Department of Homeland Security

Inefficient Computer Components

The majority of computer components within our division consist of huge power (wattage) consuming machines. This leads to higher energy costs per employee which consequentially affects the carbon output within our work locality.


From research, there is evidence to suggest that our current output in terms of power exhausted could be mitigated by purchasing energy efficient computer components in which make up the computer. Below I will provide examples that are concrete and quantifies the energy outlook from our current computer configuration to the suggested configuration:


Current computer configuration:


Central Processing Unit (CPU): Pentium 4 HT (Hyper threading)


Wattage consumption (W): Varies from low of 84 W to approximately high of 115 W.


Power Supply Unit (PSU): Not energy efficient certified? “80 Plus certified”


(With the 80 Plus certification, the power supplies are required to be energy efficient, to be precise 80% through 100% energy efficiency rating)


Random Access Memory (RAM): DDR2 utilizes higher voltage than DDR3


Suggested computer configuration:


CPU: AMD Athlon II X2


W: From low of 25 W to approximately high of 65 W


PSU: “80 Plus” energy efficient specification


RAM: DDR3 utilizes lower voltage


With efficient components within our computers, our federal employees will be able to effectively improve on the quantity and quality of output. Output in this case represents two perspectives: one, from the customer that our federal employees interact with and two, from the federal employee’s ability to complete the agency’s objectives. In our office we frequently encounter the problem where the computer is lagging behind our employee’s knowledge, skills and abilities to execute the tasks assigned to them.


When an individual calls to request for a benefit check, they should not have to wait on our computer components to function. Likewise, our federal employees should not have to be slowed down by the limitations on the functionality of the computer components currently installed. My suggestion would improve on both customer satisfaction and federal employee efficiency by providing services requested in an efficient manner without sacrificing quality.


The larger perspective concerns our impact to the environment. With inefficient computer components we will spend more capital by purchasing more power and by doing so; our output in terms of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will exponentially rise thus, contributing to global climate change. Imagine all processors running at 25 W instead of our current heading of 84 W ~ 115 W. With a low wattage processor our need for a higher wattage PSU will gradually dissipate and thus also lower our wattage consumption. Thus in turn, our impact to the environment will be gradually lowered.


There is a clear and practical plan without sacrificing our efficiency and productivity. We must first identify the systems in which are inefficient and then develop time zones to replace parts within such systems if possible, to more efficient ones. The computer components presented above are mere examples and should not be limited to those described above. After the transition period we will start to realize savings immediately.



7 votes
Idea No. 13695