- Will running the World Community Grid Software
cost me more in electricity?
- What about connection costs?
- How does my use of the World Community Grid
software affect the energy usage of my computer?
- What energy benefits are realized by performing
these computations on World Community Grid?
- How can I help reduce the energy usage associated
with my computer?
Will running the World
Community Grid Software cost me more in electricity?
The amount of electric energy consumed
by your computer is in many ways related to how much processing
that it is doing at any given time. If it is sitting completely
idle, then it uses very little power, while opening several
programs causes it to use more power. Since the software uses the
spare resources on your computer, then it will cause the computer
to use slightly more in electricity and therefore you may see a
slight increase in your electricity costs. Exactly how much this
increase will impact you depends on conditions where you live. In
most places, the impact will be the equivalent of an additional
low watt light bulb. If these costs are a concern, you can limit
the operational time for the software through its device
preferences, which are located in your member profile.
What about connection
The software operates as any other
Internet application, and requests an Internet connection from
your computer. If using a properly configured dial-up connection,
Windows will automatically dial your Internet Service Provider
(ISP). When this is completed, the software will then attempt to
contact our servers through the Internet. Therefore, the only
costs associated with the connection depend on your service with
your ISP. Uploads and downloads do not typically require lengthy
connections, however busy periods or maintenance outages may
impact your connection.
If connection times are a concern then you can manage the software
by setting Windows to "never dial a connection" unless
manually initiated, and/or set the software to only attempt an
Internet connection during certain times of the day through the
"device profile" in your Member Profile's Device
How does my use of the
World Community Grid software affect the energy usage of my
The use of the grid networking software
does not have a meaningful effect on the energy usage of a
workstation. While idling, most computers draw 60 to 90% of their
power. Furthermore, most computers take at least 30 minutes to go
into sleep or hibernate mode if the settings are enabled.
During a typical workday, a machine will seldom move into sleep or
hibernate mode and it will not be in the chosen mode for long.
Most people utilize screen savers, which are continually drawing
power to refresh the graphics. Given these conditions, World
Community Grid software is utilizing very little, if any,
additional energy over and above what the idled computer would be
If you turn off or hibernate your computer when you are not in
your office or at the end of the workday, the grid software will
not be running, and therefore not consuming any extra energy.
Finally, these computations would be performed on a computer
somewhere. As such, most of the energy required to perform the
computations would be expended whether on a dedicated server or
supercomputer or on World Community Grid.
What energy benefits
are realized by performing these computations on World Community
By utilizing idle capacity on existing
workstations, you arguably avoid the energy associated with
manufacturing the servers which would be deployed to perform the
computations. This realizes energy and resource savings for the
materials and processes required to manufacture the computer and
By utilizing the power of World Community Grid, simulations can be
run which mitigate the need to use materials, equipment, and
living systems to perform research activities. While laboratory
research will still be required to derive environmental or health
benefits in the society at large, the research activities can be
more finely focused, minimizing the laboratory research required
and thus the materials and energy required to do the work.
The net societal benefit of the use of World Community Grid far
outweighs the minimal additional energy which may be drawn from
the idle workstations. The power of the grid enables researchers
to complete computations in weeks instead of years and bring new,
exciting innovations and solutions to health and environmental
issues which affect our communities, our global neighbors and the
How can I help reduce
the energy usage associated with my computer?
Turn off or hibernate your workstation
when you know you will be away from your office for an hour or
more. Current workstations power up in 10 to 15 seconds, making
any inconvenience minimal.
Activate your power settings on the computer so that it goes into
hibernate if the computer is not active for 30 to 45 minutes.
Make sure you turn off your workstation and other peripherals such
as printers at the end of the workday or when you go on vacation.