18 January 2007

A convenient falsehood

This was supposed to be a post about thin-clients but that will just have to wait...Mike's power supply problems have struck a nerve.

His problem stemmed from the fact that computers are becoming more power hungry thus necessitating ever higher wattage power supplies. 4GHz CPUs and double height graphics cards requiring their own power connector all come at a price. It's not a case of "they don't make them like they used to", it's a case of "my CPU requires a 500W PSU where my last computer only needed 200W". On average the 500W would burn out 2.5 times faster than the 200W.

It raises the question, is there really a need for this much horsepower in a desktop PC? I'd suggest there isn't; the majority of users could probably get by with a 2GHz machine and onboard graphics. Obviously gamers are a different matter but hardware enthusiast and overclocker types make up a small percentage of PC users.

I've lost count of the number of times i've heard a PC salesman say "...and you've got the latest graphics card so the kids can play their games...". These kids who've probably already got one of the latest consoles so aren't going to be bothered that the family PC's packing a behemoth. It'll be there anyway, sucking the life out of the planet like the crystalline entity from TNG.

It's a sorry state of affairs, considering all this "climate change" stuff component manufacturers should be concentrating on making their fare more efficient and and PC retailers should be advising customers to buy greener PCs.


Michael James said...

Indeed, it is madness how things have started using more and more power, for instance the latest Nvidia option takes two PCI-E power connectors, put this in SLI and thats four power connectors sucking the brains out of your PC without the rest of your PC taking its portion of 'the juice'.

Things are going mad, we need to curb our power consumption, it doesn't help when cooler master releases this beast

Derek Fowler said...

1000W is rediculous for something that's on for long periods of time - the hand-dryer in the toilet at work is only 2000W!