# How much current draws by a software?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by ransiluj, Nov 26, 2012.

1. ### ransiluj Thread Starter New Member

Nov 14, 2012
21
0
hey all!!
can anyone tell about how much current does software take? if it is, can you please put the software name and the how much current it takes in here.
Thank you!

2. ### WBahn Moderator

Mar 31, 2012
18,089
4,917
You question makes no sense. What are you expecting someone to tell you? That running Paint takes 56mA while running Pinball takes 92mA?

Does a CPU generally consume more power when running a program than when idling? Yes, in the case of most current OSs. Does running Program A on a computer consume a different about of current than Program B on that same computer? It can, but it doesn't have to. Can Program A running on two different computers consume very different amounts of current? Definitely. Can Program A running today on a given computer consume a very different amount of current than Program A running tomorrow on that same computer? Yes.

So, with all that in mind, try to ask a better question that gets at what you are trying to find out.

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3. ### ransiluj Thread Starter New Member

Nov 14, 2012
21
0
well that is what i want to know. We are building a device which can measure the power consumption that software takes, For that we need to measure the different different currents that softwares take. Yes you are right. Softwares take different currents. We are like to know various currents that softwares consume when running. then we are going to build current measuring device which can measure that current range.

So is that true? you values ?
paint = 56mA
Pinball = 92mA
Did you measure those currents when those softwares are running ?

4. ### takao21203 Distinguished Member

Apr 28, 2012
3,578
463
When I get a new computer virus, suddenly the cooling fan spins at high speed during the night.

5. ### ransiluj Thread Starter New Member

Nov 14, 2012
21
0
did you measure that current ?

6. ### WBahn Moderator

Mar 31, 2012
18,089
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Did you read what I wrote?

If I run, say, Paint, on five different computers, I will get five different current draws.

If I run Paint while it is the only thing running and Paint when there are twenty other applications running, I will get a different draw.

If I run Paint and lazily do something I will get a different current draw than when I run Paint and am busily editing a picture.

This "device" that you are claiming to be developing: You are aware that almost all operating systems today are multitasking and, therefore, you have to be able to detect when that applications process (or, more likely, processes) are running and when they aren't?

7. ### ransiluj Thread Starter New Member

Nov 14, 2012
21
0
no we are not gonna run any other applications when we are running our program. We are gonna only run that program and measure the current. So we can measure the change of the current clearly only for that program. If any case if there is a current that take by mouse we are going to reduce it. so i like to know that values you measure is true? i know that current is changing but i like to know if you measure it at least one time. did you get such values to the current? please let me know. thank you

8. ### takao21203 Distinguished Member

Apr 28, 2012
3,578
463
Modern computers have big CPUs.

If there is a lot of CPU activity, current is higher.

Most softwares are always idle, except computation is done: PCB layout, compression, compiling etc.

9. ### MrChips Moderator

Oct 2, 2009
12,648
3,458
Software takes zero current.

It is hardware that consumes electrical power.

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10. ### WBahn Moderator

Mar 31, 2012
18,089
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Even if you only have one application running, that application is only running a fraction of the time. Go to your Task Manager (or equivalent for your OS) and see the long list of system processes that are running.

Now start a user app and watch it's share of the CPU while you do different things and you will see it range from basically zero to a large fraction.

How are you going to deal with that?

11. ### tshuck Well-Known Member

Oct 18, 2012
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675
If you were to actually attempt to measure the amount of current the processor draws from running a specific program, you'd have to figure out the state of every single flip-flop in your CPU. Then you'd have to determine which ones were from the OS, background threads, other programs, interrupts, etc. and remove their current consumption contributions from the total current draw...and do this for each clock cycle....

So, good luck

12. ### spinnaker AAC Fanatic!

Oct 29, 2009
5,102
1,190
My question is:

Why on earth would you care how much current a particular software application consumes?

Is this going to be used for marketing???

Our new XYZ software consumes 20ma less than our competitors!

electron_prince likes this.
13. ### atferrari AAC Fanatic!

Jan 6, 2004
2,672
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Add to the list to compete:

Are speakers binary?

Is a knife vegetarian?

DerStrom8 likes this.
14. ### spinnaker AAC Fanatic!

Oct 29, 2009
5,102
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How much wood, would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

15. ### electron_prince Member

Sep 19, 2012
93
3
current drawn by a software? To calculate this current you gotta hold the software in your hand and then interface it with your processor. Take a multimeter and measure the current.

Thank you, with your new software i could save some electricity bill. lol

16. ### MrChips Moderator

Oct 2, 2009
12,648
3,458
How much current would my software generate if I left it in the sun to dry?

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17. ### takao21203 Distinguished Member

Apr 28, 2012
3,578
463
Why do you derail this thread with jokes so much?

If you use PowerDVD on a laptop, the battery will become depleted very fast.
For instance.

It is correct most computers don't have an Amp meter. But different softwares will cause different currents.

18. ### electron_prince Member

Sep 19, 2012
93
3
Current drawn by a software = Current Drawn by your computer from its power supply while running that software?
= Current drawn by CPU, Memory, DVD writer, Graphics card etc?

Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
19. ### atferrari AAC Fanatic!

Jan 6, 2004
2,672
785
The advantage of being native. I would never could have said that!!

20. ### toffee_pie Active Member

Oct 31, 2009
162
7
if you run power dvd, windows media player etc the API routine calls in hardware of your laptop/desktop.

ie sound chips or gpu... then of course your battery or power resources will change accordingly.

its not rocket science.

CPUs use DVFS to lower frequency of the processor when needed= lower power consumption.