Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sustainable computers

Remember Energy Star? I use to see them on all sorts of computer products, especially on the system BIOS. Perhaps it is because it is a US based program, but today I encounter a single Energy Star sticker on my mobo or CPU box or logo on a BIOS screen. Never mind about that now. Today, 40 companies and organisations including Intel, IBM, Dell, AMD, Microsoft, HP, Sun, MIT, WWF, etc. and bizarrely Starbucks, announced an initiative to tackle energy wastage due to the inefficient nature of our computers.

Called the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, the aim of the group is to promote the creation of products that meets or surpass the Environmental Protection Agency's own Energy Star strict guidelines on efficiency, with a goal of reaching 90% efficiency and reduce power consumption by 50% by 2010. The initial goal is to follow the guidelines laid out by Energy Star and aims to introduce stricter guidelines in 2009.

The biggest culprit are of course ACs and PSUs. Everytime I accidentally brush my bare feet against a laptop's AC it would be burning hot indicating just how much energy is actually lost. Desktop's PSU are even worse with requirements to purchase 600W PSU just to run newer inefficient graphic cards. ATi and nVidia needs to follow the footsteps of Intel in producing processors which gives more bang per wattage rather than just pumping more transistors into GPU cores and slapping a huge heat sink on it. Apparently 50% of power from the wall socket is never utilised and is thus wasted.

I hope these companies aren't just doing this for purely as a PR exercise. Like many others I would pay more if the products are more energy efficient and are labelled in a way that would not confuse consumers. Perhaps a sticker like the one on the right would soon make its way onto our PCs. Make it happen.

And please no more junk mails. I have collected my fair share of environmentally unfriendly AOL CDs.

via Ars & PCWorld

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