Byte Me Article 114 – Low power rating will slow down your PC

Low Power Rating Will Slow Down Your PC
CPU’s Matter

9 March, 2013

It’s happened again – my pet peeve!  I was called to a new customers’ office because of a ‘few’ things going wrong.  One of those things was a new PC which was reported to be running slow.  I had a look at this new PC and immediately I could see why – it had a nice new screen but directly attached to the back of it was one of the little Mini-ITX computer cases.  This is instead of a separate larger box PC which we are more used to seeing.

In this case the customer needed this new PC to not only browse the Internet but to also run Outlook for emails as well as Word and Excel – and a modern virus scanner.  This thing was struggling and took forever to boot up, shut down or even just to open Outlook or Word.  The customer had paid a lot of money for it and had been assured that it would be heaps faster than the old PC it had replaced.

These little Mini-ITX offerings were designed for use in home theatre PC’s and Internet browsing PC’s and use low power (low performance) CPU’s.  In this case it had an Intel Atom D-525 CPU which has a power rating of 700 (keep this rating in mind).  These CPU’s were again designed for netbooks for browsing the Internet – not for use in a business PC.  Intel has a whole different range of CPU’s for business use including the i3, i5 and i7 range.

It was interesting that in this case the customer had kept the old PC that this one replaced and had moved the old one to a different position in the office where it was only used for Internet browsing.  I looked at this 5 year old PC – which had an Intel Core2 Duo E6550 and looked up its power rating – 1500!!!  Yes, it was 5 years old but was still more than twice as powerful as the new replacement.  Yes, the customer was gob smacked and obviously not happy.  Add to this the fact that a modern business PC with an Intel i5 CPU (middle of the range) has a power rating of 7000 – ten times as powerful as the new PC that this customer had been lumbered with!

I have written about this subject before and I don’t want to bore people but this is the very reason that Kerr Solutions places power ratings on all of our PC’s / laptops and the very reason that I have called for the industry to adopt this approach.  Consumers, whether they are home users or business users need to see a universal power rating attached to every new PC (just like the economy ratings on cars) so that they can compare ‘apples-to-apples’.  This is long overdue and causes both wasted money and disappointment amongst unwary buyers. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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