Learn why the new gaming computer law in California targets the wrong group of people.
Episode #11-49 released on August 4, 2021
Recently we all heard that California was banning the sale of High-End Computers, but upon careful examination of their examples, I think those politicians need to learn what a high-end computer is. Please note that this law does focus on power usage of computers, and their results would be curved towards potential but not the daily reality of the end user.
I, also, want to point out, that while there is a potential to use more power, there is no actual data that proves that high-end computers, always, use more power than a typical computer during tasks, because the variance in use between all end users. Also, max load occurs infrequently, unless you are pinning the computer's potential with a task like crypto mining.
What does a computer need for a reasonable gaming experience?
Do not buy into the hype, you do not need the absolute most powerful processor, ram, graphics card, etc. to have a gaming computer that performs well.
You do need a graphics card that has enough onboard memory to be able to render all the pixels on your screen or screens. Typically, it should be 4GB or better. The more VRAM, the better the experience. The better the graphics processing core, the better the experience, too. The top tier graphics card does not necessarily translate cost into performance, though.
You need a reasonably powerful processor for gaming, but with AMD giving Intel a run for their money lately, most processors handle gaming without issue and most are reasonably powerful enough to game, especially when choosing quad cores or better. And for gaming, the highest end processors may have too many cores to completely be benefited from in game.
You do need RAM, enough RAM to be able to do everything you need to do. The sweet spot seems to sit at 16 to 32 GB, but you can always add more. While, it is true you can have so much RAM you cannot use it all, it does not usually come at the cost of using more power.
Your computer needs a power supply, and while most power supplies will do, a higher end power supply will likely be a better invest as it is less likely to brick your computer in the same way cheap power supplies often do. Higher end power supplies are, also, more power efficient, translating into less power being drawn, not more. Higher end power supplies are often safer for the environment, because they can be used longer and result in a lot less e-waste, too.
Are there any valid points in favor of better hardware?
Better hardware is more capable, and in the right hands, can be used to do things that take longer to achieve in more typical computer setups.
If you imagine electricity like water flowing, you will be able to see that the longer a task takes, the more power is required to achieve the task. If the task takes significantly longer on a typical setup, it actually becomes more power efficient to use better hardware to achieve the same task.
While, gaming is more power intensive than word processing, we use the graphics card to render a lot more than just games. In many cases, we use the graphics card to render graphics for other applications because it is faster and therefore requires less processing time, and that means we can save electricity over time by configuring our setups to use the best hardware whenever possible, reducing power load.
Then there is the argument that all gaming consoles are gaming computers. If a gaming console is a prebuilt gaming computer, why are they legal in California, while other computers that perform worse are banned? This shows that a group pushed for a law without any knowledge of the situation beyond their own opinion, if you look at the some of the examples given you will understand.
Then there is the issue that the majority of graphics card-based mining like Ethereum run while there is no end user present, unlike gaming that has the end user present for the majority of the graphics card intensive game play. Mining occurs over a significant longer period of time, too. This does require more power usage, tends to use more graphics cards, and because of the way the new California law is formulated, does not block the development of crypto mining computers because custom made computers would likely still be legal to build.
If the goal of the law was to cut the carbon footprint, while noble, it does not directly solve the power crisis by not targeting crypto miners directly. One potential way of targeting them is setting up a set of reasonable power usage costs with a reasonable limit that would allow the everyday citizen of California, and other places a life where nothing changes, and those who do crypto mining and other power intensive tasks would pay more. That cost increase in over usage would make crypto mining less appealing for many, and possibly reducing the number of people buying up graphics cards in the process, too. It would, also, lessen power demand on the grid, too.
Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net