Enviromental Damage

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by macsrus, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. macsrus macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2004
    Terra Firma
    Has anyone considered the Enviromental Damage being caused by computers being left on for folding....?
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Seems like the potential benefit far outweigh the costs, especially for those who would leave the systems on 24/7 anyway. The incremental cost of running the CPUs more is trivial.
  3. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Significantly less than that caused by unnecessary lighting left on in office buildings, or computers left on all night doing nothing, or people who don't carpool or take public transportation to work.

    But your point is well-taken - all of this eventually adds up. With folding, however, I believe that there is a reasonable trade off between services rendered and environmental impact.
  4. macsrus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2004
    Terra Firma
    Oh... Im not trying to turn anyone away from folding.....
    Now seti thats a different story....

    I do have to disagree about the Energy used when CPU's run at 100% vs idle though....
    On the average system Wattage increases by more than 30 percent...

    But I just thought it would be an interesting topic... considering this is a fairly liberal site.
  5. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    What's so bad about looking for ET?
  6. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    3-6 flourescent lights use as much electricity as a 100% processor usage for the average PC...a dual processor G5 is a different matter, but the average pull is still usually under 200watts...obviously, this is about equivalent to two 100 watt lightbulbs...
  7. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I am assuming that you use ALL of the following; compact flourescent lights CFL in your home, that you heat/cool with solar, or geothermal, you walk or bike to places, you recycle to the max extent-including old clothes and computers, that you bathe in cold water or not at all (unless you use alternate energy sources to heat your water).

    That you use handcrafted items, plates etc......vs manufactured.....

    While your concern is noble, I have found that while most of us (me included) focus on the miniscule instead of demand change with the big stuff-like fuel cell tech, more solar, geothermal, CFL, .....

    for 200 watts I can have the equivalent of 8.7 100watt lightbulbs using CFL.

    Which for those who care, CFL are great to use if you find you need a home generator, the lower watt useage allows for more lights in the house.

    For those of you who are interested in change (as a conservative I like to focus on CONSERVEative) look here...


    Hope I didn't sound too preachy
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Hmmm...I wonder if one considered it in terms of holistic environmental impact, how it would compare for the protein folding people to get the necessary super-computers to use in a dedicated fashion, as a replacement the distributed computing. I guess on the one hand there would be some impact just based on the fact that extra hardware is produced, although it'd be a blip in the overall sales of computers.

    So do most people who share their computers for folding leave their computers on as a matter of course, even before they got involved in folding? I'm just asking cuz I've mostly been a laptop user recently, but when I have used desktops I didn't 24/7 them, especially since Windows' sleep/resume hadn't been very reliable.

    And when you say you run them 24/7, do you mean you don't even allow them to sleep? Just curious.

    I guess if I use my past electricity bills as a guideline, I run something like 190 kW-hrs a month, for a one bedroom apartment. So if, say at the 200 W benpatient quotes, I add a computer running for eight sleeping hours every day, I add 1.6 kW-hrs a day to my consumption, or about 48 kW-Hrs a month. That's 25% of my overall consumption. It isn't so insignificant. But then again, 200 W sounds like it might be a little high-side.... If I went off a laptop's power consumption, as a low-side estimate, then 35W x 8 hrs/day x 30 days/mo = 8.4 kW-hrs/mo. That's something like 4.5% of my typical monthly consumption, which is closer to being a blip, but not altogether so small.

    Also, I don't mean to be too argumentative, but I don't agree with the "I am assuming that you use ALL of the following...." line of reasoning at all. Overall, environmental harm is caused by over-use of resources.

    (I think) everyone should use as many environmentally-friendly products and services as they can. But if a person goes from using 100% standard products, for instance, to 95% by buying one environmentally friendly replacement (say they just change several bulbs in their home to compact flourescent), the fact that the other things are still inefficient doesn't detract from the benefit of the reduction in energy consumption.

    The person can do more, but if we think like that, doesn't everyone get mired in a sea of inaction because it seems impossible to suddenly make your whole life perfectly environmentally friendly?

    EDIT: I'm not at all sure this is what Stubeeef meant anyway, and I don't mean to flame.

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