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How much do you, the SPCR reader, care about green computing?
It's very important to me 28%  28%  [ 5 ]
It's important to me 22%  22%  [ 4 ]
It's somewhat important to me 28%  28%  [ 5 ]
It's not really important to me 6%  6%  [ 1 ]
I'm opposed to it. I wish I could power my computer with endangered whale blubber. 17%  17%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 18
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 Post subject: More coverage of / emphasis on "Green Computing"?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:42 am 
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While I'm interested in silent pc's, my biggest concern is actually green computing. It seems to me that the actual methods of creating silent pc's is substantially the same as of green pc's (undervolting and the like). However, the motivation is pretty different. I'm curious to hear other SPCR readers' opinions on this.

I just did a very quick Google search and don't see much up-to-date stuff out there on green computing. The top sites are all static pages from universities where it's hard to tell how up-to-date the information is. And certainly none of it entails the kind of testing that's done on sites like this one.

I think this presents a great opportunity for SPCR because, as I said above, there's very little additional work that needs to be done to add a "green testing" element to what you are already doing. The main difference I'm suggesting is to call more attention to factors like energy consumption as concerns in their own right, and also tweak the marketing of the site as well (for example, a simple article on the topic explaining how to read all the reviews on this site through a green lens would do wonders for people like me). At some point down the road, maybe some new articles or discussions would be appropriate, like whether the energy savings from a passive heatsink outweighs the environmental impact of all that copper.

I think an emphasis on green computing would also give this site more PR value. Silent PC's may be somewhat interesting to most people, but Green PC's suddenly takes on a public interest sheen that changes a selfish activity (making your home or office less noisy) into a selfless activity (saving the planet).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:22 am 
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As you point out, there is already considerable interest in green computing at SPCR. It began with our focus on power supply efficiency and low thermal PCs right back to the start of SPCR. There are numerous articles which could have been given slightly different titles to put them squarely in "green computing". These include many PSU reviews and articles, coverage of the 80 Plus program, Energy Star's 2007 computer spec, CPU undervolting, etc:

Desktop CPU Power Survey, April 2006
The State of the Industry, March 2006: Through Silent Eyes
Power Distribution within Six PCs
AMD Turion 64 on the Desktop
A New Energy Star... in 2007
CPU Undervolting & Underclocking: A Primer

However, it may be timely to start a new section specifically called "Green Computing"... or simply add "green computing" commentary/analysis in every review/article. This requires more thinking through...

Thanks for bring the topic up.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:31 am 
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Personally I'd be against altering the site's focus to such an extent. I think if "green computing" (however you define that) were a specific agenda here, rather than sometimes referred to in passing or in the OT forum, there'd be a danger of the site becoming overly politicised, or at the very least taking on a rather offputting sanctimonious or preachy air.

I'm not against green initiatives as such, but I think we're guilt-tripped and told how we ought to be living our lives often enough as it is, and the occasional haven of selfishness (if that's what quiet computing for its own sake is) isn't such a bad thing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:31 am 
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Green computing is not only about power draw of the computer itself. How much energy is needed to produce the computer? What chemicals are inside the computer and was used to make the computer? How much of the computer can be recycled? There are a lot of problems regarding green computers that would need a lot of time and resources to write professionally about. It would be nice to see a site dedicated to it, but I think it's to hard for spcr.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:38 am 
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It so happens that some time ago, I registered the domain names...

greencomputers.org
greencomputers.net

Perhaps it's time now to recruit editorial staff and contributors for a new sister site? :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:47 am 
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I agree that it is an interesting topic, and worthy of examination/discussion/promotion, but to do it credit, and not eat into SPCR's subject area, despite occasional topical overlaps, a seperate site would be the better way to go, in my opinion.

If Mike were to start another project, linking between the two sites would be appropriate for topical overlaps, but I think to try and incorporate a reasonable level of "green" computing into SPCR would be to detract from the site, and definitely shift its focus.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:11 am 
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On-topic:

A more eco-friendly PC

IT looks toward a greener datacenter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:23 am 
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I like the idea of a new site but also recognize the amount of work that it would take to set it up and promote it properly. I wonder if it would really be all that distracting to have an articles section that's just called something like Green Computing to test the waters and see if there is demand out there. The section could start out as nothing more than a single page describing how to interpret the rest of the site from a green rather than silence orientation (but acknowledging that this site is dedicated to the latter) and then linking to the pages that Mike lists. If the section generates lots of hits, then maybe a new site is warranted.

I would think of it less like changing the focus of the site than giving a different "translation" of it for people who are coming regularly but with a slightly different focus. Not that I'm uninterested in silent computing, of course -- I am. I actually realized through my original interest in quiet that it neatly dovetails (to some extent) with my other obsession of low power consumption.

I also don't think it needs to be politicized at all, just as having a site dedicated to silent computing doesn't imply "hey all of you guys with the jet engines, shut up already!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:14 pm 
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I don't think adding content on "green computing" is really as big a shift as it appears to be on the surface.

SPCR has folowed a logical progression over its half-decade lifespan, (wow, that makes it sound like a long time!) starting first with homebrewed solutions in to making existing computers less noisey, but then transistioning into solutions for the noise's underlying causes.

It's really always been about ergonomics not just noise. Green is a logical growth of that, and has always been here, at least a lttle bit. just count how many times Mike has complained about superfluous packaging materials in HSF reviews. :lol:

For me the issue isn't as much, "Should SPCR have content about Green Computing?", but "Is SPCR the best place for content about Green Computing?" On this I agree with the comments that this probably isn't the best site for it. Not because it doesn't belong, but that here it won't get the attention it deserves.

Maybe a good intermediate step would be to create a new subforum for GC? That only takes 30 seconds to create, and would be a gauge of how much interest there is.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:22 pm 
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Good points Russ.

Green Computing forum now open for business. ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:46 pm 
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Quote:
It's really always been about ergonomics not just noise.


Very true. Not only would I like PC's to be less intrusive acoustically, but also visually; we really don't need hulking great ATX towers for most office PC's, hence the growth of thin clients etc. Personally when the "PC" bit of a PC only takes up about 5" square and has twice the performance of my current rig, and makes no noise, then I'll be happy. I don't ask for much, eh? :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:56 pm 
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Well, thanks folks. Of course, my interest in this is as the person who asks questions, so... hopefully there are also ppl out there who know answers.

Like to the question, is whale blubber better as a power source or as a coolant?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:58 pm 
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padmewan wrote:
Like to the question, is whale blubber better as a power source or as a coolant?


The answer to this dilemma is obvious... nuke the whales ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:07 pm 
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Quote:
is whale blubber better as a power source or as a coolant?


How would you use whale blubber as a coolant? :?


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