Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tips for Making Your PC Eco-friendly

Want to save the world? Already switching off lights and fans when not in use? What next? Make your computer energy efficient. There is (in Windows):

  • Power Options: in Control Panel --> Performance and Maintenance (category view)
    Here, there are Power Schemes and Hibernate tabs.

    I have set the Power Scheme as follows:
    Turn off monitor : After 1 min
    Turn off hard disks : After 10 mins
    System Standby : After 15 mins
    System hibernates : After 20 mins
    And it works extremely well for me. Every time I go to drink tea, or fight with my brother, even if i forget to switch off the monitor, it automatically goes off.

    Hibernating is a very powerful power saving tool that many often do not use due to lack of awareness. Enabling this is very easy. In Power Options, there is the Hibernate tab. Enable it.
    Now is the tricky part. Normally when turning off, you can see stand by towards the left of turn off. When hibernation is enabled also, there is standby there. But now, if you press Shift, you can see that it turns into hibernate button. Click while pressing shift* and your PC hibernates like a polar bear does in winter.
    The advantage of hibernating is that you can turn the power supply off like when shut down and you can resume your session from where you stopped as when stood by.
    *Note: You can press H instead of pressing shift and clicking.

  • Switch off: When not hearing music, you can switch off the speaker (so that you can even prolong the speaker life). When only hearing music you can turn off monitor.
    When working offline, turn off modem. After printing turn off printer.
    After shutting down, turn off every hardware that you can - monitor, speaker, printer, blue tooth device so that the next time you turn on, you switch on only the things that you need.

  • Protect : CPU - play small games instead of huge EA sports games.
    Monitor - adjust the monitor settings according to the company recommended settings.
    Speaker - play soft songs, lower the volume.
    Modem - avoid overheating by keeping your hands on the modem and taking the heat off.
    Keyboard - Don't bang on the keys, not even the enter key or space bar. Don't eat powdered food in front of the keyboard.
    Mouse - Dust the dust from the mouse pad. Click softly. Increase mouse speed in pointer options of mouse menu in control panel.
    The whole computer - use UPS, prevent voltage fluctuations.

  • Hardware: When buying new, always choose the better product. Like between CRT and LCD choose LCD. Buy a speaker with a separate power on/off switch.
    Buy a table designed specifically for your PC, so that you easily switch off accessories that aren't necessary.
    Larger RAM means faster work means lesser time means lesser energy.

Finally. Don't install unnecessary programs. Not that you needn't install the new browser that google releases. But make sure that you don't install an audio recording/editing pro software that you don't even know the use of, just to know how it looks like (like I used to do for years).

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