Low-Power Desktops

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Inside of a low-power desktop


This toolkit considers low-power desktop computers to be those models with low-power CPUs and average power consumption between 20 W and 40 W, excluding the monitor. All-in-one desktops, in which the motherboard and an LCD monitor are integrated into a single casing, provide additional energy benefits because the LCD monitor uses the same power supply as the computer and therefore consumes less energy.

Low-power desktops often include custom-built and off-the-shelf models based on the Mini-ITX or VIA EPIA series mainboards. Because the availability of low-power desktop models and the manufacturers who produce them change with market conditions, one way to identify low-power desktop options is to search the web sites of low-power chip manufacturers such as Transmeta Corporation, VIA Technologies, and Intel for links to desktop systems based on their low-power products, such as those listed in the table below.

Examples of Low-Power Desktop Computers

Model Characteristics
Power Consumption (W)
Model Name
Speed (MHz)
Active Mode
Sleep Mode
Wincomm WPC-650
VIA Ezra
33-36 (average) [1]
NEC PowerMate eco
Transmeta Crusoe
31 (including monitor)[2]

[1] Tested at Winrock International, June 2003.
[2] Source: Manufacturer specifications and U.S. Energy Star product data for the NEC PowerMate Eco personal computer. This model includes a built-in 15" LCD monitor whose power consumption is included in the figures listed above. In August 2003, NEC discontinued new shipments of the 900 MHz model in regional markets.

Selected Web-based Resources