Government imposed limits on rendering power have now become reality for some

Power regulations cut off select Dell PCs from certain U.S. states | Windows Central

The reason these states are no longer allowing you to purchase some high-end PC models (for turbocharged rendering and creativity), is because the boxes have now been deemed to use too much power. While the article covers Dell mainly, this could place a hard limit on things like CPU cores and RTX/Shader/Compute cores unless the power/performance ratio can be lowered.

Some time back, I figured that hard limits on things like computing power would come amid the push to replace high-energy coal and nuclear plants with low-energy windmills and solar panels. That threadripper workstation you are dreaming of, the time to just forget about it could soon come to a nation near you as energy rationing becomes commonplace.

Come to think of it, it could be a big moneymaker for renderfarms, as it might end up slamming the brakes on the advance of home hardware (that is until MCM designs become more advanced, everything moves to highly optimized SOC designs, or we finally move beyond Silicon).

Prohibition never works.
Especially not when you can just drive to another state and buy your computer there and then “smuggle” it back.
That’s what I would do. Fuck those stupid laws that apply to the common man but not for big companies.
Also its quite ironic that this law arrives the same moment China builds its first “clean” nuclear reactor.


In return, those states will lose future tax money that might come from rendering jobs or related high-tech CGI stuff.

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Prohibition works quite often. It just doesn`t work sometimes.

Yes, but it depends on the amount of energy the state is willing to put in to enforce it and the amount of guilt people feel braking the law.
The alcohol prohibition and the war on drugs comes to mind. Both failed spectacularly despite the huge effort of the government.
I doubt they will search homes and cars for computer parts like they did/do with these. Smuggling/manufacturing drugs needs a lot of criminal energy and the consequences are high including organized crime syndicates/gangs and lots of violence.
Buying computer parts is miles away from that - people will have no hesitation to do it and no feeling of guilt, especially since this law is so unfair and arbitrary.

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Sadly you cannot grow CPUs/GPUs in a greenhouse nor you can produce them by fermenting sugar/fruit inside barrels in your basement. It’s pretty much impossible to produce that sort of hardware with your domestic or hobbistic tools: if the factory receive a ban then that’s it.

The factories received a ban for shipement, not for production. Imagine you could buy all kinds of drugs legally in 45 states, while they are banned in 5…
What would happen? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

And convenience. If such a law can make it inconvenient enough to buy such computer parts then it will keep a lot of people from buying them.

Anyway, the articles source which is an article by “the register” seems to say that this is about energy consumption during “non active modes” such as sleep mode and stuff like that. Perhaps it is a language barrier thing and i am misunderstanding but if this is the case i would be in favor of such laws.

OK, I have heard about this from another source, one that was even more imprecise - seems like this applies only to certain types and not to all PC’s. If that’s the case then, yeah I can see it from their perspective - its not a ban on all powerful PC’s but rather those that literally waste energy.
There are similar laws in the EU, a good product should not waste energy when being not active - none at all actually.

Shouldn’t this basically be covered by energy efficiency classes?

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t these there to classify the energy consumption when working?
Washing machines and dishwashers usually don’t need energy if they do nothing. Most machines don’t.
TVs, Monitors and Laptops are the usual suspects when it comes to wasting energy in standby-mode.

Hmm, usually yes, but then you have fridges that work 24/7. Well the heat exchanger kicks in when the temp rises, but anyway.

About Dell’s Ayyylienware and power:

The math on those system calculations does seem pretty intense. I could certainly see it being a hardship for smaller system builders to comply with.

That being said, efficiency is beneficial. The CAFE standards for US Fuel economy have pushed average mpg for passenger cars from 25 mpg to 40 mpg over the past 30 years. which translates to over $450 of savings per person per year.

Efficiency isn’t free and manufacturers are much more interested in shipping high performance products over highly efficient ones. Sometimes an external push from the governments forces the manufacturers to shift their priorities, and I think efficiency is a good priority.

There’s nothing to stop anyone from just, y’know, buying all the components separately and assembling the machine themselves (other than the availability of said components).

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Is this a joke?

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Perhaps a chance for Apple to but unfortunately the software is not ready nor are the new machines not out.

Any way strange law.
So they will forbid you to drive a V8 next as it generates too much CO2?

While I would love to see the higher-end chips get back where they can cooled by air (because many builders don’t even give you that option anymore), it is not the governments job to use its power of taxation and regulation to, in effect, take control of product development and dictate the direction of innovation.

Customers are not stupid, the newfound popularity of the Mac M1 for instance shows AMD, Intel, and Nvidia there is plenty of interest for hardware that is somewhat lower powered, but runs cooler, uses less power, and is more stable in long term use. We don’t need the government to hold our hand and tell us what “we really want” (ie. the claim they know more about your interests and personality than you do). It is also not the fault of the companies that power has to be rationed because the state deems the only acceptable power generation being wind and solar (not only due to that but also to make the headroom needed for the millions of electric cars when gasoline is banned).

Besides that, I know AMD is bringing out standalone 8 core APU’s soon, that will be another decent option for those who need the cores, but don’t want the crazy power consumption and heat generation.

Demand side economics breaks down when the barriers to entry are billions of dollars. Consumers can only use their purchasing power on products that are for sale.

I agree that regulations can be heavy-handed, but I don’t believe that consumer demand is strong enough to shift corporate production most of the time.

I haven’t looked into this law, but I’m certain it applies to pre-built OEM systems of the kind that government institutions and your average offices buy.

Nothing new about it, every 10 years or so governments in both US and EU try and do some token thing towards making OEM systems ‘be more green’. It’s why system bioses have settings for ‘Energy Saving Modes’ that conveniently default to off…

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There was another article that did in fact mention that PC’s you build by yourself are not impacted.

For now.

Before dismissing that as fearmongering, let me tell you that thousands of years of world history proves that once the state gets its nose into something, it will naturally want to take more and more control until it is stopped by the people.

The government is beginning to get its nose into the design and the construction of your next Blender box…