Energy consumption is something that we are becoming increasingly concerned about the modern world. Personal Computers should not be ignored in terms of the amount of energy they consume day after day. A typical, modern PC can consume about 100W when idling nearly 150W under heavy use. For high powered gaming rig these numbers can be doubled.
If your computer is on all day, these numbers can represent a significant portion of your electric bill, especially if you have an office full of computers.
When building your own computer (s), steps can be taken to make the system as efficient as possible. It should also be noted that to make your computer truly green, you need to take into account the amount of lead that is in computer parts. The lead in the solder that affixe electronic components to the circuit board. Items that contain small amounts of lead and other dangerous elements are often badged as being “RoHS” compliant.
There are three main participants in the energy consumption of a computer.
1. Power Supply Unit (PSU)
The perfect PSU would be 100% efficiency, ie power it consumes both the power it provides to the computer. This is of course impossible, and some power is converted into heat and noise, however, modern PSUs often greater than 80% efficiency.
The PSU should also be able to deliver power when needed and not just sit in your burn electricity when not required.
To ensure that you choose the supply is greater than 80% efficiency, check that has “80 Plus” certification. This also ensures that the PSU is lead-free and RoHS-compliant.
2. The microprocessor (CPU)
There are a number of processors are designated as “green”. They tend to be a bit more expensive than non-green counterparts and also slower than the difference in performance is not much. If you do not want to buy green then stick to a dual-core processor and check information on energy consumption, especially when idling.
Of course you have not set up a standard processor in your computer. You can safely use the laptop processor, although you may have to hunt around for a supplier. These processors are low power and has a number of energy-saving features, but as green processor, are a little more expensive.
If you have an old but much loved CRT monitor you’re using a newly built green computer, think again. These types of screens are hungry monsters who have already received his. Modern LCD panels are greener, much more energy efficient, and really do provide a better viewing experience providing you choose the right type of card.