Saturday 11 July 2009

Measuring Power Consumption

I got hold of a plug-in mains power and energy monitor several weeks ago to get some idea of the power consumed by various PCs, Servers and Laptops. This has worked out quite effective to seeing how I can save power on a Xeon Server and a Desktop PC, but has proved less rewarding for lower power devices such as Atom based netbooks.

At the moment I am using a Maplin 2000MU and at £14.99 is good value for money. It measures Voltage, Amps, Watts, Volt-Amps, mains frequency and Power Factor (PF). The manual for this device can be found here.

For low power devices it lacks fine resolution, hence it's not been valuable in measuring hibernate or suspend power on laptops and netbooks. Overall I would give it 7 out of 10 just because is lacks the fine precision I need. However, it's been useful to help me tweak the settings on my server and to see just how much power my laser printer consumes when its busy!

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