The real focus should be the power draw of chips and video cards. I took some measurements once: http://positech.co.uk/cliffsblog/?p=21
Dual core PC took 160 watts to do nothing. 189 to run Company of heroes
That makes it by far the biggest power consumer in my house.
well on the bright side Nokia sells more cellphone in 3 months than all the Xbox and X360 lifetime sales combined. I think that is no coincidence that Microsoft and Nintendo are last are also the ones that produce the least amount of devices, less manufacturing capabilities leads to some shortcuts unfortunately.
Interesting article. I’ve got two performance PCs eating up my salary. My new quad core is probably a beast, but my girlfriend is using my old gaming machine which is almost as bad. And the biggest workout her machine gets is Plants vs. Zombies. Maybe it would be cheaper just to throw that machine out and replace it with a newer more efficient PC?
well 160 watts for 10 hours a day is approximately £70 a year in electricity, so even if you can halve it with a new PC, you are talking a very long payback time.
When it comes to total energy usage, it’s all about heating your home these days, together with long haul flights and what you eat.
The energy cost involved in eating beef, for example, is insanely high compared with pasta.
I guess the other industries are more competitive. There are only 3 console makers and so the consumer has far less choice. If I’m deciding between 2 nearly identical Tvs but I learn that one of them is manufactured by an environmental pig, then I’ll go for the greener company.
But consoles are a way more specific purchase.
If your primary criteria are “PvZ availability” and “low power draw” then an iPad is probably your best choice.
And I’m no Apple fan. Over its life an iPad will simply use far less power than any currently available PC that can run Windows reasonably well.
I’m too lazy to go look it up right now, but roughly a year ago Nokia put a bunch of videos up on their “Conversations” blog extolling their greenness. One of them compared the amount of power needed to load a web page on a PC to the amount of power needed to load a web page on a Nokia phone and the difference was huge. Devices that come from a “mobile” lineage have always had to be miserly with power, where devices that come from a “PC” lineage have always assumed the availability of infinite power.
Declaring one device “greener” than another is almost a philosophical question. The manufacturing process that produces the capacitors in a PC power supply defiles the earth. The giant battery in the iPad is reasonably icky, too. If you’re serious about green, you probably want to abandon integrated electronics entirely. Not that vacuum tubes were much better.
The PC industry is missing a trick. I couldn’t give a fuck if my PC is 5 or 10% faster than another one, but whenever I purchase anything that draws power, I always give its power consumption massive attention.
Someone could spend $10 making their PC draw less power, and charge an extra $20 for the honor, and I’d still buy it. I’m likely not the only one.
There are many things I disagree with Greenpeace about, like its rabid anti-nuclear stance, but that doesn’t make them untrustworthy. They have good intentions, and this kind of service is exactly what they are best at: allowing people who want to help the environment make an informed choice.
They are all commies or maybe Democrats, probably muslims too. Might even be mexicans.
But on the point of computer waste, when a company gives a watt rating for a certain CPU(power drawn), is that a total draw or per core? In the old days of all single core CPU’s that was straight forward enough, but it is a bit alarming to see Cliffski’s dual core eating 160 watts. My dual core according to the AMD site draws 89 watts, but is that per core maybe? It doesn’t stipulate so i have no idea? I’m sure people with quad cores upwards would like to know too!
Power supplies are getting ratings according to efficiency specifically because people care about this sort of thing, CPUs will underclock themselves when not being used, newer versions of Windows allow more granularity in port control, etc.
If you mean they’re not selling PCs as green, well there may be a lack of marketing.
Energy Star award PCs that meet particular criteria, but I don’t know what those are.
Your 8800GTS probably only lowers clock rates when idle (linear reduction of power consumption), most newer gfx cards can also lower core voltage which reduces power consumption quadratically.
Just double check the actual card you buy can still do this especially if its not based on the reference design, some manufacturers like to skimp on the PCB and spend the money on flashy coolers instead.
Undervolting your CPU a bit can safe a couple W/h too.