Over the last few days I’ve been talking to a few folks about the Dual Core chips and how much power they can draw. High end systems are drawing 150-200Watts each. That’s pretty staggering, and the dual core processors are drawing less than the previous generation of Pentium chips.
Today, the NYTimes writes about a Google whitepaper being presented by Google today for improving PC energy efficiency. It may not matter much for a PC or two at home, but for a server farm, which can use 10,000 or more computers, it’s a really big deal. Further, while your home PC is usually idle, the goal of a server machine is to actually have it under fair load 24×7. And more load invariably means more power draw.
To put it into perspective, if you had a datacenter with 10,000 CPUs (and no overhead equipment), and you paid $0.1 per KWh, you’d be facing an electric bill of about $108,000 per month. Again, according to the NYTimes, Google has around 450,000 machines. If they used these expensive chips, they’d be churning through $4.8M per month just for electricity. No wonder they wrote this whitepaper. No wonder they are moving out of California.
Just wait until the Tesla and other electric vehicles appear. We’re worried about oil prices now, but electricity demand is on the brink of massive increases.