Column: I'm Going Green with My PC

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theStas

As for me, I agree with this article. Manufacturers create new smartphones and tablets so often that everyone is just FORCED to buy a new one. Making money is the main point here i think. To sell a new laptop (with almost the same configuration and made with the same manufacturing process) is way more profitably then selling a new graphics card or processor. Apple realised that fact a years ago.

But my old PC lives for 4,5 years and almost good at everyday routine tasks, not games or video editing (as the resolution standarts has grown). I have a two year laptop and it's old now, i can't launch on it all new games and etc. - I'll have to sell it and buy a new one to be able to use mobile benefits...

as for smartphones....you know)

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firefox91

"If you don’t replace your smartphone every 12 months, you’re a loser or worse—not cool."

[Looks at 2+ year old Droid Bionic]

Meh. As if I ever cared about what others thought of my status. It still works and still runs all of the apps I want it too. So suck it.

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EKRboi

yup! I went to a galaxy S4 4ish months ago after 2+ years with my bionic. It is such a great phone. The ONLY reason I swapped to an S4 when I did was because I was on verizon and the bootloader had been "hacked".. knowing that an open bootloader is something that I had to have and the day I read about the exploit being patched in an update I went to verizon and picked one up before the new stock rolled in. I don't regret getting the phone as I really like it, but I do regret not getting away from verizon. I am an android coder/tinkerer and if verizon is going to keep up with their policy of mandatory locked bootloaders (except for dev editions) this will likely be my last after 16 years of having service with them. Such a shame, they have a great network, but their prices and policies are getting to be on the rediculous side when compared to other more open and CHEAPER options out there. Maybe if I am lucky by the time my contract is up they will have come to their senses. I am not holding my breath though.

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MrHasselblad

Sure the main topic about this article is desktops and items such as replacement cycle, but...

Not sure if I'm correct on this one, but... Why has no company ever invented a type of user upgradeable laptop. It could be very easily doable for well under 2k - well spec'd out. Sure it would be a bit larger than a traditional laptop. But there would also be a better than average market for it

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fuzz_64

Actually OCZ had the DIY line. In fact I'm typing on one now. User was literally provided with the casing / screen / keyboard / motherboard.

I had to supply 2x hard drives, ram, processor, wifi card.

It came with a DVD RW but that could be swapped out for a Bluray drive if wanted.

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vrmlbasic

It's good that the PC is "green" because once those warmists who got stuck in the summer antarctic ice a few weeks ago plant all the trees that they need to offset the greenhouse gas emissions produced as a result of their rescue there won't be enough space left for any of us PC users to plant some trees. :)

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aarcane

If you want a good, upgradable, user servicible ultrabook, I highly recommend the Samsung NP900X4{C,D}, which has served me wonderfully with my Intel 525 mSata SSD and 16GiB of DDR3L 1600. (Stock it comes with some crap adata ssd and only 8GiB of ddr3 1600). Problem is, all the e-tailers are out of stock right now after the Christmas rush. I'm hoping they'll get fresh supply in soon, I want another!

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Nixon

Not that I'm trying to be a hipster, but I still have a Nokia tracfone... Makes a good phone in the car glove box for emergencies or dire calls.
I probably will be getting a smart phone soon, but it depends on how connected I need to keep with my job while away from the house.

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vrmlbasic

Having a tracfone doesn't make you a hipster, it's rather anti-hipster, especially if it is your only cell phone. That would make it neither "retro" nor "ironic", and those are the only 2 ways that any hipster could carry such dated tech without being voted out of the collective.

...I'm told that "retro" ends with the iPhone4 nowadays ;)

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mhouston100

I just built a Haswell based i7 get-up in the last two weeks (Win 8.1, SSD etc) and one unexpected thing was that it boots from cold in under 10 seconds (not an accurate measurement just a vague observation). Thats faster than my old PC used to come out of standby!

So my PC is now turned off the very second I'm not using it, and back up within seconds.

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balindos

The beauty of SSD. I do the exact same thing and I have a first gen i7. Boots to win 8.1 in no time. Not worth keeping it on at all.

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balindos

AMEN!! Good article. I have had my tower since the launch of the i7s and I cannot imagine replacing that computer for a long time.

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legionera

What it means to be green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LQIH_SUt6A

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LatiosXT

The reason why PC upgrade cycles are getting longer is because the PC for content consumption is less relevant in the wake of more convenient portable devices. You obviously can't lug your desktop anywhere (with minor exceptions), you're not going to lug your laptop everywhere. The one thing you'll no doubt have with you? A phone. And chances are it's a smart phone.

The other reason? Content consumption software has been tuned to be as efficient as possible so that it'll run on "dumber, slower" devices. A Core i5 is overkill for browsing the internet and watching videos on YouTube. A dinky SB/IB based Celeron packing 2GB/4GB of RAM is more than enough to do the job.

Moore's Law has nothing to do with it. It was an observation to begin with anyway and manufacturers were using that as a yardstick for their own progress. And Moore's Law has nothing to do with performance. The fact that NVIDIA managed to squeeze out an average of 40% more performance by adding 18% more transistors between the the Geforce 500 and 600 series may as well be proof enough.

There's no reason for the average consumer PC to progress as fast as it did years ago. The only market for "high performance" parts that has enough money in it are gamers, and they're only limited to just how fast their GPU can crunch out frames (though the CPU is getting more important with streaming being a thing now).

On a side note about going green, I'm also surprised at how little power my successive builds are using on idle or near idle. From a C2D with a GTX 460 idling at 130W to a i5-2500 with a GTX 670 idling at 100W to an i5-4670K with a GTX 670 down to 55W. Though the average load is hovering around 200-230W

@Gordan - You could replace the CPU with the motherboard only... assuming nobody invents another bus standard that breaks compatibility in that time. But after DDR4, I think that'll be the last hump in our transition from parallel interfaces to serial. Everything after that is a matter of clock speed.

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thetinean

I agree; at first, I thought this article was going to say that desktop computers are greener because they consume less power so I was going to immediately disagree, but like you said, computers don't need much upgrading because they are being replaced (unfortunately) by other devices like tablets, smartphones, and laptops for the average consumer.

Also, to add to the list, gamers aren't the only ones with the need for powerful computers. Video editors, photo editors, and programmers still need the power and ease of a desktop.

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LatiosXT

But as I said, gaming is the only market where there's a lot of money for high-end parts. I'm hypothesizing the reason why Apple can price Mac Pros competitively is because they price gouge everyone else.

And programming doesn't necessarily need a powerful computer. Working with microcontrollers and such for instance? You can skirt by with the most basic laptop.

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Zefram0911

You're going to hate me and mine cryptocurrency mining rigs. Four 290s pumping at full blast 24/7.. x3 rigs. I can feeeel the power surging into my body.

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VoodooChicken

How close are you to mining your investment's worth?

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Obsidian

Never get there with that kind of power draw.

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The Mac

depends on the price of electricity.

Some part of the US its less than .10 per kwh.

In my area (Boston) i pay over .20/kwh, no chance it would be worth it for me.

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The Mac

Moores law hasnt been in play in quite some time.

We'd be at around 64 billion components per CPU if it was still valid.

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praetor_alpha

"It’s already been acknowledged by the industry that the upgrade cycle for the PC is very long and getting longer. " "When I do get the itch for a new component— say, a future AMD or Intel 13- watt processor that’s twice the speed of today’s fastest CPU..."

Welcome to the end of Moore's Law. Have fun with your toys!