Go Thin to Trim Power

Desktops are little devils when it comes to power consumption

Desktops are ubiquitous and much integral part of our lives. And though, a lot has been said about laptops displacing desktops, there is still much time for the same to happen. The trouble with desktops is that with the ever increasing pace of computing, the processing power, the storage capacity and the screen resolution, all have improved phenomenally and thus turned the innocuous machine in to a small power hungry device. According estimates, a typical desktop consumes anything between 80-280 KW of power depending on the configuration.

But the biggest concern is not when the desktop runs, but when the desktop sleeps. It is estimated that close to 60% of enterprise users do not switch off their machines regularly, resulting that the desktop goes into sleep mode and consumes electricity even when it is non-operational. The best way to plug the gap is to install software on it which configure the machine in such a way that it will switch-off if there is no activity for some time. It is said that for every 12 consumers who keep power settings enabled for their on their monitors and PCs, CO2 emissions equivalent to removing one average automobile from the road will be avoided.

Next comes, the monitor, all the old CRT monitors should be replaced by TFT or LCD monitors. For instance, a 17-inch CRT monitor consumes around 70 watts, while a LCD of same size will consume about 35 watts, resulting in 50% saving right away.

Thin clients are also a great solution to the power issue, as they consume much lesser power than conventional PCs and are much easier to manage as well. Thin clients consume around 15W of power, which is much lesser than a typical PC. Thin clients used in conjunction with desktop virtualisation are a big hit these days, as they allow simpler title="Downtime">downtime and lower cost of deploying new applications.

Step Guide:

  • Install power management software
  • Replace CRT with TFTs or LCDs
  • Use thin clients in conjunction with desktop virtualisation

Green factoid:

Creation of a desktop PC usually requires ten times the PC's weight in fossil fuels and chemicals, most of them toxic. Manufacturing one desktop and one monitor requires: 530 pounds of fossil fuel, 58 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water.

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