I'm in need of a media server running at home and i'm undecided what to run it on. They main aim is to run something with minimal power consumption. What would be the best option for running it on. I will be running debian on either machine. With either an external hard drive or internal(for the tower). I've never had to really consider this before it was just mentioned at work the other day and stumped me as they both have transformers, aren't they going to use the same power?
Thanks in Advance,
Well, you provided us with very little info about the tower. In general, I'd say that NSLU2 is going to use much less energy than a tower.
Now, I'm going to provide a simple analogy which will point out a mistake in your reasoning, so please don't feel insulted. By your reasoning tri-phase transformers size of a truck with power supply cables as thick as a man would use same amount of power as a wall wart. They're both transformers, right? Does that seem a bit unreasonable to you?
Anyway, this is what you should do: Take a look at NSLU2's transformer. It should have a sticker on it which will say something like INPUT: AC 230V - 50Hz 100mA. To calculate roughly how much power transformer will use, multiply current by tension. So in the case of my wall wart, we have 230V*(100/1000)A=23W. We divided 100 by 1000 in order to convert miliamperes into amperes. If your sticker says something like 0.1A, conversion of course won't be necessary.
Now take a look at stickers on tower's power supply. It also should have input section. calculate how much power it needs and compare.
Most likely, NSLU2 is going to spend much less power that a tower.