From the FAQ at Stanford
How much power/money is used by keeping a F@H running 24/7 on a computer?
Roughly, a CPU uses about as much power as a 60 watt light bulb. Here's a report on computer power management from Lawrence Berkeley government labs, and there are other references on the web you can find. Although power supplies on most computers are rated at 250 watts, average usage is much lower. On average, a Pentium-type computer uses between 45-70 watts (I've read various different sources on this) while it is on. If the computer has no idle mode, it will use the same amount of energy whether it is running a program or not. If it is on idle, it will consume around 25 watts. So, the daily difference between off and running F@H is about 24x(45 to 70) = 1.1 to 1.7 kWh. At $0.14 per kWh ( from PG&E here in California), this works out to about $0.15 to $0.24 per day, or perhaps $6 a month. The difference between an idled computer and one running F@H would be closer to $4 a month - and if the computer was already being used 8 hours a day, it would be closer to $3 a month.
In general, lighting and climate control use a much larger share of household power than computers do. So the best bet for cutting costs and conserving energy would be to turn off lights, turn off your computer monitors (which use more power than a CPU), and turn down the heat. And keep folding
That quote specifically states that is the power consumption of a CPU. Computers consist of far more than a CPU, including the mobo, ram, HDDs, PCI cards, VGA cards, etc, etc.
Saying that a PC only uses a much power as a 60watt light bulb is flat out wrong.
In the context of a FAH folding machine, the CPU is drawing nearly all of the power. The HDD, cdrom, pci cards, and all the other peripherals don't draw power while FAH is running (well, 99.9% of the time that it is running). As for the mobo and ram, sure. But how much power does ram draw? A watt, or two, maybe?
The author of the FAQ said his information was based on the Lawrence Berkeley research. If you think it is wrong, feel free to read the research he cited and point out any inaccuracies in their study. While a little old, the study determined that an average Pentium class computer uses about 45 watts while active (a 386 class computer used 65 watts) and the monitor uses from 75 to 120 watts. So, yes, according to that study a computer uses about the same amount of power as a 60 watt light bulb.
Did you read my earlier post at all?
According to the book I'm reading, ram uses 8w per 128mb. So, my ram is using 32 watts alone, far more than "A watt, or two".
Unless I'm mistaken, if your hard drive is plugged in, and it has not been turned off by the OS via Power Management, then it is spinning contantly consuming 5-15w per drive. I know that a good percantage of PCs have more than one drive.
And don't forget about the mobo, that thing consumes a good 20-30w alone!
And by the way, according to AMD, my CPU uses 68w, more than 60, but I also have it overclocked, so I have no idea how much wattage my CPU uses.