As a follow up to our last post querying the environmental impact of running a design studio, I thought it would be good to link through to Extreme Tech’s post on Building a Green PC.
A PC uses 200 to 400 watts, depending on its configuration and use. By comparison, a refrigerator uses about 725 watts, but a DVD player uses only 25 watts, and your TV is right around 100 watts. A high-performance gaming rig with a powerful graphics card, multiple hard drives and optical drives, a flash memory reader, and a 30-inch LCD might consume as much as 750 watts! Leave such a beast running constantly and you might see an extra $40 to $50 on your monthly electrical bill. Ouch.
Yet PC energy consumption is only part of the problem. The manufacturing process for computer parts also has an effect. The typical computer these days contains significant amounts of lead, which is used in soldering motherboards, processors, and other parts. Since the average lifespan of a PC is just three yearsâ€”according to the EPAâ€”the toxic effects of disposal are quite high.
In Europe, regulations for lead-free computing such as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), are designed to reduce the effects of hazardous waste. Yet many U.S. PC makers have all but ignored the problem.
The post goes on to detail a sample computer build, citing which parts they suggest when considering a Green PC build, and explaining the power consumption, environmental impact of parts, and the costs associated with these parts.
In addition they actually show the process involved to build the system.
All in all, if you’re into building your own systems or thinking of giving it a try, it’s worth having a read through this post to get an idea of the options available to you for building a low power consumption machine. Something worth considering not just for the environment, but for the potential yearly power savings it could yield.