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Energy Efficient Computing
to save the climate, resources and money

In the future much more info will appear here, also on how you can save energy yourself. I first need to redesign this web site. The current pages (links below) were used for my lecture on 'Energy Efficient Computing' at the What the Hack conference, july 2005, where I presented my self build energy efficient PC.
For my aims with this project, see below the graph.
Now busy with a very energy efficient server (sub 20 watt). This server will be used by the dDH independent internet platform.
In de toekomst zal hier veel meer informatie verschijnen, ook over wat iedereen zelf kan doen aan energie-besparing. Dat komt in de nieuwe versie van deze website. De huidige engelse pagina's (links hieronder) gebruikte ik voor m'n lezing op de What the Hack conferentie, juli 2005, waar ik mijn zuinige PC presenteerde.
Voor mijn doelstelling met dit project, zie de (engelse) tekst onder de grafiek.
Nu bezig met de nieuwe, zeer zuinige internet server voor het 'onafhankelijk internet platform' dDH, ddh.nl. Doel is een server die minder gebruikt dan 20 watt. Zeer actueel gezien de grote problemen met stroomvoorziening en warmte-afvoer bij providers en datacentra. In Califoria geeft een energiemaatschappij zelfs al subsidie op zuinige servers.
watt graph

Note: the blue line will peak much higher, as soon as I include big modern CRT monitors.

Based on my measurements and some figures found on the web, this is what it's all about: the results in a graph.
Alas I could not measure the original 1981 IBM PC (still had one, but the PSU is defect). But it is save to say the harddrive models would consume about 40 watts and the early floppy-only models even less. (Can anybody confirm this? Please contact me!)
From 1995 onwards the solid lines represent the energy use by low end PC's and the dotted lines represent the energy use by the fastest PC's.
The blue line for monitors does not include big CRT monitors yet. Including these will translate into a large peak in the early years of this century.
The green laptops graph also does not include a large peak in 2002-2005, when many big laptops with desktop processors were build. These laptops run so hot that you can use them to iron your clothes :)
My sample of measured equipment is quite small, but the overall trend is clear:
Of course this isn't progress, but complete madness. Would you buy a new car which uses twice the amount of fuel your current car does? With computers we do, simply because we don't know it. The ICT industry, normally offering us solutions for problems we did not know we had, should help to solve some very real problems for mankind and the world. And finally live up to its progressive imago.
All technology to make a PC really energy efficient is already there: For over 20 years, all possible energy saving options are build into laptops. This is done to save the battery, not to save the climate. But of course this could be implemented in desktop PC's too. It's 'off the shelf' technology, and we should demand from industry to put it in our desktop PC's.
It's no problem when a PC uses over 300 watts for a few minutes, when you're really busy. But PC's are idle 90-98% of the time they are switched on. So it's in the idle state were the savings must (and can) be made: A idle PC should use no more than 20 watts and with a little extra efford this could be much lower! It's 'win/win' for everyone:
Now the problem is the current 'Energy Star 2007' specification. This is the most important 'standard' for energy saving in PC's. It states that a PC in idle state is allowed to use 50-95 watts. As explained above, that's unacceptable, and quite irresponsible! In this specification the newer multicore based PC's are even alowed to use more energy, not less! This cannot be justified: multicore processors based PC's offer much better options to save energy than the old 'solocore' processors based PC's (allowed to use 50 watt in idle).
It seems consumers, politicians and goverments need to take action, demanding that the ICT-industry shows some respect for the planet ...
Boyd Noorda