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Thread: How much power does a computer *actually* take?

  1. #1
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    Question How much power does a computer *actually* take?

    I've been trying to figure this out, and I haven't been able to find much at all, nevermind anything useful. I've seen many "well, a HD is 7-14W" and a few actual specs, but by and large I haven't got any actual "hey I just took an ammeter to my computer and here's what I got!" evidence. I don't know what else to do other than to do exactly that.

    Does anyone else know, with some degree of certainty, how much their components take and what type of power supply they have? I know everyone's is going to be different, but it will give a good basis. The other problem is that I see specs, and when I add them up the power supply shouldn't be able to handle the load, but it *does*, so something is obviously incorrect there.

    I think this is a pretty fundamental step to figuring out what type of power supply to build, and I don't think we've done it yet
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

  2. #2
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    Cool

    My setup draws roughly 3.5A at 12V, so that's about 42 watts.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

  3. #3
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    Mine draws 3.5-4Amp with a laptop HDD, a DVD-ROM, a Celeron 800, Delorme Tripmate, X10 Mouse remote and an IR keyboard.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys, that helps!

    Anyone else?

    Also, does anyone know the *breakdown* of their components? I.e. how much on the 3.3V and 5.0V rails?
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

  5. #5
    FLAC Mastero's Avatar
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    hey telek mine pulls say 4amps max on the 12vrail ....

    Hope it helps you !

  6. #6
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    Just whacked a multimeter on my main rails:

    +12V : 0.17A
    +5V : 3.2A
    3.3V : 1.4A

    Setup is as follows:

    BioStar M6TWC motherboard
    VIA C3 800Mhz processor
    2.5" 10gb laptop HDD
    192Mb RAM (128Mb + 64Mb)
    Built-in audo/video
    No CDROM
    No PCI cards

    Since the HDD runs purely on 5V, that explains the low 12v current required. Also, the C3 processor uses very little current compared to other processors at 800Mhz.

    Now I just need an ATX power supply to run this beast

    Spud.

    [ 12-03-2001: Message edited by: spud ]
    VIA C3 800Mhz, 192Mb RAM, 10Gb 2.5" HDD, built-in video & audio, 7" Redant widescreen LCD, Win98Lite, Girder, GPS & street maps of Sydney & Melbourne.
    Spud's Carputer 3PM

  7. #7
    FLAC
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    My setup @ 12V inut peaks at about 5-6A. After bootup it stays at 3-4 amps. Amazing for all the stuff im powering..
    Shuttle FV24, Celeron 667, 128MB RAM,CPU fan, PSU fan, DVD ROM, 30gigHD 7200 rpm, serial pci card, and a MO 20X4 LCD.
    I would love to take measurements off each rail but that's a LOT of trouble. =)
    04 Acura TL w/ core2duo 2ghz laptop w/ 1gb RAM on a docking station.

    Fast car, fast PC. ;)

    http://www.arcdesigns.net/carpc/

    My TL CarPC ver2

    FSR Flash Skin w/ moving weather maps

  8. #8
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    It was a lot of trouble to measure individual rails for me too =)

    Had to basically rewire the power connector to do it ...
    VIA C3 800Mhz, 192Mb RAM, 10Gb 2.5" HDD, built-in video & audio, 7" Redant widescreen LCD, Win98Lite, Girder, GPS & street maps of Sydney & Melbourne.
    Spud's Carputer 3PM

  9. #9
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    thanks a lot Spud, that's the type of info that I wanted. Too bad it's not for more standardized hardware

    moahdib, that's your DC-DC supply so you mean on the input?
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

  10. #10
    FLAC
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    Originally posted by Telek:
    <STRONG>moahdib, that's your DC-DC supply so you mean on the input?</STRONG>
    Yaa, that is the supply I made for him. Do you want one? :-)
    MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
    www.mpegbox.com

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