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New Computers Power Consumption

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Apr 7, 2009
This thread has potential application for an office with 11 to 15 networked computers.

An office's computers are about 6 to eight years old. The computers are unmodified branded machines (HP, Dell, Compaq, Gateway, etc.). I am uncertain of their current power consumption.

Payments for power consumption of the office (including lights, printers, etc.) are a recurring significant cost.

These days it seems that the computer industry is pushing many-core processors, many-core GPUs, and kilowatt power supplies.

Do new (of the date of this posting) computers tend to require more power to perform at stock speeds?

Is there likely cost savings for replacing older computers with newer computers?


Trashcan Man Member
Nov 25, 2008
If you get a new normal branded computer it will probably pull either the same or slightly more power than the old ones, but it will be much, much faster. New processors also have better power saving features so if the computers sit around doing nothing a lot, the will have a better chance of using less power than the old computers.


Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Dec 15, 2008
Generally speaking less or about the same. Performance per watt is significantly different though. Look at the old P4 prescotts. Single core and IIRC, 125 or 140W consumption. Now Intel QUAD cores are 95W (Penryn).

Old Thrashbarg

Sep 26, 2007
I measured these awhile back, just to give you an idea:

Dell Optiplex GX260, 2.26ghz Northwood P4, Geforce2 GTS, 2 x 40GB HD. 50W idle, ~60-70W when doing average stuff like loading a web page or whatever, and around 120W under full load encoding a video. I would say that's about the norm for the average office-type P4 system, as other grey Dells like the GX270 and GX280 fall into the same range (maybe up to 20W more under load, depending on CPU, but similar idle draw).

Dell Optiplex GX1, 600mhz Katmai PIII, 40GB HD, onboard video. 37W idle, spikes up to 45-50 when doing much of anything, 50-60W when rendering graphics-heavy web pages and such, an about 90W while encoding video. This should cover pretty much any PIII-class office system, since it has one of the most power hungry PIII CPUs, and a presumably rather inefficient SFF PSU, so even machines with dedicated graphics cards and more HDs probably aren't going to draw much more than this.

So as far as cost savings, it really depends on what the machines will be doing, but chances are, it's not worth replacing them all outright. Being that they are becoming rather old, I'd say the best course of action would be to leave them as they are until they break down, and only then replace them with efficient modern equipment.


Apr 7, 2009
OK. Thanks.

Current computers shall be used until replacement is necessary.