Power Saving and MCE machines


Senior Member
I am working on speccing out a MCE machine for someone who will be in St Croix (they have worse electric rates than Long Island).

I was researching power consumption for the various CPU's and found the AMD' to beat out the current crop of pentiums, but then also found the Pentium M which can be seated in a 478 style motherboard with an adapter. This reduces CPU power consumption from 130 watts at idle (for an AMD X2 3800) to about 14 watts at idle for the Pentium M. The drawback is that 478 type motherboards use all the older technology (DDR vs DDR2, AGP vs PCIe, etc). Considering the machine will likely not be expected to upgrade fully that may not be an issue and may make it cheaper in the short term. It does not have hyperthreading but all reports make it seem very responsive.

Given the delays on Vista and this persons desire to get started, I'm not going to worry about what Vista will look like since that could be a year before release and more before it is stable and fully supported (maybe not, but probably a vaguely realistic guideline).

While that seems to make sense, I was wondering if people had found any power saving tricks for machines like this considering they need to be on all the time.

I also, on a related note, ordered one of those power monitors that tells you how much juice is being used as the numbers surprised me on PC usage for the newest CPU's (not including the related hardware either).

Any one have any thoughts in this area?