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Thin Clients Trump PCs On Energy Consumption

The choice of thin clients over PCs on the business desktop has reduced CO2 emissions in Western Europe by 166,000 tonnes in 2007 – equivalent to the emissions of more than 540 return flights from London to New York, according to research carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany for IGEL Technology, a thin client vendor.

“Energy consumption when in operation was up to 50 percent lower than for conventional PCs,” concluded Dr Hartmut Pflaum, the Fraunhofer researcher. “While PCs consume about 85 watts on average, thin clients including their server get by with 40 to 50 watts. In view of climate change and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, this is an important factor.”

With IDC figures reporting just over 3.4m thin clients sold in Western Europe since 2004 and an average machine lifecycle of 4 years, the research finds that thin client-based businesses have reduced CO2 emissions by 166,000 tonne in 2007.

The move to thin clients can save a company 25 percent in power savings, according to a recent report from Forrester.

As InfoWorld reports, the lower power bills can be attributed to the fact that thin clients “consume anywhere from 6 to 50 watts – far less than the 150 to 350 watts used by typical PCs.” They have a second green advantage, a longer lifecycle than PCs.

When Jenny Craig switched over to thin clients, the system ended up using 90 percent less energy than the PCs it replaced.

The thin client industry has just over 10 percent of the commercial desktops across Western Europe, according to the IGEL report.

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2 thoughts on “Thin Clients Trump PCs On Energy Consumption

  1. Why don’t we see a chart showing the increased power consumption in the data center as a result of thin clients? If a savings is still there, great, but you can’t just show half of the calculation for savings when we all understand that the processing power and storage are shifted to servers and SAN’s.

  2. Thin client electrical and environmental savings can be better than those reported in this article. Symbio Technologies offers a stateless thin client that utilizes 4 watts of electricity. Also, because it is 100% solid state, fanless, and stateless (no operating systems, applications, file systems, or network addresses), it does not become obsolete in just 4 years (like many of the embedded OS varieties do). It can last through a number of typical “refresh” (ie throw away) cycles.

    It is real. Check it out at http://www.symbio-technologies.com

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