Harmful carbon dioxide is produced during power generation and this is what drives climate change. But how is so much electricity actually used?
1. In the production of games, movies and end devices
2. When transporting and/or storing the data.
3. By recovering the games and series at home.
4. When playing itself.
It can’t be that much, right? Yes, quite. Let’s take a closer look at it: Netflix itself, for example, claims that in 2019 a total of 451,000 megawatt hours of energy were consumed just for the production and storage of its website’s data, as much electricity as 56 wind turbines produce in a year. . .
Not even the consumer side is included, that is, the download or transmission of data and the consumption of the devices in the home. When it comes to gaming, the situation is not much different: gaming PCs, for example, consume up to 10 times more electricity than a regular computer due to their often very powerful graphics card. And the approximately 34 million gamers in Germany generate as much CO² per year through their electricity consumption as a car that travels around 900 million kilometers. Oh.
Hard drive versus cloud: which consumes more energy?
Think about it: the data you have on a hard drive, disk or USB stick doesn’t have to be stored anywhere else. So if you play directly on the console or your parents watch an old school DVD, you only use power for your end devices. It’s different with cloud streaming or gaming: here the data has to be kept ready in the data centers. Computers, air conditioners, they all cost electricity. Constant charging and discharging, for example when playing games with friends, also costs a lot of energy. Smart people have calculated that an hour of game play on the console generates as much CO² as driving 300 meters in a car. An hour of online gaming covers a good mile. Bottom line: Gaming and streaming in the cloud consume about three times more power than gaming on a hard drive or watching TV. ⁉
Now how can you save on gaming and streaming online? Saving Point 1: The better the LAN or W-Lan connection, the more electricity you can save. If you play on your cell phone, it is better to use W-Lan too. Mobile data connections require more power. And that’s where older networks consume a lot of power: G3 needs up to 40 times more power when gaming than G5. Saving Point 2: The lower the screen resolution, the more power you can save. So think about what pixels you really need. The lowest resolution saves about 20 times compared to the highest. Save point 3: When it’s off, it’s off: save and power off saves compared to the pause or standby setting. Saving point 4: Download instead of streaming. It is better to play long games directly from the hard drive. As already said: 3:1 advantage over streaming. Saving point 5: If possible, you should sell old devices and games and buy new ones, preferably second hand. PCs or consoles that have only been used for a year can often be restored for half that amount and still have a warranty. Note: A lot of electricity, energy, and important raw materials are also used in the manufacture and disposal of hardware.
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