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PC Power Costs -- Should You Care?

Energy costs to power and cool the data center are a top concern for IT these days, but what about all those laptops and desktops in your organization? Does their power consumption matter?...

Energy costs to power and cool the data center are a top concern for IT these days, but what about all those laptops and desktops in your organization? Does their power consumption matter? Not really, according to new research from Intel.

The company is proposing a methodology to measure energy consumption based on real-world PC usage patterns (bursts of activity followed by idle periods). Using this methodology, Intel calculates that a single PC drinks $13.94 worth of juice per year.

Considering all the other costs associated with PCs (like removing adware or rolling out the latest Microsoft patches), fourteen bucks is neglible. And even if you multiply that number by a few thousand machines, the total is still a fraction of energy costs in the data center.

The chipmaker admits that the cost of PC power consumption isn't a priority for IT???at least not yet. According to an Intel survey, only 26 percent of IT pros say energy efficiency is very important to their enterprises' PC strategy.

However, as energy costs continue to climb, so will the value of efficient machines. Intel hopes this methodology will be adopted by the industry as a benchmark for gauging the power costs of desktops and laptops. You can read about Intel's proposed methodology here.

Drew is formerly editor of Network Computing and currently director of content and community for Interop. View Full Bio
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