back to article Are Dell's Energy Smart servers really smart at all?

A couple of years ago, Dell launched a new line of so-called Energy Smart servers. They were billed as modified versions of the company's standard PowerEdge systems, which cost a bit more up front but helped customers save more money over the long haul by reducing power consumption. But, we wondered, how smart were the Energy …


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  1. Brian
    Paris Hilton

    Dell would never...

    El Reg! I am horrified that you would imply that Dell might over charge. Why you are attacking my entire worldview to think that such a large computer manufacturer would be less than honorable. No go spank yourselves for doubting them.

    Paris of course could be spanked your place...

  2. stizzleswick

    So Dell do a Dell.

    And in other news...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    I don't know but

    Why has The Register ignored this? It's more relevant than most of what The Register features.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I don't know but

    Yet another survey from yet another IT security company, saying nothing that anyone who knows anything about security does not know already. Computer Weekly are welcome to it...


    El Reg

    PS A little off-topic, Mr Anon.

  5. Chris C

    Within ONE year?!?

    So Dell actually thinks customers will recoup between $180 and $400 in ONE YEAR of energy savings? How much do they think their customers are paying for electricity?!? Any decent modern power supply will use active power factor correction, so we can safely assume customers won't get hit with a power factor surcharge using either the Regular or Energy Smart servers. That just leaves the standard formula -- annual cost = kilowatt-hours x cost-per-kilowatt.

    According to my provider in Massachusetts, WMECO, energy will cost "Small Commercial & Industrial" customers 11.467 cents (average) per kilowatt-hour from January through June 2008 (the variable monthly cost ranges from 10.424 to 12.719 cents per kWh). Assuming 24x365 operation (8,760 hours per year), at 11.467 cents per kWh, $270 is one year at 268.787 watts, $180 is one year at 179.191 watts, and $400 is one year at 398.204 watts. For some reason, I highly doubt that an Energy Smart server consumes 179.191, 268.787, or 398.204 fewer watts than a Regular server.

  6. Chris C

    re: I don't know but

    Egads! I never knew that IT staff were one factor of data leaks! Oh, wait a minute, I *DID* know that, as does anyone who takes the time to think about it. That kind of article is right up there with those saying there are more men in IT than women. Perhaps you could point us to a survey which shows that WEP is no longer a useful wireless encryption method?

    Oh, and in case you never got the memo, most people do not like telemarketers, most people do not like advertisements, and most prisoners don't like being in prison.

  7. The Dark Lord

    Quite a timely article for me this one...

    ... as I was looking at this very matter this very week. I was surprised to see - in this modern green age - that the Tech Specs on Dell's web site (at least for the PowerEdge 1950) did not include how much power the thing actually consumes, or how much heat it makes. There was no link to where I could calculate or derive this information.

    I was thus unable to make a decision as to which (regular or Energy Smart) would be the better choice. I'll have to go back to the finger-in-the-air method.

  8. Edward Dore

    Re: Quite a timely article for me this one...

    Take a look at the Dell Data Centre Capacity Planner at

  9. James Bassett

    Re: Chris C

    The power of running the direct server does not constitute the whole cost. These things pump out a fair bit of heat. You have to pay to get rid of that. I'd still agree with you that it's unlikely you'd save $400 over a year though. Given your figures, $150-$200 looks possible and Dell say the worldwide average premium is still $100.

  10. Vince

    Not At All Smart.

    Dell's "Energy Smart" kit isn't that energy smart at all. Has anyone actually tested the kit properly? I have, and it's very wasteful indeed.

    I don't buy Dell anymore.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris C

    "and most prisoners don't like being in prison"

    Apparently HMGUK are working on that, which is just as well because the way things are going we are all likely to end up in one.

  12. Alan

    @The dark Lord

    Use this well hidden tool to calculate power & cooling requirements

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