Electrical power is essential to the operation of any computer and any of its components or peripherals.

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57
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7answers
8k views

Does a computer use more electricity when charging USB devices?

Something I've always wondered. If I constantly hook up cellphones, hard drives and the like via USB to my computer, will it eat up more on the electricity bill? Or are the USB ports using up ...
39
votes
13answers
7k views

Is it safe to power on a motherboard outside of its case?

I have a new motherboard which needs a BIOS update to support a new CPU. Thankfully I have an old (compatible) CPU handy. My plan is to install the old CPU, update the BIOS, then install the new ...
31
votes
14answers
5k views

Removing the CPU while the power is on [closed]

What will happen if I remove the CPU while the power is on? Does anything happen to the computer? Has anyone tried this?
31
votes
5answers
8k views

Is it bad to leave your computer on during a thunderstorm?

Generally when I hear the crack of thunder, my PC goes off immediately. Today I'm working though, and wondered - how bad is it to leave it on? If the power goes out, will it kill it? I use a power ...
28
votes
9answers
3k views

Where does power consumption go in a computer?

Today we had a weird discussion over lunch: What exactly causes power consumption in a computer, particularly in the CPU? (ETA: For obvious reasons I don't need an explanation why a hard drive, ...
27
votes
5answers
5k views

The Flight I am taking has USB ports for power… how can I use it to charge my laptop? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Charge a laptop via USB power (500mA)? I will fly to China in the next month which will take a mammoth 18 hour flight. The plane has USB power source on it. I know USB ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Detecting when a server is running on UPS battery

I have a home server (HP Proliant ML310 G4) that I bought from my employer a month or so ago. The server runs Debian Linux and I use it for just about everything. I can get away with doing this ...
22
votes
3answers
36k views

Is there a USB wall charger that “just works” with every device?

Background Almost every gadget today is charged over USB. It seems like a good idea since everyone has a computer with USB, but fumbling behind a computer and making sure that computer is on and does ...
20
votes
12answers
49k views

Can a power failure or forceful shutdown damage hardware?

Can computer hardware suffer damage from forceful shutdowns (holding the power button for five (5) seconds) or power failures? I believe that normal PC hardware does not suffer from this - after ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

Is surge protection actually needed?

Am I am an idiot for not using a surge protected powerboard? Does this mean my computer gets fried in a power outage? Which particular parts of the computer are most vulnerable to damage if I get a ...
18
votes
5answers
13k views

Does installing larger RAM means consuming more energy?

Since every bit of a dynamic memory module needs to be refreshed to keep it's data, does that mean that if I install a module with more capacity than the current one on my laptop, more energy will be ...
18
votes
8answers
792 views

Is a UPS a good investment for a home machine?

Is it worth the money to invest in a battery-backed UPS unit for a home machine? Or is it a waste of money? The purpose of the UPS would be to prevent a "meltdown" of the computer due to bad power ...
17
votes
2answers
666 views

Do SSDs “turn on”?

Hard-drives have a definitive “on” status (they spin up, the heads move, and they use more electricity than when they are “off”). The same goes for a computer (fans and lights activate), monitors ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How much power the system is REALLY consuming?

I suspect that my ATX case's power unit from China provides FAR LESS power than it's supposed to. Is there a way to see (in real time) how much power the whole system is trying to consume and how much ...
16
votes
4answers
20k views

What do you do when you're not allowed to turn off the computer (but must)?

We've all been there. You're installing a new major system for a client and you're finishing up with installing all required updates and this happens. Image taken from petur.eu Or, more ...
16
votes
5answers
9k views

Why does pulling the power cord then pressing the power button fix a non-booting PC?

I've been working at this institution for about 6 years. One thing thing that I've always found curious is that sometimes—especially after a power outage—we find a PC that won't boot when the power ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Buying A Computer “Case” Fan… Does It Always Run At 100% Unless Told Otherwise?

What happens if I do not plug it into the motherboard and it does not have a switch? I have seen fans before with an "off/low/high" switch that allows you to manually set their speed. I have seen ...
15
votes
2answers
865 views

Identify AC Power Cord with rotated pins

Is this AC power cord connector a standard one? The pins seems to be rotated 90 degrees. This ATX power supply unit (Silverstone ST1500) did not come with the cord and I am hoping to be able to get ...
15
votes
6answers
35k views

Prevent Windows 7 PC from sleeping while a download is in progress

While I'm downloading a large file on Windows 7 using Google Chrome, my computer goes to sleep. I could obviously set the computer to not sleep at all (or change the interval before the computer ...
15
votes
4answers
23k views

How can I force an internal hard drive to power on or off when I want?

Obviously there are power management settings which Windows uses to determine when to power a hard drive off, and when to power it back on again. Powered down I assume doesn't mean absolute zero ...
14
votes
6answers
12k views

Power consumption: SSD vs HDD

In questions like this one and in websites everywhere it's noted that SSDs use much less power than HDDs... usually citing ~2 W vs ~6 W for HDDs, my question (and sorry if its stupid just need to be ...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

Does a power supply draw only as much power as it needs?

I recently built a small mini-itx Intel ATOM-based Ubuntu home server. The case I choose is a small case but only a full size ATX power supply would fit it. I choose a mid-grade OCZ 500 watt modular ...
14
votes
2answers
11k views

Can I safely charge my laptop with a non-standard, third-party charger?

I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop. My charger has stopped working. I have access to a Lenovo charger. Can I use this charger on my laptop?
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to protect laptop if my outlet isn't grounded?

How should I protect my laptop while traveling in southeast Asia? I will not be staying in star rated (ie: 1-5 star) hotels. I will often be in more rural areas where there are no grounded outlets and ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How much power do video cards use after Windows turns your display off?

Modern video cards seem to use 150-200 Watts at idle. Does this mean that this is the minimum power the video card will ever draw while your computer is on? It's clear that if you are sitting at the ...
13
votes
4answers
13k views

How to force power-off of a Samsung Series 9 laptop?

No, the four-second hold on the power button isn't working. The battery is built-in and not user removable. I was working on installing Fedora 15 on a new Samsung 900X3A (a very neat machine) and ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a PC be set up not to shut down when unplugged?

I have a laptop now, and I love that when the power goes out accidentally (blackout from a storm, accidentally gets unplugged...), the laptop does not shutdown on me, it just switches to battery ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Laptop Either Shows 100% or 0% Charge

I have a strange issue with my Compaq CQ 61 running Windows 2012 (server) and I have Googled for it really long and hard and also searched other questions here but in vain. I believe my problem is a ...
12
votes
7answers
13k views

How can I use my computer to control my house?

I would like a way to use my computer to control the lights and appliances in my house. Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to do this. I would prefer to do this as unobtrusively as ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Does Android or Java use more power since it's running on a virtual machine?

Since Android applications run on a JVM (Dalvik VM) which is basically a virtual processor, and every virtual instruction has to be mapped to the underlying chipset's native instruction, does this ...
11
votes
5answers
18k views

How can I calculate power consumption of my PC in Watt?

How can I calculate power consumption of my PC in Watts, to prove my House owner (I live on rent), my PC doesn't consume much power? He blames me for huge power bills even though he uses a Fridge, ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

What is dirty power?

What is dirty power? I recently saw a question regarding this, and I never really understood what this meant.
10
votes
10answers
19k views

Disable or sleep secondary hard drive in Macbook

I've done some quick Googling but didn't find an answer. I've put an SSD in my Macbook, and at the same time moved the original hard drive to the optical drive bay. I'm running the OS and most of my ...
10
votes
7answers
17k views

Can I charge USB devices from a powered hub that isn't connected to a PC?

This will probably sound familiar to most of you... In my home, we have a whole bunch of devices that can be charged via USB (two iPhones, a BlackBerry, an iPod Touch, etc ad nauseam). We also have a ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Does my 1000 watt 80gold+ (90% efficient) PSU pull 1111 watts, 1000 watts, or 900 watts from my wall receptacle at 100% load?

Does my 1000 watt 80gold+ (90% efficient) PSU pull 1111 watts, 1000 watts, or 900 watts from my wall receptacle at 100% load? When I plug my 200 watt video card into one of the PCIe power ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

USB backlit keyboard power consumption

Does someone know the power consumption of an USB backlit keyboard like the SteelSeries Apex? I'd like to connect it to a Keyboard/Mouse USB Switch that goes to PC by one USB 2.0 cable. The mouse I'm ...
9
votes
4answers
411 views

Why do my speakers save me power?

I've got some M-Audio AV40s at home, plugged into a power strip that includes a mac mini and an LCD monitor. If I plug the power strip into a power meter (like a kill-a-watt, except I live in NZ so I ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

Is there a USB power consumption meter?

For example, how could I measure the normal power consumption of my USB keyboard? After I get my statistics, I may easily notice when a hardware keylogger gets installed, by the changed power ...
8
votes
3answers
964 views

Best Way to Protect A Desktop From Power Surge/Dirty Power?

What is the best way to protect a computer desktop from a power surge/dirty power? Would a power strip be adequate? (I don't have much space in my desk.)
8
votes
2answers
46k views

What is the power output of a USB port?

As the title says, what's the power output of a USB port? Is it a standard value, or it may change depending on manufacturer/model, and so on? If that value is not standard, how can one determine ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Power Supply Capacity Formula

Given that I am building a home computer from scratch and I have several components (MB, CPU, HDD, Video, Sound, etc) which have specific power requirements, is there a formula for me to calculate the ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Danger/Risk of Plugging USB Devices into Powered USB Ports

This question seems like it would have a logical answer, but I thought I’d ask to be safe. As shown in the photo below, there exist externally-powered USB hubs (A) and USB power-adapters—like the ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Amazon Kindle not charging in Ubuntu

I have a dual boot with Windows XP and Ubuntu 10.10. I connected my Amazon Kindle to an USB interface in XP and in Ubuntu. From XP everything works with no flaw. In Ubuntu the data exchange is ...
8
votes
2answers
9k views

Is there a way to power down a USB device using software?

Is there a way that I can power off a (specific) USB device completely using software from a Linux machine? I want to use this to power off (so that the LED is off) a (single) USB stick. Do you know ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

My UPS has a 5ms switchover time, server shuts off during said time

Is there anything I can do to prevent the server from shutting down? (bios setting etc). the server in question is an HP Proliant ML350 G6. I've got an eaton 5110 UPS and Eaton claims that we need to ...
7
votes
1answer
7k views

How to check if my eSATAp port provides 12V power?

I have a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13" model 0217-2QG with eSATAp port. How do i check if my port provides 12V power (enough to power a 3.5" HDD)?
7
votes
1answer
766 views

External “power brick” style PSUs - are they reliable enough?

Keen to build a quiet, power-efficient always-on HTPC/media server, I've been looking at mini ITX boards that have their own external power-brick style power supply. These appeal because they are ...
7
votes
5answers
234 views

NAS not shutting down

I'm running a network attached storage appliance (Iomega ix2-200) which is running some sort of Debian variant. Recently, the unit has been unable to shutdown cleanly, either via the web interface or ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Should I use UPS with my laptop to extend the battery life?

I recently bought a new Vaio laptop which has a 4400 mAh battery. I will use it at home most of the time, and I have an unused uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Should I remove the battery and ...
6
votes
5answers
13k views

What will happen if I remove the RAM while the computer is on?

What will happen if I remove the RAM while the computer is on?