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#1 2015-08-23 15:05:44

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

Hello,

I recently got a new desktop (Lenovo Essential 50-00), which is basically a laptop in a desktop's case.
Somehow my system uses 3GBs of RAM out of the 4GBs available and I was wondering how to find out what is using what.
Furthermore, I would like to learn how to check how much electricity is being used, since the new computer has a very little power.
The reason is that I would like to change the 4GB RAM card with an 8GB one, but I am worrying that everything might fry, considering that I have also added a video card that I use for a dual screen.
Here is a link to the computer's datasheet
http://www.lenovo.com/shop/emea/content … asheet.pdf
And the video card details after doing lspci:
VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Manhattan [Mobility Radeon HD 5430 Series] [1002:68e1]

Cheers,

Clemens

Last edited by clemens (2015-08-23 15:06:07)


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#2 2015-08-23 15:10:15

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

sudo apt-get install powertop
sudo powertop

You should see a power consumption figure in powertop (but you may not, my laptop doesn't).

EDIT: For your RAM issues, I recommend using ps_mem (it's just a python script).

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#3 2015-08-24 19:49:34

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2012-05-22
Posts: 2,205

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

clemens wrote:

(Lenovo Essential 50-00), which is basically a laptop in a desktop's case.

i'm sorry but how so?
do you mean this literally?
looking at the .pdf you linked, it's a pretty large case.
do you really mean they just put a whole laptop, minus screen and plastic cover, in there?
and if so, which (laptop) model would that be?
must be some differences.

Somehow my system uses 3GBs of RAM out of the 4GBs available and I was wondering how to find out what is using what.

yes you should, HoaS's advice is as good a starting point as many.

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#4 2015-08-25 16:48:46

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

Hello,

thank you for your replies.
@Head_on_a_Stick
I installed PowerTOP and it works well, but I am not sure how to interpret the data :8

@Ohnonot
the power unit is external and it is just a typical 65W laptop ac power adaptor (specifically http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ADP-65FD-A … 00UJEY6SE), the motherboard is very small in size and has only one SODIMM Ram slot, the CPU cooling is passive.
The main difference with a lowcost laptop is the normal sized PCI slot where I have put the video card.

As of now, no problems with the video card installed, considering that I use it only to have two screens.
Now I would like to change the 4GB SODIMM Ram with an 8GB one, but I am not sure if the computer can handle it (too high power consumption) and wanted to make sure before risking to fry everything.
Cheers

P.s often I have a VM running Windows7 to use programs such as MS Word and Adobe that I need for work.

Last edited by clemens (2015-08-25 17:20:05)


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#5 2015-08-25 20:13:44

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2012-05-22
Posts: 2,205

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

clemens wrote:

the CPU cooling is passive.

hard to believe, even for a laptop. IAmNotATechnician, but i don't think i ever saw a computer with a passively cooled cpu - except a phone or raspberry pi or such.

if this is really the case, you are right to be worried about overheating.

but I am not sure if the computer can handle it (too high power consumption) and wanted to make sure before risking to fry everything.

these are 2 different things, overheating and power consumption.
imho, an insufficient power supply makes your system unusable, but only until you install a stronger powersupply or remove components.
so yes, you should check how much more power the ram and the graphic card are going to take (my guess is that the graphic card will be the much bigger factor here).
there are some calculators on the www to help you assess power consumption, you can add components and such.
i think mobo manufacturers have them on their websites. or powersupply manufacturers.

Last edited by ohnonot (2015-08-25 20:14:15)

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#6 2015-08-25 20:18:34

tknomanzr
#! Die Hard
From: Heavener, OK
Registered: 2014-12-09
Posts: 777

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

You won't have to worry about the voltage for the ram. The more important question is whether your motherboard/cpu chipset will support that much. Give us info on the cpu in the machine and we could probably tell you whether it can address 8gb of ram.
Ram typically has pretty low power consumption requirements. Usually it is big video card that get you in trouble with power consumption.

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#7 2015-08-25 21:31:08

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

Thank you all for the replies.
I have to correct my previous statement. Indeed the cooling is active, but it's just a mini vent on top of a passive part. Somehow I recalled only the passive part.

As for the specs of the computer, here is what I found online:
MotherBoard           
Chipset    Intel H81        Front Side Bus    0 MHz
Socket    Socket H2 (LGA 1155)       

CPU       
Producer    Intel        Technology    Pentium Quad-Core
Clock speed    2,41 GHz        Processor Model    J2900
Bit    64 bit        Cache L2 Total dimensions    3 mb

I hope I got the information right, this is what I could find looking online.


The perennial newbie

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#8 2015-08-26 03:46:17

tknomanzr
#! Die Hard
From: Heavener, OK
Registered: 2014-12-09
Posts: 777

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

Looks like it supports 1 dimm per channel of ddr3-1333. I would definitely peek inside the case and see how many sticks of ram are in it before I ran off ordering memory.

Of course, the first question I had was why are you using  3gb of ram? What desktop are you running? How many running processes and are they really necessary, etc. If you are running BunsenLabs, you should be nowhere near that unless you are running Chrome with many tabs open, a resource intensive game, 3d app, possibly gimp, or other heavy-weight types of apps. Is this 3gb at idle and what can you ditch to drop that amount?

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#9 2015-08-26 07:05:51

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

Hi,

I checked the case, there is only one SODIMM 4GB module in the only slot available. The vendor says maximum capacity 8GB therefore it should be fine.
The only thing that I am worried is that I also have the the video card mentioned above, which is actually on the low end and shouldn't consume much given that I use it only for the dual screen, but I wanted to make sure before buying the 8GB RAM module that could render the system unstable.

I am actually using vanilla Debian plus LXDE on this specific desktop. On my laptop I have #! Waldorf.
As you say it probably is Chrome (I like to keep various tabs open at the same time) and perhaps Goldendict that I believe might load the entire dictionaries when it starts.
In any case the system should use much less RAM therefore I wanted to spot the culprits but I am not sure about the tools to use.

Cheers

Last edited by clemens (2015-08-26 07:06:54)


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#10 2015-08-26 07:58:01

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

For your RAM issues, I recommend using ps_mem

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#11 2015-08-26 13:48:32

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

Sorry, I missed that. Indeed chromium was the biggest culprit, followed, far away, by goldendict

112.6 MiB +   2.6 MiB = 115.1 MiB	goldendict
  1.7 GiB +  66.4 MiB =   1.7 GiB	chromium (37)

What perplexes me is the (37) of chromium, since I only have 10 tabs open.

As for the electricity, I tried looking for the online calculators, but somehow I cannot find one that has the Pentium  J2900.

Cheers and thank you again for all the help and patience.


The perennial newbie

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#12 2015-08-26 19:34:04

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2012-05-22
Posts: 2,205

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

see how your chromium browser is set up.
there's quite a lot of stuff in (advanced) settings that has potential of eating resources, esp. the "keep background services running after closing chromium" checkbox.

about power consumption:
the gpu should tell you how much power it consumes, either on the box or on its website.
the mobo's spec sheet should tell you how much power it consumes.
the power supply should tell you how much power it supplies.
now do the math.

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#13 2015-08-28 18:19:24

clemens
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-06
Posts: 187

Re: How to check Power and RAM usage [to avoid frying]?

Finally I think I got it.
The CPU uses 10W max, which is surprisingly low, 4GB RAM use 2W to 4W, 8 GB 3W to 6W.
The video card I don't know, but shouldn't be too much since I only use it for the screens.
So I think I should be fine, as long as I don't push it too hard...


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