I  saw a commercial the other day with IT Geeks saying how much their electricity cost are to run there network. One guy said $200,000 a year, another $400,000 the last guy says some number over $1,000,000. I think it was for Dell talking about their new green product line of servers. If they can save money, why can’t I?

A few years a go I built a computer as a DVR. My family loves the DVR I built. It cost me almost $600 over three years ago. Of coarse it does more then just record and play TV shows. I can, if I want to, do everything a normal computer could, just through the TV. One of the best decisions I made was to install a mobile processor on the motherboard. Sure the CPU cost an extra $35, but I know the wattage savings has more than made that up. Don’t forget, I don’t pay a monthly fee for the pleasure of recording. One more thing, all my recording are in HD! And have been for three years. Toot, Toot. 🙂

Now on the the current situation. My office PC has seen better days. At over five years old and used everyday for that entire time, it is in need of replacement. When the monitor shuts off and won’t come back to life, the computer DVD drive makes strange noises, or the newest thing, the computer wakes up in the middle of the night and starts to play my daughters Baby Einstein DVD, it is time.

What I do with current computer? I used to play games all the time. Now, with kids, the last thing I have time for is games. Anymore, I use Facebook, email, word processing and other basic Internet “stuff”. O’ and play movies for my daughter. My current machine does that very well. So I don’t need trillions of transistor of the newest processor. I need a cheap replacement. Enter the Intel Atom processor.The dual core 330 is more then enough. To boot, it uses only 8 watts.

I have always wanted a “Shoe Box” computer. This would be a great time to build one. I could just buy a Mac-Mini but they cost too much. I think I could build a basic computer for about $350 dollars. My current computer uses about 110 Watts. I would like to get that down to 35 Watts. That would be a savings of 13.5 kW a month. Or a $1.35. (6 hours x 75 Watts x 30 days) If I purchase a new LCD monitor I could reduce that even more. Since I don’t need anything special I can use free operating software. My favorite is Ubuntu Linux. I run it on my son’s computer. Never had any issues.

11 x 11 x 4 book sized PC

11" x 11" x 4" book sized PC

After I get it built I will post some pictures and final wattage numbers.