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  1. #1

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Watt Meter Findings
    So a few months ago I purchased one of those plug-in watt consumption meters. You know...the "gizmo" that you plug into an electrical outlet...then plug a device into it...and it tells you how many watts of electricity the device is using.

    As I mentioned in a previous thread...I sold my 8-core Mac Pro recently...so I measured it's electrical use before selling it...I measured my 1.8ghz dual cpu Powermac G5...and I measured my 2.5ghz Core 2 Duo 17" MacBook Pro...and here were the results:

    Watts used under various conditions:

    1. Mac Pro (8-core 2.26ghz cpu's, 12gig ram, 2 internal HD's, GT-120 video card):

    - Normal operation (web-surfing, e-mail): 130-135 watts
    - Gaming (Runescape): 150-160 watts
    - Benchmark Testing (all 8 cores/16 threads active): 250-260 watts
    - Sleeping: less than 5 watts

    2. Powermac G5 (dual 1.8ghz cpu's, 4 gig ram, 1 internal HD, 64meg video card):

    - Normal operation (web-surfing, e-mail): 130-150 watts (fans would kick into a higher rpm every so often...increasing watts used)
    - All fans kicking into high gear during benchmark testing: 250 watts
    - Sleeping: 24 watts

    3. 17" MacBook Pro (2.5ghz Core 2 Duo, 4 gig ram, 22" external monitor):

    - Normal operation (web-surfing, e-mail): 30-35 watts
    - Gaming (Runescape): 50-55 watts (fans spinning at a high rpm)
    - Benchmark Testing: haven't done this yet, will update later.
    - Sleeping: Too low to measure on the meter.

    Basically the reason why I'm posting this (other than the "techie/nerdy" aspect of just doing it)...was my complete amazement at what a "power-pig" the Powermac G5 is while it's "sleeping". Sure...I know that the Powermac G5's (and the G5 cpu in general) was a real power-pig...but I was amazed how this dual-cpu Powermac G5 was consuming 24+ watts of electricity while sleeping!!!

    Compare this to the 30-35 watts the 17" MacBook Pro uses during "normal" operation...just seems crazy. Also factor in that the 8-core Mac Pro (a very similar BIG desktop computer) registered far less "sleeping watts" than the PM G5.

    Basically the PM G5 almost costs as much to operate while sleeping...as the 17" MBP does while getting some work done!

    - Nick

    p.s. I also measured my wife's 13" MacBook (not as extensively)...it consumes around 30 watts during "normal" operation (web-surfing & e-mail).
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  2. #2

    vansmith's Avatar
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    Oct 19, 2008
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    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    I'm guessing the age and increase in power consumption technology, combined with the fact that the G5 is dual processor machine accounts for much of that. It could also be an architectural difference - I know ARM keeps claiming that their processors use considerably less power than a comparable Intel chip. I don't actually know though - I'm not a physicist.

    I'd be interested to know how much power the new retina MBP uses relative to the standard model.
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  3. #3

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Van, the G5 was a very HOT and high power consummation CPU. The G4's were quite efficient in comparison.

    Thanks Nick for the results.

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    I'm guessing the age and increase in power consumption technology, combined with the fact that the G5 is dual processor machine accounts for much of that. It could also be an architectural difference - I know ARM keeps claiming that their processors use considerably less power than a comparable Intel chip. I don't actually know though - I'm not a physicist.
    Everything you said is true...my amazement was how many watts the dual cpu PM G5 used while sleeping (24+ watts). Since (in theory) the device is totally powered down (except for the pulsing sleep light)...24+ watts is a lot. Compare this to the 30-35 watts the MBP uses during operation.

    The Mac Pro (while sleeping) was only consuming around 5 watts.

    Maybe (for some reason) the PM G5's power supply (by design) isn't totally shut down when sleeping.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Nick, it's that Pulsing light! Joking but many who have seen Macs sleep though that the light pulsing was it's heartbeat!

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    May 20, 2008
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    Nick, it's that Pulsing light! Joking but many who have seen Macs sleep though that the light pulsing was it's heartbeat!
    The PM G5 must have a REALLY big heart, compared to an 8-core Mac Pro!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
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    Modesto, Ca.
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    28,867
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    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    The PM G5 must have a REALLY big heart, compared to an 8-core Mac Pro!

    - Nick
    Maybe it has a coronary blockage because of it's age and it's having to beat harder to keep the Water Cooling fluid flowing!

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