The Energy Game

Friday 20th December 2013

New games consoles hit the high-streets and all the reviews and forums are full of comparisons between the models, but gamers rarely worry overly about the energy efficiency of their devices.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has tested the power usage and energy efficiency of the new Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4). Both models had considerable energy efficiency built in, but the test reveals that they are power hungry.

A comparison test revealed the Xbox One performs poorly against the PS4 in standby mode as it draws more than twice the power of Sony's rival PS4.

As stated they are power hungry, particularly compared to previous models. Lots of high-performing memory, eight-core AMD accelerated processing unit and a first engineering generation mean that they are not cheap to run, using significantly more energy annually - in fact three times more than previous models of the same consoles.

"That adds up to a lot of energy every year. In fact, even if these new video game consoles became 25 percent more energy efficient on average over time – which we believe is possible – they would still use between 10 and 11 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually once the new consoles have replaced the more than 100 million units currently in use,” say the NRDC.

Microsoft and Sony both included energy efficiency technology in the new games machines, such as very efficient power supplies, greater reactive “auto power down” software, and advanced multi-core chips that will decrease power use when full power isn't required. But they just dull the vastly required energy needed to run such advanced devices. With Xbox One using 40% more energy than the Xbox 360 and the PS4 using almost double the power of the PS3.

The Xbox One performed very badly in standby mode due to its connected standby mode, which appears to be just a standby, but it actually listens for users voice command, so it is really still on.

The NRDC advise owners of these machines: reduce the active mode power usage for the PS4, and the standby power usage for the Xbox One.

Energy saving isn’t a game!

Picture of PS4 by Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Categories: General, Reviews, Technology

Friday 20th December 2013

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