Why this is important: Intel’s new “green” PC may not fire up high-end games or other processor-intensive tasks, but it may be good for everyday work. More importantly, the company’s example can inspire the rest of the industry to lower carbon emissions and environmental impact from production pipelines and electricity consumption.
Chinese outlet Sohu (via Tom’s Hardware) recently reported on Intel’s presentation of a “green” PC that the company claims is 90 percent recyclable. Intel explains how changes in materials procurement and energy consumption can reduce carbon emissions from manufacturing and from using the system itself. Intel is primarily a chip company, so it gets help from partners like Acer and Tsinghua Tongfang to complete the design.
Intel showed the PC with an unspecified 12th-gen Alder Lake processor installed, mentioning that the company’s i5, i7, or i9 CPUs could be used. However, with a modest stock cooler, it will probably only be used for mid-range or low-intensity work. The “Intel Green Computer Software Control Center” software dynamically detects the user’s current workload and adjusts the PC’s operation accordingly to maximize energy efficiency.
Also read: Sustainable Computing, Explained
The printed motherboard (PCB) of the green PC reduces the total number of its components by 22 percent, from the average 1,800 to 1,400, while making the power supply 6 percent more efficient. High recycling rates are mostly from metal, glass, and organic PCB materials.
Based on the provided low-resolution photo (below), the motherboard appears to have notebook SO-DIMM memory sockets, an MS slot, and a PCIe x16 slot. Intel has confirmed that the board is 36 percent smaller than a typical ATX motherboard, but it is not labeled with a specific form factor.
The Gallium nitride power supply system is around 70 percent smaller than a normal ATX PSU with a 12V output and a fanless design. It carries an 80 Plus Titanium certification that guarantees high efficiency under heavy and light loads. Overall, Intel has reduced its carbon footprint by 90 percent in this area. Finally, the chassis is only seven liters and only four screws are used.
Such initiatives can provide a good blueprint to contribute to the new trend towards sustainable computing. Other areas to consider in terms of emissions and environmental impact include clamping down on e-waste by making devices as reusable as possible, checking emissions from the manufacture of SSDs, and emissions from 24/7 operation of servers.