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Apple, others hurt by new Energy Star terms?

updated 10:10 am EDT, Fri July 27, 2007

Apple and Energy Star

Many computer makers can no longer receive the blessing of an Energy Star label, according to new guidelines set out by the US government. New conditions that took effect last week are meant to encourage use of more efficient power-supplies and CPUs as well as enhanced sleep modes, but have set out conditions that most current desktops and notebooks can no longer meet; only 125 computers on sale in the US qualify, according to federal government charts. While the labeling does not bar computers with the label from being sold in the country, the lack of approval may bar some computers from government offices and other locations where low power requirements are necessary.

Although the changes primarily favor notebooks and other computers using mobile or low-performance hardware, the new rules may favor certain companies over others, the chart indicates. Acer, Gateway, Lenovo, and Toshiba are the chief beneficiaries of the new rules and each have several or more systems that meet the demands for an 80% efficient supply and a 2W sleep mode. Lenovo in particular benefits with 77 different configurations of its systems meeting the target.

Other larger makers are punished by the change, however. In particular, Apple lacks a single system that meets the requirement, including its MacBook line. The change comes as a blow to the Cupertino firm's attempts to portray itself as a green company and raises questions of Apple's awareness of Energy Star updates, which had been made public for months. Dell and HP are also hurt and only have a small number of professional workstations included on the list of approved machines.

A copy of the chart is available.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    Ok

    so we are asking for something more from our computers? Is that really bad? Should we not push the envelope a little? If everyone cannot meet it, then it is an equal playing field. It will really mean something when more and more computers actually can pass. Heaven forbid, a marketing label that actually means something - especially an improvement...

  1. MacnTX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    0

    Yeah

    And I'm sure Al Gore will get right on this since he's a member of Apple's board after all. Or not....

  1. Benton

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2005

    0

    Reason For Delay?

    Could energy efficiency requirements be cause for delay of product line refresh? Especially iMac and Mac Mini.

  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    Delay?

    Probably not. This isn't as simple as changing the power supply; It comes down to choosing components and choosing ones that have low power consumption and/or sleep modes and/or can be switched off while the machine is on when the function is not needed and possibly writing new drivers for such monitoring, etc.

    this is the exact purpose of the Energy Star label. Power management by design, not just convenience.

  1. umijin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004

    0

    Apple needs to slim down

    Given the lack of a truly portable MacBook, Apple could do itself some good by putting more effort into energy efficiency.

    Apple has been designing its portables for the US (where energy waste is the worst) without real regard to the rest of the world. When I look at the portables here in Japan - there's no comparison. They run cooler and they are much lighter.

    And we are still waiting for Apple to deliver something light enough to carry on the train here.

  1. enigmamf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 1999

    0

    Intended

    I think it's a good idea for these standards to be tough. Heck, they should be based on the actual models sold: A computer will only be listed as energy-star compliant if it is within the 10% of most efficient vehicles. That way, the constant push of competition to get that label will drive continually improving efficiency.

  1. enigmamf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 1999

    0

    Err

    Vehicles? I think I meant computers. (I was thinking about auto pollution standards when I said that :) )

  1. himself

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jan 2002

    0

    research much?

    This is the third site that I've seen (probably among many many more) that doesn't get the facts straight, or at least attempt to cover the entire story.

    The Mac Mini, the 8-core Mac Pro, and all of Apple's notebooks meet the new Energy Star 4.0 spec right now.

    http://www.apple.com/environment/resources/specs.html

    The chart is incomplete, or Apple must be making stuff up. Either way, instead of taking the story directly from another site, it would make good sense to substantiate the facts for yourself.

  1. Benton

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2005

    0

    research much, really"

    Newly released Energy Star spec v4.1. So the Mac Mini and others do NOT meet latest standard. Hopefully expected product refreshes will meet standard.

  1. himself

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jan 2002

    0

    research much-yes, really

    The 4.1 spec applies to computer monitors, not cpus.

    Educate yourself here: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=product_specs.pt_product_specs

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