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How to Build a Green PC Print E-mail
There is more to being green than just power usage. System builders will need to consider how components are manufactured and whether those components meet ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) requirements, which reduce the effects of hazardous waste. Energy Star compliance is another good indicator of power efficiency, but, in the end, it comes down to selecting the right components and making them work together. After all, a poorly functioning PC can never be green.

Pick Your Processo
CPUs can be power hogs, so going green means balancing performance with energy usage. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor family is designed to be efficient. The E6700 model maxes out at 65 watts and offers a sleep mode of 3 watts—a good green starting point.

Don't Forget the Motherboard
Intel's Desktop Board DQ965GF offers a small footprint, low power usage and vPro technology (which allows out-of-band management to, for example, shut off PCs), as well as on-board graphics, which use less power than traditional graphics cards.

Power Supply
Sea Sonic Electronics offers various power supplies that reduce energy consumption and noise, yet increase reliability. The SS-500ET Active PFC is ROHS- and WEEE-compliant, and offers active cooling to reduce fan speed during light use.

Making the Case for Green
Believe it or not, a system's case can have a green effect. It comes down to efficient cooling, recycled materials and overall design. The Antec Solo series is ROHS-compliant and is designed for good airflow and reduced noise.

SATA and Single Platters Save Energy
The Seagate ST3160815AS is ROHS-compliant and uses a single platter to reduce mass. The drive is quiet, cool and fast—plus, it offers 160GB of storage and a 3GB-per-second transfer rate.

RAM Considerations
A pair of Kingston DDR2 (double data rate 2) 1GB modules should offer enough performance for most tasks and enough capacity for Windows Vista. DDR2 memory modules use only 1.8 volts.

Blu, Not Green
Let's splurge a little and select the latest Blu-ray ROM drive from Sony, the BDU-X10S. Sony's $200 unit offers SATA (Serial ATA) connectivity and support for a variety of optical formats. The unit can't burn Blu-ray disks but does allow users to watch them.

Keeping It Cool
Often thought of last, a good CPU fan is critical to prevent a meltdown. Here, a Thermaltake Big Typhoon Cooler fits the bill. Designed to support overclocking and offering a simple heat sink, the Big Typhoon Cooler keeps it simple and efficient.

Vista's Role
Vista offers several features that are aimed at reducing power usage, ranging from an advanced sleep mode to better support of chip-set technology to throttle CPUs and shut down unused devices.

 

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