back to article California to put all your power-hungry PCs on a low carb(on) diet

California could soon become the first US state to pass laws limiting the power consumption of computers sold within its borders. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the California Energy Commission (CEC) wants to, by the end of the year, require PCs and monitors sold in Cali to use way less energy. The report cites a …

  1. ma1010

    I wonder what they're planning to break

    So we'll get really dim monitors, or be stuck with Celeron-quality processors, or what? Or must the computer turn itself off after 3 minutes of inactivity? Technology MAY be up to providing computers that work right and meet these power requirements of theirs, but I'm not betting on it.

    We have some "energy saving" printers, too. They turn themselves off (and cool down) after a few minutes of not being used. So if you want to print something, you send your job to the printer, go over to it, and wait. And wait. And wait a bit more while it warms back up. So the state (yes, it's a government office) saves $00.0000000001 worth of electricity and wastes $2.00 worth of someone's time forcing them to wank around waiting for a printout. Typical government "efficiency."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wank around waiting for a printout

      Are they hiring?

      1. Simon Harris

        Re: wank around waiting for a printout

        It's the new greener way of sticking the pages together without needing staples.

    2. erikj

      Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

      As a resident of the Golden State, this doesn't bother me much. I skimmed the staff report (link below). It makes high-efficiency LEDs mandatory (3-5 watt savings while "on"), which are already becoming the norm for Energy Star 6.1. It also makes "80 Plus" or better PSUs a standard. The rest is mostly in flight already as manufacturers move toward SSDs and more efficient GPUs. The proposal doesn't appear to apply to printers.

      I'm sure there's some exuberance behind the anticipated savings figures, but 2.5 terawatt hours and 783,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas saved per year got my attention. There's a lot of tech at my house. I just hope overclocking doesn't become a misdemeanor.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

        So, so more wide-spectrum LED monitors, just the super-efficient blue-white crap ones? You'd think any kind of LEDs would be good enough.

        Will high-end GPUs be verboten as well? GamerGate blitzkrieg in 3... 2... 1...

        These bureaucrats are barking up the wrong tree. Cloud computing is the 900 pound energy hog.

        1. JeffyPoooh

          Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

          "...barking up the wrong tree. Cloud computing is the 900 pound energy hog."

          It's traditional in the environmental field to start at the tiny and inconsequential end of the total problem space.

          If ecoMentals were in charge of fighting forest fires, then we'd all be asked to go outside and spit.

          "We must all do our part. Every tiny little thing helps," said every ecoMental ever.

          Where's Oliver Cromwell when we need him?

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

          These bureaucrats are barking up the wrong tree. Cloud computing is the 900 pound energy hog.

          Just consider for a moment, which cloudy, tech companies are based in California... and which ones of those do some serious lobbying. A possible connection?

          1. Simon 49

            Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

            But their DCs are not here, but in Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. The reason is California power prices are massively higher.

        3. streaky

          Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

          Cloud computing is the 900 pound energy hog

          Now I have a problem with cloud being the saviour of humanity it's always claimed to be - but if anything it should be reducing power requirements of computation. Because it's all in one place doesn't mean it's using more power for work done which is what energy standards should actually be based on. Mind you that would probably result in us using ARM for everything so lets pretend I didn't say anything.

      2. PacketPusher

        Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

        Your URL was cut off:

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

      "So we'll get really dim monitors, or be stuck with Celeron-quality processors, or what? Or must the computer turn itself off after 3 minutes of inactivity?"

      We could all just buy VW PCs. They will go into a low power mode when being tested and otherwise run at full speed.

    4. SkippyBing

      Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

      'So if you want to print something, you send your job to the printer, go over to it, and wait. And wait. And wait a bit more while it warms back up.'

      Ours do that, I print stuff, get on with something else and then go over to the printer once it's finished. Feel free to use that tip.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Print something and get on with something else

        Ah, but that becomes infeasible when you have a "Print & Hold" where you send the job and provide a PIN, then it won't start printing until you enter the PIN at the printer so that "sensitive documents" don't get left sitting on the printer while you are getting on with something else.

        Also known as enforced wanking about.

    5. Eddy Ito

      Re: I wonder what they're planning to break

      From the look of it, they're talking out their collective arse. Following the link in the San Diego paper's article they are claiming that a desktop with monitor burns the equivalent of 280 kWh/year "when idle". To me that seems like a steamy pile of buffalo chips as it means it's pulling 32 Watts 24/7/52 "when idle". According to a U Penn study that might seem reasonable only if the computer never sleeps and I'll point out the study is on machines that are all at least four years old.

  2. Runilwzlb

    Maybe this will encourage popularizing low wattage cpu's

    Personally, I use a 25W amd 5350 desktop cpu. Not so I could be 'green', but so I could save on my electric bill (vs 125W cpu). Good low wattage cpu's are few and far between. Running Ubuntu, I am well served by this processor. When it comes time to replace this setup, I hope there are good choices available.

    Gov't overreach...bad. Mo' better low wattage processors...good.

    An analysis of who uses power-hungry pc's, and why, is a topic for a whole other thread and I don't want to complicate things by having two topics in one thread.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe this will encourage popularizing low wattage cpu's

      I think you jumped the gun on low wattage CPUs. Just one more year, and you'll be able to get an AMD or Intel which is low wattage but doesn't have terrible performance.

    2. MondoMan

      Re: Maybe this will encourage popularizing low wattage cpu's

      Sadly, you've missed the forest for the CPU tree. :)

      Firstly, the wattage ratings are intended as indications of the *maximum* power used under constant full load, just as the CPU internal clock is a ceiling, not a constant. Modern CPUs, dynamically adjust their clock speed, internal voltage, etc to provide just enough performance to accomplish the requested tasks, wasting little energy on full voltage or clock when the load is low. Thus, your 2GHz low-performance CPU is severely limited in its maximum performance vs. a standard 3.5GHz Intel CPU like the i5-6500 (65W maximum TDP), but likely uses not much less power when both are at idle.

      Secondly, the relevant power use is the system's power use, not just the CPU. Depending on the chipset, motherboard design, memory type, power supply, and other components, as likely as not your AMD system uses more power on a system basis when idle than does an equivalent system built around the i5-6500.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe this will encourage popularizing low wattage cpu's

        Zen looks like it will be able to throttle down to just 5 watts. That's going to thrash many so called low power CPUs which don't have such a wide range of throttling.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Alan Edwards

      Re: Maybe this will encourage popularizing low wattage cpu's

      > An analysis of who uses power-hungry pc's, and why,

      I have an i7-6700, 65w TDP. Thing is, if you use the internal graphics the entire machine pulls about 40w, up to about 60w with the GTX-750, at idle (which it is for most of it's life). My intention is to keep it for several years, rather than replacing an entry-level low-power job in a year or so because it's not quick enough,

      The other thing is that it may use more power when working hard, but it will be working hard for less time than a less powerful low-power CPU, so it evens out and may even come out ahead.

      1. Runilwzlb

        Re: Maybe this will encourage popularizing low wattage cpu's

        Thanks. If you're happy with your system and it conforms to your needs, then more power to you. (pun intended). According to System Monitor my tasks rarely if ever, reach 50% utilization, including HD video. If it does max out, its only for short periods of time. I've had this system a few years now and will be happy to keep using it until it quits, unless something better strikes my fancy. Appreciate your input.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Green energy...

    ... is not up to supplying reliable base load electricity.

    California has put all their energy eggs in that one basket and now they are finding that it does not work they were told it would. Much of it has been shown as fraud perpetrated against the government and tax payers.

    Somewhere along the line the will have to give up the green dream as a dream and get back to reality and build real power stations.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Green energy...

      It depends on what you define as "base load". For domestic and office use solar power is very effective because of the abundant, reliable, sunshine we get through most of the state. Modern plant design emphasizes efficiency and energy capture -- there's really no such thing as 'waste energy' any more.

      The problem is getting the utilities on board, they don't have a very good business model for renewable energy -- its still very difficult to sell them back surplus power.

      As for building more power stations we have already made huge strides in improving the efficiency of appliances -- we may have more users but everyone is using a lot less power. I don't know whether this computer initiative will have any effect since modern systems are already very efficient but that's bureaucracy for you -- they never work themselves out of a job.

      1. MondoMan

        Re: abundant, reliable, sunshine

        Having grown up in California, I distinctly remember walking to school before sunrise and later on, returning from work at 5PM after sunset. Methinks solar production for either domestic or office use would suffer greatly at such times. Perhaps you have a brilliant scheme to store solar power from the summer for winter use -- a sort of anti-seasonal modern equivalent of the old icehouse? Or perhaps your plan is to seasonally populate ANZ with Canadian and American snowbirds?

      2. JLV

        >It depends

        Odd that you are pundit-ing on energy generation, yet you don't know about the concept of baseload. As it impacts solar energy generation roughly 12 hrs a day, even in sunny California :)

        Far as the article goes, cautious support, assuming a coherent directive has been put together. Energy saving often hits a short term vs long term conflict. Getting $18

        back on a laptops energy consumption seems optimistic though.

        1. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: >It depends

          "...assuming a coherent directive has been put together."

          Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha!

          You forgot the joke icon.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Green energy...

        "there's really no such thing as 'waste energy' any more."

        What happens to all the heat extracted by aircon units? Real question from someone resident in a country where aircon is rarely seen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Green energy...

          It creates a heat island effect in large, hot cities.

          That's something about energy saving in many hot locations: save a Wh of energy used to power your device and you also save a bit of AC as well.

          Main problem with this directive is that it's only come now that tablets and smartphones are overtaking PCs.

  4. Alan Brown Silver badge

    "Somewhere along the line the will have to give up the green dream as a dream and get back to reality and build real power stations."

    Nuclear plants would qualify as green. LFTRs really would be.

  5. David Pollard

    Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

    If the manufacturer's cost increases by $18 then the cost to the user will be somewhat more. I couldn't see, at first glance, how "costs ... will be more than recouped". My guess at typical power savings for a PC was 20W for 10 hours a day, or roughly 1 kWh per week. With 50 kWh costing maybe $5 or so the payback time looks likely to be 3 to 4 years or longer..

    It would be interesting to know how the CEC did their sums.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

      "It would be interesting to know how the CEC did their sums."

      Generally this involves some combination of black magic and nether regions. They invariably overstate savings and green house gases emitted.

      If their numbers were real we would either have a diamond crust on the earth from all the carbon that has spewed, settled and then been compressed into crystal or we would have negative carbon emissions from all of their "savings".

    2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

      Vacuum cleaners were nerfed here in the EU.. expect the same to happen in the US.

      I have a bronze PSU, and I willl NEVER recoup the cost.. from a decent PSU to a "green PSU" the difference is about 2-5% efficiency.

      If your rig draws 75W, and you use it 40 hours a day, 5 days a week for eleven months a year for five years, that us 165KWh. If we save 5%, that is 8.25KWh, or about 1.32$.

      It is IMPOSSIBLE to recoup the cost.

      It is way better to use low power CPUs than high efficiency PSUs.

      1. MondoMan

        Re: CPUs vs PSUs

        "It is way better to use low power CPUs than high efficiency PSUs."

        Surely you mean "high-efficiency CPUs", not "low power CPUs", right? The ultimate "low power CPU" is achieved just by unplugging your computer, but that may or may not increase productivity.

        1. JEDIDIAH

          Re: CPUs vs PSUs

          Yeah, that's the real solution. Just turn stuff off when you don't use it. Even go so far as to disconnect it from wall power so it doesn't draw power while "idle". Surge strips are great for that. I had to do that with an ION HTPC in the bedroom because it still made noise when it was off. Bothered the spouse.

          De-powering everything else that's supposed to be off but really isn't would probably save more than this nonsense.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

        and you use it 40 hours a day,

        Uphill through the snow both ways, with a handful of cold, poisonous gravel as food, in a pothole in the middle of a busy road, etc.

      3. Alan Edwards

        Re: Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

        > If your rig draws 75W, and you use it 40 hours a day,

        > 5 days a week for eleven months a year for five years, that us 165KWh

        Yeah, but how much does the time machine to give you 40 hour days cost to run :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

      Take $18. Double it to $36. Add another 50% to $54.

      Now you have your conservative mark-up and cost of money.

      10h x 20W x 5d/wk x (365.25d/yr/7d/wk) / 1000

      ~= 52.17 kWh/yr

      Cost of electricity in California is high.

      Let's say PC kept for 4 years on average (allowing for some failure).

      $54/4yr = $13.5/yr.

      Breakeven ~= $0.258/kWh.

      But note that that's pretty conservative on the cost of money.

      And I'm ignoring the additional benefit of reduced cost of air-conditioning and pollution costs etc.

      So, not insane. Allowing workers to use those new efficient computers at home would be even more helpful.

    4. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

      "It would be interesting to know how the CEC did their sums."

      Back of a fag packet. Well, since this is California, not actually a fag packet, but you know what I mean.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

        The back of a rolling paper?

    5. Mpeler

      Re: Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

      Already are here in Europe, land of the unfettered, maniacal bureaucrat pencil-pushers.

      Anything that can be regulated, will be. All else, will be eliminated.

      Lawnmowers, garden equipment, tractors, small motors, etc., etc. Plasma TVs, small appliances, large applicances (a load of washing now takes THREE TO FOUR HOURS!). Light bulbs of any sort and kind.

      At least the LED ones are coming down in price and have decent color reproduction, moreover they're no longer bugly...

      All this reminds me of companies which cost-cut themselves out of business. Rather than solving issues on the top line (e.g. Why doesn't anyone want to buy our kit? How can we improve it and sell more?), they cut, and cut, and cut until nothing's left (Hey Nit Witless, I'm looking at you - and Marissa). They're cutting off their noses to spite their faces, yet they continue in their own illoigcal path.

      California, what happened?

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge

    we need an enema

    we need an enema - starting with the corrupt halls of Sacramento.

    1. Fatman

      Re: we need an enema

      And when you get ready to perform that enema, get every fire truck in the state, and millions of gallons of ICE WATER to blow the shit out of your (California) politicians.

  7. Malcolm Weir

    Mandating 80Plus PSUs gets you most of the way there without impacting the functionality of the system one bit. Going from plane "80Plus" to "80Plus Gold" gets you between 7% and 10%. Figure a high-end uses an average of 500W, so that will save 50W, or more than 1KWh per day.

    And actually, in California, it's likely to be more, because that excess 50W came from heat created by the PSU, so chances are that there's an HVAC that would no longer have to deal with it...

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      The savings are surprising

      Our houses often are lit by massive lighting fixtures or a dozen or more spotlights, often chewing up 4-500 watts of power per room. when using incandescent bulbs. A friend was in this situation, he had 450watts worth of bulbs in a chandelier; by replacing them with LEDs he not only cut the energy use by the lighting fixture by a factor of 10 but all that surplus energy wasn't being sucked out of his house by the A/C. (Figure he saved 400 watts on light power plus an extra 100 to pump that energy out of the house -- in other words, his net use of power after switching to leds was -50 watts if he was running the A/C.)

    2. MondoMan
      Thumb Down

      "high end" computer power use

      A more realistic value of power use for a high-end system with some power-intensive gaming use would be 250W. Multiply by 7% to get 17.5W, or about 0.25kWh savings during a 14-hour workday. Using a typical US electricity price of $0.13/kWh, the savings amounts to a bit over 3 cents/day USD, or almost 12 USD for a year in which the computer is in use 365 days a year, 14 hours/day.

      Even in such an unrealistic high duty-load case, the savings are a bit sad, aren't they?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "high end" computer power use

        "A more realistic value of power use for a high-end system with some power-intensive gaming use would be 250W. "

        That's a bit light. According to Anandtech's review, for an Intel i7-4960 + X99 motherboard + SSD + GTX 1070, the total system draw is over 300W. Throw in an R9 390 instead, and you're around 430W.

  8. catprog

    As said by a trucking company here. They would prefer one set of regulations rather then each council having a different set.

  9. Jim O'Reilly

    Seems so pointless!

    Saving the cost of several power stations is very laudable, but this may be a case of uninformed bureaucracy at its best. Let's face it. The IT industry is changing fast. We are just getting announcements of terabyte SSDs with 4 W operating power and 0.4 W on standby. HMC brings 30 to 40 percent saving in CPU/memory power and 3D X-point will bring more. Hyper-converged systems mean no need for storage boxes.

    More important, desktops and workstations are going away. They no longer fill the use cases when compared to tablets. Even CAD and advanced video-editing has moved to the cloud, and just uses tablets to display results. There are power savings galore in the future of computers! We don't need an out-of-date and out-of-touch standard to get there. (I bet prices in California go up a lot!).

    Anyway, the technical options are much better than the standard. We can get power supply chips that are better than 99 percent efficient...mandate those! We have storage compression that cuts capacity use by 80 percent. Mandate that!

  10. JeffyPoooh

    Many coders live in California...

    For more than a decade I've said that all code monkeys should spend at least one day a week away from their high power workstation / monster computers, and try using their own awful and inefficient software on a slow PC, dial-up connection, and an old CRT monitor. It'd give them an appreciation for what some poor folks have to put up with.

    So this may be a Very Good Thing.

    1. David Pollard

      Re: Many coders live in California...

      Linux would appear to provide an equivalent user experience in a great many cases with considerably reduced requirements for both memory and CPU capacity when compared with Windows. It would be interesting to know how the power savings would work out for the use of lower-spec PCs with equivalent perceived speed of operation.

      1. Keef

        Re: Many coders live in California...

        Thank you David, I was getting worried for a moment.

        There had been over 20 comments without anyone talking trash about Microsoft and extolling the virtues of Linux.

        Thank you for restoring normality to the comments section.



    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Many coders live in California...

      "So this may be a Very Good Thing."

      ONLY a _CONTROL_ _FREAK_ that actually believes HE knows BETTER than anyone else how OTHERS should manage THEIR LIVES would consider this "a good thing".

      and that's why it's being suggested, because of CONTROL FREAKS in gummint. THEY know *BEST* after all, because they're *SUCH* good people!

  11. Mikey

    So, PCs sold IN Cali, eh?

    Ok, so you travel outside the state (On a plane! Eco friendly transport... er...) and then make the deal in a different, less mental state. Then, get the equipment shipped in (More fuel burned, well done Cali!) and voila, exemption to the loony rules.

    I'm starting to think dehydration is making them prone to evermore insane ideas...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: So, PCs sold IN Cali, eh?

      I was considering Amazon, and just having the parts shipped from China...

  12. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    They're telling you to update

    This really comes down to whether or not a computer supports clock scaling and low power modes. Older computers have little difference in power consumption whether they're rendering an action game or displaying an e-mail. Maybe they can cut their power from a peak of 750W to 350W while idle. Modern home computers already scale the clock better and use more low power modes to keep the fans quiet. It's not unusual for a new computer to consume less than 50W while idle.

    Old CCFL powered LCD screens were power hogs too. They lamps glow purple unless they're kept toasty warm.

    It would be an amusing twist if ad blockers were required to meet power consumption goals while using a web browser.

  13. Ropewash

    Won't someone ...

    Won't someone think of the poor MPAA?

    They rely on high-end CG rendering farms to mass produce movies of high spectacle and low content.

    Limiting their power comsumption could lead to a decline in output.

    So I guess what I'm saying is...

    Thank you.

    1. MrDamage

      Re: Won't someone ...

      Look on the bright side. There's a slight chance that the money they save in power consumption might make room in the budget for decent script writers.

  14. ArtFart

    Sounds like the folks in Sacramento must have read the article last week predicting that the world's computery will demand more power than the generating capacity of the entire planet by 2040.

  15. jason 7

    I'd look at banning...

    V8 cars/trucks and anything over 3000cc for domestic use.

    Don't get me wrong I love me American Muscle and strides have been made in fuel economy but this 'PC' PC idea seems a bit pointless when there are other areas that could be addressed first.

    What about swimming pools and aircon units?

    Bigger elephants and all that.

    1. joed

      Re: I'd look at banning...

      you know, this is American thing to kick the little guy. All the emission controls imposed on small vehicles while pickups and trucks get exemption. And as long as it's "only" CO2 a vehicle can spew tons of it (this may be changing in the end). Same here, they woke up to the fact of high power PCs (supposedly dying breed anyway), while all those proliferating data center wasting electricity for cloudy BS are just OK and cool (if only because of AC;).

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: I'd look at banning...

        "And as long as it's "only" CO2 a vehicle can spew tons of it"

        it's nothing compared to the HOT AIR generated by politicians

        (and anyway CO2 isn't a "pollutant" except to a lot of 'henny penny' 'chicken little' pseudo-scientists who *FEEL* instead of THINK, because CO2 precipitates into the ocean, and effervesces when the oceans get warmer, and is at chemical EQUILIBRIUM - warming CAUSES elevated CO2, NOT the other way around - and water has 100 times the effect on global temperatures [based on IR absorption spectrum, etc. and I ran the numbers myself, thank you] than does CO2 and I don't see anyone whining about THAT, seeing as our FLOODED planet has so much of it, but I digress...)


        Anyway, it's nobody's business how big my engine in my car/truck is, as long as it isn't producing hydrocarbons, sulfides, and other gasses known to be poisonous or carcinogenic. And that's what the catalytic converters are for. FYI California air is VERY clean, nowadays. Unlike Beijing...

        In any case, the entire BASIS of telling EVERYONE ELSE what kind of computer they can or cannot buy [while of course silently EXEMPTING themselves, for THEY are "the elite" and aren't subject to the same rules, right Mrs. Clinton?] is just, plain WRONG.

        it is NOBODY'S BUSNIESS but MINE, and I *WILL* simply CIRCUMVENT any attempt to CONTROL ME. I'll 'part it together' via mail-order if I have to. Screw Cali-fornicate-you gummint and their stupid-rules. "They" can NOT govern against the will of the people, and they've already crossed that line too many times.

  16. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    Eh, well

    It will probably end up like it is for cars, lawnmowers, guns, etc - one model that's modded to make it legal to sell in California, and a more "normal" model that all the rest of us can get. No biggie if they do that with computing devices too.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Eh, well

      with respect to cars... 'one model that's modded to make it legal to sell in Calfornia'

      the only way Cali-fornicate-you can get away with that kind of thing is the LICENSING requirements. To license your car in Cali-fornicate-you, it has to pass "certain standards". However, you _COULD_ have a house in Nevada or Arizona, and license you cars THERE, and avoid all that nonsense. This is something the WEALTHY can do, naturally.

      However, it is NOT the same with a computer. I don't need a "computer license" and if I did, I'd operate *WITHOUT* one (screw them). States can NOT block things being sold from a different state to a resident of Cali-fornicate-you, regardless of "things" crossing state lines or anything else, for that matter. The Federal Government is entirely in charge of interstate commerce, so there will NEVER be a state-line ban on such a thing. I mean, what are they going to do, put a CHECK POINT 10 miles in from Las Vegas, looking for COMPUTERS ???

      So I should be able to mail order a computer (or the parts to build it) from ANY store in Nevada, Texas, Arizona, etc. or CHINA for that matter, and have it shipped directly to me, and Sacramento can pucker up and KISS MY POSTERIOR, thusly, and repeatedly.

      And if I were wealthy enough, I could do an engine swap when it comes time to get my car smogged, and swap the high performance mega-engine back afterwards. But only the wealthy can do THAT.

      It just proves how assinine all of this is, really. And I'm sure I didn't vote for ANY of those idiots proposing this 'green computing thing'. It's a fair bet they're all DEMO-RATS.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: Eh, well

        I mean, what are they going to do, put a CHECK POINT 10 miles in from Las Vegas, looking for COMPUTERS ???

        You mean before you get to the Yermo Border Station?

  17. Frank N. Stein

    Is the State of Cali going to insure that manufacturers of computer parts who are not headquartered in the State of Cali, produce parts that meet that low energy use spec? Some of us actually build our desktop PC's. How are they going to insure every computer part on the planet adhere's to what they want? They going to visit homes to do spot checks, make people open up their PC's, and flag them for not using low energy parts? I doubt it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What about ports of entry? Transit depots and so on? Can't they be checked there? That's certainly true for ports of entry since they search for contraband and the like there.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    My sister lives in Oregon...

    So if this results in slow PCs with illegible displays, I can always get something from across the state line.

    If anyone else needs one, I can provide working IT for a very reasonable markup.

  19. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The fans are good

    All modern computers have brushless fans. As Dyson marketing says, this design reduces carbon emissions.

  20. MonkeyCee

    PSU quality

    Now I'm a little obsessive about PSUs, since they tend to be something (along with high end GPUs) that it's worth spending the extra bit of cash on upfront to get a more reliable experience later.

    Hence I've often forked over (personally and professionally) for PC Power and cooling kit, and always been very happy with it. Very few failures, and the one that did they fell over themselves to replace and get back the bung unit.

    Trying to justify the extra cost on the basis of power savings is *nearly* impossible. Even running 24/7 machines the difference between silver and platinum rated PSUs are minimal compared to initial costs. The difference in cost between a "minimal" sub-bronze PSU and the cheapest silver should justify cost recovery during the life of the machine, but increases the PSU cost by 20% or so.

    However, the cost of downtime while buggering about replacing a dead PSU, or finding that the PSU spec is wildly optimistic about how much it can actually supply simultaneously on the 12 volt rail, is what the big time saver is.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: PSU quality

      Agree wholeheartedly about PC Power & Cooling's PSUs. I ran one here 24/7 from 2000 until 2012 when the fan finally died (and motherboard tech had moved on from PIII's), and I still have a few running here in boxes I built in the mid-noughties. Good, quality stuff.

  21. evilhippo

    So serious gaming PCs will be illegal? Ah the joys of central planning.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're lack of enthusiasm and collective spirit has been noted by the Central Committee. Expect a midnight knock on the door from the guys in leather trenchcoats.

  22. dajames Silver badge

    I'm cautiously optimistic ...

    ... that this may encourage some major vendors to consider offering ARM-based desktop PC designs.

    Let's hope they go ahead, and that they're sensible enough to make them able to run the large body of ARM software that is already available for the Raspberry Pi!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I'm cautiously optimistic ...

      But where are the GAMES?


      Re: I'm cautiously optimistic ...

      Yeah... been there, done that. I would rather run an old ION.

  23. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Goodbye California Computer Sellers

    The obvious solution for computer buyers would be to order their computers from out of state and have them shipped. I'll bet that many are already doing this for the cost savings of shopping with an eTailer and to avoid local sales tax on the purchase. All the law would do is prevent local sellers from stocking certain computers.

    I have solar panels being fitted on my home. Why should a law like this one apply to me?

  24. Mpeler
    Big Brother

    Bye-bye gaming

    So the gaming industry and the 200+ watt (dare I mention 600-watt multi-card configs) grahpics cards needed will disappear. Not that enthusiasts and gamers have been pretty much propping up the PC hardware and software the last 15 years or so by their incessant pushing of the envelope.

    Not that I'm a gamer, but without necessity, invention won't happen (sorry, Carly).

    Cali should look at other places to cut, for example clothes dryers, fridges, freezers, etc. There are other places to cut. And with China, India, and most of the rest of the "third world" growing their consumption by leaps and bounds, these cuts will be wiped out in a day, or less.

  25. Daniel von Asmuth

    It depends on the size of the cap.

    Since people want ever faster computers, the power consumption will go up. The current plan would be for machines in the exaflop class to dissipate about 100 MW.

    I propose setting the limit at 1 GW (roughly the output of a nuclear power plant).


    The Peoples Republic of Californa

    ...yet another reason I am f*cking glad that I didn't move to California.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    however, some exclusions..

    or "credits" to be given to certain local big political ally hardware brands. these "computer credits" could then be sold to other manufacturers to allow them in. like "ev credits" already thru CARB, and like the old Catholic "indulgences" of old.

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