Friday, July 9, 2010

Saving $250 by setting your computer correctly

Saddly I have seen that too many of my friends don't have to computer set to automatically stand by or hibernate when it is not used. Even worst they don't even have the 'Hibernate' feature activated on their computer.
I don't know if it is indifference, lack of education or plain (and typical) stupidity.

A well documented study (see link below) shows that only by setting the computer correctly you can save $250 per year (in Europe you will save probably more). However, that article stops here and forgets other extra expenses. For example, a full time working computer produces a lot of heat. So, you consume another $70 to remove the heat produced by your computer from your room. Plus, your computer will live longer if it is less used and overheated so you will spend less money for new parts and repairs. Lets say an average of $40 per year.
The equipments that wear in time due to heating, mechanical wear or ageing are (in this order):
  • The hard drive
  • The monitor (the quality of the image degrades in time as the chemicals and neon tubes inside are consumed)
  • The coolers
  • Power supply
  • The CD ROM
  • In some extreme conditions CPU, memory and main-board chipset can age sooner than expected due to overheating

Set your power profile correctly right now and then grab your jacket and go buy yourself a $250+ gift 'cose you just saved at least $250.

Note: screensavers are generally NOT good. There is a full mythology around the "benefits" of screensavers, but now with the modern LCD screens they are good for nothing else than producing heat and wasting CPU power.

Extras from the article:

"Configuring a system to use standby

While Windows XP offers two power-saving states, standby and hibernation, standby is probably better suited to a desktop computer environment. This is due to the fact that in standby the system simply goes into a low power state instead of saving the contents of RAM to the hard disk and shutting down.

Standby works by gradually putting your system into a low-power state in three stages. The first stage cuts power to the monitor and hard drives, the second level cuts power to the CPU and cache, and the third level drops down to provide only enough power to support the contents of RAM. You typically revive the computer from standby with a mouse click or a keystroke.

Configuring the system to use standby is easy. To begin, access the Control Panel and double-click the Power Options icon. If you’re using the Category view, you’ll find it on the Performance And Maintenance page.

When you see the Power Options Properties dialog box, select the Home/Office Desk option from the Power Schemes drop-down list. Now, in the Settings panel, select appropriate time intervals to gradually turn off the monitor and hard disks, and to put the system into standby during times of inactivity."

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