I have a chance to buy a surplus supply of Lenovo laptops for cheap from a local university. I was going to part them out, but had another thought that I wanted outside opinions on.
I could put together a makeshift rack and have all 12 of them crunching. I’d remove & sell pretty much anything not useful for computing (e.g. screen, keyboard, battery, plastic shell) and mount some decent, used air coolers from eBay. They have two-core i5 – 4300U processors, which run at 15W. With overhead, I figure each will suck up 25W or around 215 kWh per month ($23/mo. at current local rate). By my estimation, I could probably return 350 GRC per month in PoR. It starts to make some sense when you consider that (1) they’ll essentially be e-waste otherwise, (2) together they’d have a similar contribution to science as a second-gen threadripper at a fraction of the price, and (3) I’d probably get more than my investment back in the sale of the parts I strip off.
||Laptop Rack|Threadripper 2970WX|
|Core Count|2 cores \* 12 laptops|24|
|IPC benchmark (passmark avg)|87|98|
|TDP|300W|250W + overhead|
|Build Cost (all-in)|$450|$1400+|
Eager to hear your thoughts.