According to scientist Evan Mills, from Berkeley Lab, gaming computers can offer a potential energy savings of $18 billion per year by the year 2020 globally. Evan was investigating the average global energy use by personal computers used for gaming purpose.
It has been found that gamers will be able to achieve 75% energy savings by making simple changes to the settings and by swapping some of the components. These changes are also effective in improving the performance and reliability of the system.
By saving 75% of energy use, there will not be any need to build 40 power plants that can produce a standard output of 500 megawatts. The results of the research by Evan and coworkers have been published in “Energy efficiency” journal under the title “Taming energy use of gaming computers”
Mills believe that the savings that can be achieved by gaming computers will change the way the energy community is looking at gaming consoles and personal computers. According to him, gaming computers as an energy source have been overlooked by the energy community till now.
Of the total personal computers present globally, gaming computers come to only 2.5 %, but these gaming computers are consuming 20 % of the annual power production.
According to Mills the average energy use by a gaming computer per year comes to 1,400 kilowatt-hours. This is approximately six times more than the energy consumed by a typical personal computer or ten times higher than the use by gaming console.
The energy use of the computer for checking the email or visiting the Facebook pages is negligible as the processor is not working so hard. When you start playing games the processor has to work really hard and it draws loads of power. So, according to him, a gaming computer is equivalent to three refrigerators in their energy use.
There are ample chances to save energy by giving energy ratings for hard drives, motherboards and peripherals. You will be able to save energy even by designing gaming software that uses energy more efficiently.
The researchers developed gaming computers with more efficient components and measured the energy use by them. They were able to achieve a 50 % reduction in energy use without causing much change in the performance of the computers. Operational setting changes gave 25 % extra energy savings.
The research shows that gamers do not have to compromise on the quality of the performance of their computers to save energy. If the world wants to save energy the awareness should start from the gaming community.