As part of new energy efficiency requirements, some states in the US will be banning gaming computers. Making an online order for a gaming PC from California and five other states is impossible. Here are all the details.
You know I always thought that the death of gaming will be a little more epic. Instead, it's just regulation laws. At the time of writing, Dell isn't completing orders for gaming computers to California and five more states due to power consumption regulations.
Gaming PCs Banned in Some US States
A new gaming Alienware PC from Dell might be out of your reach if you live in one of the following states:
You can check for yourself by simply visiting the official page for the Aurora R12. If you scroll a bit down, you'll notice the fine print on some of the options:
This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled.
My first thought about all of this was graphics cards. That's not the case, as it seems that the total power consumption of the PC is what counts. For example, the two PCs on the left have the same GPU, but differ when it comes to storage. In general, SSDs waste less power than hard drives and that might be the reason the left computer isn't on the shit list. I might be entirely wrong, though.
What Caused the Gaming PC Ban?
As we've mentioned, it's all about energy regulations. It all started back in 2016 when California became the first state to approve energy standards for PCs.
Desktops, which use about four times as much power as a typical laptop or notebook computer, must reduce power draw by roughly half by July 1, 2021.
It's all about to get worse later this year, when the regulations will expand to "computers with high-speed networking capability, multi-screen notebooks, notebooks with cyclical behavior, and monitors with high refresh rates".
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In a statement to The Register, Dell revealed that it's all a result of the new standard which was implemented at the start of this month on July 1:
Yes, this was driven by the California Energy Commission (CEC) Tier 2 implementation that defined a mandatory energy efficiency standard for PCs – including desktops, AIOs and mobile gaming systems. This was put into effect on July 1, 2021. Select configurations of the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 were the only impacted systems across Dell and Alienware.
We'll probably see more and more manufacturers of prebuilt systems apply the same rules for orders to the states in question.
It's already hard enough to find a new GPU in the current market and now this. The total power draw of the GTX 1650 configuration is less than 200W – even my fridge consumes more than that.