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Old 01-30-2011, 06:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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rmay635703's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Somewhere in WI
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Silver - '10 Chevy Cobalt XFE
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What is the lowest power x86 compatible desktop PC you can build?

My parents more and more can't run their PC at craft shows because of needing electricity or a generator.

We have run batteries several times but many places have a cow even though the batteries are unspillable sealed Greensavers.

I DO NOT WANT A LAPTOP and will do that as a last resort only.


1. Desktop or tower PC, preferably a case large enough that fits standard components when I need them and is durable

2. X86 compatible, our proprietary business software runs under Windows 9x only and is only semi functional under XP

3. Did I say low power? I would like it to run at as low of power as possible, if I could buy one that used a single watt and was still something I could buy and build easily I would buy it.

4. I use a monitor to display our work to customers, size is not important (13"+) but it should be separate from the computer so I can place it near the customers without my keyboard being in the aisle and obviously it must use very little power, I could do with B&W but color is prefered, since we are usually in a tent under full sun a reflective model might work and I would definately consider ANTIQUE monitors if they use very little power and have a Windows 9x interface card.

5. Only needs to be Equivalent to a pentium 133mhz or better, better is nice lower power is better. I need a minimum of 32mb but 256mb is obviously much better. I need VGA or better, better is prefered, I need Parallel and would like USB.

6. Age, I could care less, in fact if I could buy a used low power system that would be even better.

My printer I am somewhat stuck with as I can't really find any that are much more efficient and still run as a laser.

Currently my system when putting around but not printing uses 100-130watts for a 19" monitor, tower computer and idling printer.

I would very much like to reduce this, I can only run 3 days on battery power max at this rate with about 3 dozen surges to 500watt for 15 seconds. (not really 500watt constant over the 15sec.)

If I could reduce the rate my 4 battery pack could be reduced to 2 batteries or possibly 1 battery.

I also would consider a system like this a nice chance for me to have an excuse to build a PC system again and a Nice intro to the possibility of running on solar

Are there any complete PC systems that only draw a couple watts in the desktop form factor and are x86 compatble?

The Intel ATOM as far as I can tell draws more power as a system then my antique crap box but it is faster. (AKA 80watts for an ATOM is not unheard of)

Thank You
Ryan May

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