Upgrading to Windows 7 can save lots of watts.

With any new OS, there are both advantages and disadvantages to upgrading. For many computer buffs, an OS upgrade at home is often a no-brainer; for large organizations, that simple OS upgrade becomes a huge project that can span years and cost massive amounts of money. Testing cycles, increased IT workload, and the purchasing of new (compatible) software, and hardware all weigh in heavily during the decision-making process.

A recent study by Mindteck (reported by Ars Technica), titled “Enabling Green Computing in the Enterprise”, showed that a Windows 7 rollout can save a company massive amounts of money due to its superior power management. The study showed that on a Pentium 4 computer, with an "out-of-box” configuration, Windows 7 can be up to 25% more efficient than Windows XP. Further, the study showed that even after all drivers have been updated, Windows 7 still trumped XP by an average of around 10% on a Pentium 4 machine.

System usage in watts, lower is better.

System usage in Watts (W), lower is better. Data source: Mindteck.

As depicted on the above chart, more modern configurations displayed smaller, but still notable differences with an average power saving of around 3% (with optimized drivers). Regardless of how big the savings are for an organization, they’re still savings and as anyone that works in a large organization can testify – every cent counts.

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