As processors become quicker and smaller, PC gaming has begun to advance in leaps and bounds. However, there is very little regard for energy efficiency in top tier gaming rigs. Instead these focus on maximizing output to create glorious landscapes like those in Skyrim.
In a recent study from Nathaniel Mills & Evan Mills it was found that approximately 1 billion people worldwide play games on a computer. This varies in intensity from social media games to World of Warcraft. Over this large of a sample, it was determined that the average amount of time spent per day was 4 hours.
Now, most common PC setups are out of the box from a store and are quite energy efficient. Within this large sample however are around 72 million gamers that operate on a custom rig that utilizes industry leading processors and video cards, both of which are highly inefficient in their energy consumption.
These high performance gaming machines use around 75 terawatt-hours per year of electricity which comes in at a cost of roughly $10 billion. To give perspective, for each high-end PC, you could power three Energy Star refrigerators.
The issue at hand is that these gamers are willing to front the bill for the electricity as they are seeking top performance on their machines and not energy efficiency.
At what point do you think efficiency should outweigh performance when it comes to personal computers? You can read the full study to gauge for yourself here.