Instructables

Personal Computing Efficiency- the incomplete guide

Picture of Personal Computing Efficiency- the incomplete guide
At this very moment, it could be that you have an extra unused computer switched on somewhere in the house. Yes? Well read on...

There is a lot of useful information on the World Wide Web about increasing the efficiency of computer systems and thereby saving power. But the thing is that most of the time, people tend to get easily bored looking through the thousands of web pages on the topic.

That is why I compiled this guide to reducing the energy footprint of your home computer system(s), with the intention of raising awareness about the endless possibilities, and to let EVERYONE know how they can help.

So read on and please, implement what you read, because as I will later prove, even small changes make a big difference!

NOTE: This instructable is entered in the "Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest", so if you think this guide deserves to win, VOTE!
 
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Step 1: Tally

What I have found is that there are some main concepts published on the net, plus some unique ideas. Now to put these into action, first you have to take a tally of the computers and accessories in your home.
The main points to consider are:

(1) How many laptops?
(2) How many desktops (count the system units-boxes only)?
(3) How many CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors? TIP: these are the ones with the big backsides
(4) How many LCD monitors?
(5) How many sets of speakers?
(6) Any external hard drives?
(7) Any modems and routers? TIP: Box shaped things which allow you to connect to the internet
(8) Media computers?
(9) File servers?
(10) Print servers?
(11) Scanners?
(12) Printers?
Heh I know for a fact my existing gaming pc eats 1000W
but its a SLI rig and its about 3 years old
Notice tha screen saver do not save power! They even take more because they keep your procesor calculating, your graphics card rendering and keeps your screen on!
Hmm, power strips with individual switches... Looks interesting, but the Smart Strip would use power when detecting applianced turned off.
MrNintendo5 years ago
Nice instructable dude, and it is true, some computers do eat up 800 watts, but it is rare to find a computer that actually uses up that much. The more wattage a power supply can put out, the longer it will last in a lower-powered system.
"(1) High end gaming desktops leech up to 800 watts with newer processors and up to 1000 watts with older processors."

Can you provide proof of this? It is a very common misconception that if you have a 500W PSU it consumes 500Watts. The power rating on a computer PSU is its *maximum* limit.

My gaming rig barely scrapes 150W with everything powered up, yet it has a 500W PSU in it

Use an energy meter to check. (like you said in step3!)
Half-Life (author)  dennis1231235 years ago
Thanks for commenting. I was referring to insanely powerful machines like some manufactured by alienware (dual graphics cards, dual processor socket motherboards, overclocked processors and extra fans to cool them). I figure they need more power (not all the time though) so they have PSUs with higher wattage. And yes, I agree that a system does not consume the maximum wattage of its PSU all the time. That's why I used the words "up to".