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Old 11-16-2004, 05:14 AM   #1
bucovaina78
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Hardware power saving


I've a fanless PC, the problem is, it gets warm but it runs nicely. My question is, what components should I use that consume very little power so the power supply doesn't heat (no it doesn't have a fan either). The main concern is that it doesn't overheat and causes a fire.

I'm now running DSL linux from CD but I'm planning to install that on an USB (less power). Now it's only a mainboard, a network card a video card a floppy (and OK some RAM and an underclocked CPU) But what else can I do to reduce the power consumption?

1. Should I underclock it as much as possible?
2. Do I use SD ram or older DIMMS (its an old mainbord, I can choose)
3. Do I use the least possible RAM or doesn't it really matter
4. I have a PCI netw card and an ISA netw card the pci is 10/100 the ISA 10mbit. Whats propably the one that uses the least power.
5. Do I use a low end video card? Now it's a PCI matrox millennium, at that time it was a high end so I suppose it uses a lot of current.
6. Any other suggestions?

7. are there somewhere on the internet pages that handle this kind of problem?

Thx

Wannes
 
Old 11-16-2004, 06:20 AM   #2
Xolo
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Use some decent cooling blocks on things that heat up a fair bit (like the processor or video card gpu), copper is a good heat conductor. perhaps buying a copper based heatsink is too expensive, but having a look around at a scrapyard may bring in something that could be turned into a nice heatsink..
RAM doesn't heat much.. it's the processor, video card (when using X especially), and the fanless power box that you should look over. the ISA card may take a little more power than the PCI card, but i'm not sure. older technology isn't as savvy at powersaving as today's technology as far as I know.

just a few thoughts.. i've done a small project like that before although I didn't cut the fan out of the powerbox (I did replace it for a smaller low current processor fan though). I did use a monstrously big heatsink on the processor of my router so I could take the fan out, and the rest is 'natural air flow' cooling through the ventilation holes in the metal case.

Last edited by Xolo; 11-16-2004 at 06:22 AM.
 
Old 11-16-2004, 08:06 AM   #3
bucovaina78
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I do have a huge heat sink (aluminium i think) but it doesn't fit my Pentium I, I think it's a PII heat sink, should glue work fine or is this not really a solution? If it is, I propably can clock it up again to 166 (it's a 233mhz downclocked to 133 now) or maybe even 200
 
Old 11-16-2004, 11:56 AM   #4
Xolo
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Use some thermal conductive compound rather than regular glue, just glue could damage your processor a small tube of compound shouldn't be more than a few bucks. you should be able to run fine with a big heatsink like that on a higher speed as well, I have a PIII/500 here with an aluminium fanless heatsink that is about 15cm x 10cm x 4cm in measurement, and it didn't burn up yet in the three years it's been running
 
Old 11-16-2004, 12:17 PM   #5
bucovaina78
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attaching the heat sink

But how do I make sure the heatsink won't fall off without glue? It's a really great heatsink only it doesn't fit my processor . Anyway I'm gonna try to use regular glue there are pieces of the cpu that won't touch the heatsink anyway so, ...
By the way did you underclock your 500Mhz?

Wannes
 
Old 11-16-2004, 01:44 PM   #6
Xolo
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if the processor socket has any hooks on it/near it, try using metal wire (wire with a plastic coat, that is) to strap it in place. the thermal compound is fairly sticky too, so don't use too much and press the heatsink to the processor. The PIII is running at it's native speed, I didn't do anything to it. I let Linux take care of making the processor not waste any cycles It's running fairly cool at about 30 degrees centigrade. (Better than Windows which put it at 45c - 50c)
 
Old 11-17-2004, 11:44 AM   #7
bucovaina78
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Athlon

Well small change in the experiment, yesterday eve, I blew all the fuses because, yeah I was really being stupid, ... so the mobo of the pI is destroyed, now I use a athlon

Now I'm running on an athlon xp and when I underclock it (from 1600 to 10xxmhz) it still heats up to 67deg celcius, i didn't try it any further. I know that AMDs have more thermal issues but what's the max temp of an athlon? I'm not gonna blow another cpu or mobo so I ask it before trying. My mobo has an option to halt the system at critical temps, the max is 95 (celcius, almost boiling water) but I don't believe I can use my cpu as a water boiler .

Wannes SMet
 
Old 11-17-2004, 03:54 PM   #8
Xolo
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I think any CPU's thermal breakpoint is around 100c, if the temperature stays on it like that (Which is just a guess, i've burned my fingers on one once so it's not all that accurate! )
maybe watercooling is an idea?
 
Old 11-17-2004, 04:41 PM   #9
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The only way to really tell if something is drawing more current is to put an analog multimeter (set to measure current) in series with the 5v 12v and any other supplies then swap things around and see what happens.
The rated temperature of most semiconductors is around 70 degrees centigrade, so 100 degrees is about the limit.
 
Old 11-17-2004, 07:59 PM   #10
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I am always looking into this kinda thing... so I will point you over to an article that I find very interesting.

The trick is under-volting the CPU. . .
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article33-page1.html

Enjoy!
 
Old 11-18-2004, 05:28 AM   #11
bucovaina78
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This is a great article, I tried it once to underclock my athlonxp and the temperature didn't really drop, but now I think it's the voltage I didn't decrease. Really thanks for this article,

Anyway I tried to underclock my athlon and when I did so, I restarted the computer and it acted like there was no processor present. I had to reset the BIOS in order to get it running again. The only thing I adapted was the multiplier (I think from 10 to 6) and the bus speed is normally 133mhz and it was on 100, what should be the solution to this one? 'caus I think you can underclock cpu's without any problem. I thought it couldn't do any harm.

Wannes
 
  


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