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Old 05-02-2009, 08:29 PM
Mark Dann Mark Dann is offline
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: NYC, USA
Posts: 762
Default Pro Tools, Energy Saver, and power consumption

Armed with my new handy watt meter, I have been running around my house and studio tracking down the "energy vampires". Energy vampires are those items that drive up your electric bill in ways that surprise you. Like my water cooler. Lo and behold, one of them is Pro Tools itself. Because PT doesn't support sleep, we Mac users can't use Apple's sleep function. But few of us are aware of what that price it. Courtesy of my watt meter, I can now supply you with that info:

Intel iMac, on but idle: 70 to 80 watts (more if you are actually doing something that torcs up the hard drive and/or cpu.
The same iMac in sleep mode: 3 watts.

Mac Pro (2009 8-core), same as above: 160 watts vs. 10 watts.

A 192 interface is 57 watts, btw. This stuff adds up fast.

I would like to petition Digidesign to keep all this in mind when it comes to future updates, in both the hardware and software camps. If the current hardware won't allow it, at least try build some energy consciousness into the next round. All hardware (audio, computer, and otherwise) will last a lot longer when not power-cycling more than it needs to. Plus there is a need for all of us to stop wasting power like we have for the past bunch of decades.

Is this issue important to anyone else?
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:28 PM
JFreak's Avatar
JFreak JFreak is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 15,272
Default Re: Pro Tools, Energy Saver, and power consumption

You would be surprised how much power high end analog gear takes...
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:20 AM
gonzolagonda gonzolagonda is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 432
Default Re: Pro Tools, Energy Saver, and power consumption

You could just turn it off when you're not using it....?! Only takes a couple of minutes to boot up a modern system...
PT12.4 HD - UA Apollo 16Mkii - UA Apollo 8TB Duo - Mac Pro 2014 6-Core 3.5GHz 16GB RAM - OSX 10.10.5 - Magma ExpressBox3T - UAD-2 Octo - Euphonix Artist Mix, Control and Transport
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:28 AM
Mark Dann Mark Dann is offline
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: NYC, USA
Posts: 762
Default Re: Pro Tools, Energy Saver, and power consumption

Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
You would be surprised how much power high end analog gear takes...
A large format console does, for sure, but most PT users don't own such things. I do, I have a 10' long DDA console, and it's two power supplies draw 360 watts. But outboard gear is nothing like that. My Tubetech dual mic preamp draws 35 watts, and that has tubes and transformers in it. My Amek 9098 mic preamps/eqs draws only 14. That is more typical. My Digi 192 with my Mac Pro combo draw close to 220 watts, which is many times more that any other piece of gear in my studio. Aside from a large format console and a 2" tape machine, what studio gear can come even remotely close to that?

As far as powering up and down, it's both inconvenient and bad for gear. Ever see the occasional story in the news of someone who has a light bulb that hasn't burned out in 30 or 40 years? That's because they never turned it off. Any pro studio owner will tell you that gear never breaks (due to electronics failure) while in use. It's powering it on that kills it. And then there is the electric bill to consider.

It would be far better to allow the Mac to go into sleep mode like it was designed to do. For those of us who run PT all the time, the savings would definitely add up.
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