It seems that while processor speeds are accellerating so are electrical power requirements – at least for servers. This is starting to worry one Google engineer. I had no idea that, for low-end servers, “If we assume a base energy cost of nine cents per kilowatt hour and a four-year server lifecycle, the energy costs of that system today would already be more than 40 percent of the hardware costs.” I had the impression thanks to EnergyStar and similar programmes that overall power consumption was going down on PCs. I guess/hope Google’s servers (which are on all the time, presumably working at full speed and not built to minimise power consumption like laptops) are unusually power-hungry.
11 December 2005