Older, smaller laptops use less energy...

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,989 ✭✭✭✭
Comparing a 14" with XP and the corresponding hardware to my 15" with Windows 7 and its more impressive hardware. This newer, larger computer creates seemingly twice as much heat. Pretty sure that means it is consuming significantly more energy.

I think it may be worth it for off gridders to use older computing technology.
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    get out the Kill-a-Watt meter and measure each of them for 24 hours and let us know... It will be interesting to compare, especially if you are just using it to monitor and save daily use/charging input etc...
     
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  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,989 ✭✭✭✭
    Great idea but I have too many fish to fry these days. Some are killing me.
    westbranch wrote: »
    get out the Kill-a-Watt meter and measure each of them for 24 hours and let us know... It will be interesting to compare, especially if you are just using it to monitor and save daily use/charging input etc...

    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Larger laptops use more peak surge regardless.

    Newer laptops use less continuous loads than older laptops.

    Regardless, almost all laptops big or small made in the last 10 years using lithium require the same bulk charge at different Ah.

    Just food for thought.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,190 admin
    The "average" laptops from years ago use "roughly" the same amount of power as the modern laptop of today... The difference is that today's laptop has a much higher clock speed and is much faster than the old laptop. Mainly because the "transistors" of the modern micro processor are much smaller than the predecessors. Each transistor (and interconnects, etc.) have capacitance--Make the transistors and other features smaller, then there is less charging/discharging of capacitance.

    The newest low power processors are more efficient yet--And use, on average, less power than the older laptops (and the same size battery can last several hours longer). Also, the old computers had much less memory then newer computers--Again, smaller memory transistors, less power, but cram 10x more memory in the same space (and make the memory several times faster, and the power usage goes back up again.

    But if you crank up the clock speed of the low processor, run video/games/heavy processing, they can use a fair amount of power too.

    The thing I have been seeing is that trying to get a 10 year old laptop or computer to run the modern OS's (Windows, Lynix, etc.)... Can barely get them to boot Windows XP SP3 or Linux Mint on 250 MBytes of memory, and run slower than heck (hardly run at all). Yet, these machines were reasonably capable back in their day.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,989 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the great info folks. But isn't the heat produced a good indicator of the energy consumed? One laptop may be an energy hog because of problems with how it is "set up". I'm not a tech guy but some of you will understand what I am trying to say. My old Dell runs cool. My newer Acer runs hot. Has nothing to do with manufacturer of course.

    As an aside....a couple years ago, a relative who is a "master techie" decided to install an exe. program in my Acer while I was away from it. I know he did this because he named the exe. program after himself. That computer has behaved bizarrely ever since. Much of the reason I have fixed the old Dell and use it. In addition, the newer laptop attracts a lot of PUPs (potentially unwanted programs/spyware). The older one has not done that.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • JoshKJoshK Solar Expert Posts: 232 ✭✭
    softdown wrote: »
    But isn't the heat produced a good indicator of the energy consumed?

    Not really. If a fan runs at a low RPM the air will feel hotter than if if it was designed to run at high RPM. The kill-a-watt will tell the truth.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    JoshK wrote: »

    Not really. If a fan runs at a low RPM the air will feel hotter than if if it was designed to run at high RPM. The kill-a-watt will tell the truth.

    Putting it another way, the heat (not temperature) produced is a good indication. The heat that you feel is not as good an indication.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
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