What happens when an impossibly bright light enters an impossibly dark place? We are about to find out when the EPA releases version 4 of their EnergyStar standard in a few short months. It's the first time the standard has been updated in 15 years; needless to add, virtually every device out there currently meets the antiquated standard. Strange cough, strange cough.
The new standard should up the bar. For example, an 80 percent efficiency rating for PC power supplies is required, effectively killing off items such as this 2000 watt monster. It will also address standby power, which is currently set at a whopping 30 watts for PCs. Servers will be included in the specs, using a fairly complicated measurement protocol that attempts to address real-world performance. This will come in handy, as it is predicted that half of the data centers in the world will run out of power by 2008. And with legislators in the US and EU chomping at the bit to regulate these data centers, EnergyStar might be just in time. To save the (computing) world, that is.