low energy dsl box
Topic: low energy dsl box
started by: sixdiamants
Posted by sixdiamants on Aug. 13 2007,21:18Gents,
the great minimalistic approach seen in DSL incited me to try and minimise energy consumption of my always-on ITX box.
For starters, I opted for a frugal install to a CF disk - hence no spinning disks.
Now I'm wondering if I can go any further.
Other paths I'm considering are:
Throttle the CPU - anyone recommend software/read-ups ?
Boot in text-only mode - I suppose that this reduces software cycles hence consumption, right ??
Wake-on-Lan - but I suppose that this is a tad difficult when the box runs only on a wifi-lan.
Any other ideas, suggestions for reducing my CO2 emissions ?!
Bob "Green Punk" Janssen
Posted by lucky13 on Aug. 13 2007,22:06
I start runlevel 3. I don't think that saves much in terms of net CPU cycles if you're going to startx anyway. I'm also not convinced by the 90% or so of my recent DSL use entirely in console that there's much to be saved in terms of CPU cycles. Some console apps use more CPU cycles than X apps do, some X apps use more than console apps. There can be some serious differences in RAM use, but I think it's a wash CPU wise.
Breathing creates more CO2 than your computer ever will. I don't advise cutting back on that, though.
Posted by tinker on Aug. 14 2007,12:24
Throtle the CPU? Not sure what you mean by this, if it's idle, it's idle, if you need to compute, then you want it to be as powerful and fast as it can be. Depending on the system BIOS you might be able to lower the speed of the FSB but that might not give satisfactory results as the system would always run slower.
WOL requires both a lan card that is capable of outputting a signal and a motherboard that has the header for that to connect to. Delay between when a request is made over the lan and the wake up time might be a factor depending on how you intend to us it.
It seems like putting the system in standby when you aren't using it would use the least power and thus achieve the least CO2 emissions from the fossil fuel burned to create the electricity furnished to your house, which is what I assume you meant by that.
Posted by curaga on Aug. 14 2007,13:48You can throttle the cpu without any tools on any standard Linux system. Though running it throttled/on a lower power level (speedstep etc) reduces the heat and electricity used, it also reduces the speed..
If you're going for it, the stuff is in /proc/acpi/processor/CPU0
look at the contents of all files there. If "throttling" says your cpu can handle 7 states (it also lists how much each state throttles in percentage), then you can enable one of them by doing
Posted by curaga on Aug. 14 2007,13:50You could also tweak the screensaver (screen blacking) settings to happen faster, and try Intel's new Powertop to see which process uses the most cpu power..
Posted by sixdiamants on Aug. 14 2007,14:40Throttling during the night by means of cron job is probably the next thing I want to try.
Otherwise, I hardly ever use the graphics card since I access the box through ssh. The sheer heat of the graphics chip suggests that it's using up quite a bit of power.
I'm not convinced whether going into text-only mode or activating the screen saver puts the graphics chip to sleep or saves a substantial amount of energy.
Posted by sixdiamants on Sep. 18 2007,21:15just for the record; here's a fine link : saving energy in linux
Where one finds a summary of tips and tricks that should be applicable to DSL.
Posted by RigasW on Sep. 25 2007,20:41Hi,
I got myself a low cost CF-based fanless mini-itx computer by
< Zonbu >
The little box uses between 12 and 19 watts.
Zonbu is a Gentoo based Linux distro that uses about 1.5 GB for the operation system and applications, so 2.5 GB of the CF-card that comes withe the machine are left for data.
The box is powered with a via epia 1.2 GB CPU and comes with 512 MB RAM
I never tried it with DSL, but it does everything that I want to do in the living-room: Browse the web, watch digital photos, listen to music.
After using Zonbu for quite a while, you can find my review here:
< Zonbu-Review >
Posted by benjy on Sep. 26 2007,00:17I've been looking into this sort of thing recently and stumbled upon the following website. Might be of some help to you but it depends on your system really.
< http://www.lesswatts.org/ >
Posted by skaos on Sep. 26 2007,15:51A few links that may be interesting:
< http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/09/13/hardware_components/ >
< http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/howtodiy/solar-pc-live-test/ >
< http://www.tomshardware.com/2007....ered_pc >
< http://www.zflinux.com/ >