Low Energy PC Testing

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30 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 5 μήνες)

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Low Energy PC
Testing

Investigating PC Power
Consumption

Information Technology

Taree TAFE

Low Energy PC Testing

Objective:


Test the power consumption and performance of a
personal computer based on a low energy
motherboard.



Low Power System:


Based on Via MM3500
(Microprocessor on
Motherboard) system
using Via C7
-
D 1.5GHz
Processor.





Low Energy PC Testing

Test Parameters:



Tests carried out on the low energy PC and a standard
desktop PC of equivalent power.


Both machines loaded with the same software.


Performance testing carried out using benchmarking
software to measure performance and to load the machine
for power consumption readings.


Power consumption measured using a mains power meter
.


Low Energy PC Testing

Via MM3500

Compaq EVO D500

CPU

VIA C7
-
D 1.5GHz

Intel Pentium 4
-

1.6GHz

Chipset

VIA CN896 +
VT8237A

Intel 845

RAM

1GB DDRII

256MB PC133

Video

VIA Chrome9 HC
DX9 IGP

nVidia Vanta 16MB 3D
AGP4x

Disk

20GB IDE

20GB IDE

CD Drive

CD/DVD ROM

CD
-
ROM

Test Systems (Hardware):



Common Equipment:


IBM ThinkVision 17 inch Flat screen monitor


4GB Memory Stick (Dick Smith Electronics)


Low Energy PC Testing

Test Systems (Software):


Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 2)


OpenOffice.org 2.4.0 Office Suite


PassMark Performance Test 6.1

Power Monitoring:


MS6115 LCD Main Power Monitor (Jaycar Electronics)

Low Energy PC Testing

Configuration 1

Win XP USB/CD

Configuration 2

Win XP HDD/CD

Configuration 3

Win XP HDD

Hard Disk

No

Yes

Yes

CD Drive

Yes *

Yes

No

Memory Stick

Yes **

No

No

VIA MM3500 Test Configurations:

Notes:

*
Windows

XP would not boot correctly from the USB
memory stick without the CD drive connected (further
study required)

**

USB memory stick formatted with NTFS and full Windows
XP SP2 loaded using standard installation from CD

Low Energy PC Testing

Power Consumption (System Unit):

Configuration 1
-

Win XP USB/CD:

Notes:

‘HDD Off’ and ‘Hibernate’ do not apply to the VIA system
(no hard disk present)

Low Energy PC Testing

Power Consumption (System Unit):

Configuration 2
-

Win XP HDD/CD:

Low Energy PC Testing

Power Consumption (System Unit):

Configuration 3
-

Win XP HDD:

Notes:

‘Running CD’ Tests does not apply to the VIA system (no
CD Drive present)

Low Energy PC Testing

Power Consumption (Full System):

Configuration 3
-

Win XP HDD (IBM ThinkVision 17in monitor)

Low Energy PC Testing

Power Consumption (System Unit):

Comparison


Via Configurations

Low Energy PC Testing

Performance (PassMark):

Configuration 1
-

Win XP USB/CD:

Low Energy PC Testing

Performance (PassMark):

Configuration 2
-

Win XP HDD/CD:

Low Energy PC Testing

Performance (Subjective Measures):


The VIA system was loaded with OpenOffice.org 2.4.0 office suite and tested
on typical office tasks such as word processing and Internet browsing.


The system performed adequately doing these tasks, with the only noticeable
delay occurring when running using the USB memory only. In this case the
system was much slower with disk operations, as would be expected.


System boot times were also noticeably longer when using the USB memory
only.

Low Energy PC Testing

Monitor Power Consumption:


IBM
ThinkVision
17in Flat
Screen

Diamond View
17in CRT
Monitor

HP 1502
15in Flat
Screen

Off (Front Panel
Switch)

7

0

7

On
-

Standby

7

7

7

On
-

Operating

30

50

24

Note that the flat screen monitors still used the same amount of power
when turned off as they do in standby mode.



Low Energy PC Testing

Conclusions:


All configurations of the VIA MM3500 based system achieved significant
power savings over a ‘conventional’ machine configuration of
approximately equal power. The power saving was between 30 and 50
percent for the system as a whole, and between 40 and 60 percent for
the system unit.


While using a USB memory stick to boot and run Windows XP Pro
allowed the removal of the hard disk, the amount of power saved was
not sufficient (approx 3
-
4 watts) to make this option practical due to the
extremely slow disk performance of the USB memory.


The CD drive required more power to operate than the hard disk and
could be more easily replaced with other devices such as external CD
drives or USB devices.


The most effective configuration would be with a low power hard disk
and no CD drive. Attention should also be paid to the power
consumption of the monitor as this was a major contributor to the overall
system power requirements.



Low Energy PC Testing

Resources:


The steps for installing Windows XP Pro onto a USB memory stick are given
here
http://www.ngine.de/index.jsp?pageid=4176

.


A useful utility for formatting USB memory as NTFS is this one from HP
http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=197


Other useful tools for manipulating the USB boot sectors are ‘TestDisk‘
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download

and ‘mkbt’
http://www.nu2.nu/mkbt/


The performance benchmarking software used was PassMark Performance
Test 6.1 (trial version)
http://www.passmark.com/download/pt_download.htm


Contact: Terry Wade, Taree TAFE,
terry.wade@tafensw.edu.au