All We Need To Know About Green Computing (Part 2)

2/21/2013 3:27:49 PM

The expenses for running PC is not enough to excuse for an early upgrade, but when considering the unprecedented increase in recent electricity prices, it could encourage you to apply some changes. There are worthy savings which won’t affect much on the operating performance of the computer or your convenience.

The head of the list are turning off the PC when not using. Depends on the computer’s age and energy-saving setups, you can reduce the operating expense from $75 to $18/year.

This is for office PC. If you usually leave your family PC open but don’t use much, the saving may be nigger. Multiply that item of expenditure to the number of computer you own, and there are no reasons for not turning off the computer.

Worry that starting and turning off the PC will make PC worn out soon? Nonsense! We haven’t found any specialist believing that this is true. Moreover, from the fact that the PC starts up faster, the benefits that comes with the “always open” system seems to be less attractive.  

Also, don’t forget to turn off any accessories like printer and speaker which are more regularly used than the PC. The only possible exception is wireless router, if you’re using it to network your smartphone, tablet, console, TV and other devices. However, today, many routers have programming features which allows you to open Wi-Fi at the middle of specific moments. We don’t believe that you need web connections while sleeping or working at the office.

PC can be configured to reduce its energy consumption. Because it can still be the dominant operating system for a long time, we will focus on Windows 7. However, a few words about Windows 8 are reasonable because many new features of this operating system relates to the energy efficiency.

Description: PC can be configured to reduce its energy consumption.

PC can be configured to reduce its energy consumption.

Perhaps, the most relevant thing is the startup time. While the announcement of the reduced startup time is given to all of the new Windows versions, it seems that the improvement provided in this newest upgrade is noticeably special. It can consolidate our argument about which PC should be turned off when they’re not being used, but publicly oppose to “Always On, Always Connected” mode of which Microsoft is advertising. Because in a few second, we still suggest turning off the PC and leaving the “Always On, Always Connected” mode to mobile devices such as smartphone and tablet.

To adjust the energy-saving features of Windows 7, open menu >Start and type Power Options in the Search bar. Open Power Options from the returned result list. Here, you have at least 3 choices, and there will be more if the producers plus separated options. Of course, you will find “Balanced” and “Power saver” modes.

As the operating performance can be spoiled in Power Saver, we suggest that you choose Balanced and adjust it so as to be suitable for your demand. To do that, click “Change plan settings”.

The inactive time before the screen turns off and the length of time before PC turns into sleep mode is the most important time when talking about saving energy.  Reducing this time will reduce the energy consumption, but it can make the use of the computer becomes inconvenient. Remember to choose suitable values for your used mode.

If you want to refine the energy setups, click “Change advanced power settings” to display the Advanced Settings dialog box. Supposed that you are using the Balanced energy package, ensure that this mode is chosen in the menu on the top to and the options is adjusted to meet your demand.

Though it mainly aims toward laptops, you can choose to activate hibernation mode. If you leave your PC alone for a long time, it will save all of your apps at present and turn off the PC. It will take a shorter time to wake up than to cold boot, but longer as compared with sleep mode, so it’s not reasonable to choose 5 minutes to drink coffee.

To activate hibernation mode, click the plus next to Sleep. It will display more options, even hibernation time. Click on the blue hibernate value and set a suitable time.

Another option you may want to adjust is the inactive time before the hard disk drive is turned off; because this is a mechanical hard disk drive, it uses much energy. While choosing this value, remember that there is a small delay caused by the rotation of the drive after it’s turned off although it’s actually not too long.

Here, our focus is on the computing devices, but we will be neglectful in our duty if we don’t mention other unnecessarily electrical units which are using electricity at your house.

You definitely heard of it before, but some sources of waste of energy are that many devices are usually set in standby mode 24/7. Although each device doesn’t use much energy, this will delude us into wrong feelings of security.

According to the investigation of Energy Trust, all of them have a part. It is said that each household in average spends $75-$130/year, correlate with 9% to 16% total power consumption when not using anything. Think about all the TVs, decoding boxes, DVD players, PVR, sound system, game console and etc…then determine if there is any reason to set them at standby mode.

Of course, some devices need to be set at standby mode to do their job. For example, PVR can only comfort to the schedule if it’s open. But this is an exception rather than a regulation.

Even the “black brick” charger which is used to power or charge the laptops and mobile phones also consume a huge amount of energy, even when the devices they power are disconnected.

For example, people think that some chargers consume 3W when the phone is being charged, 2W when the phone is fully charged but still connect to it, and ¼ Watt when being plugged but not connect to the phone. Perhaps the only thing can stop you from turning off the standby devices or unplug your adaptor when having finished your job is to remember to do this, but financial savings maybe the motivation you need.

If you need proof, try to calculate the energy consumption with all of these devices when they’re in standby mode or plugged in, then measure with the unplugged or turned off devices.


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