Buss stops and phone booths in Manhattan are draped with the words, "Is Green, Saves Green. Part of a new ad campaign for the super efficient Opteron processor chips made by Intel-rival AMD, the company aims to position itself as the eco-friendly brand. A flurry of sustainable messaging from AMD, aimed mainly towards business types on Wall Street, Midtown and in the Flat Iron District started in spring of 2006 and is still going strong.During the summer an ad with the slogan, "Scorching high speed. Without the scorching." appeared on Park Avenue. A major heat wave and much talk about the effects of global warming coincided with the campaign, helping to drive the message home.
Supporting ads around town aimed of quantify energy savings that would result from using their chip with activities that New Yorkers can relate to such as, grabbing a cup of latte on the go. These ads read: "You could've steamed every half-caf, no foam, non-fat double latte in the country with the amount of energy wasted by non-AMD powered servers.
If you are like me, electricity flows and kilowatt hours are relatively abstract concepts. However, a rough estimate of the amount of fancy coffees produced in a year in the United States is something I can quantify and wrap my head around. And it seems like a lot of energy to waste…
For the past few years, AMD chips have been efficient compared to Intel's mainstream offerings (Athlon 64/Opterons vs. Prescott Pentium IV/Xeons), producing less energy and residual heat while in operation. Things are starting to change now that Intel has released its new generation of CPUs based on the Conroe/Woodcrest architecture (Core 2 Duo), but it is probably because AMD forced Intel to fight back; it was losing some market share, especially in the server world, because its chips were running too hot. To keep the Internet and other networks we use daily up and running, server farms need to be kept cool. Many datacenters spend as much on electricity as on computer hardware. Using servers with the coolest possible chips help keep air-conditioning use and electric bills for data centers in check, and saves energy (and thus emit less CO2). Win-win.
Why waste when you can save? If nothing else, remember this pearl of wisdom from AMD's marketing team: should you find yourself faced with an opportunity to both save money and the planet don't let it pass you by.