Michael Finley asked:
Are newer computers more efficient than older ones, like a fridge or a furnace?
How do I know when to get a new PC or Mac?
We put this question to Mike Muller of ARM...
Mike - There’s no doubt, newer computers are more efficient than older ones and they get better every year. It’s the perennial technology question of, “If you wait just a bit longer, you can get one that goes faster, takes less power, and will be a bit cheaper.” But you can always wait forever...
Michael Finley asked the Naked Scientists: Are newer computers more efficient than older ones, like a fridge or a furnace? How do I know when to get a new PC or Mac? What do you think? Michael Finley, Sun, 6th Feb 2011
I would have thought that any increase in efficiency is minor and the latest computers with more and more memory etc might actually consume more power. Pumblechook, Sun, 6th Feb 2011
If you measure efficiency in some sensible way like (for example) the number of floating point multiplications per Watt of power then they are getting more efficient all the time. Actually, by any sensible measure, efficiency has improved vastly over the years and is continuing to do so. A modern computer may use a similar amount of power to a computer 20 years ago but you can now do over 1000x the amount of calculations per second compared to the old one. graham.d, Sun, 6th Feb 2011
There are many aspects to the question.