Doing my selfish bit for the environment

Over a year ago I blogged about building a Low power Solaris home server. I was very pleased with the 77W achieved, but have since added a couple of 1TB SATA drives. Sadly, my cheap Trust PW-5252 420W PSU didn’t see out its first year, so I swapped in a generic Antec unit from an unused PC that was kicking around.

I’ve just found a new home for the unloved PC, so I decided to swap the PSU back and to take the opportunity to upgrade my Solaris server’s PSU to something a little more environmentally friendly. I selected the Antec TruePower Trio 430 for its green credentials, especially its claimed “up to 85%” efficiency. I was amazed at the difference!

With the addition of the two 1TB SATA drives, and with the swapped-in generic Antec PSU, my Solaris server was pulling about 85W (i.e. up 10% from the 77W in original posting). With the Antec TruePower Trio 430 in place, it is now drawing a miserly 37 Watts! Some of this is doubltess due to smarter cooling (e.g. the internal 12cm fan hardly ever kicks in, and the PSU also takes over control of the case fans), but the majority is probably attributable to smarter circuit design.

Smarter, greener power supplies don’t come cheap. I paid £47 for mine. However, “doing the math” I find that this upgrade will have paid for itself in less than a year (mine is a 24×7 server). It also comes with a five year warranty! In all, buying the cheaper (£19) power supply has proven to be a false economy. Think on.