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Game Console Energy Usage Comparison 364

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-got-juice dept.
Broadband writes "Modern gaming consoles consume more and more power, dissipate more and more heat and cause a lot more noise with their cooling systems compared to their brethren a decade ago. While it's obvious that an Xbox 360 would have higher energy demands then a Playstation 1, the curious question is by how much? Even more importantly is the question of whether your console might be costing you money while you sleep. Preposterous you say? Actually quite the opposite! We put every console in our lab through rigorous testing to find the answers to these questions and see who the energy hogs really are. "
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Game Console Energy Usage Comparison

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  • by Gryle (933382) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:09AM (#15558148)
    I predict Jack Thompson becoming a huge proponent of energy conversation in the near future.
  • Odd... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Donniedarkness (895066) <Donniedarkness&gmail,com> on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:13AM (#15558160) Homepage
    6 pages, but no ads (that I can see)...

    Actually, it's a pretty interesting article. I'm impressed.

    • Re:Odd... (Score:5, Funny)

      by y4h0oo (658404) <y4h0oo@yahoCOMMAo.fr minus punct> on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:31AM (#15558216)
      6 pages, but no ads (that I can see)...

      That's why Google Ads are so effective.

      • You mean INeffective... Only the click-bots see them.

        Now when I search, pages and pages of those.

        Someone PLEASE start a new search engine that's spam free.
        • Re:Odd... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Mozk (844858)
          I'm pretty sure Google would ignore its own ads. Not so sure about other search engines though.
    • Re:Odd... (Score:5, Informative)

      by AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) <afacini@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Sunday June 18, 2006 @12:32PM (#15558351)
      Interesting, but ridiculously overplayed. The costs of operating a game console over the course of a year is pretty much nothing. Even taking the most expensive: $20.00 a year to operate Xbox 360... is still 5 cents a day. I'm sure the gamer can take the half second and pull that out of the couch he is sitting on.
      • Re:Odd... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by weeb0 (741451) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @02:15PM (#15558642)
        If you add the power consumption (and leak) for an entire town of 100,000 habs. If 30% of the pop has an xbox360, it cost's 600,000$! It's a lot of energy. And that's why, the idle current leak is not essential. Only think in your house how many appliance has a clock on it?! Everything connected (unless there is a hard switch) leak current. We'll have to think about it very soon. A lot of electricity come from diesel or gaz or worst, coal it's a lot of pollution for absolutely nothing when we think the quantity of energy wasted to have the clock on my microwave and my range, on my coffee machine and soon on my fridge and my toaster.
        • This meme is propagated a lot, but it's not really insightful.

          Instead of worrying about 2W, manufacturers could be encouraged to reduce the average power usage of a system in a working (ie not standby state). A saving of 10% on all appliances would be far more significant.

          Of course if you argue we, not companies should be responsible, then I point out that using energy saving lightbulbs would have a far, far greater effect on your household energy consumption than switching off devices on standby.

          Don't get
      • Re:Odd... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fermion (181285) * on Sunday June 18, 2006 @03:40PM (#15558866) Homepage Journal
        If you run air conditioning, the cost must be multiplied by some factor >>1. This will still be under $100 a year, but it is significant. This does not include indirect and opportunity costs of using massive quantatities of electricty.

        The interesting part is the massive growth in the consumption of energy. Take to any power distrubition person and they will tell you that meeting that demand, 24X7, is no small task, and conservation would greatly increase the reliability of the power grid, and therefore the quality of life and national security.

  • Errrrum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msaver (907214) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:14AM (#15558164)
    While it's obvious that an Xbox 360 would have higher energy demands then a Playstation 1

    Probably true, but not obvious.
    • Re:Errrrum (Score:4, Insightful)

      by William_Lee (834197) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:21AM (#15558182)
      It should be pretty obvious based on common sense. The PS1 is using a much simpler chipset in terms of number of transistors. Each generation of PC chips has consumed more power for the most part. Consoles aren't going to be any different (with the possible exception of thw Wii). In any case, a PS1 is ancient chip technology compared to an Xbox360.
      • Re:Errrrum (Score:5, Informative)

        by samkass (174571) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @01:28PM (#15558528) Homepage Journal
        The Watts per performance unit have been getting lower lately, not higher. That is obviously offset by the performance increasing. So the original poster's point was that it's really unknown how that balances out.

        When the PS1 was first released, it probably used a lot more power than when they re-released it several years later. If they were to build a PSone today using the very latest technology, it would probably consume less than a Watt at full tilt.
        • The Xbox has parts a PS1 did not. While you may be able to believe that the CPU on the XBox might have been more efficient then the PS1 (Doubtful) its hard to believe that you would assume that those savings would make up for having a GPU, HDD and all the other components as well.
      • by TEMMiNK (699173) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @03:25PM (#15558836) Homepage
        In recent news a startling Sony press release has indicated that the PS3 will not in fact utilise mains power but will instead ship with a dedicated 180kw 6 cylinder diesel generator which will give mileage of a whopping 12mpg (Minutes-Play-Time per Gallon). Analysts predict that the production of the PSG (PlayStationGenerator) will take a toll on Sony's profitability in the first half of fiscal 06-07 and will have downward pressure on share prices.

        In other news Microsoft have responded to allegations that the Xbox360 in fact runs on the imprisoned souls of ritually sacrificed children in a press conferance today saying that 'Microsoft at no time has employed the dark-arts to create it's products and that any negotiations with the Dark Prince of the Underworld have been of a purely strategic nature and that Microsoft does not endorce the ritual sacrifice of children or other persons, animals or otherwise'. Industry insiders have their doubts sighting the recent lack of sightings of Bill Gates first born, whome he and his wife named Damien, born on 6 June 1999, as possible evidence of dealings with demonic forces, this reporter will wait for more solid facts before making a judgement... More news at 11.
    • Re:Errrrum (Score:2, Funny)

      by Mr_eX9 (800448) *
      It's very obvious. The Xbox 360's power brick is bigger than the entire PS1.
  • by Mr.Dippy (613292) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:14AM (#15558165)
    Energy comes from oil. Oil comes from dirty Arabs. Dirty Arabs are terrorists. If you play the Xbox360 you are supporting terrorism /Fox News told me so
    • This Fox news show brought to you by Sony.
    • Re:Damn Terrorists (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dreamchaser (49529)
      Funny, but most electrical energy in the US comes from coal mined here in the US. Now, driving your CAR supports mideast oil barons. Easy solution...drill off the East and West Coast as well as in Alaska.

      Did anyone else read this and think 'Gee, go figure. A more powerful system needs more electricity.' Sounds like non-news to me.
      • Re:Damn Terrorists (Score:3, Informative)

        by printman (54032)
        > Now, driving your CAR supports mideast oil barons. Easy solution...drill
        > off the East and West Coast as well as in Alaska.

        Funny, the US gets more of its oil from Canada than Saudi Arabia, and the trend is only increasing:

        http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/can-am/washington/tra de_and_investment/energyrel050328-en.asp [dfait-maeci.gc.ca]
        http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/canada.html [doe.gov]
      • Hooray for releasing tons of mercury into the air each year! Yay Coal! /sarcasm
        • Burning coal releases mercury, lead, arsenic, and almost every other heavy metal you can think of. (Why almost every? Plutonium, Neptunium, Einsteinium, etc.) That's a bit of a red herring, though: electrical plants scrub the very hell out of their effluvia in order to stay in compliance with the clean air act.
      • "Did anyone else read this and think 'Gee, go figure. A more powerful system needs more electricity.' Sounds like non-news to me."

        I wouldn't be surprised if this article was inspired by something Nintendo said at E3 '05. They mentioned it was really efficient with power. I can imagine somebody taking that little blurb and writing a story about it. (They didn't mention the Wii so I'm probably just talking out of my rear.)

        In any event, the interesting part of this article is towards the end when they comp
      • Re:Damn Terrorists (Score:4, Insightful)

        by vux984 (928602) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @03:20PM (#15558822)
        Did anyone else read this and think 'Gee, go figure. A more powerful system needs more electricity.' Sounds like non-news to me.

        No. Because its not obvious at all.

        In fact, it could be argued that in computers that the opposite is more likely. After all a solar powered calculator the size of a credit card can run off the light of a candle and is a more powerful system than a 1960's computer that needed a warehouse and an industrial power supply. We're pretty accusomted to seeing computers deliver more on less.

        And I bet if the article had discovered that modern consoles were 10x as powerful, and used less electricity than their previous generations, you would probably have yawned and said:

        Did anyone else read this and think 'Gee, go figure. A more powerful system needing less electricity.' Sounds like non-news to me.

        Two conflicting statements, both so perfectly reasonable that we would question neither. I think it IS worth reporting which one turned out to be true.

        Don't you?

  • PSone PStwo ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by y4h0oo (658404) <y4h0oo@yahoCOMMAo.fr minus punct> on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:15AM (#15558168)
    Console Dashboard Energy Use
    Playstation 1 4W
    Playstation 2 23W
    Xbox 61W
    Xbox 360 145W
    Gamecube 20W
    Dreamcast 17W

    "Last Updated: 6/18/2006" and no PSone and PStwo figures ? hmmm...
  • Embodied Energy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Distinguished Hero (618385) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:16AM (#15558173) Homepage
    A more interesting article would have covered how much energy it takes to actually produce each console (embodied energy [wikipedia.org]).
  • Well really. We've taken 6 pages and a whole load of Google Ads to tell us that the PSOne uses least energy and the Xbox 360 uses most. Umm... I could've guessed that! Comparing the PSOne's power consumption with the 360 is a little crazy. Of course the 360 is going to draw more power to fire up its 3-core PowerPC CPU than the PS2's 295MHz processor!

    I don't see the merit of comparing consoles from different generations for their power comsumption. Of course they need more juice... but they're doing a lot more with it. This article would have been interesting if the PS3 and Wii had been out, but with only the 360 available to examine, we don't really know too much about the true power usage of the next-gen systems. The 360 might be the most energy efficient... I'd certainly bet that the PS3's Cell processor and BD-ROM drive will use more electricity.

    Also, they labour the point about the idle power consumption a bit much. If I had paid $500 for a 360 and games, I really wouldn't mind paying $2.63 a year for the convenience of using a wireless device (remote or controller) to turn the console on, and $20 per year is probably much less than my PC uses to run, never mind my kettle.

    But above all, I especially love this bit:
    We might unpack our Xbox 1 to play games on instead of backwards compatibility on the 360. Is double the energy worth anti-aliasing and a wireless controller?

    Ummm, yes. They forgot that the $20 per year saves the moaning caused by the two consoles and associated controllers cluttering up the TV unit!
    • I don't see the merit of comparing consoles from different generations for their power comsumption. Of course they need more juice... but they're doing a lot more with it.

      ??? I can get you an ARM board that'll be three times as fast as a Pentium 90, but use barely a fraction of the power.

      Believe it or not, computer equipment *is* getting more efficient. The problem is that massive amounts of power are being dumped into them for "maximum performance". Shades of Alpha?
    • I don't see the merit of comparing consoles from different generations for their power comsumption.

      Yeah because the PS2, Xbox and GameCube are obviously not from the same gen...

      wait...

    • This article would have been interesting if the PS3 and Wii had been out, but with only the 360 available to examine, we don't really know too much about the true power usage of the next-gen systems. The 360 might be the most energy efficient...

      Considering that the Wii will have a relatively simple and weak one-core processor, it's a safe bet that its power consumption will be the lowest, probably by a large margin. As for how power-efficient the Cell will be relative to the 360, that remains to be seen
  • Nintendo 64? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blues_shuffle (921429) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:24AM (#15558189)
    Why didn't they test the N64? They have the Playstation and Dreamcast, both of which are from that era. Especially given that the Gamecube's energy consumption is so much lower than that of the PS2 or XBox, one would expect that they would test the N64. I wonder: are all Nintendo consoles more energy efficient than their contemporaries?
    • Re:Nintendo 64? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Donniedarkness (895066) <Donniedarkness&gmail,com> on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:30AM (#15558214) Homepage
      I'd almost bet that it is more efficient than its competitors-- it uses cartridges instead of cd's, so it wouldn't have to spin a cd drive all the time. I'd say the power save from that would be pretty noticable.
    • Why didn't they test the N64? They have the Playstation and Dreamcast, both of which are from that era.

      grouping the dreamcast with the N64 and PS1 is like grouping the XBox360 with the PS2 and GameCube. the DC was a 6th generation console, just like the PS2, GameCube and XBox, it only shipped a bit sooner than the other systems... hey, isn't that the same path that the XBox360 is taking?!

      you do have a point though, it is a bit odd that they tested the PS1 and not the N64 or Sega Saturn (both of which shi

    • Oddly enough, the kids in the picture on the front page are clearly holding N64 controllers.
  • Math (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ezzewezza (84083)
    Am I missing something or when 0.2W ends up being 3.50kWh/year, shouldn't 2W end up being 35.0kWh/year and not 17.52kWh/year?
  • by Distinguished Hero (618385) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:26AM (#15558198) Homepage
    From the writeup: Even more importantly is the question of whether your console might be costing you money while you sleep. Preposterous you say? Actually quite the opposite!

    From TFA:
    Let's take a look at how much power video game consoles require while in standby/off mode.

    Console Energy Leakage kWh Wasted Each Year Annual Cost
      Playstation 1 0.1W 1.752 kWh $0.26
      Playstation 2 2W 17.52 kWh $2.63
      Xbox 0.2W 3.50 kWh $0.53
      Xbox 360 2W 17.52 kWh $2.63
      Gamecube 0.2W 3.50 kWh $0.53
      Dreamcast 0.2W 3.50 kWh $0.53


    USD 2.63 per year for something that cost over USD 300! Oh the humanity!
    • by Dubpal (860472) * on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:40AM (#15558246) Homepage
      How about thinking about it in terms of how much energy is being wasted globally by these leaks?

      At the moment (according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]) 103 million PS2s have been sold worldwide. That's an annual leak of 1.8 terawatts. And what's the impact on the environment of generating that energy?

      • At the moment (according to Wikipedia) 103 million PS2s have been sold worldwide. That's an annual leak of 1.8 terawatts. And what's the impact on the environment of generating that energy?

        Yes, there could be a possible issue, but you're also assuming that all 103 million of those PS2's are still plugged in and used on a daily basis, which I think is rather unrealistic.
      • Also according to the wiki, new nuclear power stations generate in the region of 600-1200 megawatts, so if we take 900 as the average, then that's about 2 million power stations (1000 * 1000 * 1000 * 1.8) / 900. That can't possibly be right ....
      • Here's some figures to put it all in perspective.

        A device leaking 2W consumes 17.532 kWh per year. (2 * 24 * 365.25)
        Multiply by 103 million: 1.8 TWh (terawatt-hours) total annually. At any given time, the rate of consumption is 103 million * 2W = 2.06 MW.
        1.8 TWh represents 6.5 petajoules (10^15 joules) of energy. One gallon of gas contains 132 megajoules of energy, so worldwide that's about 50 million gallons of gas a year. That sounds like a lot, but consider: if everyone in the US (just the US, mi

      • by dazey (903451)
        If we assume that 50% of them are plugged in, that's an additional 100MW of generating capacity needed worldwide.
        From a Houston Chronicle aritcle, http://blogs.chron.com/sciguy/archives/2006/06/coa l_affordable_1.html [chron.com], an 1000MW coal plant spews 6 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year.
        So, a 100MW coal plant would spew 600,000 tons of CO2 per year [544,310,844 kg]
        That's the impact. But, this is only for 2W standby power for one product.
        Also ... $2.63 * 50 million = $131.5 millio
  • Wii (Score:5, Funny)

    by mabba18 (897753) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:27AM (#15558200)

    From TFA:

    ...while the Wii will have the lowest energy requirements...

    Of course, everyone knows that the Wii will be powered by fun!

  • Dreamcast (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:28AM (#15558203)
    I was pleasently surprised to see they included the Dreamcast, it seems many people forget it was part of the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox generation. I'm happy to see how well the Dreamcast performed as well.
  • Chaos Tide Flowing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:28AM (#15558209) Homepage Journal
    "Modern gaming consoles consume more and more power, dissipate more and more heat and cause a lot more noise"

    When Atari invented the console market in the late 1970s, power costs were an issue only because of the recent energy crisis, heat mattered only if you left your cold beverage on the console, and there was no noise. Now that those problems are all cranked up in a more crowded, less plentiful, overbuilt world, we really have to worry about the power and heat. And now we can see the next crisis: overwhelming noise from all these home machines will first drive us completely mad, then churn up the atmosphere into tiny cyclones, combining with the larger ones to scour our homes into livingroom Grand Canyons.
  • power costs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PresidentEnder (849024) <wyvernender@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:30AM (#15558213) Journal
    Oh my GAWD! You mean I could lose almost $3.00 a year if I don't unplug my PS2?
    But wait! Let's assume that it takes me 30 seconds to get off my lazy ass and move to the entertainment center, move the entertainment center, unplug the PS2 from the power strip, and move the entertainment center back into place so my roommate can still watch TV. I play videogames almost every day, sometimes in two or three seperate sessions. Just for argument's sake, we'll figure I do this 360 times a year. That works out to 10 800 seconds, or 180 minutes, or three hours.
    Given that the federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour, that means that if I spend the time unplugging the PS2, then I'll be losing money! (3*5.15 = 15.45, if my redneck math is right, which I think is more than $2.63)
    • Given that the federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour, that means that if I spend the time unplugging the PS2, then I'll be losing money!

      You get paid to stay sitting on your couch?

      Wow! Where can I get that job?
    • Re:power costs (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Secrity (742221)
      It's not just the PS2 that is drawing power while being shut "off". Add the power being drawn by other devices that draw current when are also turned "off"; such as DVD player, TV, receiver, CD player, monitors, radios, computers, paper shredders, battery chargers, etc. My receiver has a power LED that turns ON to tell me that the unit is turned "off" and my DVD player has a power indicator LED that is always on, it changes color to indicate whether the unit is on or "off". Some video tape players even h
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:30AM (#15558215) Homepage Journal
    While the numbers apply to one console at a time, it is always worth seeing what these energy look like when you consider 500 000 people playing a time. The way I like to look at it is if a wind turbine provides 100KW of power, how many wind turbines do we need to satisfy the power demand. Taking the figures from the dashboard usage page. My math is:

          turbines = unit usage * 500 000 / 100 000

    so at the highest end with xbox 360 (145W) we have 725 turbines and the lowest end the Playstation 1 (4W) we have 20 turbines. That is a huge difference in infrastructure needed to satisfy out gaming needs. I'll let you do the math for others.

    I am not sure the amount of energy produced by an average nuclear power station or hydro dam, so if anyone can advise me on them I would appreciate it.
  • Power strips baby! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigbigbison (104532) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:35AM (#15558229) Homepage
    I have my entertainment system on two power strips that it turn off every night and it hasn't affected any of them. The two things i do leave plugged directly into the wall is my old (pre-remote) tv and the cable box since both of them take a long time to restart once the power has been off. Other than that all the rest of the stuff remembers my settings. My dvd recorder doesn't keep the time, but i never use it as a timer, so it doesn't matter to me.
    It may not save much electricity, but it is a habit I got into back in college when I lived in the dorms and I could hear everything humming in standby mode when I tried to go to sleep.
  • 145 watts? That's a lot more than your good old-fashioned five-tube radios of the 1950s used.

    Now, before everyone piles on me, I fully understand a five-tube radio didn't have exactly the same computing power as a modern chip... and that to match the number of switching elements you would need [insert 1 followed by about ten zeroes here] vacuum-tube radios, which would consume the total output of [choose one: Niagara Falls, Three Mile Island, the total world output of cow flatulence methane].

    It's still shoc

    • Which, of course, were also going to be completely free from failures...


      So uh, when was the last time you had a failure of a solid state device that wasn't caused by overheating or static electricity?

      And the power saving thing shouldn't surprise anybody. It's the power requirements and thermal profile of the device that limits it's marketability and cost basis. As soon as they could transition from tubes to solid state manufacturers produced devices that consumed just as much power, with much higher levels
  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:49AM (#15558257)
    Oh, the humanity. When a armchair EE like me can poke all these holes, what's to become of us?

    • Measuring power is, as the cold fusion guys figured out, is a lot harder than it seems.
    • They didnt as far as I could see, mention exactly what equipment they used to measure the power draw of these fine devices.
    • If you think, like most people, that electrical power is amps times volts, BRAAAP, you're the weakest link.
    • Power is the integral of instantaneous amps times instananeous volts. You can't use a $2.99 Harbor-Freight voltmeter and ammeter to do this.
    • All modern power supplies use a rectifier and switching regulator arrangement, which unlike an old steam iron, does not draw amps in proportion to volts. Instead it has a very non-linear power curve, full of sudden peaks and drops, and even some reverse current flowing during every AC cycle!
    • The numbers they published are very suspicious-- only ONE significant digit in the lower numbers, which suggests either they rounded them off without telling us, or they used a wattmeter without a low power range.
    • Either possibility introuduces anywhere from 25% (by dropping a digit) to 600% (trying to read 2 watts on a 200-watt meter) of error.
    • Even if these boxes draw that much power, it's not necessarily a waste. A lot of folks live in houses that require heating during at least part of the year. Every watt of heat from one of these boxes is one less watt of heat the house heating system will have to produce (assuming there's a thermostat involved).
    • On the other hand, if you have air-conditioning in use, each watt of heat from these boxes will require an additional 1/EER watt of power from the AC unit. EER's nowadays tend to be in the range of 10 to 14, so that's an extra 7 to 10 percent extra power draw during the hot months.
    • All these devices require a TV or monitor, IIRC. Those draw considerable power too, often dwarfing the gaming box's power.

    So guys, why do such a half-arsed job of it? Why not be the best?

    • So much for armchair EEs... There's this thing called Power Factor Correction - PFC. Pretty much ALL modern power supplies have it. If you want to sell in Europe, or most countries, you have to have a power supply with a PFC rating of 0.99 or better. Guess what? That means your power supply is essentially RESISTIVE. When the voltage peaks, the current peaks - the two are in phase.
  • That xbox 360 is a console equivalent of a hummer.
  • by Joe Decker (3806) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:53AM (#15558266) Homepage
    If folks are concerned about power waste, a better place to start might be your cable box, if you've got one. Mine draws 31W, even when it's "turned off", compared to 0.2-2W for the game boxes tested when turned off, a pretty fair difference. I use a power strip.

    The catch is this--the "off button" doesn't really turn the cable box off, because it wants to keep processing the program information data ("Friends is on channel 7 at 7:30) that's being trickled down the cable, that requires the tuners and microprocessor and such to be on, leaving little difference in power use for the cable box between "on" and "off". This means that, when I turn the TV on, it can be 10-20 minutes before I have a fully populated program grid.

  • Maybe I'm just cranky this morning but isn't this just the dumbest article that has been posted recently?

    Forget the methodology -- the question is, "So what?"

    It's gaming. This is like evaluating the nutritional differences between chocolate ice cream and cheesecake. It's a fucking desert. Who cares?

    Want to talk about wasted energy? How about all the energy that they wasted writing this article?

    Where's the comparison with turning this consoles off and going out and throwing a baseball around or kicking a soc
  • PSone calculation? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MADnificent (982991)
    If you put an article with numbers online, please learn to calculate:

    Playstation 1: 0.1Watt * 24h/day * 365days/year = 876Wh = 0.876kWh != 1.752kWh
    => that gives $0.1314

    Xbox, Gamecube, Dreamcast use 1.752kWh and cost you $0.2628 per console ;-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 18, 2006 @12:39PM (#15558374)
    I'm less worried about the console than a new desktop PCs. Rumour has it that 1000W and 1200W powersupplies are soon to be standard fair (my spaceheater is only 800W) to support these pigs (and that doesn't include the monitor or peripherials. At the same time we can make pretty capable laptops that draw 30W, so it isn't like energy efficient technology doesn't exist. I can live with a computer that browns out the neighbourhood when I'm in the middle of the latest 3D gaming extravaganza, but I see no justification for a machine that consumes several times more power than maxed out laptop when it is sitting idle. This is a sign of twisted priorities due to weak legislation. PCs are now significantly contributing to stress on our environment, and an aweful lot of it is completely needless -- all PCs should have all low power modes that kick in for un-demanding tasks.

    The best advice for now: 1) If you must run your peer-to-peer, do it on a laptop with the screen turned off -- not your ultra-gamer with the 300W video card 2) turn off your desktop when you aren't gaming.
    • "I'm less worried about the console than a new desktop PCs. Rumour has it that 1000W and 1200W powersupplies are soon to be standard fair (my spaceheater is only 800W) to support these pigs (and that doesn't include the monitor or peripherials."

      That is one ridiculous and unfounded rumor. Most PC's these days come with 300-350W power supplies. While it is obvious that power requirements have been risen over the years, the growth isn't anywhere near what you are implying it to be. It took us many years to go

    • I run 3 pcs, 2 19" CRTs, and a stack of add on stuff, and when all powered up, it pulls around 430watts. power supply ratings have nothing to do with power consumption.

      note: with the monitors off, everything pulls about 280 watts
    • Rumour has it that 1000W and 1200W powersupplies are soon to be standard

      Those numbers are meaningless marketing. Power supply manufacturers keep increasing them to make their supplies sound more powerful, but the reality is that they're just finding new (unhelpful) ways to add up the numbers and get a larger figure.

      Fundamentally, you cannot describe the power consumption of a PC PSU using a single number. There are too many variables. You *can* describe the drain of an assembled, running PC at a given point in time using a single number, but the only connection it has to the PSU 'rating' is that it will definitely be smaller. You'll find some more informative numbers printed on a sticker on the power supply, telling you the peak drain for each of the rails, but what really matters is the power consumption of all the devices in the computer.

      In practice, these '800W' power supplies that you see today are just half a dozen rails (at varying voltages), each of which can supply a peak current of between 100W and 300W. Most of them cannot supply peak current to every rail simultaneously. People upgrade their power supplies to handle high-end video cards and think this means they need to consume 800W instead of 300W. It doesn't. It means that one of the rails supplying their video card needed to handle 200W instead of 150W, or something on that order. Overclockers rarely need a larger amount of power, they need a more expensive power supply that puts out smoother voltage when a noisy load (overclocked CPU) is applied. Etcetera.

      So sure, we may soon be needing power supplies that say '1200W' on the box. But that doesn't mean they will consume 50% more power than one that says '800W'.
  • Peak oil (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enquest (579041) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @01:09PM (#15558484)
    I wonder how computers, gaming will be when we hit peakoil.
    1. computers will grow more expensive to build... Al the energie to produce chips, moving them around etc...!
    2. powering computers will grow more expensive!

    So the logical thing to do would be to make the computer less powerfull and so cheaper to produce and cheaper to run. Would market competetion lead us that way after peakoil?

    Hmmm, it would be asta la VISTA for windows... And welkom Xubuntu?
  • A better question is, is it worthwhile to unplug the console each time you play it to save 3 bucks per year.

    Assume that it takes 10 seconds per day to plug and unplug the console:
    10 seconds/day * 365 days/year / 60 seconds/minute = 60 minutes per year spent playing with the plug

    Even at minimum wage, spending 60 minutes per year to save 3 bucks is not worthwhile.
  • by tttonyyy (726776)
    I just wasted the amount of energy I could have saved unplugging my GC by reading this article! ;)
  • How about a PC? (Score:3, Informative)

    by heli0 (659560) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @05:00PM (#15559065)
    A top-end PC uses about 155W idle and 320W max.

    source: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2717 &p=4 [anandtech.com]
  • by jbridges (70118) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @07:16PM (#15559388)
    The peak rate for Southern California Edison (anything a residence uses over about an average of 300kWh per month) is now about 33cents USD per kWh. (I just got first 2006 summer bill)

    WOW!

    That's just under $3 per watt per year.
    A 200watt fileserver for instance is $600 a year to keep running.
    A 120watt torrent machine is $360 a year to keep online (plus cost of cable/dsl modem).
    Most network routers and switches cost more in a couple years of electric use than their purchase price.

  • by lancejjj (924211) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:01PM (#15559839) Homepage
    I posted energy consumption data for PCs and Macs: http://lancej.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

    The difference: many leave our PCs on 24 hours a day... leading to significant costs.
  • by assassinator42 (844848) on Sunday June 18, 2006 @11:52PM (#15559922)
    What kind of Playstation 1 were they using? The original PSX, or the newer, smaller PSOne? I assume different designs take different ammounts of power. The PS2 also has a slim version, but I'm assuming they're using an older model because they mention the switch on the back.

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