It is true that if we are talking about a mini PC, and especially one that is already relatively old and not very powerful, its consumption will be quite low, especially compared to a desktop computer. However, having a device on 24 hours a day can generate consumption that may surprise you, and may make you wonder twice if you really need it to be on 24/7.
How much does it cost to mount a Mini PC server
Really, the cost of the mini PC is what you want to spend. You have the option to reuse a old mini pc that you already had and set it up as a server, in which case you won’t spend any money, but it is also possible that you need to set up a server and you have decided that it is a good idea to invest in a mini PC to guarantee low consumption, low noise and it’s not too expensive.
In any case, we are going to exemplify this with a real case: we decided to buy an old second-hand mini PC among several friends to set up a Minecraft server and thus be able to play together without depending on third parties. To do this, instead of going to the second-hand market, we decided to buy a refurbished mini PC from a trusted store.
We purchased a Dell OptiPlex 7040, equipped with an Intel Core i5-6500T processor (4 cores at 2.5 GHz), 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256 GB NVMe SSD, more than enough hardware to mount a Minecraft server , that was the intention. It is a device that is already a handful of years old, but it has been reconditioned and is endowed with a 2-year guarantee, so the €193 we paid for it seemed more than correct.
And this was the first expense, the initial investment that had to be made to buy the hardware, although it is true that as we have noted at the beginning, if you already had the mini PC in your possession, this is something that you will save. But come on, how much are you going to spend if you have it on 24 hours a day, every day?
And how much do you spend on the electricity bill?
This is a low consumption mini PC, with a 4-core processor with a TDP of 35 watts. However, the processor will not always be consuming 35 watts, nor is it the only thing that it consumes in the computer, since the board, the RAM, the SSD consume energy, and even the power supply itself has certain losses due to its efficiency. , so it would be a mistake to make the calculation based solely on the TDP of the processor, even if it is true that it is the biggest “culprit” of the equipment’s consumption. In addition, in general terms and thanks to CoreTempwe could see that the average consumption of the processor is around 8 watts.
Once configured and started, we have left the mini PC apart and with nothing connected except the network cable and the power cable, that is, it has neither peripherals nor a monitor that add consumption to the equipment (for its management, we leave VNC configured to be able to connect to it whenever we want), so the consumption has only been the mini PC itself. With a wall meter, we have estimated that the total consumption of the equipment turned on is 14 watts under the conditions that we have described.
And now comes the calculation: 14 watts means a consumption of 0.014 kWh, but since it is on 24 hours a day, we are talking about 0.336 kWh per day, which multiplied by 30 means 10.08 kWh per month. The price at which electricity is currently available can vary greatly depending on the contract you have, but the person who hosts the server at home has a rate without hourly discrimination in which he pays €0.174/kWh including VAT.
With these data, a simple multiplication tells us that having this mini PC as a Minecraft server on 24×7 costs us approximately €1.75 per month. Obviously, this is the case as long as the average consumption of 14 watts is maintained, since if we “give more power” to the server (the processor has room for it), consumption could easily triple.