Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
11 December 2005

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.

1 Comment »

  1. Note the use of the word “server” there, David. That means the machine is on and in use 24/7, unlike a desktop PC. EnergyStar has mostly targetted getting machines to use less power when they aren’t in use.

    Personally I am starting to keep an eye out for lower-power-consumptive machines. I think I have all the GHz I need, and would like to start trading some of the excessive horsepower for better efficiency.

    Comment by Reid — 22 December 2005 @ 6:30 am

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