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Windows Thread, Energy monitor software in Technical; Does anyone know of any software that can monitor the amount of energy being used by individual pcs on a ...
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    rocknrollstar's Avatar
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    Energy monitor software

    Does anyone know of any software that can monitor the amount of energy being used by individual pcs on a network? No idea if it's even possible, but my guess is that it is.

    Prefereably free, but will pay!

    Thanks.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Sounds interesting; I don't know how the power supply could even communicate with software. The CPU power could be measured, but it would have no knowledge of peripherals (HDD, DVD, Graphics) consumption. You can buy plug in meters; I suppose you might find one with a USB connection, but it wouldn't be cheap I suspect.

    I've been running one for a while, must check to see what I'm using!

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    plexer's Avatar
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    powerman which is available from ergo. Reports are generated as well to show how much energy is used.

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    Don't see it?

    That is just a calculation based on how long a PC is used vs left on. Doesn't show how much power is truly used. You could have 450W supplies running bare bones boxes that would only use 100W max, so the saving would be drastically over-reported.

    What we are looking for is REAL numbers.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Sorry for trying to help then.

    I doubt you would ever get real figures from a pc.

    At least powerman also puts computers to sleep when they are not required to save some money.

    Ben

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Net Support DNA (v3.0) now does this, and the new Flash based interface is rather funky too
    Download a free 30 day trial from here: NetSupport DNA: The latest evolution in Asset Management and PC Remote Support
    More on their energy monitoring here: NetSupport DNA: The latest evolution in Asset Management and PC Remote Support

    NetSupport really do make Rolls Royce products. Shame about the Bently prices! You do get what you pay for though.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Sorry for trying to help then.

    At least powerman also puts computers to sleep when they are not required to save some money
    Don't be like that... I am all in favour of the idea, but would just like to have real figures; which I'm afraid DB's idea doesn't provide either!
    Quote Originally Posted by net support sales blurb
    Once it knows the times of day each computer was operational, an average (and customisable) “power consumption per device” calculation is used, facilitating a baseline energy usage calculation
    I'm still fairly sure that external hardware is required to do this accurately. You could then use this figure to work out your potential savings. I'll get under the desk later and see what the one I've got here tells me, but it isn't just one PC. Maybe I'll move it, reset, and run for a week. Then we'd at least KNOW what one sample PC uses.

    ------------------

    Back from under the desk; it is measuring one PC. The PC has two HDDs, currently serving music of one disk. Reading 85W now, and a maximum over the period of 125W. 40 kWhs used, but I can't remember when I started using it. The PSU is 350W I think.

    This perhaps illustrates why measuring is better than finger-in-the-air estimates.
    Last edited by Andrew_C; 20th June 2009 at 07:02 PM. Reason: Addedinfo

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    I have a couple of units that plug into the mains, and then the PC (or monitor, projector, whatever) is plugged into this.

    I left them plugged in for a bout a week, and then muliplied it by the number of machines. It was a little worrying as it showed that our TFTs were no better than the CRTs, which means we either have really rubbish TFTs, really good CRTs, or all the hype I've heard about TFTs being better for the planet was all lies.

    Oh, and we use Shuttle desktops, and they vary widely when the fan is whirring or not..

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    I think the ergo powerman software is the same as the Data Synergy powerman tool. If you look on the ergo website it says 'powered by powerman'. They have an energy calculator on their website. We used their free trial to see what was going on with our computers - it was really shocking when we measured it.

    Fi

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Yes it is the same piece of software the guy that developed the software is an ex ergo employee I think Karen told me.

    You can get a free trial with stats of it.

    Ben

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    Yes that makes sense. There seems to be some relationship between them and ergo - there is an ergo case study on their website. I really liked powerman, it seemed to do exactly what it says on the tin and the tech support we got was brilliant. The problem was budget - although it wasn't very expensive we don't have any budget until the new year to buy it. This was kind of frustrating because by then it would have probably saved us the cost!

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    I don't know of any PSU which can report the power it's providing but it's got to be possible to do it.

    Laptop batteries now contain "stuff" so that they can communicate with the computer about what state they're in - I'm guessing you need something along the same lines (no idea how the power meter works but it must be doing something to do with measuring draw from the battery and linking that to info about the charge stored in the battery. I know it's not totally accurate but it's going the right way)

    <later>
    Found a link to this Zalman ZM-MFC2 Multi Fan Controller - PWM Fan Ready - FrozenCPU.com from Tom's Hardware. It monitors voltage and current to give you power consumption. As far as I can see, it just displays it on the PC but it can't be much more work for someone to make that readable with WMI or similar.

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    How does powerman compare to ez-gpo. We tried this but couldn't get it to work reliably. It would be really good if we could find a power management tool to turn off our kit when it wasn't being used.

    Lin

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    Yes, we had some problems with ez-gpo. It worked sometimes but was never very consistent. Data Synergy's Powerman is quite similar but has more configuration options.

    The thing I really liked was the 'No User' policy. This was really useful to create a different power scheme when nobody was logged on. This nicety was beyond the bosses though - they just liked the pretty graphs it drew. I think we will buy it when the new year starts.

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    Looks like Uni of Nottingham has deployed 10000 licenses of PowerMAN. Saw this on the Ergo website from a recent mailer they sent me.

    Full-scale ICT solutions for universities and higher education from Ergo Computing

    Presumably an organisation of that size must have looked at a few products on the market ?

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