Berkeley Lab energy analysis finds gaming computers consume $10 billion in electricity per year.
In the world of computer gaming, bragging rights are accorded to those who can boast of blazing-fast graphics cards, the most powerful processors, the highest-resolution monitors, and the coolest decorative lighting. They are not bestowed upon those crowing about the energy efficiency of their system. If they were, gaming computers worldwide might well be consuming billions of dollars less in electricity use annually, with no loss in performance, according to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
In the first study of its kind, Berkeley Lab researcher Evan Mills co-authored an investigation of the aggregate global energy use of personal computers designed for gaming—including taking direct measurements using industry benchmarking tools—and found that gamers can achieve energy savings of more than 75 percent by changing some settings and swapping out some components, while also improving reliability and performance.
This corresponds to a potential estimated savings of $18 billion per year globally by 2020, or 120 terawatt hours (TWh), which is equivalent to 40 Rosenfelds, or 40 standard 500-megawatt power plants that will not have to be built. The results have been published in the journal, Energy Efficiency, in a paper titled, “Taming the energy use of gaming computers.”
“It’s remarkable that there’s such a huge overlooked source of energy use right under our noses,” Mills said. “The energy community has been looking at ordinary personal computers and consoles for a long time, but this variant, the gaming computer, is a very different animal.”
Gaming computers represent only 2.5 percent of the global installed personal computer (PC) base but account for 20 percent of the energy use. Mills calculated that a typical gaming computer uses 1,400 kilowatt-hours per year, or six times more energy than a typical PC and 10 times more than a gaming console.
“Your average gaming computer is like three refrigerators,” he said. “When we use a computer to look at our email or tend our Facebook pages, the processor isn’t working hard at all. But when you’re gaming, the processor is screaming. Plus, the power draw at that peak load is much higher and the amount of time spent in that mode is much greater than on a standard PC.”
What’s more, it’s a fast growing market segment, as console sales wane and the number of gaming enthusiasts skyrocket. Mills estimated that gaming computers consumed 75 TWh of electricity globally in 2012, or $10 billion, and projects that will double by 2020 given current sales rates and without efficiency improvements. “There are 1 billion people around the world who are gaming now,” he said. “And it’s a really diverse demographic. There are a lot of women; the median age is 31. And the popularity of these giant desktop gaming computers is growing fast.”
Good news for consumers
The good news, he says, is that there is ample opportunity—for consumers, manufacturers, policymakers—to save energy. On the regulatory side, displays and power supplies are the only components that have energy ratings today, and those ratings are voluntary. Additional ratings for motherboards, hard drives, peripherals, and other parts are “an opportunity area,” Mills said. The gaming software itself can also be designed to use energy more efficiently.
Consumers lack ready access to information that can help them to make efficient upgrades. The study measured and charted the performance versus nameplate (or rated) power consumption of many popular components. One problem the authors found was an immense variation in the nameplate power; for example, graphics processors ranged from 60 to 500 watts. Their computing performance varied considerably as well, by as much as five-fold. And there was little correlation between the two, meaning some units that were highest in performance had lower power consumption.
The Latest on: Gaming computer energy savings
via Google News
The Latest on: Gaming computer energy savings
- Acer's Aspire Vero Green Laptop Clinches another Design Accolade with an iF Design Award 2022on May 12, 2022 at 1:11 am
Acer's Swift 5 laptop, Aspire C24 All-in-One PC, Predator X32 FP display, and Predator GD711 projector also win the iF Design Award 2022 for excellence A record number of more than 10,000 products and ...
- How to cut down the £700 energy bill increase with a £242 investmenton May 5, 2022 at 2:44 am
Televisions, gaming devices, Sky boxes and computers all use energy when left ... washing at 30 degrees could save £28, says the Energy Saving Trust. Filling a dishwasher rather than washing ...
- Next Generation of Energy-Saving Systems (ESS) Project is launching on Kickstarter!on May 5, 2022 at 1:02 am
The expected service life of this innovative energy-saving device was determined to be 20 years. When mass-produced, the retail price of one device is estimated as euro 499, which is considered to ...
- Best Ethernet Switches To Establish A Reliable And Strong Network Connectionon April 28, 2022 at 5:34 am
Low power consumption while maintaining excellent network capacity Plug & play design for hassle-free setup without the need of a professional Shielded ports to prevent static interference when ...
- Amazon one-day PC accessory sale offers savings of up to 48 percenton April 28, 2022 at 4:00 am
For anyone building a PC or looking for ... an all-time low of $299, for a savings of 45 percent or $250. Speaking of speed, Razer's Huntsman V2 TKS Tenkeyless gaming keyboard (above) offers ...
- Way Day 2022: Revamp your home entertainment setup and game roomon April 27, 2022 at 6:05 am
Wayfair’s Way Day offers savings on indoor and outdoor furniture, including TV stands, computer desks and chairs. Add some energy to your basement parties by checking out sales on gaming tables ...
- EnPowered & Ecopilot Partner to Deliver Superior Energy Savingson April 26, 2022 at 3:27 pm
Through this partnership, it will become easier for thousands of buildings across the province to seamlessly participate in complex energy markets, capturing enormous savings and reducing emissions.
- Inhabitat Earth Day special: seven gadgets that help you save energyon April 21, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Today is Earth Day, so we're happy to have Inhabitat contributing this energy saving guide for you ... how much energy is being sucked up by your computer. Each outlet can also be set to turn ...
- Save up to 75% on laptops, gaming desktops and monitors during HP’s spring saleon April 19, 2022 at 1:36 pm
You can find the HyperX Cloud Stinger S headphones, a great pair of starter gaming headphones, for $34.99, saving you $25. You can also get a streaming microphone with the HyperX QuadCast USB ...
- Get big savings on Razer gaming chairs and laptops in the Chroma Mania saleon April 19, 2022 at 2:23 am
And from now until the 25th April 2022, there's lots of savings to be had on these top ... bestsellers like the popular Razer Basilisk V3 gaming mouse, Razer BlackWidow V3 gaming keyboard and ...
via Bing News