Jump to content
TimothyMDean

Mac pro power consumption

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know if a Mac Pro system draws significantly more power than other computer systems? I've started having problems with circuit breaers getting tripped when I turn on my system. I've done some re-arranging of cables to temporarily work around the problem, but I'm curious about why this is happening.

 

Thanks,

 

- Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to www.barefeats.com, the MacPro they tested (with 16GB of RAM and a Radeon X1900 I believe) drew about 410 watts on startup and a max of 430 watts under heavy load -- idling at about 300 watts. Pretty hefty, but then again their test unit was maxed out with high-end components.

 

How that relates to a G5 PowerMac or a Core 2 Duo iMac I cannot say for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That still shouldn't trip a circuit breaker, though.

 

Tim, did you have a lot of equipment plugged into a power strip or something? I know that I have had issues with computers and laser printers on the same outlet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That still shouldn't trip a circuit breaker, though.

 

Tim, did you have a lot of equipment plugged into a power strip or something? I know that I have had issues with computers and laser printers on the same outlet.

 

 

Yes, I did... But here's some more details.

 

BEfore getting this computer I knew I would have power issues because I'm setting up an office in a part of the house already known to have issues when too much gets plugged in. So I had an electrician come and put in a new 4-plug outlet on its own independent circuit. I put a 5 plug strip into one of the outlets. In the other 3 I plugged in my Mac Pro, a 23" Apple Cinema Display, and a small desk lamp. In the power strip, I plugged in a printer, a LaCie external hard disk, my cable modem, and my Apple Airport base station.

 

All that sounds like a lot, so it doesn't surprise me terribly that it would be too much. The odd thing is this: I had this all plugged in and working fine for a day or so with no problem. The only thing not connected was my printer: I had it plugged in but not connected to my MP because I needed another USB cable. With everything off, I connected the printer to the MP via USB and tried to power up. As soon as I hit the MP power button everything died. It seems odd that this would work fine for a day and only then have problems, but I'm no electrician.

 

One other clarification: It doesn't appear to be tripping a circuit breaker. Instead, it's setting off the "GFI" breaker in the power outlet itself. Rather than going up to the breaker box to get things back on, I just have to hit a button on the outlet. I'm not sure if this makes a difference to my diagnosis or not..

 

Thanks,

 

- Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no electrician but I had a similar experience in an apartment years ago. In my case the problem was that my apartment was in an old building that may have had faulty wiring / wasn't properly grounded. The work around I used was a UPS.

 

This may have nothing to do with your situation but I mention it as a possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm no electrician but I had a similar experience in an apartment years ago. In my case the problem was that my apartment was in an old building that may have had faulty wiring / wasn't properly grounded. The work around I used was a UPS.

 

This may have nothing to do with your situation but I mention it as a possibility.

 

 

I have the electrician who put in the power outlet coming to take a look tomorrow evening. Hopefully it's just a problem with the outlet itself.

 

One of my coworkers suggested that it might be a problem with my power brick. He says that if it is not properly grounded it can cause problems. If this were the problem, I suppose it could be either the brick from my MP or the one from my cinema display. Hopefully the electrician will have the equipment to check it out completely.

 

Has anyone had any problems with bad power bricks on any of their Macs?

 

- Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Intel processors are supposed to significantly cut power usage levels. You should be using much less power than if you had a PowerPC G5 Power Mac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the Intel processors are supposed to significantly cut power usage levels. You should be using much less power than if you had a PowerPC G5 Power Mac.

 

 

Unfortunately I only can compare it to my previous system, which is a 17" Powerbook G4.

 

- Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apple says 250w for full cpu processes for stock mac pro...full details on apple's KB docs. click below

 

Mac Pro Power Consumption

 

According to the electrician, I have a full 20 amps of current available from this outlet because it is a dedicated circuit. Not sure how much of it is being chewed up by the 250w being drawn by the Mac and the other things, but he suggested that there should be plenty of current to run all the stuff I want plugged in.

 

I have now been educated about the realities of circuit breakers and GFI switches. This is not a problem with consuming too much power. GFI switches are included in newer outlets to prevent grounding problems. If it keep tripping like it has for me, it means one of two things:

  1. There is a problem with the outlet or the GFI circuits themselves
  2. Or, there is a problem with the wiring/power on the device I'm plugging in.

The electrician has now replaced the outlet, so I'll have to see if the problem goes away. If it does not, I will have to contact Apple to see about getting a replacement. I'd probably start with replacing the power adapter rather than the whole computer.

 

- Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
According to www.barefeats.com, the MacPro they tested (with 16GB of RAM and a Radeon X1900 I believe) drew about 410 watts on startup and a max of 430 watts under heavy load -- idling at about 300 watts. Pretty hefty, but then again their test unit was maxed out with high-end components.

 

How that relates to a G5 PowerMac or a Core 2 Duo iMac I cannot say for sure.

16 GB of RAM is a lot. A sleeping computer sucks power, and that is only it powering the RAM, nothing else. And if a laptop can suck up to 10% of the power a day sleeping if the memory was full when it was closed, then 16 GB of active memory could be an insane power suck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

×