Iâ€™ve been looking at the issue of Green Computing particularly closely since October and Iâ€™m going to start a non-commercial website either by myself or in partnership with others that promotes awareness of green issues.
Iâ€™d like the project to also work as a forum for bringing the public in contact with PC manufacturers through petitions and other means. If there is a large demand for greener computers and we can bring this clearly to the awareness of the Dells and HPs of the world, then they are much more likely to build such products sooner rather than later. The focus isnâ€™t just with the large manufacturers, but due to their very large market share they are an important part of the overall picture. The website can link to manufacturers of Green PCs regardless of the company size.
The issues addressed by the project include:
1. Only buy the computer performance that you actually need.
2. Choosing power efficient & RoHS compliant products where possible.
3. Configuring your PC equipment for optimum power efficiency.
4. Disposing of old equipment as wisely as possibly.
This means consumers need to be educated in these areas:
1. How much performance they need for the tasks that they use PCs for.
2. The relative power efficiency of the common desktop PC platforms available. To be comprehensive means looking at AMD, Apple & Intelâ€™s current platforms and their previous generations or two for people buying â€˜obsoleteâ€™ or second-hand equipment.
3. Desktop versus laptop.
4. The power efficiency of individual components for categories where there is a large variation: graphics cards and monitors stand out as two obvious candidates.
5. Related standards to look out for: RoHS, 80Plus, Energy Star.
6. PC configuration for efficiency: Cool â€˜nâ€™ Quiet, EIST, standby etc.
7. Recycling of PC products: donation to charity, giving away, eBay, recycling centres.
And not forgetting what is probably the biggest issue; educating manufactures about the demand for these products, which I think will grow.
I am looking for people who want to get involved with the project in whatever way they can. I am particularly keen with help in the following areas:
1. Web Design â€“ Design work, software recommendations, Beta site feedback.
2. Web Hosting â€“ Recommendations, Forum software, Operating Systems.
3. Web Promotion â€“ How do I spread the word? Social networking.
4. Hardware testing â€“ If you live in London and have PCs that I can test, this will be very useful. This is aimed more at complete desktop systems & laptops as I have very little data on commercial PCs. There may be a few areas where individual components would also be of interest; SLI & Crossfire spring to mind.
5. Ideas & presentation â€“ which areas to cover, how to present clear arguments etc.
I do have experience in some of these areas but Iâ€™m by no means an expert. I have worked with computers since 1981 when I studied Computer Science at University College London. My experiences have included the following: programming mainframes, building & supporting PCs and networks, writing DSP applications running on Windows, silencing PCs (pre SPCR).
The site will not be as overtly technical as SPCR as it is aimed at a different audience. It will include technical reports, but I feel it is wise not to make them the main focus of the site, as this may well deter the non-technical PC users whom make up the majority. There will be forums that cover the non-technical and also the technical issues, for those who like to get their hands dirty.
When I say that it will be a non-commercial project, since it will be providing information not just for consumers but also for businesses that want to provide services in these areas, if the project has a commercial arm there is potential for a conflict of interests or even the perception of a conflict of interests, which can be a hindrance to the main goal. Also, the focus of the project could get diluted.
I have been looking at power consumption of various systems over the summer which is where this project started. To put things in perspective, I put together a desktop system this week that consumes 20W at idle and 26.5W at full load. System details:
Abit iL-90MV S479 motherboard (945GT chipset), Core Solo T1400 1.83GHz, 1GB DDR2-533 (2*512MB), Seagate Momentus 5400.2 2.5â€