Manufacturing CPUs and other hardware components not only requires huge amounts of energy but also produces a lot of waste in the process of extraction and refinement of material needed to manufacture various components.

So it makes sense to hold onto old hardware for as long as possible to produce the least environmental footprint. However newer hardware typically is much much more efficient and thus consumes less electricity.

So my question is basically: at which point do older components start to be more harmful to the environment due to the amount of electricity they consume compared to the environmental expenditures of manufacturing newer components?

This obviously depends on how electricity is sourced and less so on other factors, but still.

@big
21Y

Best to upgrade when the efficiency gains expected from the next generation are going to be insignificant. Which means technically now is a great time to upgrade as they are already talking about future proof, forever PCs. Windows is not even looking to surpass version 10 and is no longer the poster child of Microsoft.

However, smartphone and laptop manufacturers seem in cohorts to ensure their entire suite of products (even top end) leave you wanting for something (next year). Choice fatigue on the consumer side is a real thing, and it’s caused by choice maxxing from makers who all try to frustrate consumers into a more profitable tier but savvy consumers see the showstopping feature denial at the lower “fragile” tiers. It only takes one manufacturer to upset the space but it’s too tantalizing not to do the same once there (see Xiaomi).

Metawish
11Y

Not an expert or that knowledgable by any means, and was gonna say exactly what you mention at the end about source of electricity. But my general thoughts it that, isn’t the electrical consumption at least partly the design of the code? Like speeding up an old computer with a new program made to cut out programs that aren’t needed? If that isn’t the most signifigant part, then I’d have to say hold it until physical damage or until it’s unusable. This of course is based off my equipment from the past decade still functioning and not anything older than that, so I’m sure that factors in.

@k_o_t
admin
creator
21Y

But my general thoughts it that, isn’t the electrical consumption at least partly the design of the code? Like speeding up an old computer with a new program made to cut out programs that aren’t needed?

yeah, but most optimizations are made by cutting out old, legacy code and thus support for older platforms, no one’s cutting out support for newer platforms to only support older platforms

my older hardware is already 13 years old, so by that logic software that runs on it is going to be the least efficient

and also, optimization can only go as far, and any optimizations made are not going to matter on such a small scale (in my case 1 pc)

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