Energy conservation is a big deal at the moment, what with the polar icecaps soon to melt causing the seas to rise and engulf half the world as we know it, not to mention the change in climate that will cause countless species to be wiped out over the coming years, and all because we leave the lights on when we leave a room. It's enough to make anyone lose all faith in humanity and break the shackles of society by living in a tree and existing only on the cast offs of squirrels. Ok, maybe not, but it is a worry.
Of course, some sources would argue it's all just a natural blip and we should just get on with our lives, but something tells me these are the same people that think squabbling over chunks of the Arctic all for the sake of a bit of oil is a good idea. Either way, even without the long term effects, there's plenty of reasons why it's a good idea to be energy efficient, not least of which is that it keeps your annual bills down.
So, apart from turning our TVs off at night, re-insulating the house, and dumping those Chelsea tractors (but surely mums need four wheel drive to drop the kids at school and go to Tesco - ironic ed.), what else can we do to save energy? Well, if you're reading this, the answer is staring right out at you. We can make our PCs more efficient.
The average home PC uses about 90W just while idling, and upwards of 150W while gaming, and if you're an enthusiast you could be looking at over 500W at full pelt. So, if you leave your PC on for a full day's work you can be looking at the equivalent of leaving a couple of standard household bulbs on the entire night - something most of us would never do. But, by choosing energy efficient components throughout a system, its power consumption can be dramatically reduced. And, if combined in the best way, you don't have to sacrifice performance either.
It's this approach that Very PC has taken in creating its line of ecologically-friendly GreenPCs. By using laptop components, that are optimised to draw minimum amounts of power (normally to extend battery life), in a desktop system, it has created a small, quiet, and powerful computer that, even under load, uses less than 60W. That's a significant drop and if you do use your computer for long periods you can look at saving a tidy sum over a year.
At this point it would be remiss of me not to point out that, while the energy efficiency of the final product may be undeniable, the energy cost to produce any computer component is so massive that the savings made by investing in an energy efficient system will probably never pay off those initial costs. That said, there is no alternative, so it's still better to at least try and buy green where possible.