Images via Granola
There's a plethora of programs that help you trim the power consumption of your computer by switching how quickly it goes into sleep mode, timed shut-downs and so on. But what about while we're using the computer? For many of us, our computers are far more powerful than we really need them to be - especially for those of us who simply check email, catch a few news articles, use word processing programs or treat it as a place to store digital photos. Yet, your computer can be sucking up as much juice as if you were about to play an online game with high-end graphics. A company called Granola is helping computer users minimize how much energy CPUs suck up - and savings can be as high as 30%. Granola is free and works for Windows and Linux users. It's a quick download that scales back your processor so that you can save energy, and therefore money. It shows you stats on just how much you're saving, including how much you've reduced your carbon footprint by utilizing it - both in current numbers and expected savings over the course of a year. Granola states that for computer users who don't do much other than surf the Internet, the savings could be as much as 30%. If you're a gamer, you're lucky if you save around 10%. But the average person can save around 25% with Granola. Not too shabby!
It also claims to be the most effective power saving software for Linux users. And if you're already keeping tabs on your power management, Granola won't mess up your settings. So how do you know you can trust the numbers? You can check out exactly how Granola calculates the savings in their FAQ.
Lifehacker writes, "It's only the processor that Granola works on, and it would be a bit more convenient if it offered an easy on/off switch as a keyboard shortcut or from its system tray menu." We agree; many people - especially those for which a program like Granola does the most good - don't want to go digging around in their system to turn the program on or off as needed. Still, it's a great, easy way to use only what you need, nothing more.