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Just how energy-efficient are the current Mac Minis?
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warp9
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:50 pm    Post subject: Just how energy-efficient are the current Mac Minis? Reply with quote

I know that Apple touts the electricity-sipping qualities of the Mini, but I have also read things online that indicate that the mini uses much more juice under real-world situations than Apple claims on their site..

I have no expertise in knowing which is correct..some may have an axe to grind with apple..who knows...

The mini certainly looks like a machine that doesn't use much juice, but..it is also a very capable rig, judging by the bench tests I've seen, and that makes me think that it can drink just as much electricity as any other computer with the same chip in it.

Any thoughts on this?

Thank you!

w9[/i]
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, efficiency is work done versus power used. If you run the CPU full tilt you will use more energy than not, but of course the computer will be doing more.

The amount of energy used will be similar for any computer using the same CPU with the same basic components, so perhaps you could use that as a comparison at Tom's Hardware or similar site.

SC
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warp9
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, true...let me phrase it differently...

does anyone know how much power the current Minis use when:

sleeping

when simply powered up but running no tasks (let's not split too many hairs, ok?)


and when using 100% of it's designed CPU power?
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I plugged both my iMac and my Mini into a power meter when I first got the power meter. Sleep and Off were more or less the same and it was so low it barely registered. I think it was something like 1w.

If I get chance tomorrow I'll dig out my power meter and hook it up to the mini. My mini is a 2010 though, the older model 2.53Ghz Core2Duo so I'm not sure how useful it will be.
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Last edited by Cypher on Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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marv777
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:23 am    Post subject: Re: Just how energy-efficient are the current Mac Minis? Reply with quote

warp9 wrote:
I know that Apple touts the electricity-sipping qualities of the Mini, but I have also read things online that indicate that the mini uses much more juice under real-world situations than Apple claims on their site..

I have no expertise in knowing which is correct..some may have an axe to grind with apple..who knows...

The mini certainly looks like a machine that doesn't use much juice, but..it is also a very capable rig, judging by the bench tests I've seen, and that makes me think that it can drink just as much electricity as any other computer with the same chip in it.

Any thoughts on this?

Thank you!I have my mac Mini on about over 8 hours a day and the electric bill is not very high at all.It never heats up.My MBP used more energy and power than the MM.

w9[/i]
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My iMac Data 2007 model 2.0Ghz Core2 Duo

Off 1W
Boot up approx 70W peaked at 77W
Sat at login window 56W
logging in an programs starting up - 60-70W peaked at 80W
After login with no HDD activity - 56W
starting an App - 65W
once running - 60W
Playing Music in iTunes - 60W (approx 20% peak cpu)
Music left playing in background
HD Video in VLC - 65W at 20% CPU / 68-73W at 50% CPU
Playing another video in QuickTime - 66W approx 40% CPU

replying to this post with just the music playing now - 57W 6% CPU

Sleep 2-3W


I'll try and repeat later on the Mac Mini. The iMac should be higher figures though as its also running the screen and other hardware.


To summarise I'd say

Off but still plugged in = 1W
Sleep = 2-3W
Idling = 56W
Normal uses 60-65W
Peak Use - 80W

{edit} updated the sleep figures
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac Mini Data
2010 model 2.53 Ghz Core2 Duo

Off 0W
Boot up approx 20W peaked at 34W
Sat at login window 17-20W
logging in as programs starting up - 28-34W peaked at 35W
After login with no HDD activity - 20-22W
Same HD Video in Plex - 27W
Started iTunes - peaked 39W (video playing in background)
Music playing and Video - 30W

Sleep 1-2W


To summarise I'd say

Off but still plugged in = 0W
Sleep = 1-2W
Idling = 21W
Normal uses 25-30W
Peak Use - 39W although I didn't really push the CPU
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report Cypher, thanks for posting your results.
I knew the older models were less energy efficient, but I didn't know the difference was so substantial.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't compare the energy consumption of an iMac to a mini, unless you can exclude the energy consumed by the display!

SC
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
Nice report Cypher, thanks for posting your results.
I knew the older models were less energy efficient, but I didn't know the difference was so substantial.


The top set of figures was a 2007 iMac Bill not another mini.

@SC
I wasn't trying to compare them. I was just posting my results of both computers whilst I had the power meter out.
I did say in the iMac data "I'll try and repeat later on the Mac Mini. The iMac should be higher figures though as its also running the screen and other hardware"
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cypher wrote:
Bandit Bill wrote:
Nice report Cypher, thanks for posting your results.
I knew the older models were less energy efficient, but I didn't know the difference was so substantial.


The top set of figures was a 2007 iMac Bill not another mini.

@SC
I wasn't trying to compare them. I was just posting my results of both computers whilst I had the power meter out.
I did say in the iMac data "I'll try and repeat later on the Mac Mini. The iMac should be higher figures though as its also running the screen and other hardware"


Ok. Still good to know. The iMac is very efficient given it has a display.
I was talking to a guy earlier this morning about equipping a sailboat with an iMac vs. a Mac mini. It's not always about saving $.50 in power (meaning some people make energy savings to be trivial). This is good info.
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is similar to the one I have. Mine's obviously a UK model for a 240v 13Amp UK supply.



Amazon - P3 Power Monitor

Mine looks like the image above, but the buttons are labelled differently on mine. From left to right mine are: Volts - Amp - Watt (VA) - Hz (PF) - KWH

Which might be more like this one.
Amazon - P3 P4400 Power Monitor
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was looking up minis at Wikipedia, and they have power consumption listed. However it comes from Apples PDFs so if you still think Apple is lying about the mini's power consumption then you might not believe it. Also, it doesn't include power consumption at 100% CPU.

http://images.apple.com/environment/reports/docs/macmini_oct2012.pdf

SC
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Off and Sleep I think are definitely in line with min.

However Idle they have as 10W, mine was more like 20W.

Maybe mine was running some profile related background tasks or something, but once the screen was displaying the desktop 20w was the lowest mine went. One point to note though mine is mine is the older model Mac Mini (2010)
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somewhat off topic, but when you picked up your meter, did you go crazy trying to measure everything?

SC
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[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

Make sure it has pins!
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