did those work? I have no trouble streaming my personal movies around the world either. Those aren't the issue.
Look at the link I showed Assassin. Many people are under the impression that you need to log in to the computer first for Plex to start. I'm not sure why there are conflicting reports. AlwaysUp creates a different session that's automatically logged in, hence why I thought AlwaysUp was necessary for Plex to work.

My mistake.

I don't do any of those things. I use plex only to watch content only on my own server.

Okay, let's take an example that we all share some common ground . . . Mediabrowser on Windows 7

The service - starts when a user profile is logged in and updates the MB cache at scheduled times

The application - maybe this wasn't a great example since MB doesn't have an application, but it's application is technically an instance of WMC. The application requires significantly more resources than the service
Now pretend that you install MB on WHS 2011 . . .

After rebooting the server and arriving at the "Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to login" screen and disconnecting your monitor all of your core installed services would run (including the mediabrowser service)

The app would never run unless you logged in by pressing the key combination, typing password, and launching the app from the WHS 2011 desktop environment
Now on to Plex

According to multiple users from different forums, there is NO plex service

This means that if you lose power to your server, go and physically push the power button on the case to turn it back on, and then never log in . . . that you wouldn't be able to access your plex library

Most workarounds are simply one of the following
• Install something similar to "AlwaysUP" to keep a user profile logged in after every reboot
• Log in to an account on the server, then unplug all video connections to it and leave the profile logged in. (And never lose power )
Also, FWIW

I think I've found something that I find largely interesting (and fortunately they made a translation of the original blog post)

Some fairly proficient electronics person got an i3-530 / MSI-H55 build down to 8.5 W idle with a whole lot of modding

Maybe we are quickly approaching diminishing returns with more power efficient desktop processors, and need to really see more improvements in the chipsets/PSU

He also didn't have very many kind words towards PicoPSU (although in the end, he used one and just modified to his purpose).

To quote the link in regards to picoPSU
Quote:
I've had some experience earlier with the PicoPSU and concluded that it was a good concept, but pretty poorly executed. The yellow picopsu (i.e., the one that runs off 12V, as opposed to the red and blue ones that can run from a wider voltage range) is very much built down to a price with poor soldering quality, poor assembly and apart from the nice ferrite chokes, pretty el cheapo parts

http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/6112/85w-core-i3-based-desktop-computer-%28english%29.html

I'll stop my low power chase for now, but still plan on posting pics when I find that Kill-o-Watt
What's the advantage of a super low power pc ?

At a certain point the electricity cost savings becomes insignificant.

For a couple bucks I'd certainly like the higher performance machine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick

What's the advantage of a super low power pc ?
At a certain point the electricity cost savings becomes insignificant.
For a couple bucks I'd certainly like the higher performance machine.

I'm sure some people do it just for fun, just to see how low they can go. Practically, there doesn't seem to be much of a point these days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571

I'm sure some people do it just for fun, just to see how low they can go. Practically, there doesn't seem to be much of a point these days.

Got it. It's like a hippies version of over clocking. Basically opposite but similar.

Not much point in over clocking either .. Bit people do it to see how far they can take it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick

It's like a hippies version of over clocking.

Haha, brilliant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anikun07

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.

Sounds about right. How old and what kind of fridge?

It's prob efficient.

But 6\$ a month for a fridge sounds reasonable
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick

Sounds about right. How old and what kind of fridge?
It's prob efficient.
But 6\$ a month for a fridge sounds reasonable

It's just a Maytag standard fridge, I think it's from around '98. It came with our house when we bought it. I always thought fridges used a lot of power and never thought much else of it. But it makes perfect sense that it isn't always running, just when it senses the temperature rising.
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