Going green is now becoming the big "in" thing for companies to score big points in the eyes of the conservationists, and quite honestly, it's about time. We have polluted the planet for so long that there has to be a side effect to what we have been doing, and now we are starting to see climate changes, smog over cities and the reduction in the amount of fossil fuels we are bringing up. Some things have to change, and even the computer industry is making its stand.
So far we have seen the RoHS standards bring motherboards down to a green level in the consumables they use such as lead free solder, the recycling of old PCBs allowing the reduction in plastics as well as various other savings going on in companies such as simple recycling of waste paper and cardboard. But it's now time to take it to the next level, helping the end users to do their part.
Power saving technologies on motherboards has been a long time coming. When you consider the amount of computers world wide, if all of them were to swap over to a DES, EPU or whatever similar technology comes from other companies done the track, even a 10% reduction in power usage by each computer would dramatically reduce the amount of power drawn, as well as reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of burning fuels for power generation.
Where these technologies will make the most difference are in office environments and workstations. Most of these PCs are dedicated to running simple office applications like e-mail, web surfing and word processing; something that requires very little CPU time but will reduce the amount of power quite substantially. If they aren't running at full CPU cycles, there's no need to have all the voltage phases working to supply unneeded power.
The Digital Home environment is yet another area that will really make a difference. HTPC's sit in a corner connected to a monitor or large screen television allowing digital content playback using a PC. Most of the time these are sitting idle waiting for a movie to be uploaded to be played back; allowing them power savings like DES and EPU gives a huge power saving overall. Even when the system is playing back video, the CPU will usually sit around 30% of its total usage, something that will not require the full amount of regulators to work, increasing power savings across the board.
Today's tests put the DES system from GIGABYTE on a pedestal; a lot of research has gone into this and it really shows just what can be done to reduce energy requirements. Its stepping voltage regulation allows for a more flexible voltage draw as well as supplying more power to the CPU under load. There are more steps that the DES based boards are able to achieve compared to the EPU boards.
This is by no means saying that EPU is a losing technology, far from it, any power saving technology that proves to save even 5% of energy really has a good name. It's just that ASUS has a bit more to do if it wants to be a real contender compared to the DES system that not only managed to keep the system stable under test conditions, but passed all the hard voltage strains that Prime95 puts on a CPU. Where ASUS caused a few crashes, GIGABYTE kept up with the pace.
We hope you enjoyed our little dig into the world of DES and EPU power saving technologies.