1. If the PC is on for other reasons (like a server) then the costs of FAH is simply power at full usage minus power at idle. SPRC staff, can you hear me now?
Yes it would be sort of nice to have stats on the idle power to go along with the PPDPW power as a comparison. Might help to clarify some of the anachronism of "unused cycles."
Though seems like people could do even better by shutting of servers when they are not needed. See various posts about folks running home servers 24/7, when most of the applications don't need that.
(Wake on LAN and scheduled wakeups could be used more effectively to allow servers to be off more.)
2. All comments about the impact of this electrical usage applies ot all pc's. Gamers, one could argue, are not contributing to anything positive for society, and they have 1000+KW power supplies, dual GPU cards that suck up 200 watts each.
Yes, environmental impact of gaming would also be a nice/handy analysis. Know any good sources of stats to start from? Might be easiest to take on some of the game consoles - more standardized hardware (though the display would be a big variable.)
It would be fun if the games/consoles had an energy counter - initialized to the manufacturing/recycling cost of the console. Ticks up as you use the thing, etc.
Though even cooler might be a calorie counter - displays the time you have been playing (session and total), how many calories you burned, how many calories Laura Croft (or April Ryan, or whoever) burned, and how many you would have burned if you spent the time walking/cycling/weight training. (And, if it is calculable - about how much that equals in weight loss or muscle built
. Could also include how much you could have read of the complete works of W. Shakespeare, M. Twain, T. Pratchett or other great literature you could have read in that time (to give equal time to the health of the mind).
But that gets a bit OT for this forum. (Well if it got folks more active, it might have a more immediate impact on raising health than folding. So maybe it isn't that far OT.