The latest Mac Mini is a slick little device. What really makes it stand apart – in the world of PCs, where it’s a very competent entrant – is the shocking power efficiency of the device.
Viewing a static web page, one reviewer found the device used a miniscule 6W of power.
The PC that I’m typing this entry on – a very typical example of ordinary PCs – is wasting some 40W of power in power supply inefficiency alone at idle. Yet the Mac Mini is managing to provide a good computing experience with 1/6th that, under a load using 1/6th the power a typical PC consumes under a load.
The Mac Mini isn’t the first to move us in the right environmental direction, after years of escalating power demands (just look at the power consumption of current generation consoles to see how gluttonous devices have become. Watching a movie on an Xbox 360 could literally cost you $0.20 in electricity alone, not to mention the environmental impact).
The more powerful my smartphones have become, for instance, the more often my PCs are frozen in S3 Sleep. The effect is amplified as people move to very low power devices like the iPad, doing many of the tasks that they would have powered up the home PC for (or worse, kept it running around the clock to have it available) instead on that ultra-low power device.
The impact is measurable. The financial impact is significant (leaving a PC on around the clock costs some $20 a month). The environmental impact – or reduced impact – is invaluable.