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[ale] screen saver eats 15 - 30 watts



On 04/02/2013 11:20 AM, Ron Frazier (ALE) wrote:
> So, if you have a fancy smancy 3d screen saver running on a big
> computer, or several big computers, maybe with multiple monitors, you
> might want to look at how much power it's consuming.
> 
> Just thought I'd pass this along.  Hope it's helpful.

It makes perfect sense: to display nothing, costs nothing.  Plus you
have to consider the cost of keeping the monitor(s) on, vs. having the
screen save shut the monitors themselves down into a low-power mode.

I use blank for a screen saver, and have my monitors power down 15
minutes after the screen saver comes on.  I figure after 15 minutes of
screensaver, I'm probably not at the computer anyway---so what's the point.

Everything that you do on a computer costs energy.  People often don't
think about it though, because it's hard to observe energy being used
for things like processing, unless you actually hear things like your
fans spin up to full, which then make you think about it.  Simply typing
in the Thunderbird window that I am typing in right now has Thunderbird
using between 5 and 10% of a single CPU core, just keeping up with my
typing.

There is also a lot to be said for making software more efficient, which
would solve a lot of that.  There's no reason that my typing in a
simple, non-HTML text area should cause the CPU usage to go up to then
percent, except wastefulness.  Then again, I've actually seen the code
that goes into the Mozilla software, and a good chunk of it is
JavaScript, not C++ (which is what the kernel for all Mozilla projects
is written in).

We (the royal "we") programmers have gotten lazy:  we have computer
environments that more-or-less resemble, for most applications, an ideal
Turing machine.  And that means that programmers have stopped caring
about efficiency of code and power usage, in preference for caring for
the efficiency of use of programmer time.  I think that we need to find
a happy medium.

	--- Mike

-- 
Michael B. Trausch, President
Naunet Corporation

Telephone: (678) 287-0693 x130
Toll-free: (888) 494-5810 x130
FAX: (678) 287-0693

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