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Old 01-24-2009, 12:09 AM   #1
brianpbarnes
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Electricity cost per month to run Ubuntu ws/server 24/7?


Hi,
My electric bill shows a cost of 7.8 cents per kwhr. How much does it cost me to run my Ubuntu workstation/server all day every day for a month?

System:
Asus P5Q3 mobo
8, 7200 RPM, 1 10,000 RPM hard drives totaling ~7 TB
4 GB ddr3, 1.7V, Patriot
Q9550, 2.83 GHz, quad core cpu
ATI (MSI) 4850/512 MB video card
30 inch, 4 MPix Samsung 305T monitor
80% power supply efficiency

How much does it cost me to run this beast 24/7 (or at least while I am awake)?

The Antec power supply calculator at http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine gives me almost 600 Watts as as minimum for my system. I selected a 750W PSU (and the system is very stable [while running Ubuntu ]).

600W * 24 hr/day * 30 day * .078 $ / kw.hr 1kW/1000w / .8 = $42.12

This is without the monitor which draws roughly 130W. Guesstimate $50/month for the system.

At 10% interest (0.833%/month) with 12, $50 payments per year, this amounts to $628 in electricity costs per year.

How much more will I wind up paying in hard drive/memory/mobo/video/etc costs as my components age from being on 24/7? Will a total, net-net-net cost of close to $90/month be my actual out of pocket expense on a year by year basis?

Would perhaps $720/year be a reasonable estimate if it's on while I am awake?

What is my total cost of ownership of this system in electricity and hardware burnout per month?

BrianP
 
Old 01-24-2009, 05:03 AM   #2
maroonbaboon
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Hard to predict the actual power consumption. It depends how heavily the system is used and what kinds of power-saving are enabled. But it will be nothing like 600W steady consumption. I would guess < 100W average over 24 hours, without the monitor. And you are certainly not going to use the monitor 24/7 are you?

Maybe > 100W average if you are using the CPU/video card/disk really heavily.

EDIT: just noticed the 8 drives. Maybe change 100W to 160W or so in the above.

Many reports come from using a power meter gadget called a Kill-a-Watt. If you google that with other likely search terms you should see a lot of examples.

Last edited by maroonbaboon; 01-24-2009 at 08:18 AM. Reason: correction.
 
Old 01-24-2009, 08:26 AM   #3
jlinkels
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The costs per kWh you specify are outrageaously low. That might be the reason that PC manufacturers are not really motivated by building low powerd PC's and that three American companies, Microsoft, Intel and AMD mainly focus on more features in software and faster processors.

Your electricity costs might be around $8-$10 / month. The cost for the environment of hundred thousands of such systems is much larger though.

I am not blaming YOU, I have one server running 24/7 at home as well, and about 10 of these at my company. Yes, that is a small company compared to those who have hundreds of servers.

But then again, my electricity price is about $0.20-$0.25/kWh given the current crude price.

At my home I will replace my server this year with a low power Intel Atom system, at the office most new computers are Atoms as well.

jlinkels
 
Old 01-24-2009, 08:48 AM   #4
renjithrajasekaran
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Wow ... That's a really neat system config you got there brianpbarnes ... RESPECT !!!

Linux Archive

Last edited by renjithrajasekaran; 01-25-2009 at 03:01 AM.
 
Old 01-24-2009, 08:59 AM   #5
r3sistance
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Why do you even need such a highly specced machine? Personally I think it's better to keep servers and workstations as seperate things, They tend to conflict else wise... as for power consumption, the fact your using ubuntu or not I don't think here is going to cause that much of a difference.
 
Old 01-24-2009, 10:30 AM   #6
esaym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianpbarnes View Post
Hi,
My electric bill shows a cost of 7.8 cents per kwhr. How much does it cost me to run my Ubuntu workstation/server all day every day for a month?

System:
Asus P5Q3 mobo
8, 7200 RPM, 1 10,000 RPM hard drives totaling ~7 TB
4 GB ddr3, 1.7V, Patriot
Q9550, 2.83 GHz, quad core cpu
ATI (MSI) 4850/512 MB video card
30 inch, 4 MPix Samsung 305T monitor
80% power supply efficiency

How much does it cost me to run this beast 24/7 (or at least while I am awake)?

The Antec power supply calculator at http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine gives me almost 600 Watts as as minimum for my system. I selected a 750W PSU (and the system is very stable [while running Ubuntu ]).

600W * 24 hr/day * 30 day * .078 $ / kw.hr 1kW/1000w / .8 = $42.12

This is without the monitor which draws roughly 130W. Guesstimate $50/month for the system.

At 10% interest (0.833%/month) with 12, $50 payments per year, this amounts to $628 in electricity costs per year.

How much more will I wind up paying in hard drive/memory/mobo/video/etc costs as my components age from being on 24/7? Will a total, net-net-net cost of close to $90/month be my actual out of pocket expense on a year by year basis?

Would perhaps $720/year be a reasonable estimate if it's on while I am awake?

What is my total cost of ownership of this system in electricity and hardware burnout per month?

BrianP
First of all those calculators are very liberal. You could easily get away with a 400 watt psu. The lower the wattage of the psu, the lower the power consumption of the psu it self. It takes power to run the internal circuits of the psu. Most psu's that I have draw from 5-10 watts with nothing plugged into the psu, I am sure a 700 watt model would draw many more.

Here is what I think you are drawing
Hard drives :
idle: 9 watts x 9 drives= 81 watts
max: 12 watts x 9 drives= 108 watts
http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/data...da_7200_10.pdf
(don't know if you have Seagate drives, their data should be similar to other manufactures)

CPU:
Idle 10 watts
load 95 watts
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...40,2114-7.html

Video card
This is tricky since I can't find idle power draw of the card it self anywhere max is stated as 110 watts so maybe idle will be 1/4 that? 27watts?

Idle 27 watts
Max 110 watts:

Mother board
typical 20 watts

Total idle load 138 watts
Max power load with all hard drives active seeking 333 watts
Max load with hard drives idle 306 watts

If this system is idle most of the time then I would bet that you are looking at less than $5 a month on your bill.

Of course for real numbers you need to buy one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882715001

It can measure kw/h. Let it run for a week straight and see how many kw you have used and then times that number by 52 weeks to get the yearly kw's and then times that by your kw rate and you will have your yearly cost

Last edited by esaym; 01-24-2009 at 10:33 AM.
 
Old 01-24-2009, 11:25 AM   #7
i92guboj
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As said by others, it's a hard thing to guess.

Lots of things can influence this, even the theming (obviously a black desktop theme or a text console produces much less light, the less light the screen irradiates the less power it will consume).

I have a question for you: is this really going to be a server or is it just a desktop machine where you are going to run some server daemons? I ask because there's no reason why you usually would use that kind of graphic card into a server. A passive card which doesn't need active cooling and doesn't need a current plug either will waste much less power. You don't need 3d acceleration on a server at all unless you are doing a very specific card.

For the rest, just make sure that your chipset is well supported so it can use all the power saving goodies, and make sure you don't use useless things like an opengl screensaver. If that's truly a server you don't even need to have your monitor on most of the time, only when doing admin stuff, which you could also do via ssh completely removing the need for a head.
 
Old 01-24-2009, 01:41 PM   #8
brianpbarnes
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maroonbaboon: <Many reports come from using a power meter gadget called a Kill-a-Watt>
At only $18 for real-time volts, amps, power factor, etc, it's a useful toy!
I need the same type of thing for batteries to measure total capacity per cell. I burn through a lot of rechargeable batteries and have to measure frequently to filter out weaklings which can bring an entire device down.

========

jlinkels: <my electricity price is about $0.20-$0.25/kWh>
I just checked my bill from the city of austin: $0.035 for the first 500kWh, then $0.0782. However, I just noticed a "fuel charge" of $0.03653 so the total is about 11˝ ˘ / kWh. You're getting hosed.

========

r3sistance: <Why do you even need such a highly specced machine?>
I have Bunyanesque data processing needs and an abbreviated attention span.
For each of ~1000 old CDs and DVDs I have archived over 15 years, I:
- calculate an MD5 signature
- resize to web size and store it in a database
- Create a thumbnail again for the database
- Reduce to one pixel to read the average RGB.
- I also need to transcode NEF to JPG which is a massive CPU load on 20 MB files.

And, the faster I get my work done the sooner I can go out and play!

I also shoot pictures by the thousand, sometimes 600+ in 1 day. I always shoot raw (.NEF) and I need them to snap onto the screen to get them processed expeditiously. Again, short attention span.

I also have a windoz xp boot drive so I can play video games on that hard core video card with everything cranked up all the way. Very sweet! A lot of my favorite programs don't run well (if at all) with Wine, so I run xp in a VirtualBox, another titanic CPU hog. For Photoshop, I have to reboot to XP because it only runs on 1/2 CPU in VirtualBox (feels like pentium II speed which is aggravatingly slow).

I run a Suse 11 server 24/7 in my living room. Even though I have a badass RAID 5 controller with battery backup and hardware XOR, I only trust machine to machine backup. And, if my Vulcan server craters, I can substitute this Godzilla workstation until I can patch Vulcan up again while I use my dumb old xp dual core backup workstation.

========

esaym: What a very thorough analysis! Are you an electrical engineer? Thanks for the Kill-A-Watt link. Next Newegg order, I will definitely slip one in.

========

i92guboj: <is this really going to be a server or is it just a desktop machine where you are going to run some server daemons?>
I keep 1 production server, Vulcan, in my living room (because it is too noisy to sleep with in my laboratory/bedroom). I dump all of my oldest hardware on it including a very cheesy, old, low power video card. Since the drives are old, I use RAID 5 or RAID 1 for robustness. I need a maximum workstation to get things done fast. I often max out all 4 CPUs and have my whole monster case dancing when writing from 1 large array to another. It sounds like a washing machine out of balance!

==============================================================

But Wait! There is another cost nobody mentioned, WASTE HEAT. Right now, I can keep the central heat off and keep my lab heated with just this workstation cranking. It has dragon breath coming out the back, even though the mobo, memory, cpu and video card all use the newer, smaller 45nm or 55nm manufacturing process. In the summer time, I will be 10 degrees over the outside temp so I had to install a high efficiency air conditioner which I speced at 3x the size recommended by square footage alone. At 100 degrees outside, it runs with a 60% to 70% duty cycle. For every Watt-hour you burn in your computer, it probably takes 2 to AC it outside.

It looks like my original 600W guesstimate is probably pretty close in the Summer which lasts 9 months here in Austin. Adding in the sneaky "fuel charge", I am probably looking at roughly $1000 per year. Yikes!


The reason for all this accounting is to calculate to total cost of ownership of Ubuntu vs. dumb old windoz. I already own xp and pay $40/year in antivirus software. I see that if suspend/hibernate worked, I would be saving roughly $350/year in electricity.

With braindead xp, when I hit the "halfmoon" button, it just magically goes to sleep and miraculously reawakens in seconds at the touch of any key. It costs me roughly 15 minutes per day to shutdown and reboot when I have to restart all of my programs including up to 20 editor sessions (I do a lot of software development). If I need to Photoshop one or 2 pictures, I can scrape by in VirtualBox, but if I need to do hundreds, it is infinitely faster to just reboot to xp.

I only have 2 programs which limp along in Wine, Picasa and Beyond Compare. For everything else, I have to use VirtualBox which takes me back to Pentium/single core speed which wastes a great deal of time not to mention being a constant, nagging aggravation.


Ubuntu is turning into a beautiful girlfriend with questionable personal hygiene and cigarette breath who doesn't do "special favors"; marginally worth keeping around. I would love to have OS X Leopard, but I would hate to pay $8000 on their exorbitantly overpriced hardware to get the raw power I am currently enjoying.

I am thinking about going back to xp and putting ubuntu in a box! Please, somebody talk me out of it. ;(

BrianP
 
Old 01-24-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
maroonbaboon
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Wow - I wondered what what all that hardware might be used for. Have you thought of ducting the exhaust straight out of the room?

I also use linux for digital photography, as I just don't have Windows at all. I hesitate to make suggestions to someone obviously far more experienced than me in this area, but I really like the batch processing possibilies of linux for dealing with RAW files:

http://www.mulebakken.net/notes/dcraw-workflow/

http://jcornuz.wordpress.com/2007/10...h-batch-power/

which are some compensation for the lack of a 16bit Photoshop substitute.
 
Old 01-25-2009, 07:09 AM   #10
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianpbarn
At 100 degrees outside, it runs with a 60% to 70% duty cycle. For every Watt-hour you burn in your computer, it probably takes 2 to AC it outside.
No, it takes about 1/3 to 1/2 of a Watt to transfer one Watt to the outside.

An airconditioner of 12,000 BTU has a rating of 1200-1500 Watts. 12,000 is equivalent with 3500 Watts Thermal.

So to get one Watt out, it'll cost you 15/35 Watts electrical power.

jlinkels
 
Old 01-26-2009, 07:39 AM   #11
esaym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianpbarnes View Post

========

esaym: What a very thorough analysis! Are you an electrical engineer? Thanks for the Kill-A-Watt link. Next Newegg order, I will definitely slip one in.

========
No not really I just like to build efficient computers
 
Old 01-26-2009, 12:41 PM   #12
brianpbarnes
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3.16 units of heat pumped per unit of work energy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
No, it takes about 1/3 to 1/2 of a Watt to transfer one Watt to the outside.

An airconditioner of 12,000 BTU has a rating of 1200-1500 Watts. 12,000 is equivalent with 3500 Watts Thermal.

So to get one Watt out, it'll cost you 15/35 Watts electrical power.

jlinkels
==================================================

jlinkel,

By looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_conditioner, I see that your estimate was right on the money! I looked at my AC's EER, converted to COP (Coefficient Of Performance) and got 3.16. So, if I am reading this right, my unit can move about Pi units of heat for every unit of electricity input. Very good to know. Think of all the money I am saving!

Thanks!

BrianP
 
Old 01-26-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
jlinkels
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Cool! (Pun intended)

I should learn to look up a Wiki and posting that link before I write something like that myself. Never knew about the SEER before, the figures I have are from calculation and measurements. But it is a highy

The article is optimistic. Two yours ago we installed a new 120,000 BTU unit at our company which draws 16 kW. That comes to a SEER of 7.5! The 16 kW is not what the type plate says for the rating, it is measured. We measure the power draw to know if the gas pressure is correct.

Only with the latest model chilled water units (comparitively large: 350,000 BTU) we reach a SEER of 10.8.



jlinkels
 
  


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