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Evatech Computers is a 100% Australian owned & operated custom PC provider, specialising in gaming, workstation, and home office PCs tailored and built to order to suit clients' exact needs and budgets.

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How you can reduce waste

Published 29th Apr 2024 - 6 minute read

As a PC user there's a great deal of steps you can take to reduce waste and lower your power usage in order to pay less on your electricity bill! Some steps are easy to make & cost you nothing, and some will have costs associated but will bring long-term benefits that may well pay for themselves in the long run, all while the environment will be thanking you for doing your part.

Evatech customers in particular: very easy & free

Evatech customers, whether local to our headquarters or interstate or anywhere in-between should always keep their PC's packaging materials (thin plastic/fabric cover that goes over the case itself to protect the finish from micro-scratches, foam that snuggly holds the chassis in place once inside the box, and of course the exterior cardboard box for which the chassis is designed to be transported in). We kindly stress to customers that it’s for the best if they retain their PC’s packaging materials which can prove useful if customers ever need to move house, or if they need to return the PC to Evatech for service within or outside of warranty – and also serves as a great way to give it to the next PC owner if you decide to sell it. In Australia at least, chassis packaging is at a 1:1 ratio with the chassis itself, which is to say that even via our suppliers it’s not possible to replace the packaging if it has been discarded.

All customers: easy & free

Customers should review and set appropriate screen saver, & monitor + system sleep settings and enforce a power plan that suits their individual needs. The default settings nor the ones that we set during testing are unlikely to be perfect for you, so spending a minute here can be helpful to prolong your monitor & PC's lifespan while also saving on your power bills and reducing your power consumption and excess heat generation.

While it was extremely common for PC users to leave their PC on, or in a suspended state (such as hibernation [deprecated] or sleep), PCs are typically much faster at turning back on after a full shutdown or reboot than they were 5-10+ years ago. Systems which are constantly left on, or only allowed to sleep instead of being shut down can miss out on important Windows and/or application updates which safeguard customers from known security risks and annoying bugs – not to mention that leaving a system running when not in use can pose a security risk of its own to remote attacks, plus the unnecessary hardware use which may shorten the lifespan of fans and other components while not even being appreciated! Leaving a PC on when not in use can often be the single largest wasteful thing that a customer can do with a PC, likely costing tens or hundreds of dollars extra to your power bills without a tangible benefit.
Using a combination of sleep when you might be stepping away for a short period but would prefer to retain your workflow, and shutting down when you're away for a longer period will mean a more reasonable use of your PC and the power it uses to operate.

Closing unused programs, or browser tabs, rather than keeping them open can reduce the amount of resources needed which in turn will reduce power consumption. Similarly, if you can find a less bright monitor profile that still suits your eyes and environment, that will save on power.

All customers: easy, but cost associated

Smart power boards or plugs can be used to only provide power to supplementary peripherals when the PC is switched on. For instance, if the PC is plugged into the master port, and monitor + speakers, etc are plugged into the slave ports, only when the PC receives more than the standby amount of power will the monitor + speakers receive power. This method can be used to cut off the low-level power suckers, which is often referred to as phantom power drain. Don't forget though, if those supplementary peripherals aren't going to be in use you can still manually turn them off! For example, if you plug in headphones you can turn the speakers off, or if you know you won't be printing anything, etc.

It's true that laptops are far likelier to use significantly less power than a desktop PC, but then they're also less capable at the high-end. Carefully considering whether you need a highly capable + powerful machine (desktop PC), or a portable + power-sipping system (laptop), or both: is vital to getting a solution to suit your needs.

Not all bad news

It's not all doom & gloom! Modern desktop PC power supplies have received numerous efficiency upgrades and improvements in the last 10 years alone, which when coupled with hardware that can take advantage of them means whether you're using your PC or it's in standby it should be using the minimal amount of power, often meaning it's illogical to switch off or unplug the PC at the wall (unless you're not going to be using it for a prolonged period, or if you're worried about a lightning storm/flood, etc).

While particular generations of CPUs and GPUs have been highly efficient for the performance that they also offer, no matter what hardware your PC has, if you have an 80+ Power Efficiency Rated PSU you'll know that it's as efficient as it can be within the confines of the hardware connected to it. 80 PLUS is a certification program promoting high-quality & efficiency for computer power supply units. There are multiple tiers of efficiency ratings, but when you buy an 80 PLUS certified power supply, you can be confident that it's built to last, using high quality components.

The 80+ certification enforces a minimum 50% load efficiency per tier:

  • None/White: 80%
  • Bronze: 85%
  • Silver: 88%
  • Gold: 90%
  • Platinum: 92%
  • Titanium: 94%

All PSUs Evatech use are 80+ at minimum, and most PC builds are Bronze or above which makes for highly efficient PCs – an area where many others would skimp on to save a few bucks off the system total. The Gold tier PSUs are quite affordable and should be within most budgets, and it's a choice that can pay for itself in the lifetime of the PC.

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