Media & Blogosphere - reporting on our study

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab News Release - Gaming Computers Offer Huge, Untapped Savings Potential

AZO Cleantech - Berkeley Lab Energy Analysis - Electricity Consumption by Gaming Computers per Year is $10 Billion

BitGamerGaming PCs too power-hungry, researcher warns

Business Insider (India) - A Slight Change in the Gaming PC World Could Save Billions in Wasted Energy

Chip Online (Turkey)Oyun Bilgisayarlarından Rekor Enerji Tüketimi (Measuring the Energy Use of Gaming Computers)

Choi News (Japan) - ゲームPCはエネルギー節約できる余地が大きい (Gaming PCs Have Room To Save Energy)

CleanTechnicaGaming Computers Could Reap 75% Energy Savings And Improve Performance

ClimateWire - Gaming Computers Rack Up Disproportionate Energy Bill

DH (Turkey) - Gelecekte Sadece Oyuncu Bilgisayarlarını Calıştırmak Için 50 Enerji Santrali Gerekecek (Gamers Only Need 50 Power Plants in the Future to Run Their Computers)

Digital Trends - Small Changes Could Yield Huge Energy Savings for Gaming PCs, Study Says

Energy Efficiency Markets - Gaming Computers Offer Huge, Untapped Energy Savings Potential

Economie Matin (France) - Fracture D'electricite: Un PC de Gamer Consomme Comme Trois Frigos (UK) - More Efficient Gaming PCs Could Save $18 Billion

FierceEnergyAre gaming computers the next big thing for energy efficiency?

Forbes - The Big Surprise in Home Energy Consumption: Gaming PCs

Fudzilla - Gamers Can Save the Planet by Tweaking

FZ (Sweden) - Din Speldator Kan Vara en Energiskurk (Your Gaming Computer Can Be An Energy-thief)

GameStar (Germany)  - Stromverbrauch Von Spiele-PCs - Könnte Im Jahr 2020 Weltweit 50 Kraftwerken Entsprechen (Power Consumption of Gaming PCs - Could The 2020 World Provide 50 Power Plants?) - Gaming Computers Could Reap 75% Energy Savings and Improve Performance

Globo (Brazil)PCs Gamer Consomem US$ 10 Bilhões em Energia Por Ano, Diz Estudo (Gamer PCs Consume $ 10 Billion in Energy Per Year, Says Study)

Green Buildings Advisor - Video Gamers Could Save Billions in Energy Costs

Grist - Gamers Guzzle a Crazy Amount of Energy

GreenTechMedia - Gaming Costs $10B Annually in Energy

Hard-OCP - Taming The Energy Use of Gaming Computers

Hardware (Finland) - PC-PELAAJAT KULUTTAVAT TOLKUTTOMASTI SÄHKÖÄ (PC Gamers Electricity Expenses Go on Forever)

Hexus - World's Gaming PCs to Require 50 Dedicated Power Stations by 2020

International Business Times (UK)Greener Gamers Could Save $18 Billion by Switching to More Efficient PCs

KO: Computer Review (Russia)  -  Оптимизация игровых ПК позволит сэкономить 18 млрд долл (Optimization of PC Gaming Will Save $18 Billion)

Kronen Zeitung (Austria)Gaming-PCs fressen unnötig viel Strom (Gaming PCs Eat An Unnecessarily Large Amount of Electricity)

Laoyaoba (Taiwan)你的电竞电脑是吃电怪兽吗?(Is Your Gaming Computer an Electricity-eating Monster?)

Le Comptoir Du Hardware (France) - Le PC Des Joueurs Consomme Trop (PC Gamers Consume, Too)

L'energie D'avancer (France)Comment réduire la consommation énergétique des PC de gamers ? (How to Save Energy in Gaming PCs?)

MuyComputer (Spain) - Los PCs de Juegos Utilizan Una Cantidad Ingente de Energía (Gaming PCs Use Huge Amounts of Energy)

Newsweek - Greener Gamers Could Save $18 Billion by Switching to More Efficient PCs

PC Gamer - Efficiency Study Says Gaming PCs use $10 Billion in Energy Every Year

PC Welt (Germany) - Gaming PCs Soon to Need 50 Power Plants for Electricity Worldwide

Presse Citron (France)Les Gamers Sur PC, Rois Du Gaspi D’énergie (PC Gamers, Kings of Energy Waste)

PresseText (Germany) - Gaming-PCs Fressen Unnoetig Viel Strom (Gaming PCs Eat Unnecessarily Large Amount of Electricity: - Gaming Computers Offer Huge, Untapped Savings Potential

PlayNation (Germany) - Allgemein: Gaming-PCs sind teure Stromfresser

PPLWare (Portugal)Costuma Jogar No PC? Atenção Aos Consumos De Energia (Do You Usually Game on a PC?  Pay Attention to Energy)

R&D MagazineGaming computers offer huge, untapped energy savings potential

Rennovabili (Italy)I PC Da Gaming Non Sanno Cosa Sia L’efficienza Energetica (PC Gamers Don't Know What Energy Efficiency Is)

Run Direct Magazine - Gaming Computers Can Save Energy with Necessary Changes in Settings and Components

Science DailyGaming computers offer huge, untapped energy savings potential

Science Post (France) - Comment Reduire La Consommation Electriques des Ordinateurs de Joueurs? (How to Reduce the Power Consumption of Gaming Computers ?)

Sciences Et Avenir - Gamers, Soyez Moins Energivores (Gamers, Be More Energy Efficient)

SG (Hungary) - Évi 10 Milliárd Dolláros Aramszámlát Okoznak a Játék PC-k (Gaming PCs Cause $10 Billion in Energy Bills)

Silicon Republic - Gaming PC Owners Can Help Save the Planet by Improving Rigs

Slate (France) -  Les PC de Gamers Engloutissent des Quantités Enormes d'Energie (PC Gamers Gobble up Huge Amounts of Energy)

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) - Gaming-PCs verursachen zehn Milliarden Dollar Stromkosten pro Jahr (Gaming PCs Responsible for 10 Billion Dollars Electricity Costs Per Year)

Svet Hardware (Czech) Herní PC Budou Prý Do Roku 2020 Potřebovat 25 GW Energie (PC Gaming Will Need 25 GW of Energy by 2020)

TechSpot -  New study highlights the ridiculous amount of energy consumed by gaming PCs

TF1 (France)
Techie News (UK)Gaming computers can help save billions per year in energy costs
Tom's Hardware (Italy) -  I PC Gaming Di Tutto Il Mondo Consumano Come 160 Milioni Di Frigoriferi (PC Gaming Worldwide Consumes as Much Energy As 160 Million Refrigerators)

TreeHugger - Making Gaming Computers More Efficient Could Save $18 Billion a Year in Energy Costs

TriplePundit - Gamers to the Rescue: 'Huge' Energy Savigns Potential In Computer Gaming
Vice: Motherboard - Gaming Computers Use a Truly Astonishing Amount of Energy
Wired (Germany) - Gaming-PCs Sind Riesige Stromfresser (Gaming PCs are Huge Power Guzzlers)

Xataka (Spain) -  Si Eres Gamer, Cuidado Con El Consumo Eléctrico: Puedes Ahorrarte Un Dineral Sin Perder Potencia (If you're a gamer, be careful with power consumption: You Can Save A Bundle Without Losing Performance)


How much energy is the current energy use of 75 billion kilowatt hours per year?
  • It's like 25 standard electric power plants.  It's also like 160 million refrigerators, globally.  Or, 7 billion LED light bulbs running 3 hours per day -- that's one LED light bulb for every man, woman, and child on the planet.
Why is this so much energy?
  • Two main factors.  First is the fact that the internal components all suck far more power when working, particularly the graphics card, followed by the CPU and then the motherboard.  The power supply is also particularly important because it has its own inefficiencies every bit of electricity used in the PC passes through it, and so the losses are compounded.  That's overlain by the fact that the gaming PC spends much more time in peak power mode (CPU and GPU firing) -- because of the nature of gaming -- national average is 4.4 hours/day (nearly 20% of the day).  For a standard PC it's far, far less because just web browsing and things like that are not compute-intensive (about 1% of the time at peak).  
How can gamers benefit from your research. I see a few products named, but is there enough info for them to build an energy efficient gaming machine?
  • The examples given are just illustrative, certainly not exhaustive.  Gamers, particularly DIY folks who build their own machines from scratch already, can scrutinize name-plate power ratings of products that provide the performance levels to which they aspire, and then choose wisely from among those sets.  Measurement is key, and very affordable now given low-cost power meters.  This is important because nameplate ratings are usually way over actual energy use rates, even at peak load.  This matters because it helps people not fall into the trap of oversizing their power supply unit (PSU has a--oversizing has a two-fold downside: higher first-cost than necessary, and potentially lower operating efficiency leading to (even) higher energy use.   
  • In tandem with including energy performance in the equipment specification process, gamers can do quite a bit to save power by optimizing settings and shutting down power to specific points (e.g., empty slots on the mother board) that don't need to be "hot").  Choosing equipment like displays with software correction (e.g. G-Sync) for visual flaws like tearing enables use of less souped-up graphics processing units without experience any compromise in visual performance.  It's also important not saddle oneself with bottlenecks that impede the ability of one component to achieve the performance promised by a neighboring one.  Classic example is a CPU that cannot fully power a GPU.  This leads to significant energy waste, in that a lower-power GPU could be paired with the given CPU without any performance hit.  Sometimes equipment and operation considerations dovetail together, e.g., with fanless PSUs that are becoming available or with intelligent fan controls that only push air when it's needed rather than every minute the machine is running.
Are gamers interested in saving energy, or are mandates are necessary?
  • Like anywhere you look today, there is a mix of sentiments.  This segment is arguably a bit more challenging for a couple of reasons.  First, for the younger gamer set, the user and specifier isn't usually the one actually paying utility bills (that would be mom and dad, ahem).  Also, the information environment is terrible (much of the data required to make good choices doesn't exist or is a pain to gather).  There is also a mythology that higher performance automatically requires higher energy input.  The opposite has been borne out again and again; think of the Tesla.  The data in our paper show that this is clearly not the case for gaming computers either.  Like many in society, some gamers' gut reaction is to point the finger at other users of energy (hummers, cement factories, ... take your pick).  The reality is that there is no silver bullet and we need to pursue savings anywhere and everywhere we can find them. Gaming computers are certainly playing catch-up with the rest of the technology space, where standards, incentives, and a more vibrant energy information environment are more status quo. Short of standards is transparency in product labeling.  Currently, only PSUs and displays have labels.  Voluntary labeling could be brought into the picture elsewhere.  Regulators will observe customers and markets and come in with standards where they find that the market is not doing the economically optimal thing on its own.  Time will tell in this case. 
What do you plan do to next in this research area?
  • There are many frontiers.  Certainly more measurement of individual components is needed. Equally important is more granular segmentation of the market so that baseline energy demand and scenarios can be developed for specific geographies and user categories.  For example, we didn't even look at workplace use of these kinds of machines.  It's important to study the "load shape" of gaming to better understand how the hourly patterns of use coincide (or not) with the utility's most challenging periods of peak demand.  Another need is for standardized benchmarking and energy test procedures.  The industry of course does that well on the performance side (Unigine, etc.), but not on the energy metering side.  As a result, one runs into all sorts of conflicting "results" for identical configs. Giving the rapid place of technology change, the space needs to be tracked closely.  Last but not least, a critical next-step would be looking into the cost-performance relationships among components and how much investment is needed to gain energy savings.  There is a popular misconception that any and all energy savings beyond business-as-usual are too costly; this needs to be debunked.