Power Reduction

I thought I’d add a minor update for my Linux ‘Typhoon‘ server regarding power consumption, given that reducing it’s noise, power and also increasing storage space was the goal of the recent updates.

Here are my wholly unscientific findings, based on my Watt checker over a couple of hours.

Functional rest at the desktop:  was ~80 Watts, down to ~60W (-25%)

Being used normally  on desktop: was ~90-100 Watts, down to ~68W (-32%)

Peaks during high CPU/HDD use: was ~115 Watts, down to ~75W (-35%)

I think that’s a pretty successful outcome to say it is quieter and such. It’s still much, much lower powered than I thought, and I’m sure the ‘new’ HDD and the ATI card are mainly responsible for that power drop.

The Big Box Dilemma

Like most people, geeks, freaks, I have more than one computer. I don’t want to go into that right now. it’d be a longer post.  Over the last couple of years I’ve thinned the herd such that I now have only one ‘big box’. As I write, the details are here, but for the sake of click saving, it’s roughly this:

Athlon64 3700, DFI gaming mobo, 2GB RAM, 256MB nVidia6800GS.

I built it in December 2005 as an acceptable games rig. In the end, it got older, as did I, and thanks to family, an XBOX 360 and a PS3, I don’t really game on the PC at all now. About 18 months ago, this became my Linux server with a plug-in eSATA Windows drive for gaming. At some point in the meantime, I’ve lost that drive. The issue with home servers is that I need it quieter, and to use as little power as possible when it’s on (not 24/7), thus I did some quick power checks:

Functional rest at the desktop: ~80 Watts

Being used normally  on desktop: ~90-100 Watts

Peaks during high CPU/HDD use: ~115Watts.

This is all a lot lower than I expected, but it is still a little loud. The are two main fans which make the noise – a 120mm front fan and a 100mm rear fan, with the graphics card a little behind them.

I was thinking of getting an EeeBox or similar, but honestly, I think I can cure the noise for less than 10,000yen:

1) Replace the fans with new, slower turning quieter fans for about 6,000yen.

2) Replace the 6800GS with it’s Arctic Cooling fan with a passively cooled card for ~ 4,000yen.

I’ve already played with OS and BIOS settings, so all things being equal, I’m hoping this will make for a quieter, lower power server.

(Caveat: I know spending money on a 3.5yr machine is odd, but I think it does have a few years left. Also, the 6800GS is quite big – the newer card will be smaller, and thus maybe help heatflow also. It’s 25% the price of an Eeebox.)

Power Outage in Tokyo

It seems this morning that Tokyo had it’s biggest power outage ever – potentially 800,000 households according to the BBC. Unfortunately, yours truly here (somewhat thankfully) has no story to tell as our area was unaffected. Indeed, at 0738 this morning when the power-cut happened, I think I was waiting for the bus.

Still, it seems a fair few people were affected, though I find it hard to believe that there was truly chaos as Reuters claim. Although Reuters did seem to claim that a spokesperson stopped the Tokyo Stock Exchange:

The Tokyo Stock Exchange was trading as usual, but calculations of the Nikkei 225-share average were frozen by early afternoon trade due to a system error related to the power cut in a spokesman at the index compiler, Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

People familiar will know that the TSE computers go do every now and then anyway.

Actually, with it being the Obon holidays, there aren’t as many people around as normal. Certainly that means more work for some, but I still didn’t get one hint of chaos all morning. Indeed colleagues stuck on trains and waiting for trains at stations said it was all very orderly as one would expect, as in similar to when someone jumps in front of a train (sad, but true).

Wait till they release the truth that it was Godzilla and not a crane accident which caused the outage.