The Rumor Mill

California Goes Mac

- 2001.02.06

Remember the snail ad Apple ran to promote the efficiency of the G3 processor against Intel's Pentium? Several people commented that it's a good thing the Pentium on the snail's shell wasn't running - it would have toasted the poor creature.

Intel continues to build CPUs with higher MHz ratings and higher power consumption, something the State of California no longer looks upon with kindness. In an executive order issued this morning, the state will no longer authorize the purchase of any computer with a CPU drawing more than 20 watts of power.

That will be a real boon to Apple, since the 733 MHz G4 in their fastest computer typically draws just 14 watts and peaks at 17 watts. By comparison, the Pentium 4 at 1.5 GHz draws 55 watts - four times as much power as the fastest G4.

Not only does this throw the Pentium III and Pentium 4 out of the picture, but the state will be auditing all personal computers it owns for power consumption. As long as the California energy crisis continues, the state will replace the most power hungry 1% of its PCs with Macs each an every week.

With an estimated 3 million state owned computers, this will add significantly to Apple's bottom line in the coming year. Thirty-thousand computers a week for who knows how long will reduce power consumption by almost 1 megawatt (30,000 x 30-35 watts saved per computer) after the first week, and increase the reduction by approximately 1 MW per week until the crisis passes.

The state will also be offering tax incentives to businesses that replace Pentium III and Pentium 4 systems with G3 and G4 Macs by eliminating sales tax on Apple computers for the duration of the crisis. Home users may also benefit from this.

With an estimated 20 million desktop computers in the state, the goal is to see at least 10% replaced within the next two to three months, reducing the state's power need by at least 50 MW before the summer cooling season begins.

Nobody anywhere in or near California was available to comment on this rumor.

- Anne Onymus

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