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Maingear Touts New Rig As "Planet's Greenest Gaming PC"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the bold-claims dept.

136

Maingear has just unveiled what they are calling the "planet's greenest gaming PC." Built using a small form factor and coming with Intel's new Ion graphics as the default option, this little powerhouse is built with a definite eye toward energy consumption. "Said configuration is available with Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs and an 80+ certified 300-watt power supply; those who care more about frame rates than Ma Earth can opt for a GeForce 9800 GT ECO, which — despite being a discrete, power-hungry GPU — still swallows some 40 percent less power than a standard 9800 GT. You'll also find WiFi support, room for an optional Blu-ray drive and TV tuner, upwards of 8GB of RAM and room for a single 2.5-inch HDD or SSD. The whole box checks in at just 7.6- x 8.3- x 11.4-inches, and it's available for order right now starting at $799."

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-intel's- ION "graphics"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28225657)

Intel's? What did I miss?

Re:-intel's- ION "graphics"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28225699)

You didn't miss much.

Re:-intel's- ION "graphics"? (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226387)

I bet the CEO of Nvidia would skin any man alive that calls the ION "Intel's ION".

Re:-intel's- ION "graphics"? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226771)

You missed the "livis" part in the middle?

The only green move (4, Funny)

laurensv (601085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225671)

is not to play

Re:The only green move (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28225773)

is not to breathe

Re:The only green move (4, Informative)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225797)

and if you do, keep your current machine as long as possible. the manufacturing process is the most ecologically unfriendly aspect of computer manufacture, followed by landfill at end of life. and when you do finally replace your machine, try to replace components. your case is still good and there's usually no need to demand a new one be made for you. and when you replace components, try to recycle them. even in bfe rural virginia my county accepts electronics for recycling. chances are good that your municipality does too. if not, then many big box stores are starting to as well.

Re:The only green move (4, Funny)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225845)

the manufacturing process is the most ecologically unfriendly aspect of computer manufacture

Is it really?

Re:The only green move (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225981)

You found where CPUs, RAM, motherboards grow on threes! Tell me! Tell me!

If you look up what is involved in making a pcb, the environmentalists have a point. Can me make these and be green? I am not sure the entire process can be 100% green.

Wasn't there some gold used in older pcbs? I seem to remember people taking the broken motherboards and such and melting the gold out of them.

Re:The only green move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226167)

There's lots more than just gold in PCBs.

Which is why they shouldn't end up in a landfill. Recycle them.
Most places have a free electronics recycling program of some sort; use it.

Re:The only green move (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226915)

Sure, you can melt gold out of them. At the same time, you aerosolize all kinds of fun chemicals. Especially in older boards, that can include arsenic, mercury, various hydrocarbons, all kinds of stuff that's wonderful to breathe in.

Re:The only green move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227111)

Well, at least they ship it overseas first.

Re:The only green move (1, Troll)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227143)

I'm just saying, the manufacturing process is the LEAST ecologically unfriendly aspect of computer manufacture.

Re:The only green move (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227115)

If you use your computer to design nuclear weapons or club baby seals, that might be worse.

Re:The only green move (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225857)

Ah yes, the WarGames [imdb.com] defense!

Re:The only green move (1)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226015)

The only green move is not to play

Or just paint your box neon green with blinky green LEDs!!!

Re:The only green move (1)

evilkasper (1292798) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226187)

I was going to point out that for the planets Greenest Gaming PC it looks awfully black.....

Re:The only green move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226677)

...and at 23 mpg, I claim the worlds greenest Hummer.

Re:The only green move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226851)

my hummer is even greener. I had it specially converted so that it runs entirely on unrefined plant matter. (aka taking out the engine and having it pulled by a team of horses) I cant go very far, or very fast in it, but its good for the environment! Well besides all the energy ot took making the hummer and disposing of the engine, horse CO2, the horse manure, and all that. Hmmm I wonder if I could build a horse powered gaming PC?

Ummm... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225691)

I don't think this really qualifies as either a real gaming PC or a green PC. Sure, it will play games, but I wouldn't call it a gaming PC. Same thing with green, it uses a bit too much power to be considered really all that green. Sure, its a good compromise but I don't think its really that green or really that much of a gaming PC.

Re:Ummm... (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226079)

What part of this machine does "not qualify as a real gaming PC"? The GeForce 9800 or the Core 2 Duo? Is it the 8gig of RAM?

Or is it "not a gaming PC" because it doesn't have neon lights, racing stripes and tinted glass?

Which game will this computer not play at very high levels?

Re:Ummm... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226143)

Having read TFA I see no mention of 8 gigs of RAM. The Core 2 Duo isn't exactly blazing fast, though it could play some games reasonably well. The small case also hurts it because most gaming PCs are designed for expandability, which is also quite "green" because it saves you from buying a new computer. Also, most gaming PCs are overclock-able, and have large enough PSU to upgrade decently.

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226367)

You're joking right? There isn't a game out now that won't run at 60 fps at a reasonable resolution with the settings on high on a 9800 GT and a Core 2 Duo.

Re:Ummm... (3, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226379)

The Core 2 Duo isn't exactly blazing fast...

No game I've played has even been constrained by my Core 2 Duo (E6600). Heck, I keep it downclocked to 1.6 GHz (vs. 2.4 GHz standard) most of the time and often forget to reset the clock to normal before launching a game. I rarely notice the difference. Of course, it follows that at this point, overclocking the CPU is a pointless exercise. The GPU matters, but on smaller monitors (read: 1680x1050 or less), most games can't even max out the capabilities of a high end two year old graphics card.

Also, a gaming PC is a gaming PC based on performance, not expandability. Yes, I built my home desktop on a huge chassis to allow expandability, but from age 5-24 I used pre-built gaming PCs that rarely had an upgrade more extreme than an extra stick of memory.

The lack of expandability is an arguable knock against its greenness though, for exactly the reason you gave.

Re:Ummm... (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226429)

Here's the companies website and order page for this product. http://www.maingear.com/products/desktops/pulse/ [maingear.com] .

The "Eco" GForce isn't even part of the $799.00 price tag and will add $99.00 for the cheapest option. Likewise, you can upgrade to 8BG (64-bit Vista requried) for ~$100 as well as a Quad-Core 2.6 Processor. It certainly isn't the $5k Alienware you can get, but it's not a terrible gaming PC for the price. And you can increase your e-peen for "green gaming" despite gaming itself not being very eco-friendly by any means.

Re:Ummm... (2, Insightful)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226155)

If you use enough paint it becomes green.

9800 is quite decent for gaming though. I don't know why they mentioned "Intel's Ion Graphics". For starters, Ion is made by nVidia, and it's primarily a chipset with an integrated 9400 which is pretty much garbage for gaming, AND it's for the Atom CPU, which is weak.

Re:Ummm... (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226789)

Same thing with green, it uses a bit too much power to be considered really all that green.

For one thing, they could start by using an efficient power supply...these days, "80 PLUS" isn't really a big deal

Instead, how about going for up to 12% more efficiency with an "80 PLUS Gold" supply. In addition, every supply that is more than the base "80 PLUS" has better power-factor correction values for the vast majority of loads. As usual, it's covered pretty well in the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] .

Slashvertising... (2, Insightful)

the phantom (107624) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225695)

Mmm... Slashvertising. How tasty!

Eco what? (4, Interesting)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225701)

Slap together some mid range components, an ugly case and call it Prius... err Pulse.
It's "eco-conscious" says the article/advertisement/press release.

Too much power usage to be truly green. Too little performance to be a real gaming rig. Lame.

Next up, world's most efficient sports car (4, Funny)

merreborn (853723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225705)

And for their next trick, they're targeting the auto industry, planning a sports car that gets 40 mpg.

Sure, it may have an unimpressive 0-60 time of 8.4 seconds, but they've gotta hop on this "green" bandwagon while they still can!

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (2, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225853)

Tesla... [teslamotors.com]

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226273)

Except the tesla has great 0-60 acceleration, especially since it has a single gear and thonking torque. it just has horrible handling...

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28225977)

I think you just described a toyota prius ricer. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/08/sweden-extreme-toyota-prius-pimped-out-mods.php

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226055)

8.4 seconds for 0-100 km/h is pretty impressive.

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (1)

Peepsalot (654517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226363)

Not for a "sports car"

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226417)

For sports car enthusiasts, its not that great. For people with average sized genitalia, it's more than sufficient.

*ducks*

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (0, Offtopic)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226567)

I own this thing, first model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daewoo_Matiz [wikipedia.org]

17 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h :) But it's perfectly adequate for driving in the city, and I've driven it to longer trips as well, without any issues. Hell, its top speed of 140 km/h is even more than it's legally allowed anywhere.

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227195)

Adequate maybe, but it's still a shit car. I regularly chase one that's struggling up the hill towards work. I drive my more efficient, bigger, more reliable and more comfortable diesel Ford Focus.

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226967)

My Corolla gets 0-60 in 9.5 seconds, and it gets less than 40MPG with the new ratings. I wouldn't mind a car that went faster and used less fuel.

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227137)

Bah! My Toyota Corolla gets 0-60 in 9.5 seconds and gets 36 mpg doing mostly highway driving, and it's priced a good $10,000 below a comparably equipped Prius.

In the same vein, I've already spec'd out a low-profile gaming computer for $500 in parts: a Core 2 processor, SATA hard drive, DVD player, and HDMI output running on a 350W supply. Not much different in power consumption and a good few hundred dollars less than their most comparable machine.

Re:Next up, world's most efficient sports car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227201)

And for their next trick, they're targeting the auto industry, planning a sports car that gets 40 mpg.

Sure, it may have an unimpressive 0-60 time of 8.4 seconds, but they've gotta hop on this "green" bandwagon while they still can!

Koenigsegg CCX has less then 14 mpg.

From their website:

Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mp/h) 3.2 seconds
0-200 km/h 9.8 sec, 0-200-0 km/h 14 sec
0-300-0 km/h: 29.2 Sec
Top Speed: 395+ km/h (245+ mph)
Braking distance: 32m (100-0 km/h)
Lateral G-force: 1.3 G
Fuel consumption:
Highway travel: 13 l/100km, Combined: 17 l/100km

Their newer cars have even better performance and can use ethanol fuel. They even have a car with similar performance running on batteries, but it needs 20 minutes of charging to run 500 km (310 miles).

They want to buy Saab Automobile from GM. It would be really cool if they could put their technology into mass-produced cars.

Another star on my green collar! :) (0)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225715)

Perhaps I can mount this little beast inside my hybrid-electric Hummer, Pimp My Ride Style!

Yo dawg, I heard you like irony...

I'm conflicted... (5, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225717)

On the one hand, this seems like a good alternative. On the other, the notion is basically incompatible. After all, wouldn't the greenest thing of all be to simply unplug and go till your garden?

I fear that 'green' is becoming more about fashion than it is about the Earth, and the notion of a green way to do a very non-green thing seems to support that. Sort of like a hybrid SUV, an eco-friendly landfill, or a more merciful way to kill whales.

Some things just aren't green...

Why do I feel the need to go buy carbon credits just for posting this?

Re:I'm conflicted... (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225783)

You said it. Lead, BFRs, all sorts of crazy metals that are usually separated with fire to burn them away from the PCBs...

Re:I'm conflicted... (5, Insightful)

Uniquitous (1037394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225791)

I came here to say that. "Green" is just a trendy buzzword now. The current crop of airheads trying to out-do each other at who can be the greenest... have any of them read or even heard of the Mother Earth News, tried building a solar heat catcher to lower their heating bills, hell, done anything beside throw their plastic in the bin at Whole Foods and patted themselves on the back?

Re:I'm conflicted... (2, Insightful)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225917)

Exactly - a single-use plastic bottle of "spring water" - while driving themselves there and back in their hybrid Yukon/Escalade, and returning to a massive home.

Re:I'm conflicted... (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227077)

Strawman. I for one use the same metal water bottle for all my drinking-on-the go needs, as much for concerns about whatever may be leeching out of the plastic as concerns about another bottle in the landfill / recycling (which wastes energy.)

But more on topic, it's a simple efficiency question. Basic gaming PC usually takes a 700W PSU. If 300 Watts is sufficient, why not go with the 300 Watts?

Personally, I distrust anything that's 30% smaller than the usual model. You must be sacrificing something for that space, and I suspect it's longevity.

Re:I'm conflicted... (5, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225955)

I fear that 'green' is becoming more about fashion than it is about the Earth

Wait, it hasn't always been about fashion?

Re:I'm conflicted... (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226119)

Some things just aren't green...

There might be some people who like to play games but still want to keep their power consumption down a bit. Of all the gizmos in a person's house, the computer is not really the most power hungry, nor does it waste the most power.

Just because some things are not generally associated with conservation does not mean an effort should not be made to make their power consumption more efficient. Driving cross country isn't generally considered "green" but I'd still rather do it in a Prius than a Hummer.

Re:I'm conflicted... (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226709)

On the one hand, this seems like a good alternative. On the other, the notion is basically incompatible. After all, wouldn't the greenest thing of all be to simply unplug and go till your garden?

That, I believe, is a false dichotomy. The "all-or-nothing" idea is popularized by a small minority of eco-nuts who think the only way into the future is by going backward (i.e., grow all your own food, get off the grid, total rejection of consumerism, etc.). Those eco-nuts are then lambasted by right-wing nuts, who believe that minority represents the entire green movement (anti-hippie hysteria ensues). Meanwhile, they take pride in gas-guzzlers, ridicule global climate change, and generally gravitate to the extreme opposites.

"Going green" does not mean giving up on technological progress or turning backward. It is simply recognizing that our technology has the power to do awesome and terrible things, and then building (and buying) technology that takes those problems into account. Green tech is usually focused on sustainability, low power use, and small ecological footprints.

Basically, throwing away our computers entirely would be going backwards. Building computers that take less energy and remain capable of running the latest OSs, apps, and games is a greener way of going about it. Does this computer satisfy those prerequisites, is it a gimmick that's latching onto the green movement, or is it a step in the right direction? I don't really know, but it's faster in every way than my current gaming computer, which I built last year for $400 (not counting monitor and peripherals). On top of that, it uses a 300-watt power supply, compared to my 500-watts. So I dunno, maybe there's something to it?

I fear that 'green' is becoming more about fashion than it is about the Earth, and the notion of a green way to do a very non-green thing seems to support that. Sort of like a hybrid SUV, an eco-friendly landfill, or a more merciful way to kill whales.

It's definitely a fashion statement. However, I'm not sure if that's necessarily a bad thing. Instead of "creating a fashion statement," a more favorable wording would be "popularizing a meme." I think the goal of environmentalists is to push their memes up near the top of the list of things people consider when buying and building stuff. Next to cost, safety, usability, etc., they would want to see "environmental impact" as an important choice.

(Of course, there's such a thing as false advertising. Something can be overpriced, unsafe, or useless at its function, and of course something that's considered environmentally friendly actually be harmful to the environment. Yadda yadda.)

Typo (1)

SwabTheDeck (1030520) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225743)

coming with Intel's new Ion graphics as default option

Ion is an nVidia product, not an Intel product. The terms "Intel graphics" and "gaming PC" should never be used together.

Re:Typo (3, Interesting)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227207)

That's a pretty big typo, writing intel instead of nvidia and throwing in the word "gaming" in there somehow when this thing isn't a gaming PC at all. This whole article is one big typo. I wish I could unread it.

Nvidia Atom (1)

obender (546976) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225761)

Intel's new Ion graphics

This can only be right when the story title is: Intel buys Nvidia

Re:Nvidia Atom (1)

Ouchie (1386333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226305)

Hopefully it would be the other way around. I would hate to see what would happen to nVidia under Intel's managment.

Playing "Green"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28225777)

Learn to juggle rocks.

Or... (1)

Bruiser80 (1179083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225785)

You could upgrade bit by bit, only purchasing the items you need to get the performance boost you desire.

You could theoretically keep the case, fans, dvd drives, maybe the HD between builds. Will you end up paying a little more over a bare-bones setup. Depends on where you buy and what deals you find.

Re-using is more eco-friendly than recycling.

On a different note, doesn't a 9800 require a power hook-up, and isn't the suggested minimum PowerSupply 400W? I thought I noticed that the last time I was looking at them... And if you're putting a Blu-Ray and a TV Tuner, aren't you going to need a larger PS?

I scanned TFA and all I saw that was "green" was the CPU, PS and the vid card. I don't know if that warrants a $800 starting point.

Re:Or... (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226437)

On a different note, doesn't a 9800 require a power hook-up

Not all of them.

and isn't the suggested minimum PowerSupply 400W?

The power supply suggestion on any part is an arbitrary decision by the manufacturer. Its main function is to keep people who don't know better from buying parts that won't work - the assumption being that any power supply advertised as "400" or "500" W will be good enough.

And if you're putting a Blu-Ray and a TV Tuner, aren't you going to need a larger PS?

No.

Re:Or... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227107)

The suggested PS may be 400W, but check the actual power usage of the various components. Don't forget, they're also talking a 300W 80+ PSU, not just any 300W PSU. Absolute worst, it'll supply 300*.8=240W. A Core 2 Duo sinks 65W max, the 9800 Eco they reference (which doesn't have a secondary power connection [zotac.com] ) should be about 66W full-blast (A regular 9800GT is 110W max, so 110*.6=66W), then you have hard drives (~15W each max) the RAM would be maybe 20W at the very high end, a standard DVD drive is about 25... 65+66+15+20+25 is 191W, only 80% of the capacity of the PSU when the machine is running every component full-bore.

That's kind of a stretch. (3, Insightful)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225799)

Those parts are outdated for anyone who cares to be on the 'bleeding edge' in gaming, and anyone who doesn't can build their own version of that rig at about half the price (ignoring the form factor).

Given the probable lifetime energy savings of that $800 box over the $400 DIY job, plus the base environmental costs of building all those parts, you're essentially spending money to have someone else make you feel better.

Re:That's kind of a stretch. (2, Insightful)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226169)

But isn't that what 90% of the "Green/eco friendly" shit is.

You pay more money to feel better and solve nothing?

It's like the grocery stores around here charging .20 a bag.. to help you protect the enviroment by not using Plastic...

Fact is, now instead of having grocery bags I can use to pick up dogshit/put in the kitchen waste basket, I'm not having to buy plastic bags to do said jobs.

So what exactly have they protect? Oh right, there bottom lines by charging .20 a bag lol.

Re:That's kind of a stretch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226351)

Well, I don't have a dog, so I'm not throwing my plastic bags away now. In other words, you're paying money so *I* consume less.

Thanks!

Re:That's kind of a stretch. (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226477)

And I pay double, and still destroy the earth lol

Way to not do a damn thing, but make your company make some more money. lol

Re:That's kind of a stretch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226225)

Doesn't the same rule apply to the hand versus the hooker? And don't lots of people STILL choose the latter?

Small form factor? (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225825)

Why would anyone want a small form factor when building a gaming pc?
That just makes it harder to fit enormous graphics cards in the case. Is that supposed to be a green selling point?

Also, why have wifi access? That sucks for online gaming because of its unreliablity.

Other than that, looks like a sweet build. Good price too. Computer gaming really isn't that expensive it's been looking like lately. If your buying a computer, might as well pony up a little more moola and play games on it too.

Re:Small form factor? (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225949)

Small form factor is easier to take to LAN parties.

A couple companies now make micro-ATX X58 boards. There are a few micro-ATX chassis out there that can easily fit the board plus a high-end vid card (or two,) while still being easily portable.

Not 'green', as this company claims, but portable. I'd love a second X58 box as a LAN-box. My main box is just huge. And pricing it out, I could build a passable X58 mini-box for $1000.

WiFi may not be as reliable for gaming, but it works for web browsing.

Re:Small form factor? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226525)

Just a nitpick. I used to play online games via encrypted 802.11g on a laptop, and I'd regularly see 5ms ping times (round trip time), and this was in an area where there were two dozen other networks in range (i.e. there was plenty of interference). Granted, the router's connection to the world was 15Mbps fiber, but my point is that the wireless connection was not a bottleneck.

Wireless is fine for online gaming, as long as you're not trying to play a hundred yards from the router.

GZ's green.... ok fine greenish PC (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225889)

Materials list:
1 CPU
1 ACPI enabled motherboard
1 Aluminum ATX case
1 Copper heatsink
1 UPS
1 hand crank A/C generator
1 set of bicycle pedals

Process:
Build PC using CPU, motherboard, heatsink, and case. Attach bike pedals to hand crank generator. Attach generator to UPS. Pedal your way to "greener" computing and a healthier life.

PS) I fscking HATE the term "green." Meh.

Enough already (1)

andytrevino (943397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225903)

That's not a gaming PC. Where's the SLI? Where's the upgradeability and massive hard drive space? Where's the modern graphics card -- the 9800 GT is a few generations old already, just imagine where it'll be a year or two down the road.

Stop with the silly "green" crap, seriously. This system is at best a midrange small form-factor PC with an inflated price tag. While it might play current games, it's nowhere near future-proof, and its price tag isn't low enough to justify that fact.

300 Watts is green? (3, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225953)

Then what the hell is the Mac mini [apple.com] at only 110W?

Sure, it's not a "gaming PC" but it does have a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and the nVidia 9400M is about the same as Ion graphics too, not to mention that the Mac mini is smaller and cheaper. And yes, you can install Windows on it if you want.

So what's special about that not-so-small Maingear "green" PC again?

Re:300 Watts is green? (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226117)

The PSU can supply 300W. It doesn't mean that it _uses_ 300W. In fact, that machine from TFA probably idles at around 30-40W and tops at about 100W.

Re:300 Watts is green? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226161)

Then what the hell is the Mac mini [apple.com] at only 110W?

You're comparing the power supply's maximum wattage to the Mini's load wattage. According to Maingear's site, the load wattage is about 145, still higher but not as far off.

Re:300 Watts is green? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226713)

Actually 110W is also the maximum wattage since it's the Mac mini power supply maximum.

Re:300 Watts is green? (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226415)

Not to mention the Mini is 110W at full load.

BOFH on green computing (4, Funny)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225987)

Oblig. BOFH [theregister.co.uk] :

"A REAL computer has ONE speed and the only powersaving it permits is when you pull the power leads out of the back!" I blurt. "In fact, a REAL computer would have a hole in the front to push trees into and an exhaust pipe out the back for the black smoke to come out of."

Holy misuse of codenames, Batman! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226013)

Alright, where to begin...

"ION" is nVidia's, not Intel's. (Only the story submitter makes this mistake, not TFA.)

"ION" is nVidia's codename for the combination of their 9400 or 9300 integrated graphics chipset plus the Intel Atom processor. This rig uses a Core 2; which makes it *NOT* an ION. It just makes it a Core 2 plus 9400 chipset.

And as others mention, the Mac mini is the same damn thing; only smaller, draws less power, and costs less. (However this one has the ability to add a discrete graphics card, which the Mac mini obviously lacks.)

Green Trends (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226063)

Soon enough someone is going to produce a "Green" watch that consumes even less electricity than those that use the smallest batteries. Someone will also invent a "Green" flashlight that uses so little power it actually makes the room darker! What the hell? Are companies really so retarded that they think cutting back on some of the lowest energy usage appliances are going to save the world? If you really want to save the planet why not invent a water heater that doesn't require heating massive resistance coils to warm water up. Or maybe someone could invent a dishwasher that can clean pots and pans without using superheating coils to melt all forms of food and tupperware. Or perhaps someone could invent an alternative cooking method that doesn't involve superheating coils on a stovetop.

Oh wait, we have things like clothes lines, cauldrons, and BBQs. This is the thing that bugs me. If consumers really wanted to "Go Green," if they really wanted to take drastic action to save the environment, all they need to do that is in place already. Our society existed before mass distribution of electricity, and we could save a crap-ton of kW-hr (because, you know, they have mass too) by cutting back on some of the conveniences that really do drive power bills through the roof. Granted, computers being left on day and night help drive up electricity bills. This pales, in comparison, however, to something like 4 people taking 30 minute hot showers every day. Rather than trying to pinch every bit of energy savings from every friggin' appliance in every household, how about we just start conserving a little bit by cutting back on some of our luxuries. Restricting showers to 10-15 minutes would drastically save on electricity for a 4 person family. It would also save water (which is at least as important a problem as the energy issue these days). The best benefit of that kind of behavior modification: we don't have to buy all the new green trendy BS that marketeers are spamming our lives with everyday.

Granted, this is a rant, but I am sick of seeing stupid "Technological breakthrough" stories that involve skimping on power consumption for every little appliance in the household. Lame.

Re:Green Trends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28227125)

I generally agree with you. However, it's still worthwhile to use a more efficient computer provided you've done everything else you can. My desktop setup accounts for 20% of my total electricity use in the summer. It uses about 50 KWh per month (measured with a power meter) and my electricity bill is 250 KWh per month. I can cut this in half with a laptop + external monitor or by 4/5ths using only a laptop. Only problem is that laptops are not suited to the type of workload I need to do (image processing research and graphics rendering), nor are they upgradeable, so a desktop that's a reasonable compromise between power consumption and performance is what I would be looking for.

In the winter, it doesn't make any difference. My heating's electric and all the waste heat from my appliances simply helps heat the place. Electric heating in a poorly insulated apartment (it's a rental, can't do much about it) is terrible though: 800 KWh a month. The only thing I can do is turn down the heat and take shorter showers.

If you're replacing your computer anyway, then a more efficient computer is the next logical step. You can also do some other things that reduces your energy use (e.g. I work from home and bike when I can, only turn on 1 13W CFL lightbulb in the entire apartment, take 5 minute showers, turn off all phantom loads, take the stairs instead of the elevator, design and push for solar thermal panels on my employer's buildings, etc., all small steps that reduced energy use by a quite a bit), too.

Re:Green Trends (2, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227175)

You don't get out much, do you? There are watches out there that use no electricity [wikipedia.org] . In fact, they were some of the first time-keeping devices that weren't dependent on a sunny day. There are flashlights that you just shake or crank to charge, they use capacitors instead of batteries and LED's for illumination because they use energy so much more efficiently. They're usually billed as emergency flashlights if you want to buy one. A water heater that doesn't require massive resistance coils to heat up water? Gas heaters are quite common, and if you live in a sunny enough place you can use solar heat to boost your water heater [wa.gov.au] . That's been around since, well, forever. Hell, they sell black bags you can fill with water and hang in the sun so you can take a hot shower while camping. And for alternative cooking methods, again, gas. Quite common in many places, and preferred by chefs for more even, controllable heat.

ORLY? (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226095)

You're going to power a dual core processor and a 9800 gt graphics card along with all the other hardware on a 300 watt PSU? Riiiight. Good luck getting it to run stable. Any graphics card alone passed the 7800 mark (for nvidia) tends to require a 500W PSU or greater, not including all the other gear. Green and gaming are inherently counter to each other. Gaming wants more power and more speed at the expense of cooling and energy usage. Green is the exact opposite. A Green Gaming Machine (aside from attaching green LEDs on the case) is an oximoron.

Re:ORLY? (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226381)

You're going to power a dual core processor and a 9800 gt graphics card along with all the other hardware on a 300 watt PSU? Riiiight. Good luck getting it to run stable.

"require a 500W PSU" is an arbitrary suggestion.

The nVidia reference version of the 9800 GT has a maximum draw of 105 W. Newer cards (possibly with 55nm instead of 65nm GPUs) are likely to use less.

Re:ORLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226521)

This is the 9800 GT ECO.
It uses 40% less power.
Read the summary.

Re:ORLY? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226615)

Nvidia recommends at least a 300W power supply for the 9400 GT [nvidia.com] , 300W or 400W for the 9600 GT [nvidia.com] (depending on which model you get), and at least 400W for the 9800 GT [nvidia.com] .

Granted, if you run these cards with the minimum power supply rating you're going to have a hard time throwing in a RAID array or somesuch nonsense, but the machines in TFA are using 2.5" hard drives and special "ECO" 9800 GTs which use "40% less power than a standard 9800 GT" (putting it easily under the 300W mark).

You're not going to get the same performance out of it as you would out of a beefed-up 9800GT, you're going to have a hard time upgrading one of these very much, and personally I wouldn't call this machine a "gaming PC", but they're not actually lying.

Re:ORLY? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227229)

...have you even looked at the numbers? The 9800GT Eco that they reference uses 40% less power than the "normal" one. The normal one is only 110W so that's what, 66W?. A Core 2 Duo is only 65W flat-out. Then you have an optical drive (25W), a hard drive (10-15W), RAM(10-15W) and other various chips (10-20W). That's only 206W if you run every component flat-out simultaneously and spin up both drives from powered off (which will never happen) and use the worst numbers I give you. The 300W power supply they propose is 80% or more efficient, so that's 240W available at the very lowest, which is still well above what will ever be used in normal circumstances. Don't be a retard... those huge power supplies are not necessary. Hell, you could probably even use a standard 9800GT and maybe kick the PSU up to a 350W if you were really worried.

Hmm . . . Well . . (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226101)

They've been designing extremely power efficient computers for ages -- they're called Laptops. Sure, it wasn't for reasons of being "Green", but rather of Battery life. But the net effect is the same for a consumer interested in having a very power efficient box.

At any rate, these days there are some pretty decent gaming laptop configs that you could buy that I imagine could handle most gaming tasks you throw at them while being a heck of a lot more power effecient -- plus then you'd have the option of unplugging the monitor/keyboard/mouse and taking it with you and actually using it as a laptop.

Just make sure you don't throw it in the trash when you're done with it, both the batteries and LCD displays are fairly toxic . . .

Corny (1, Flamebait)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226139)

This is so corny. Environmentalists are some of the goofiest people alive.

I like how Al Gore started up a carbon credits company just before he released a movie that encouraged people to purchase carbon credits. And when people pointed out how much power his mansion used, he paid himself by purchasing carbon credits from his own company.

Anyway, I'm off to litter.

The greenest game to play (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226179)

THERMONUCLEAR WAR

Just make sure to just aim for China and the USA

Is it really as efficient as possible? (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226209)

See here [maingear.com] . The system seems to use desktop PC parts, not mobile parts: a motherboard with an nVidia chipset, a LGA 775 CPU, DDR2 memory, a micro ATX power supply. The system is using Intel desktop CPUs with 65 W TDP and a motherboard with integrated graphics. I would expect a system using a mobile CPU and chipset to use less power.

The "greenest gaming PC" would be a system using a mobile CPU and chipset (and possibly a full desktop GPU) - something similar to the iMac's hardware, perhaps.

Sort of... (3, Funny)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226419)

Strikes me as World's Greenest Gaming PC, is equivalent to Worlds Gentlest Rape.

Greenest Gaming PC (3, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226473)

Is like the most fuel-efficient Hummer. Who cares about it?

Re:Greenest Gaming PC (2, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226917)

Perhaps the US Army [globalsecurity.org] ?

Re:Greenest Gaming PC (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227269)

Someone who wants a Hummer, but still has to pay for gas? Or hell, someone who wants a Hummer that'll just go further on one tank of gas? Lots of good reasons to improve the efficiency of things. Tell me... if there were two Hummers, they both did the same job, cost about the same, and one got better mileage, would you buy the one with the worse efficiency? The only way I would is if it did a job the other one couldn't. Same with this... if this machine will play your games like you want (this is the most important thing to think about), and it costs less to run and isn't significantly different in price, you'd have to be stupid to not buy it.

How does it compare to Mac Mini (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226489)

It has very similar specs to the Mac Mini and is about the same price. TFA says a 300W power supply however, 80+ means that it is (as far as I can see) EPEAT Silver or Gold. The Mac Mini has a 110W power supply so the losses will be smaller. I wonder if somebody will take those 2 machines to a test soon to see how they compare.

The Wii (1)

Turmoyl (958221) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226557)

The Wii does all of this for about 20W and has a much smaller form factor. I'd say it's much more "green" that the Pulse.

Re:The Wii (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226765)

The Wii does all of this for about 20W and has a much smaller form factor. I'd say it's much more "green" that the Pulse.

Last time I checked (42 seconds ago), the Wii wasn't a very good replacement for a PC for non-gaming. It was also an order of magnitude slower than a 9800 GT for gaming, and had only a couple of good games.

The real competitor for this is a home built PC based on the Zotac Ion mainboard. Cheaper and better are simultaneously possible if you make it yourself.

Re:The Wii (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226781)

But can it run Crysis?

"Intel's Ion" eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226581)

I think you'll find nVidia makes Ion. Great editing.

Bash away, it deserves it... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226973)

I would never buy the thing because it has a completely fugly graphic on the case, but.... these guys are building more or less exactly the kind of PC that I try to build for myself - as much computing power as I can reasonably get without blowing out the $$$ or power budget, enough to play some games, but Crysis is totally optional...

As someone said above, the MacMini is a very nicely executed example of this theme, and in a much more tasteful case.

I hate the word "rig" (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227159)

[crank mode=on]
Am I the only person who's irritated by this use of the word "rig"?

Before computer geeks started using "rig" to refer to their computers, the only commonly used meaning was large trucks, e.g., 18-wheelers.

To call a computer a "rig" irritates me for the same reason that the term "domestic engineer" bothers me: it's trying to gain respect by stealing the respect rightfully earned by the thing to which the word traditionally refers.

Long-story short, it's posing.
[crank mode=off]

Re:I hate the word "rig" (3, Insightful)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227275)

Hmmm...I've been kicking up dust on this planet for a good long while now, and have used "rig" regularly any time I'm referring to something that is a complete configuration or package:
  • fishing (rod, reel, tackle)
  • specific fishing tackle conifigurations
    • Lindy rig
    • Texax rig
    • Carolina rig
  • a bike (rims, wheels, fenders, rack, paniers, lights)
  • an outdoor dumbwaiter for a treehouse (box, pulleys, rope)
  • sailing (masts, lines, sails, winches)

The word isn't as narrow as I think you'd like it to be.

Let's be serious here.. (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28227291)

A properly green computer would output more energy than you input. Greenwash. The Next Big Economic Bubble.
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