Waiting for the Energy Star Console

Before I jump into this blog's topic I want to tellyou guys about something. At a traffic light on my way to work yesterday I heard laughter in the car next to me. I turned to see a couple in the car furiously playing a multiplayer game of Mario Kart on their DSs before the light turned green. I smiled for a long time.

   I've been wondering for a while just how much electricity I use gaming. I came across an interesting nytimes article 

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/21/consumption-study-takes-aim-at-game-consoles/

   It's quite astounding how much console energy consumption jumps between generations. This generation in particular, with the advent of HD graphics, pushed power consuption into the hundreds of Watts.

http://www.sust-it.net/energy_saving.php?id=71

The notable exception in that list being the Wii which uses less energy than a gamecube (who woulda thunk that duct tape was energy-saving). It's clear that the first iterations of these consoles used much more power than was necessary. The slim version of the PS3 uses drastically less power than the older version (see link below) and the 360's power usage has been reduced as they moved from 90nm chips to 65nm and most recently to 45 nm chips. 

360 power differences

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10318727-1.html

 I use my 360 slim fairly heavily, especially around the holidays. About 80 hours a month at an average of 85cent per kWh comes to about $6.50 a month. Remember though that if your console is on, your TV is probably on too and most likely a surround sound system as well. Now that Netflix is so well integrated I find myself falling asleep with the console on quite regularly. Usually,  if I think I'm going to fall asleep watching something I use the TV's sleep function to keep it form being on all night but our consoles don't work that way. The 360 can be set to turn itself off after six hours of inactivity. Six hours! Which is to say if I fall asleep watching something it'll turn itself off just before I get up and turn it on again. Smooth move Microsoft. Of course, I know it's my responsibility to turn it off if I don't want it on all night, and I do... but sometimes I just want to listen to Keith David intimidate someone as I fall asleep.

Oh shit. I just saw the trailer for Fable III and there's this huge battle scene in which a very angry female townsperson hurls a cannonball at the enemy! She... somewhere a cannon operator just got laid off.

Bye.

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Words Garnett Lee made up this week

 In case you are wondering, I have nothing but love for Garnett. 

 Seasonality - Some sort of season based game.

Misequate - Falsely equating two different ideas.

Flexy code base - I couldn't fucking tell you.

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Done and done.

 
I made my last purchase today. Saved a bit on shipping by getting my Board and CPU from Fry's. Now I just wait for everything to get here. 

Mother Board/Processor

MSI NF750-G55 and an AMD Athlon II X4 640 $200

RAM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211409 $90

Case/Power Supply

Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121099 $40

hec X-Power Pro 600 600W Power Source

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817339025 $45

Combo Discount -$15

Total $70

Optical Drive

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118039 $20

Hard Drive

Western Digital 800G Internal SATA Hard Drvie

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136517 $60

Grand Total of $440 plus tax and shipping $37

Expense $475
 
Umm... I still have to buy Windows...
fuck.

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Info O-load revisited.


So I had a list of stuff put together:

 

Mother Board

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131398 $100

Processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103702 $100

RAM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211409 $90

Case/Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121099 $40

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341022 $65

Optical Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118039 $20

Hard Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136517 $60

 

Grand Total of $475 plus tax and shipping.

Then I talked to the roomie about it and he pointed me to Fry's ads. http://www.frys-electronics-ads.com/

I instatly found a much better Mother Board/CPU combo for less money. The deal is good until Thur/

http://www.frys-electronics-ads.com/ads/2010/08/06/49190/AMD-Athlon-II-X4-640-Processor-MSI-NF750-G55-Motherboard\

I'll probably see what they have in terms of cases as well. I would rather pay a little more for a case that I can actually touch before purchase. Other than that I'll probably get the rest of the components online as planned.

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If you build it...

So Starcraft just came out and a ton of people I know are playing this game hard. There are even a couple of guys at work who I never pictured as RTS players regaling me with stories of bitter defeat at the hands of pros or sweet victory... when their opponents lose their connection (they take what they can get, these guys play racing games and Tiger Woods mostly).
So I have given in.  I am going to jump into Starcraft. Just one thing, my laptop will never run that game. So I need a PC. One that I can be proud of but one that wont clean me out and this is why I am building one. Thanks to the good folks at newegg.com I have a place to buy all the components I need. Then I'll pester my programmer roomie to help me put it together. Ultimately I should learn a lot about PCs and wind up with a decent machine to boot (so to speak).
I'm also going to do my best to document this process here. I was reticent to do this at first for fear of putting my impressive lak of technical knowledge on display for the world to see but no one reads this site anyway. My first post will be later today on my profile with a tentative list of the components I intend to buy. All I can say for now is AMD... or is ti ATI? Iknow it's not Intel. The Pentium guys... suromstring...

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