Author Topic: Power consumption of retro machines?  (Read 2687 times)

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Offline mr_lou

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Power consumption of retro machines?
« on: 09:36, 15 June 12 »
I am wondering how much power our retro machines use compared to a modern PC.

In the near future, we will hold a cozy retro gaming day with a bunch of mates. We will have to rent a place to be, and I'm thinking the owners might want to charge more upfront when they hear what we're planning on doing there.

But retro machines use much less power than modern PC's, right? But how much less?

Offline TotO

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #1 on: 10:13, 15 June 12 »
I doubt,

My modern PC (a Mac) can run many hours on a poor battery and was probably 1000 times powerfull.
The CPC should not run more than some minuts on the same power source.
« Last Edit: 10:16, 15 June 12 by TotO »
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Offline ralferoo

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #2 on: 11:37, 15 June 12 »
The older logic chips used more power, primarily because they run at a higher voltage (5V logic instead of typically 1.2V for most processors now). That said, most 8-bitters are happy on around a fairly low current - the 464 requires a 2A 5V supply and the 6128 a 1.7A 5V+0.4A 12V, so they use at maximum around 10W or 13W. Most desktops draw around 80W at idle (even if they have a huge 300W power supply) and obviously a lot more when busy. Not sure of the actual power requirement of a laptop, but my laptop power supply claims to be 53W and it takes about as long to charge during use as to drain the battery, so I guess it needs about 25W or about double the CPC.

The again, powering an old CRT monitor uses a LOT of power, so a laptop or modern LCD monitor will definitely win there!

Offline Bryce

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #3 on: 11:49, 15 June 12 »
The older chips did use more current for the logic chips, but the CPU and Graphics chip use almost nothing compared to a modern parts which loose most of their power through heat.

Ignoring the TV/Screen connected to the CPC, you can calculate the Watts it uses pretty easily. The 464 is rated at 5V 2A but it's actually using about 1.2A when no expansions are connected at the most. P (Watts) = I (Amps) x (V) Volts. So a bare 464 needs 6W. The battery on my laptop is a 57Wh battery. Which means it could (theoretically) supply 57W for an hour or for the CPC 6W for 9.5 hours. The old TVs connected to the 8-bit machines is what will really use all the power, the 8-bit computer barely uses anything.

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Offline TotO

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #4 on: 12:56, 15 June 12 »
Sure, removing the CTM you win a lot... But only see nothing. :D
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #5 on: 13:55, 15 June 12 »
My CPCs are connected to a TFT monitor, so in total they still use less than a modern computer (and you can still see something :) ).

Bryce.

Offline TotO

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #6 on: 14:42, 15 June 12 »
Sure, but it'm no more a "old CPC" VS "new computer". :D
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Offline mr_lou

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #7 on: 16:33, 15 June 12 »
Hm, so the conclusion is that the CPC with a CRT screen uses approximately the same amount of power as a modern PC with a TFT screen?

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #8 on: 17:07, 15 June 12 »
I was told a CPC external power supply had to be  something like 3A +5V to be  sure.


Cathodic monitors are perhaps heavier on Power than flat modern screen I guess.

concerning sound, it must be quite the same as you often use modern PC speakers on those retro goodies.
But TV can provide sound, also the PLUS monitor or the CPC internal speaker...

I remember when I went to RetroMadrid, Deep Fried Brain (Jaime) 's lair...this awesome place...

we had a  journalist team to shot some video about it.

The power shut down a few time because they asked Jaime to turn on a lot of machine at the same time, but I suspect also some hasardous old electric connectics or monitors...

And you know, if you use too much electric plug multipliers with too much electric plug multipliers this is no good.

This was hilarious, the journalist was very hot and the only woman in a dark room full of geekz (and machines)... she was totally panicked in the dark and grabed the first electric torch she could see.

I guess she was afraid I would grope her ass or something.. ;D
hot but flat chested... ass was the only part you could grab decently. 8)



Anyway, it would depend how many machine you may want to put in service at your event.


Quote
Hm, so the conclusion is that the CPC with a CRT screen uses approximately the same amount of power as a modern PC with a TFT screen?
the same power transformer can be used to power a CPC after all...
Those modern PC (mostly towers) have a load of ventilators, lights, HDD have mecanical movements...
and the various heat sinks are a sign some power is actually used.

Quote
The older logic chips used more power, primarily because they run at a higher voltage
yep but still, a good old CPC often have a shiton smaller number of elements.

I mean, my "modern" PC tower have many CPU, various additional cards like network, Firewire card, Video... and many HDD (like 2 or 3 different), 3"1/2 disk drive, CD/DVD drive, memory card hud (like a Disk drive but to read the varied MS, SM, CF/MD and so on).
All those USB plugs are powered too.
You can also add the internet box, the 3way speaker system...
And I have 2 monitors (one 5/4 and one 16/10)

A CPC only have a disk drive (which is not used that much often, I guess) and an actually small monitor and the main board is probably less consuming than the modern Video card only.

And only one power plug is needed for a CPC or PLUS !!!

My Pc needs a lot of power plugs :
2 for the 2 monitors, 1 for the PC, 1 for the speakers HI-FI, 1 for the internet Box.

Being at impressively higher clock rate doesn't imply more energy ?
(just asking)


Anyway, it would depend how many machine you may plan to put in service at your event.


Quote
Sure, but it'm no more a "old CPC" VS "new computer".
that's old news... :D
« Last Edit: 17:32, 15 June 12 by MacDeath »

Offline TFM

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #9 on: 17:34, 15 June 12 »
Hm, so the conclusion is that the CPC with a CRT screen uses approximately the same amount of power as a modern PC with a TFT screen?
No, it's still less :-)
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #10 on: 23:54, 15 June 12 »
To complete the calculation.... Both the GT65 and CTM644 have a 4A fuse on the 220V input, which means that the absolute maximum Watts it could be using is 440W, but this is highly unlikely, I would guess they use somewhere between 250 and 300W. So the total retro system would use more than a laptop, but less than a serious gaming machine.

Bryce.

Offline ivarf

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #11 on: 00:09, 16 June 12 »
LCD-TVs use more power than the equalent CRT-TVs. I am surprised if the same isn't true with PC-monititors. Someone should get their wattmeters out

Offline Bryce

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #12 on: 00:17, 16 June 12 »
Big LCD TVs tend to pull quite a few Watts, Plasma are the worst offenders, a 50in Plasma pulls about 500W, but a small 19in TFT only pulls about 20W.

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #13 on: 00:22, 16 June 12 »
And my GT65 even less than expected  8) ;D
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #14 on: 00:23, 16 June 12 »
Why? Is it broken? :D

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #15 on: 00:27, 16 June 12 »
Thanks' god not. I did measure power consumption a long time ago, can't remember the value. But I was really surprised how few it is actually. That's all I know  :-X
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #16 on: 15:01, 16 June 12 »
Quote
Big LCD TVs tend to pull quite a few Watts
Got to remember those modern flat TV are litterally home cinemas...

the equivalent in old 80's cathodic tech for such size would give something like 3 metric cubes and more than 200 kilogrames to have your average Flat home cinema TV equivalent.


CPC monitors ware quite small compared to modern standards, 19" being considered small nowaday...

CPC monitor is like... 14" ? 15" ? perhaps only 13"...
the monocolor green monitors were perhaps like 12" diagonal I guess.


And again having only one "well cooled" (no fan needed) powersupply for the whole system can be  better.
« Last Edit: 15:05, 16 June 12 by MacDeath »

Offline TFM

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #17 on: 19:48, 16 June 12 »
CPC monitors ware quite small compared to modern standards, 19" being considered small nowaday...

Yes, because people tend to buy very big monitors and then they still work inside of very small windows ::) . As a CPC user you are capable of using the whole screen though ;D
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Offline mfreeda

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #18 on: 09:59, 01 August 12 »
basically anything that is vintage can still really consume a lot of energy as they have really not considered the fact that energy is a deleting source unlike nowadays where we make it a point to make everything be energy efficient as much as possible so ig guess you do expect a big consumption on power when you use retro machines as compared to new technological stuff invented nowadays. usually these machines are cinsidered for collections only and they are best kept to maintainn the structure a it is difficult to find parts of it in production

Offline joska

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Re: Power consumption of retro machines?
« Reply #19 on: 20:28, 01 August 12 »
The 464 is rated at 5V 2A but it's actually using about 1.2A when no expansions are connected at the most. P (Watts) = I (Amps) x (V) Volts. So a bare 464 needs 6W.


I just measured the power consumption of my 6128 to see if I can power it and two drives with my current PSU. To my surprise the 6128 alone (I don't have the monitor) use only 650mA when the drives are not spinning. When both drives (generic no-name 3.5" drives) are spinning it's using 1300mA.


Good news for me, as this means I can power the CPC from the external drive with it's 2A PSU :)