And how much power do all these computer servers require?

September 20th, 2007 |
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It wasn’t that long ago that newspaper headlines began calling our attention to claims that large computer server systems like those used by companies like Amazon.com, Google, Yahoo, and EBay (to name but a few) were consuming more than 10 percent of all electricity in the U.S. It sounds pretty bad — can it possibly be accurate? Not exactly, at least according to Dr. Jon Koomey, scientist at Lawrence-Berkeley labs. The actual number is closer to 1.5 percent, but that’s still quite dramatic! What may still be surprising is that a very large part of this energy is not used for running the actual computers, but for all the infrastructure around them, especially the equipment required for cooling. No wonder that computer manufacturers are working frantically on the design of new processors that supply more computing bang for the proverbial power buck.

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