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Measuring the PC Power Bill

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

Not really, according to research from Intel. The company is proposing a method to measure energy consumption based on real-world PC usage patterns (bursts of activity followed by idle periods). Using this calculation, Intel figures 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), $14 is negligible. And even if you multiply that number by a few thousand machines, the total is still a fraction of data-center energy costs.

The chipmaker admits that the cost of PC power consumption isn't a priority for IT--yet. Only 26 percent of IT pros say energy efficiency is very important to their enterprises' PC strategy, according to an Intel survey. However, as energy costs continue to climb, so will the need to measure real-world consumption. Intel is offering its methodology as a benchmark for gauging the power costs of desktops and laptops. --Andrew Conry-Murray, [email protected]