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Comment Re:It'd be hilareous if not so sad... (Score 1) 338

And my laptop can do everything that the PC from the early '90s could do without even turning the fans on. Even a Raspberry Pi 2 outperforms a late-'90s PC handily and doesn't even have a heatsink (let alone a fan) on the SoC and can run happily from a battery.

Apples and oranges. I could also compare a pocket calculator to ENIAC. It doesn't matter. What matters is what people use which is what drives power consumption.
You talked about an Alpha workstation when most people only had PCs in their house. Now you compare with a modern Raspberry Pi which is basically an embedded system. I compared high-end desktop PCs with high-end desktop PCs.

Those data points that you're picking are completely irrelevant for office machines.
No one needs an Alpha for an office machine either. In fact in the early 1990s a lot of people had electric typewriters or even mechanical ones in their office which used even less power than your laptop or whatever.

The "high-end" GPU is not for replacing a cluster. It's a gaming machine add-on that costs $3000 USD. Hardly a cluster. The Titan Z can't even do DP FP worth a damn. It's not for scientific computing. It's for gaming. Even a $999 USD card can use 320W. Not outside of the realm for a gamer. I paid more for a computer monitor two decades ago when the dollar was actually worth more.

The problem with modern LCD screens is 4K. It gobs power. Same thing happened with smartphones and tablets with high-resolution displays.

Comment Re:It'd be hilareous if not so sad... (Score 1) 338

Nonsense? I used to be able to put my hand on the CPU of my PC in the early 1990s while the thing was on. Good luck doing that now. Why do you think the power supply wattage keeps going up?

How many people had Alpha workstations back then anyway? Compared to desktop PCs? But sure let's do a little comparison:
Alpha 21264: 90W TDP.
Back people probably had Pentium processors: 16W TDP.
Recent AMD FX-9590: 220W TDP.
Recent Haswell-E: 140W BogoTDP (TM).
Oh and let's not forget the GeForce GTX Titan Z GPU. Did not have that in the 1990s: 375W.

Fact is a computer is today a major power hog in a regular house.

I don't know. Maybe you use one of those integrated systems with a low-voltage processor. Even if you do I bet it draws more power than the Alpha did.
How about large screen LCDs? 245W for a 55".
Back when we used CRTs we also used smaller screens. 160W for a 36".

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