PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge [Not true]

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PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge [Not true]

Postby kintoy » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:17 am

According to a report, a PS3 uses five times more energy than a medium-sized ref.

http://www.intology.com/computers-inter ... ed-fridge/

If this is true, will this give second thoughts to people who leave their PS3 overnight just to crunch numbers for FAH?
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge

Postby Flathead74 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:07 pm

kintoy wrote:According to a report, a PS3 uses five times more energy than a medium-sized ref.

http://www.intology.com/computers-inter ... ed-fridge/

If this is true, will this give second thoughts to people who leave their PS3 overnight just to crunch numbers for FAH?

Your refrigerator does not help with solving the reasons for cancerous diseases.

Further, the report that you linked to is referring to "unused", or wasted processor cycles;
Folding@Home does not waste processor cycles;
Folding@Home utilizes these valuable and otherwise wasted processor cycles
and helps to advance the sciences necessary to eradicate cancers from society.

Perhaps a better course of action would be to quite wasting processor cycles on gaming,
and let the PS3 do the valuable work of Folding@Home. :wink:
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge [no, it doesn't]

Postby susato » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:07 pm

Yes, I saw this and followed up with my own analysis. Note, I didn't go to the original article which is paid-subscription only*, but tried to generate similar results using US numbers.

The US gov. "Energy Star" site has a calculator showing the average power draw for various refrigerator styles. Find the "Refrigerator Savings Calculator" in the right-hand sidebar. Download that and go to the Assumptions page (sheet two) to look at the assumptions. Averaging the power use of all the Energy Star refrigerators at the assumed size gives an annual power draw of 486 kWh/year. This is actually an optimistic estimate, probably because it refers to brand-new refrigerators. The US Department of Energy End-Use Summary of electrical energy use by appliance, for 2001, shows an average refrigerator drawing 1239 kWh/year. This estimate is too conservative, because many older refrigerators have been replaced with more efficient models since 2001.

So let's take the average of these two to represent a better estimate: 863 kWh/year which works out to 98 W on average... let's make it 100W.

If an original PS3 uses its full rated 200W** for an entire year its power draw is twice the average refrigerator. The newer PS3's which pull 140W are equivalent to 1.4 refrigerator. And even my Mac mini, the greenest Folding machine I know, draws 35W: one refrigerator door. :)

Let's be real: Folding requires electricity. If you turn off or idle your computer, or unplug your PS3 rather than Folding on it, your electric bill will be lower. But F@H is advancing scientific knowledge in important areas:

- protein folding: addressing Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
- protein-protein interactions: addressing the p53 tumor suppressor protein
- membrane fusion: addressing viral infectivity, AIDS and influenza
- small-molecule interactions with ribosomes: addressing how antibiotics work and how to design better ones
- small-molecule interactions with proteins: addressing drug design for Alzheimer's, metastatic cancer, Huntington's disease
- statistical thermodynamics of protein conformation and protein folding processes: addressing the mutual validation of F@H style computational models and "wet" chemical data on protein folding, and the reliability of small data sets produced by computational models
- small-scale and massive parallelization of molecular dynamics calculations
- methods for general-purpose computing on graphical processing units

This is exciting, cutting-edge science, and when you Fold you are part of it. The research depends on us, the donors. And if you have been following the threads on the GPU2 client, or if you beta test, you know that the full time project researchers value your contribution and listen to your concerns here in the forum. How many other laboratories in the world offer you a chance like that?

Each F@H user needs to make his or her own decision on the tradeoffs among energy use, equipment costs, and monitoring time on the one hand, and the scientific and humanitarian progress, fun and camaraderie of Folding on the other hand. I've thought it through and I know where I stand. I encourage other Folders to do the same.

* If someone has access to the original article in choice.au, please PM me... I'd like to review their assumptions but am too cheap to spend $21 to buy access to their study.

** I don't have a PS3, but various numbers published on the web range from 185W (F@H with screen saver) to 215W (F@H with visuals). Note that if you leave it idle, it still pulls > 170W, so when you finish gaming, either turn it to Folding or to standby.
http://www.aeropause.com/2007/12/profil ... 0-and-wii/
http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1102/
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archive/ ... 84011.html
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge

Postby 7im » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:28 pm

Great Post susato! That NEW refrigerator number was the first thing I was going to debunk as well as soon as I read that. One has to be a skeptical thinker.

You can't believe everything you read. And you can't assume that things advertised as being helpful to the environment are really all that helpful. You have verify the source of information, and have to evaluate what the actual purpose of that article is about. So either the above article's author is just ignorant about "real" costs, or maybe just a PS3 hater. Who knows...

Even most people's natural assumptions are flawed. For example, which vehicle is more environmentally friendly to manufacture? A tiny little Prius or a giant Hummer? Sounds like an easy question doesn't it. Guess what, making a Prius contributes more carbon to the atmosphere than making a Hummer, largely due to the environmental cost of the 30 pounds of nickel in the hybrid's battery. Of course, the hybrid quickly erases that carbon deficit on the road, thanks to its vastly superior fuel economy. But you can't just assume "green cars" are always that "green." It may sounds like heresy to question the environmetal impact of a hybrid card, but we need to question everything. To get your brain primed to make better decisions, I recommend reading an article in this month's Wired Magazine called Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green Being "green" isn't what you think it means.

That's where I read about the Prius/Hummer comparison. And where if you purchased a used Toyota Tercel instead of a Prius, you would have to drive the Prius 100,000 miles before the Prius became less of a total sum polluter. How we need to embrace nuclear power, we need to cut down the old growth forests, and how cooling a house in Scottsdale, AZ pollutes 1/8th as much as heating a house Scarsdale, NY. How organic food is not the answer, and how living in the city is better than living miles from nowhere. And at least this Wired article has links to back up the info, not like that PS3/Frig article.

And if you compared the PS3 at 140w to a PC using 280w, the PS3 uses half the electricity, and does as much if not more science calculations for FAH.
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge [no, it doesn't]

Postby Lgringo » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:49 pm

susato wrote: And even my Mac mini, the greenest Folding machine I know, draws 35W: one refrigerator door. :)

Is that at full-load folding? My 3-yr old HP laptop w/AMD Athlon XP-M draws 65 watts folding, so it sounds like a mac mini with dual cpu's is folding twice as much with about half the watts. Is that semi-accurate?
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge [no, it doesn't]

Postby alancabler » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:36 am

Lgringo wrote:
susato wrote: And even my Mac mini, the greenest Folding machine I know, draws 35W: one refrigerator door. :)

Is that at full-load folding? My 3-yr old HP laptop w/AMD Athlon XP-M draws 65 watts folding, so it sounds like a mac mini with dual cpu's is folding twice as much with about half the watts. Is that semi-accurate?
Yes. 8-)
Facts are not truth. Facts are merely facets of the shining diamond of truth.
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge

Postby kintoy » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:06 am

Here's the energy consumption chart from Choice.

Image

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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge

Postby 7im » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:33 pm

I didn't see the frig on that chart, but thanks for posting it so we can see how they did the math. ;)

Anyway, if my math works this morning, the "While playing a game" value used a ~200 watt draw@168 hours (1 week). And we know the newer 40 GB model uses a little more than half that while folding.

Always good to be aware of your surroundings, and to look for savings, but do it smartly. :)
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge

Postby codysluder » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:49 pm

kintoy wrote:If this is true, will this give second thoughts to people who leave their PS3 overnight just to crunch numbers for FAH?


Flathead74 wrote:Perhaps a better course of action would be to quite wasting processor cycles on gaming,
and let the PS3 do the valuable work of Folding@Home. :wink:


I agree with Flathead74. Let's put your suggestion in perspective. When you purchased the PS3, you decided that it was worthwhile to "waste" electricity playing games. You need to compare that decision with a decision to run FAH. The games may be fun, but folding@home produces results that are more useful in the long-term than just a high score at your favorite game. Why not spend that same electricity for the benefit of science?
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge

Postby kintoy » Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:48 pm

Ahem, dont shoot the messenger pls. I'm actually using a PS3 and an ATI 2600Pro to crunch for FAH. I am merely asking the question if that news MIGHT discourage some people to leave their PS3s overnight.
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge

Postby dittopb » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:31 pm

Run your PS3 off peak, at night when the grid is not overloaded.
Same energy consumption but helps the power plants and the environment.
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Re: PS3 Uses 5x more Electricity than Fridge

Postby codysluder » Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:00 am

dittopb wrote:Run your PS3 off peak, at night when the grid is not overloaded.
Same energy consumption but helps the power plants and the environment.


Run your PS3 in the winter when the heat it generates means you're making use of that power. (It's hot here today and my PS3 is taking a break, but my fridge is working harder than ususal.)
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Environmental Impact and Cost

Postby owza » Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:45 am

The PS3 uses 350W, if used all night to process the Folding@home, at 8 hours a night, the pS3 would require 1,022W a year which would cause over 1tonne of CO2 to enter the atmosphere and cost each user $185 (AUD) per year. If you've read the user agreement, you'll notice that you won't even be recognized for your efforts.
As a fellow researcher and environmentalist, is there another way to advance science without damaging our fragile planet any further?

Edit by Mod:
Scientifically speaking, this makes no sense. If a PS3 actually uses 350W (which is questionable), then it will continue to use 350W for however long you leave it on. "1,022W a year" is a meaningless statement because you've not using scientifically valid units. You need to learn the difference between a "Watt" and a "Watt-hour" and a "Kilowatt-hour"

Suppose I can drive my car at 60 MPH. If I drive 8 hours per day does that mean that one year later I'll be moving along the road at 175,000 MPH? Clearly I'll still be moving at 60 MPH.
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Re: Environmental Impact and Cost

Postby mdk777 » Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:55 am

I agree.
Let's go back to using a slide rule.
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Re: Environmental Impact and Cost

Postby Sahkuhnder » Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:25 am

owza wrote:As a fellow researcher and environmentalist, is there another way to advance science without damaging our fragile planet any further?


Hi owza - Welcome to the forum. :D

The answer to your question is unfortunately, no. Humans will always have some footprint on the planet and if we wish to improve the quality and length of our lives then that footprint must sometimes be a bit bigger.

I feel that distributed computing projects like F@H are one of the best ways to advance science without damaging the planet any more than necessary as they use otherwise wasted computer hardware time to do the calculations instead of causing places like Stanford to have to build dedicated computers in order to run their equations.
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