With "green strategies" being legislated by many governments worldwide, IT vendors have begun doing their bit for the environment by building more power-efficient computers. They include, among other things, environmentally-friendly components that most notably reduce the volume of lead used and are packaged in either recycled or recyclable materials.
While South Africa has not yet legislated any of these initiatives, the presence of environmentally-responsible computers in the local market, coupled with many organisations' desire to reduce their environmental impact has created somewhat of a following for "green PCs".
HP and Tarsus have responded to this need in the market, by announcing the local availability of the dc5750 or "green PC" as an option for corporate customers.
Jason McMillan, HP business unit manager at Tarsus says that this new computer not only reduces an organisation's environmental impact, allowing them to act as more responsible corporate citizens, but can also make for a substantial decrease in their power bills.
"Independent studies conducted on behalf of HP confirm both of these facts," he says.
The benefits start with the dc5750's advanced power supply unit, which is designed to make more efficient use of power-delivery mechanisms to automatically throttle fan speeds down to the minimum level whenever possible, and to clean up power signals more effectively.
"In a nutshell, this means that systems run cooler, are quieter (thereby reducing noise pollution) and make better use of the power delivered to them," McMillan explains.
"The HP dc5750 also boasts an 80% energy efficiency rating, as opposed to the industry norm of 60%," he adds.
Another contributor is the use of AMD's Athlon 64 3800+ processor.
"Since processors are the biggest power-consumers in any system (closely rivalled by high-end graphics components), HP has chosen this processor based on its extremely low-voltage operation.
"Apart from natively using less power, the AMD processor also gives off less heat, in turn reducing the need for cooling – it's a double-whammy of power saving," he says.
Most important is the reduced load on air-conditioning systems.
McMillan says that, unbeknown to many IT users, as little as eight conventional PCs in close proximity to each other can contribute to a atmospheric temperature rise of as much as two degrees in an office.
That difference in environmental temperature is enough for air-conditioning systems to work overtime, when they should really only be operating within business hours.
"Any business manager will testify to the significant difference even a couple of hours of unnecessary air-conditioning can make in a monthly power bill," he says.
Despite all of these power-saving features, there's very little trade-off in performance.
"In fact, most general office users won't even notice a difference," he says.
"The dc5750 comes bundled with 1GB of RAM, an 80GB SATA hard disk, DVD/CD-RW drive and even a 1.2 TPM module. There's no shortage of functionality on offer from this unit.
"It's pretty much everything a corporate could want for their IT fleet today," he adds.
McMillan says that Tarsus and HP believe that the dc5750 strikes the perfect balance between performance and power-savings.
"We are convinced that as environmental awareness continues to become an issue on the organisation's agenda, this platform will continue to grow in popularity," he concludes.
The HP dc5750 is available from a recommended retail price of R4 699.00 including VAT.