Power usage software?

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Nov 15, 2003, 5:42:34 PM11/15/03
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Is there a piece of software (hopefully freeware too!) that can calculate
the system's current power usage in watts, etc? I know some programs tell
you what the current voltages are, etc, but I'm more after a power usage
monitor that can show you if your system is on the cusp of draining more
power than the power supply is built for.

Thanks.


ChrisJ9876

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Nov 15, 2003, 6:35:14 PM11/15/03
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>Subject: Power usage software?
>From: "-" nos...@nospam.com
>Date: 11/15/2003 5:42 PM Eastern Standard Time
>Message-id: <bp6a4e$5qe$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>
Funny you should ask. Another thread just prior to your post was aking a
similar question. One of the replies to that had just what you're looking for.
Here's a copy/paste of that reply:

Subject: Re: electricity usage
From: "John McGaw" now...@all.xyz
Date: 11/15/2003 5:47 PM Eastern Standard Time
Message-id: <i1ytb.11309$oo....@bignews4.bellsouth.net>


BTW, if you want to know how much energy you are using (and how I know that
my water dispenser uses $1.17 and my dishwasher $2.35) you might be
interested in digital power meters such as the ones made by Brand.
http://www.brandelectronics.com/ I use one of their portable plug-in units.
Does the fact that they sell units with a computer interface make this
posting on-topic? ;-)
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]

DaveW

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Nov 15, 2003, 6:42:54 PM11/15/03
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Not that I'm aware of.

--
DaveW

"-" <nos...@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:bp6a4e$5qe$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk...

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Nov 15, 2003, 6:44:58 PM11/15/03
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> interested in digital power meters such as the ones made by Brand.
> http://www.brandelectronics.com/ I use one of their portable plug-in
units.

Interesting, but not quite what I was after - I'm after a software only
solution that can show total computer usage = x watts then maybe breakdown
that USB usage = x watts, cpu = x watts, memory = x watts, etc so that I can
see just where all the power is going to and where I ought to notice where I
might be stressing the system too much based on my power supply limitations.


Lane Lewis

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Nov 15, 2003, 6:45:50 PM11/15/03
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"-" <nos...@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:bp6a4e$5qe$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk...

Not with current motherboards which have no way of sensing power usage.
Always buy a PSU that is larger than all your componants by at least 30
percent combined and it should be no problem.

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

Lane

-

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Nov 15, 2003, 7:44:10 PM11/15/03
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> Not with current motherboards which have no way of sensing power usage.
> Always buy a PSU that is larger than all your componants by at least 30
> percent combined and it should be no problem.
>
> http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

Thanks for the explanation and the link - that really goes some way to
helping understand what it is I'm after. I'm currently using a 400w supply
and the recommended minimum supply it came up with was 296w, which means I'm
safe for the time being.

Thanks again.


kony

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Nov 15, 2003, 9:57:53 PM11/15/03
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There's no way to come close to an accurate reading with just
software, would be more of a guess.

With a moderate loading on the power supply the rails should
stabilize, and you'll have a baseline reading. As the power supply
load increases beyond it's capacity, the voltage on the overloaded
rail will drop. At that point the power supply tried to compensate,
and to keep that inadequate rail voltage high, it will raise the other
voltage rails. So the symptom whould be a signficant deviation from
moderate load, EITHER too high or too low. This is ignoring a lot of
things, assuming at least a power supply of somewhat fair quality.

However, the voltage readings cannot come from the motherboard.
Motherboard voltage readings can only accurately indicate the voltage
level at that exact point in the circuit at which the reading is
taken, which might be near enough to actual power supply output, but
is often below that. Use of a voltage meter on the power supply leads
is necessary to take a more accurate reading.

If your 400W PSU is quality name-brand unit, the odds are you won't be
able to overload it very easily, not with CPU, memory, video card or
drive upgrades, unless you had a special circumstance like dual CPU,
multiple high-end video cards, peltier or a dozen hard drives.

On the other hand, if the power supply is generic it may not even be
worth 300W output regardless of a 400W label, but many high-end
systems don't even draw 300W unless heavily loaded, the larger issue
may be the safety and ripple, recovery time, longevity.

Dave

JT

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Nov 16, 2003, 12:04:19 AM11/16/03
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You would need to have sensors measuring current to various the components,
and they are not part of any consumer type of system. A sofware only
solution doesn't exist.

JT

Dunny Rummy

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Jan 29, 2004, 8:08:23 AM1/29/04
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WOW!! Thanks for that link. When finnished I find Im over taxing my
PSU!! Time to get a 550W PSU!

Graeme

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Jan 29, 2004, 9:15:29 AM1/29/04
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"Dunny Rummy" <fd...@dfdsf.com> wrote in message
news:mc1i109lb3s1rq9m4...@4ax.com...

Wow indeed! Is that calculator for real, or is it just a marketing trick to
get you to purchase a bigger PSU? I'm pretty sure that my modem and network
card do not consume 4W each, and I'm also doubtful over the 75W claim for my
nVidia FX card.


kony

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Jan 29, 2004, 12:50:28 PM1/29/04
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On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 13:08:23 GMT, Dunny Rummy <fd...@dfdsf.com> wrote:

>WOW!! Thanks for that link. When finnished I find Im over taxing my
>PSU!! Time to get a 550W PSU!
>
>

That calculator is completely wrong. Even in some theoretical usage,
even if it were possible to push all components to their max capacity
simultaneously, which it's not, your system could never draw 400W.

At least buy a major name-brand unit, then you'll be getting a labeled
capacity that's closer to actual capacity.

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