It’s been a pretty long time since I last posted here! (a very long time, actually >3mths). For a moment there, I almost forgot that I do have a blog.. LOL.
Well, a lot of things have been keeping me busy lately like daddy-hood, getting a house, etc.
Let me get to the post now. Ever since I shifted my gaming to the Xbox360 console, I realized that I can easily do away with PC gaming and save a lot of money upgrading on PC hardware. Not only PC gaming hardware cost quit a bit, they generate a lot of heat and uses a lot more energy to run compared to your standard Dell office desktop.
Thus, I was planning to build a “green” PC using the Intel Atom solution. Knowing my needs to play HD movies and also the need to have 2 screens for my average use, I was contemplating on on whether to go on with the purchase or not. Just that moment, I got excessive graphics corruption on my PC and I told myself perhaps it’s more cost-effective to slowly convert my current system to be more green and energy efficient.
First, I looked at the 2 hottest stuff in my PC. They happen to be my WD Velociraptor 150GB running at 10K rpm and my beloved Leadtek GeForce 8800GTS 320MB with it’s humongous fan-sink. The graphics card definitely has to go, due to it’s malfunction (or maybe it’s just overheating).
I was keen on getting a low-power card that could be powerful for my media-centre needs like playing HD movies and also be fan-less. After scanning through Sim Lim Square, I found that the only one that fits my requirements was the XFX 9400GT 1GB. There was this 8400GS too, but the card was out for quite a while and it’s nicer to get an updated series. Damage: $99.
Looking at the power requirements, a system with a 8800GTS would consume about 125W, compared to the same system with a 9400GT that will consume about 87W. That’s an instant 30% gain, not to mention the fact that I got a fan-less unit, so there’s no extra current required for passive cooling. Overall casing temperature and noise is much lower now
Next, I moved on to change my WD Raptor. I felt that spinning at 10K rpm all the time just isn’t that green. The heat on it is enough to fry an egg! Speed-wise, I’ve been dreaming about owning a solid-state drive (SSD) ever since I heard about it. Well, guess what.. I splurged on an Intel X25-M 80GB SSD.
You have no idea how cool it runs! (Wait a minute.. Am I suppose to brag about it’s speed first?) My Windows 7 loads really fast and I don’t have those grinding noises I got from my Raptor anymore. The drive is tiny and allows good air-flow in my casing. A Raptor consumes about 4.35W of power when idle, as compared to 0.06W of the SSD. That’s a 98% improvement! Even when you look at average power consumption, the Raptor uses 6.08W compared to 0.15W. Damage: $420. The picture above shows the SSD mounted to a bracket which seems that only Silverstone makes. The bracket has a good finishing, but cost me $20.
Ok, so now what? My casing is the NZXT Zero that comes with 7 fans all round. 4 on the side, 2 at the back and 1 on top. I plan t shutdown the 4 side fans and shift one of the fans to the front instead. That way, I would have reduced my system fans by 3 and definitely make it more quiet.
Energy efficiency is appropriate for me not only because I’ve left PC gaming, it’s also good for the times I need to run my PC non-stop for weeks (downloading spree).