Chaosradio 100: Energy consumption of the IT industry

Today we again had our monthly chaosradio live show. The subject that we picked from the list of suggested topics, and it definitely was worth doing a 3 hour show on it.

Computers always get faster. The downside of this is that they always consume more energy. From 1W of a 80386 to 15W of a Pentium I, we've now arrived at more than 100W for the latest PC CPU generations. The PowerPC architecture was quite promising for some time, but at least since the G5, power consumption is almost equal with the Intel world. About the only promising figures come from ARM based CPU designs at the moment - something that you will find in PDA's and embedded devices, but not in desktop machines.

Apart from the power consumption we're also talking a bit about the ecology in general, like the amount of energy and raw materials required to build a new PC. It is quite considerable, especially taking into account that most PC's are not used for more than two to three years.

In case you're now interested (and understand German): A recording of the live is available for download.