Cord-cutting, or giving up cable for entirely broadband streamed entertainment, is a spreading trend. We’ve said before how it’s killing cable, slowly but surely.
But understand, it’s not just TV shows and movies that people are making the switch for. Video games on platforms like YouTube and Twitch are immensely popular, and video games have gained such popularity that there are colleges offering scholarships for players.
That’s right, discounted or free college for playing a computer game. Clearly, this trend toward online streaming entertainment is growing quickly.
But what’s not so clear is the massive energy use that comes with it.
You see, gaming computers are built with special parts, often by the owners themselves, to run highly-detailed and intricate video games efficiently.
But these parts are not energy efficient at all.
While gaming computers account for less than 3% of global PC equipment, they consume a whopping 75 terawatt hours of electricity per year, or 20% of global PC energy use. That amounts to an average cost of $10 billion.
This comes from a gaming community of over 1 billion, about 72 million of which are using these specially-made, energy-intensive computers.
A recent study used PC Magazine’s top 10 gaming computers as templates for the highest energy use in a gaming computer. In most, the majority of the energy went toward the graphics card—or cards—which, of course, are necessary for the gaming visuals.
The study noted that a simple switch to more energy-efficient components, including power supply units, motherboards, CPU’s, and graphics processors could save about 75% in energy use.
The key to making this a more public switch will be energy awareness. Often, computer component retailers do not have the correct energy usage numbers on the parts, which misleads and misinforms gamers.
There could not be a better market for the Internet of Things. Gaming computers can be extremely expensive to build and use, so gamers would relish any kind of extra cash, even if it meant buying a program to monitor their energy use.
These programs don’t currently exist, however… this opens up yet another opportunity for the Internet of Things market where there isn’t yet any competition.
And, of course, they’re already connected to the internet. This growing community will need to be a point of improvement for the energy sector in the future.
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