Small Gaming PC Changes Could Lead to Huge Energy Savings

September 9, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

games energy manageComputer manufacturers could save enormous amounts of power by redesigning gaming computers, according to research released last week by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The lab found that gaming computers represent 2.5 percent of the global base of PCs, but consumer 20 percent of the energy. The typical gaming device, according to the lab, uses 1,400 kWh annually, which is 10 times more than a gaming console and six times more than a standard PC, according to edie.net.

The study found that when games are at their height the processor is working extraordinarily hard and drawing a tremendous amount of power. Users also tend to spend more time on gaming PCs than folks to on general purpose devices.

The research also found that gaming PCs with more efficient components built to industry protocols for benchmarking performance and energy consumption measurement could cut energy use by half without impacting performance. Modifying operational settings across the entire device could cut savings by more than 75 percent.

Worldwide, upgrading the components could render the construction of 40 500 MW plants unnecessary, the lab estimates.

Intel has taken a step in the right direction. Its new Skylake processors, according to PC World, offer several power-saving features. One is Speed Shift, which the company claims improves responsiveness and efficiency.

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