[RC5] power consumption

Joseph Kaye jkaye at isd.net
Tue Jul 3 13:03:34 EDT 2012

On 7/2/2012 4:37 PM, Relkin, Paul wrote:
> A 2012 Radeon HD 7970 GPU uses 215 additional watts when crunching 
> RC5-72. Completing the rest of RC5-72 using only Radeon HD 7970s would 
> consume 77 million kilowatt hours of electricity. If participants pay 
> 10 cents per kilowatt hour, they would be donating $7.7 million of 
> electricity. This would emit about 100 million pounds of carbon 
> dioxide, as much as 5 million gallons of gas. Currently, most 
> distributed.net clients are running on hardware that is less efficient 
> than that.
> Until 2009, RC5-72 ran entirely on CPUs rather than GPUs. In the first 
> 6 years of RC5-72 (2002 to 2008), distributed.net caused thousands of 
> CPUs to run at maximum power. The progress made by these CPUs is 
> barely significant. The total keyspace completed before 2009 could now 
> be processed in the same amount of time by only 38 Radeon HD 7970 
> GPUs, saving a lot of electricity.
> I have participated in distributed.net since 2006 but I don't think it 
> is ethical to continue crunching without evaluating the environmental 
> impact. Processing speed and energy efficiency are improving 
> exponentially. If distributed.net was paused for a few years, the cost 
> to participants and the environment could be cut exponentially.
> It's exciting that it is becoming increasingly feasible to crack 
> RC5-72. But for now, I'm not sure that cracking the secret message a 
> few years sooner is worth the environmental and economic consequences 
> of crunching on the less efficient hardware available today.
> Paul Relkin
> _______________________________________________
> rc5 mailing list
> rc5 at lists.distributed.net
> http://lists.distributed.net/mailman/listinfo/rc5
Heh - this almost reads like a ploy to help someone move up in the stats 
by removing some competition! :D

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