I picked up an old Compaq P3 small form factor off Ebay the other day for $6.19, shipped for another $29. I set it up running a Linux firewall distribution called IPCOP. Its very quite and only pulls 34.6 watts booted up and running the firewall software. Now thats low power low cost.
The funny thing is how much a "powered off" computer uses in this day of wake on demand systems. It still was pulling 24 watts in the shutdown condition!
My $40 e-bay toshiba laptop (66 MHz, P266, 90 MB ram, 12.1 inch TFT, 30 Gb HDD) didn't come with a power supply, so I am making do with a 12v, 1 amp rated output power supply from some broken project or other.
The LiIon battery runs it for over 2 hours with a modicum of power saving settings, and takes seemingly forever to recharge when in operation. I suspect the AC/DC supply I'm using is barely enough to run the brick, let alone recharge it at the same time. That leads me to believe it is consuming not more than about 15 watts at full tilt, or as full tilt as 266 Mhz can be. The AC input to the converter is probably closer to 20 watts as a guess.
It kinda sucks because the PowerSaver feature of other Via procs doesn't work, but even then it only uses ~35W under normal use with a porky IDI hard disk, so I'm guessing it'll idle at 25W *(17W now) or so w/ a notebook hard disk. Mine sucks down 45+W *(35+W ) 24/7 running stuff from climateprediction.net. All the hardware is supported under Linux and it's surprisingly quick considering. It may use a third of the power most desktops use, but it's no where near that slow.
*I added a 80 PLUS power supply for ~$4 AR which cut ~10W off across the board.
Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
linux is generally better at using system resources than windows is, and if you do the majority of your work online instead of using windows programs you should be just fine. I use Ubuntu (a version of linux) and it fits my needs just fine, plus it's free