[K12OSN] Anyone quantified savings using LTSP?

Terrell Prude' Jr. microman at cmosnetworks.com
Fri Feb 8 04:29:43 UTC 2008

Rob Owens wrote:
> Terrell Prudé Jr. wrote:
>> James P. Kinney III wrote:
>>>> Of course, it's not that hard to come up with donated PCs, so that's a
>>>> bigger savings.
>>> Old PC's are the way to get the thin client process _started_. The are
>>> large, hot, heavy and often come with the old CRT monitor. All power
>>> hogs.
>> I have to disagree somewhat here.  Old PC's actually don't use much 
>> juice at all if you just pull the hard disks (the power cable to the 
>> HD is sufficient) and use LCD screens with them.  CRT's are going to 
>> suck power whether you hook them up to a new Northtec-style thin 
>> client or an old PC.
>> We once got a bunch of donated 15" LCD screens at one school, and 
>> they got put into a lab full of Dell OptiPlex GX1's.   Once I flashed 
>> the BIOSes to the latest revision (took 5 minutes per box), things 
>> went smoothly as wet ice...and saved a nice wad of cash, too.
> I recently did some power measurements of various types of computer 
> equipment.  I'm attaching an ods spreadsheet, but I'm not sure if the 
> list will block it or not.  I found that old P2 or P3 machines used 
> about 30 Watts or so (idle) when used as a thin client.
> -Rob

Looks like it came through OK. 

Good, thorough analysis, Rob.  Your measurements are similar to mine for 
old PC's.  I got 29W usage with a Dell OptiPlex GX1, with (IIRC) a 
Pentium II-266MHz, HD disconnected.  That is compared to my Athlon 2GHz 
which will suck up as much as 150W if I run it full-tilt (I had the HD 
doing a lot of work, too).  I hadn't tried a thin client, since I don't 
own one, but the power usage figures that you're showing for those are 

I guess it comes down to a cost-benefit analysis of power saved over the 
expected remaining life of the old PC's whether you go w/ new thin 
clients or old PC's.


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