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New EC regulations could kill off high-end graphics boards

New EC regulations could kill off high-end graphics boards

Future graphics boards will be limited in their performance, if new rules from the European Commission come into force.

New regulations for the European Union, designed to enforce efficiency standards on electronic goods, could limit the performance of next-generation graphics cards according to details released on Friday.

An analysis of the European Commission's Eco-Design Requirements Lot 3 document, which deals with personal computers and their monitors, by NordicHardware has pointed to a worrying possibility: in the name of efficiency, cards sold in Europe will be limited in memory bandwidth compared to their international versions.

Responding to a tip from an unnamed 'high-level employee' at graphics chip maker AMD, NordicHardware analysed the 325-page document and found a section which splits graphics cards into seven efficiency specifications rated from G1 to G7 - roughly analogous to the letter-based energy efficiency rating system for white goods. Under the terms of the Eco-Design Requirements, products must adhere to minimum efficiency standards in order to be sold in the EU. Those products that don't meet these standards can be removed from sale.

Under the EC's rating system, each level is allowed to draw more power than the level below: G1, which aims at 16-bit memory bus devices, is the most stringent standard, while the top G7 rating applies to devices with 192-bit or higher memory buses. In other words: the vast majority of discrete graphics cards will fall into the G7 rating.

According to NordicHardware, the EC's Eco-Design guidelines will make it near-impossible to release a graphics card with more than 320GB/s of available memory bandwidth - equivalent, according to the site's calculations, to a 384-bit memory bus with memory running at 6,667MHz effective or a 512-bit bus with memory running at 5,0001MHz effective.

Those figures might seem out of reach, but next-generation cards from Nvidia and AMD are expected to reach around those levels - the reason for AMD's leaking of the information to the site. It's even claimed that the rules are strict enough to make Cape Verde and Tahiti - Radeon HD 7700 and Radeon HD 7900 devices - disallowed from sales in the EU when the rules come into force.

For companies who compete on high-power - in both meanings of 'power' - graphics products, it's terrible news: it means that the days of dual-GPU boards with ridiculous power draws may be numbered. Even high-end single-GPU models may be affected, and the restrictions don't take into account computing performance - just nebulous 'efficiency' as rated by an estimation algorithm.

The guidelines are expected to come into force towards the end of 2013 or early 2014, after which companies will have the choice of making cut-down versions of its high-end cards for the European market or to simply stop developing inefficient high-performance boards altogether.

75 Comments

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DBA 15th October 2012, 11:08 Quote
In other news: Every household is now restricted to only owning one (1) television with a maximum size of 22" due to energy efficiency. Furthermore a new legislation is made restricting the size of refrigerators only being allowed a maximum size of 50 x 50 x 80 cm, again also due to energy efficiency.

Or have I got it wrong?
r3loaded 15th October 2012, 11:09 Quote
So efficiency is calculated purely by looking at memory bandwidth? Who the hell came up with this crap?

Also, the graphics card market is largely self-regulating in terms of efficiency - the market demands power-efficient cards since power-hungry cards don't sell as well and get panned (see GTX 400 series). Why regulation in this area is required is beyond me.
Sylvester20007 15th October 2012, 11:15 Quote
Ouch. While this comes as bad news, every gray cloud has a silver lining.
Think about it, right now we are willing to accept large ammounts of heat and noise from fans in the name of those extra few FPS. This could push companies like AMD and NVIDIA to rebuild the GPU from the ground up in the name of getting the FPS without the high power draw, heat and noise.

Humans are good at just throwing more power at a problem, Slow FPS = Result, more Ghz's, More RAM, redesign heat sink and then feed with More WATTS. This could see more FPS with less heat and noise, AMD and NVIDIA have more than enough money to invest in some new R&D and the end result will be a better product for us.

I think its about time they took the money we give them when we buy there products and use more of it for R&D and less to pay some boad of directors a stupily high anual bonus.

I welcome this move, if it doesnt work out so well then we can ask a friend to buy one in the US and send it over....
Jaybles 15th October 2012, 11:16 Quote
5,0001MHz o.O

It looks like cards will end up being imported.

If this was worldwide I think it would be a good thing because it would force companies to put a lot of research into making cards more power efficient. (Not saying they don't already or that its even possible) As it is the EU will just get gimped cards.
Sylvester20007 15th October 2012, 11:18 Quote
After all, most GPU's are at some level the same as there brother that came before it, what we need is some new DNA in the mix, not some inbread redneck of a GPU.... lol
fix-the-spade 15th October 2012, 11:34 Quote
Irrelevant, this will be another one of those EU directives that precisely no one follows, or everyone circumvents by means of some numeric jiggery pokery.

Why are we part of the EU again?
damien c 15th October 2012, 11:34 Quote
WOW just WOW!!!

We will just have to find a way of getting things from the states without paying so much in Import Tax etc.

Think I might have to buy a couple of graphics cards next year and run SLI so I am somewhat safe for a few years.
Brooxy 15th October 2012, 11:35 Quote
A glimpse to the news, just before these rules come into force (if all these restrictions appear)...


Royal Mail, UPS, DHL and other courier companies are struggling with demand, after a knee jerk reaction to an EU ban on high performance PC. It is estimated that some deliveries will take months to catch up, as a 4000% increase in the sales of graphics cards and other PC components has been reported.

People have taken to rioting on the streets to protest this new legislation and crime has increased due to thieves specifically targeting high end graphics components, as supply begins to outweigh demand."

Shares in the Dixons Group have increased, due to stores such as PC world still having a supply of high performance graphics cards. DSG have already increased their already high component costs by 1000%, to maximise profit in this time. Our analysts believe DSG still have this stock, because most enthusiasts would rather shop online due to lesser costs and superior customer service.

In other news, console users have named this day 'Victory Day' as they now believe that they can have an edge over PC gamers - something that has previously eluded them due to the fixed hardware within a console.

EA have said they will no longer release Battlefield 6 in Europe due to these issues - the chairman of EA said provided this comment in an exclusive interview with us:

"Now that the citizens of the EU have computers with the graphical capabilities of a toaster, we will no longer be shipping Battlefield 6 to Europe. The engine that powers the game cannot be supported by the restricted cards. In short, what's the point? To give EU citizens something to do, we will be rereleasing Battlefield 3, along with another 20 expansion packs"

The story continues
Picarro 15th October 2012, 11:54 Quote
Eh. Just sell the cards "locked down" and release and "unlock tool" which will unlock the full performance of the cards. Just remember to make it clear that using the "unlock tool" is a violation of EU Code 11282908490 to 128390829038.
ShinyAli 15th October 2012, 12:12 Quote
Pointless, if it happens at all it will be circumnavigated (think chipping consoles) and of course the companies that sell overclocked graphic cards will cash in, illegal or not I'm sure they will find a way around it

They should be focusing on what is still the weakest link in the energy efficiency chain, we are still burning coal and oil to generate power :?
GuilleAcoustic 15th October 2012, 12:15 Quote
I'm 5000% for efficient hardware, and it is my first criteria when I have to buy something. But this is a silly law.

They should focus on house insulation, solar panel, stores / offices that don't swithc their light off outside of opening hours, etc.
Snips 15th October 2012, 12:25 Quote
I don't quite understand how a component of a product made up of many components can be outlawed. A twin turbo charger on an efficient engine isn't a very efficient component but that turbo charger wouldn't be outlawed, the vehicle as a whole is assessed. I know they are two completely different things but the principle is similar.
monkiboi 15th October 2012, 12:31 Quote
Buy this paper clip for £350 and we'll also throw in the GTA2343 MEGAWATT SEXY BEAST graphics card - ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!!!!!!
MrJay 15th October 2012, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooxy
A glimpse to the news, just before these rules come into force (if all these restrictions appear)...


Royal Mail, UPS, DHL and other courier companies are struggling with demand, after a knee jerk reaction to an EU ban on high performance PC. It is estimated that some deliveries will take months to catch up, as a 4000% increase in the sales of graphics cards and other PC components has been reported.

People have taken to rioting on the streets to protest this new legislation and crime has increased due to thieves specifically targeting high end graphics components, as supply begins to outweigh demand."

Shares in the Dixons Group have increased, due to stores such as PC world still having a supply of high performance graphics cards. DSG have already increased their already high component costs by 1000%, to maximise profit in this time. Our analysts believe DSG still have this stock, because most enthusiasts would rather shop online due to lesser costs and superior customer service.

In other news, console users have named this day 'Victory Day' as they now believe that they can have an edge over PC gamers - something that has previously eluded them due to the fixed hardware within a console.

EA have said they will no longer release Battlefield 6 in Europe due to these issues - the chairman of EA said provided this comment in an exclusive interview with us:

"Now that the citizens of the EU have computers with the graphical capabilities of a toaster, we will no longer be shipping Battlefield 6 to Europe. The engine that powers the game cannot be supported by the restricted cards. In short, what's the point? To give EU citizens something to do, we will be rereleasing Battlefield 3, along with another 20 expansion packs"

The story continues

+ Rep. My sides hurt!
.//TuNdRa 15th October 2012, 12:48 Quote
That's such a completely arbitrary restriction, what next? Nothing computer related is allowed to be sold that has the colour red anywhere on it, because it might inspire people to try and force it to perform faster?

I would hope that someone actually stops to think about this. If not; US imports are going to get a hell of a lot more common, which will probably lead to further EU legislation to try and prevent "inefficient" graphics cards being pulled in. The only way I see this working is if they release dramatically under-clocked cards, then just provide a warranty that allows for it to be clocked up to the normal limit, or we're only going to get middle to low-end GPUs from now on.
blacko 15th October 2012, 12:56 Quote
you could just buy 2 lower spec cards and SLI /XFire them.
Guinevere 15th October 2012, 13:01 Quote
Sorry guys but it would seem you've taken NH at face value and not performed your own research. Okay you've taken their "EU cripples future graphics cards" headline and rolled your own with a "Could" in there, but the links being thrown around are way out of date and the most up the date information on this isn't being reported.

This I learned in 2 minuted of "This surely can't be right?" research.

The only document that NH is able to reference is a report that states a PC as "3 GHz processor (or
correspondingly), built-in graphics card, 512 MB RAM and 80 GB HDD" This report was written in 2007, for a directive from 2005. And I understand that directive was abandoned.

The correct documentation includes sentences such as (When referring to a review of the guidelines that will be understaken)

"The review should in particular assess, in the light of new technologies entering the market, the possibility of improving the energy consumption targets and reducing or eliminating the energy allowances in particular for graphics processing units (GPUs)."

So in one two minute bit of research we've gone from the EU completely killing the market for high end graphics cards to the discussion that the rules may be removed from GPUs at some point.

Seems to me that NH has done a bit of sensationalist scaremongering.

It's probably good that these regulations get publicised while they are still being worked on, but I think we need all the facts before we can start moaning about the EU.
Deders 15th October 2012, 13:01 Quote
Could we petition them with actual facts about power draw? How power consumption has improved over the years, and how Electricity actually works?

Even with 10 speakers and a sub blasting music, and my PC running Prime64 and Furmark, my whole room doesn't draw more than 2.5A from the wall.
theshadow2001 15th October 2012, 13:17 Quote
With the current trend towards tablet computing and the fact that high end graphics cards is such a niche area, along with more ubiquitous low hanging fruit in consumer electronics such as massive tvs. I'm putting this into the same bin as the mythical straight bananas law until I see more evidence of this coming into action.
Blackshark 15th October 2012, 13:22 Quote
Well done Guinevere - seems NH has been taken over by the Mirror, Sun and Daily Mail combined!
.//TuNdRa 15th October 2012, 13:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
you could just buy 2 lower spec cards and SLI /XFire them.

Bad idea. I did that, and I suffer massive amounts of micro stutter, it just does not work as well as a single high-end card, good if you can get it for cheap, but awful if you're paying full price and using cheaper cards.
bowman 15th October 2012, 13:40 Quote
So we're going to be *smuggling graphics cards*.

Wow. This enviro-fascist bullshit is really getting to the levels of implausible stupidity.
Griffter 15th October 2012, 13:51 Quote
sounds like germany is heading this.. i've lived there for about 2.something years, not bad of a place and all rumors are true about it as well. but making u do it "their, EU" way sounds familiar... the perfect efficient household to go with the perfect family car, the volkswagen... mmmm i think i know where this is going.
mi1ez 15th October 2012, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
Eh. Just sell the cards "locked down" and release and "unlock tool" which will unlock the full performance of the cards. Just remember to make it clear that using the "unlock tool" is a violation of EU Code 11282908490 to 128390829038.

Exactly what I was going to suggest! Unlock tool/BIOS/special drivers (download only)
Spreadie 15th October 2012, 14:09 Quote
I'm not concerned - there will doubtless be ways around it; although they are getting more efficient every year.

If not, AMD will be sh!tting themselves.
suragh 15th October 2012, 14:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooxy
A glimpse to the news, just before these rules come into force (if all these restrictions appear)...


Royal Mail, UPS, DHL and other courier companies are struggling with demand, after a knee jerk reaction to an EU ban on high performance PC. It is estimated that some deliveries will take months to catch up, as a 4000% increase in the sales of graphics cards and other PC components has been reported.

People have taken to rioting on the streets to protest this new legislation and crime has increased due to thieves specifically targeting high end graphics components, as supply begins to outweigh demand."

Shares in the Dixons Group have increased, due to stores such as PC world still having a supply of high performance graphics cards. DSG have already increased their already high component costs by 1000%, to maximise profit in this time. Our analysts believe DSG still have this stock, because most enthusiasts would rather shop online due to lesser costs and superior customer service.

In other news, console users have named this day 'Victory Day' as they now believe that they can have an edge over PC gamers - something that has previously eluded them due to the fixed hardware within a console.

EA have said they will no longer release Battlefield 6 in Europe due to these issues - the chairman of EA said provided this comment in an exclusive interview with us:

"Now that the citizens of the EU have computers with the graphical capabilities of a toaster, we will no longer be shipping Battlefield 6 to Europe. The engine that powers the game cannot be supported by the restricted cards. In short, what's the point? To give EU citizens something to do, we will be rereleasing Battlefield 3, along with another 20 expansion packs"

The story continues

LOL - The Dixon's one is pretty hilarious.
Gareth Halfacree 15th October 2012, 14:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Sorry guys but it would seem you've taken NH at face value and not performed your own research.
Actually, I've got an enquiry in with four European Commission departments right now, and as soon as they've got back to me I'll either be updating the story or - if it turns out that NH is talking out of the proverbial - writing an entirely new one.
theshadow2001 15th October 2012, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Actually, I've got an enquiry in with four European Commission departments right now, and as soon as they've got back to me I'll either be updating the story or - if it turns out that NH is talking out of the proverbial - writing an entirely new one.

I thought the general order was, do research then publish rather than the other way around. I guess you can't beat sensationalism for clicks.
Gareth Halfacree 15th October 2012, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
I thought the general order was, do research then publish rather than the other way around. I guess you can't beat sensationalism for clicks.
That's ridiculously unfair. I checked the PDF of the report, and it appeared to back up NH's claims - although I will readily admit that I didn't read the whole 325 pages, because I simply don't have time and NH claimed to have already done that.

As for not waiting for the EC to respond, I can only guess you've never tried to contact the EC. I'm expecting the response time to be measured in weeks, not days, if previous performance is anything to go by.
rollo 15th October 2012, 15:22 Quote
Would not mind seeing the end of Duel GPU single cards think they are a waste of space to begin with, Not many are likely to ever think of purcashing them.

For reference a current 680 has 192gb of mem bandwidth, 320gb is a good 128 gb away sounds like alot of a gap tbh.

580 has 192gb of mem bandwidth, 480 was 173gb of memory bandwidth. so things have not changed much in recent releases.

AMD have been pushing memory bandwidth heavily in recent years though,
5870 was at 156gb of memory bandwidth
5970 was at 230gb of mem bandwidth
6970 was at 175gb of memory bandwidth
7970 is at 264gb of memory bandwidth

all at stock speeds i dont have the time to include overclocked versions.

There is no 300gb card on the market if the 2 7970s on a single card we may see it hit that and above i guess.

Really though it should be done on total power draw for the card thats how most electronic items are rated for there effienciency from the A to F bands.

At the minute in the graphics market you have Nvidia reducing Temps and Power usage with increased performance and AMD increasing tempts power and performance. A total reverse turn around from the old days where most AMD cards were pretty frugal under load. ( ignoring the 4890 lol )
Deders 15th October 2012, 15:29 Quote
I think there's an extra 0 or 1 in the 5,0001 MHz figure
[-Stash-] 15th October 2012, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by .//TuNdRa
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
you could just buy 2 lower spec cards and SLI /XFire them.
Bad idea. I did that, and I suffer massive amounts of micro stutter, it just does not work as well as a single high-end card, good if you can get it for cheap, but awful if you're paying full price and using cheaper cards.

IIRC there was some testing into microstutter somewhere which basically ended up concluding that SLI doesn't really suffer from it any more and Xfire works itself out with 3 cards.

Not that the AMD solution is really ideal, but it seems this isn't a problem for SLI at least – certainly not in my experience, but then it's not 2 "low end" cards I'm running ;)
[-Stash-] 15th October 2012, 16:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Would not mind seeing the end of Duel GPU single cards

"Duel" single cards ← made me chuckle
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/97/FrzDuellImBoisDeBoulogneDurand1874.jpg/300px-FrzDuellImBoisDeBoulogneDurand1874.jpg
Phil Rhodes 15th October 2012, 16:25 Quote
My only reflection on this, having glanced through the relevant documents, is that the EU seems to have an absolutely inexhaustible number of departments, committees, organisations, bodies, and other dull, grey impedimenta designed solely to tie us all up in endless amounts of red tape.

As if the UK government wasn't capable of doing all that on its own.
Adnoctum 15th October 2012, 17:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
I thought the general order was, do research then publish rather than the other way around. I guess you can't beat sensationalism for clicks.
That's ridiculously unfair. I checked the PDF of the report, and it appeared to back up NH's claims - although I will readily admit that I didn't read the whole 325 pages, because I simply don't have time and NH claimed to have already done that.

As for not waiting for the EC to respond, I can only guess you've never tried to contact the EC. I'm expecting the response time to be measured in weeks, not days, if previous performance is anything to go by.

It's slightly unfair, but not ridiculously so. I think what you should have have done is looked at the NH article and smelt the same rat I did, and I'm not a tech journalist. It just didn't pass the "make sense" test that I like to apply to situations before engaging my Outrage Drive. The EU may be f***ed up, but even they aren't THAT f***ed up. I just hope that you read the NH article before any of the comments appeared because some of the readers do a good job of debunking the "exclusive".
Guinevere 15th October 2012, 17:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Actually, I've got an enquiry in with four European Commission departments right now

Brilliant. It's just insane enough to be actually true!
meandmymouth 15th October 2012, 17:54 Quote
That's it, I'm going to the US.
Yslen 15th October 2012, 18:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Sorry guys but it would seem you've taken NH at face value and not performed your own research. Okay you've taken their "EU cripples future graphics cards" headline and rolled your own with a "Could" in there, but the links being thrown around are way out of date and the most up the date information on this isn't being reported.

This I learned in 2 minuted of "This surely can't be right?" research.

The only document that NH is able to reference is a report that states a PC as "3 GHz processor (or
correspondingly), built-in graphics card, 512 MB RAM and 80 GB HDD" This report was written in 2007, for a directive from 2005. And I understand that directive was abandoned.

The correct documentation includes sentences such as (When referring to a review of the guidelines that will be understaken)

"The review should in particular assess, in the light of new technologies entering the market, the possibility of improving the energy consumption targets and reducing or eliminating the energy allowances in particular for graphics processing units (GPUs)."

So in one two minute bit of research we've gone from the EU completely killing the market for high end graphics cards to the discussion that the rules may be removed from GPUs at some point.

Seems to me that NH has done a bit of sensationalist scaremongering.

It's probably good that these regulations get publicised while they are still being worked on, but I think we need all the facts before we can start moaning about the EU.

+REP
azrael- 15th October 2012, 18:48 Quote
Who cares... In a couple of years all we'll be able to play is the latest version of Angry Birds downloaded fresh from the Microsoft Store.
Bogomip 15th October 2012, 20:45 Quote
I dont know about how the specifications relate to the power consumption but tbh its not a bad idea. Energy usage does need to be curbed and the best way to do this is make things better at running. Sure there are other, better ways of saving energy but why the hell not try this approach?
Benneb- 15th October 2012, 20:53 Quote
I can see the Daily Mail headlines already...
512-bit bus running at 5,0002MHz linked to rise in cancer!

What nonesense.

Just a thought; Is there anything about high performance servers/clusters? Surely they would fall afoul of some EU efficiency limit thing? (Provided they don't ONLY measure by bus width and speed?)

Not that I am for any of this (I have not read enough about any of it) but wouldn't power at the plug be a better measurement?
LordPyrinc 15th October 2012, 21:21 Quote
I'm all for energy efficiency, provided that it doesn't prohibit the sale of cutting edge graphics cards that may not yet meet the standards. If they do meet the efficiency standards, then slap a smiley face EU sticker on them. Make it like the EnergyStar sticker that they put on monitors, tvs, and other appliances over here. If your ECO concious, look for the smiley face... if you want gaming performance, buy whatever you like.
[PUNK] crompers 15th October 2012, 22:31 Quote
man, theres a helluvalotta things to worry about before graphics cards! what a ludicrous idea this is, thank god its still just an idea.
Anfield 15th October 2012, 23:06 Quote
Efficiency of a gpu = performance you get per watt consumed.

Techpowerup has been making charts for that for a while, example:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_7970_Toxic_6_GB/29.html

The 7970 for example is actually more efficient than the 7750, so based on common sense the 7970 would get the better energy efficiency rating than the 7750, yet the EU wants to take memory bandwidth as an indication of efficiency and slap the 7970 with the worse rating than the 7750 due to the higher memory bandwidth?
Zener Diode 15th October 2012, 23:54 Quote
In any case, why not just limit the amount of power each person can use per day or week etc. I mean, if you want one big power hungry PC but you choose not to use heating, lighting, washing machine etc. that's your business. Also, a person can buy a medium power card and use it 24/7, but you can't get a slightly more powerful card even if you use it once a week?

Power consumption would become another selling point, because lower power consumption would use less of your quota, so you can have more things. Anyways, as Guinevere pointed out, it's probably not happening.
SirFur 16th October 2012, 02:51 Quote
Ridiculous.....just plain bare-brained bollocks.....is there no way we can challenge this regulation? I mean surely this regulation is still in the 'planning' phase and still open to discussion...??
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anfield
Efficiency of a gpu = performance you get per watt consumed.

Techpowerup has been making charts for that for a while, example:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_7970_Toxic_6_GB/29.html

The 7970 for example is actually more efficient than the 7750, so based on common sense the 7970 would get the better energy efficiency rating than the 7750, yet the EU wants to take memory bandwidth as an indication of efficiency and slap the 7970 with the worse rating than the 7750 due to the higher memory bandwidth?

If they had a clue what the hell they were talking about then they may have implemented this method...which is far more understandable, and I'd be reasonably happy with that! Or even if they imposed an extra 'tax' like they do with CO2 efficiency ratings for car tax.....but this 'memory bandwidth' idea is like saying cars with more seats or a larger boot are less efficient.....I mean come on!!!!!
dolphie 16th October 2012, 03:04 Quote
I can just see it now, walking down the road and some shady hooded guy steps out of an alley, "Yo wanna get high bro?" Sorry I don't do drugs. "Nah man, I mean like, high framerates."
unrealone1 16th October 2012, 10:17 Quote
Did u know that the cole power stations are 80% loss when the power finally reaches your house!!
Yes only 20% of the power reaches your house the rest is lost in waste!!
Did u know that 15 of the biggest shipping cargo ships produce the same polution as all the cars in the world put together for 1 year.
1 millin tons of sulfer goes up every year because of these ships!!
faxiij 16th October 2012, 11:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
My only reflection on this, having glanced through the relevant documents, is that the EU seems to have an absolutely inexhaustible number of departments, committees, organisations, bodies, and other dull, grey impedimenta designed solely to tie us all up in endless amounts of red tape.

As if the UK government wasn't capable of doing all that on its own.

This. Except this does not only apply to the UK Government as well, but also my own (German Government) and quite likely many others too.
Deders 16th October 2012, 11:45 Quote
Here's the relevant documentation, not had a chance to study it but it seems that higher banded graphics cards may be exempt.
uz1_l0v3r 16th October 2012, 13:54 Quote
Good. This will encourage manufacturers to produce more energy efficient cards.
ssj12 16th October 2012, 21:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Sorry guys but it would seem you've taken NH at face value and not performed your own research. Okay you've taken their "EU cripples future graphics cards" headline and rolled your own with a "Could" in there, but the links being thrown around are way out of date and the most up the date information on this isn't being reported.

This I learned in 2 minuted of "This surely can't be right?" research.

The only document that NH is able to reference is a report that states a PC as "3 GHz processor (or
correspondingly), built-in graphics card, 512 MB RAM and 80 GB HDD" This report was written in 2007, for a directive from 2005. And I understand that directive was abandoned.

The correct documentation includes sentences such as (When referring to a review of the guidelines that will be understaken)

"The review should in particular assess, in the light of new technologies entering the market, the possibility of improving the energy consumption targets and reducing or eliminating the energy allowances in particular for graphics processing units (GPUs)."

So in one two minute bit of research we've gone from the EU completely killing the market for high end graphics cards to the discussion that the rules may be removed from GPUs at some point.

Seems to me that NH has done a bit of sensationalist scaremongering.

It's probably good that these regulations get publicised while they are still being worked on, but I think we need all the facts before we can start moaning about the EU.

Sorry, you are wrong. They made reference to the report. NordicHardware got a recent tip from an AMD exec that states they are worried. They state in their article that they are using those documents as an example on the regulations the person who leaked the info was worried about.
dolphie 16th October 2012, 23:12 Quote
Is the power drawn from graphics cards really a big and common problem? Compared to the rest of the stuff in your house I mean? I would be willing to bet my mum uses far more power when she puts on the dishwasher, washing machine, tumble drier, and then sits down to watch the x factor and read the paper with several lights on.

So really, graphics cards are not a big problem, clearly they should be regulating the x factor.
siliconfanatic 17th October 2012, 01:28 Quote
they really need to get off their collective a$$ imo, and invest in a more effective, less jerk-move like alternative nrg solutions like my country should. they actually do seem like that a**ho** jock in every school that thinks that everyone doesnt care about what he doesnt. hey, ii have a new name for laws like this! ROMNEY LAWS!!!:)
dolphie 17th October 2012, 02:53 Quote
Yeah. Canada did that with their big hydro power station that generates more power than they know what to do with.
theshadow2001 17th October 2012, 05:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
That's ridiculously unfair. I checked the PDF of the report, and it appeared to back up NH's claims - although I will readily admit that I didn't read the whole 325 pages, because I simply don't have time and NH claimed to have already done that.

As for not waiting for the EC to respond, I can only guess you've never tried to contact the EC. I'm expecting the response time to be measured in weeks, not days, if previous performance is anything to go by.

It's not ridiculously unfair. You checked a pdf which nordic hardware now state is not the source of the article. I have looked at it also (albeit a couple of skims) and it seems to be a report on the environmental and energy impact of various computing devices and monitors. It doesn't seem to contain any information which lends credence to or can act as a basis for the article. So I don't know how you can say that it seemed to backup nordics claims. Neither article provides any context that this is a very small part of what seems to be a massively encompassing initiative on energy reduction across many devices. This gives the impression that the eurocrats decided to pull graphics cards out of their arses as something that wastes energy. Nor do either of you state at what stage "lot 3" is at. Which seems to be a working documents/consultation forum. This looks like basically a drafting/consultation with various experts and industry types as well as creating the documents. There are documentssuch as this on the web which does describe constraining graphics card power. However it also says
Quote:
The ecodesign requirements should not have significant negative impact on the
functionality of the product, consumers and in particular as regards the affordability of
the product, the life cycle costs and industry's competitiveness. Furthermore, the
requirements should not impose on manufacturers proprietary technology and
excessive administrative burden as well they should not negatively affect health, safety
and environment.

Frankly who knows what impact the directive will have. But including things like its in a draft and consultation phase or that laws may not have a significant impact on a graphics card functionality don't stir up as much controversy or clicks.

So I maintain that you saw or were pointed to a sensationalist and narrow scoped article, did little fact checking, re-purposed it for bit-tech and didn't bother to wait for the only bit of fact checking you did do. Also so what if it takes weeks, I'd rather see something that has been substantiated than read what is essentially a roumour from some guy at AMD (the head cleaner for all we know) that says he's worried about a new law that doesn't exist yet.
Psytek 17th October 2012, 15:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Why regulation in this area is required is beyond me.

I agree. I don't usually subscribe to conspiracy theories, however when it comes to unneeded legislation, it's often clear that we're seeing the fruits of lobbying efforts at work.

Big energy companies are the only ones who stand to benefit from forcing consumers to use low-energy devices. They still get to charge their 'standing charges' (essentially an arbitrary payment simply for the privilege of being a customer), while having to expend less money to actually make electricity, and having to invest less heavily in expansion of their capacity or transition to renewable sources.
Bogomip 18th October 2012, 08:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psytek
I agree. I don't usually subscribe to conspiracy theories, however when it comes to unneeded legislation, it's often clear that we're seeing the fruits of lobbying efforts at work.

Whilst I realize the bias at work (this is a hardware forum) you are surely deluding yourselves as to why this is an issue above a lot of other things.

For example:

a 42 inch LCD TVs power consumption is 120 Watts when ON (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007IYVUBY/ref=asc_df_B007IYVUBY10157554?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=googlecouk06-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B007IYVUBY).
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GBs power consumption is 115 when IDLE, and up to 468 Watts when in Futuremark (http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1921/12/)

Whats more is these massive high end cards really are not required at all. They are nice to have sure, but when it comes to energy efficiency im afraid the first thing you are going to focus upon is the ridiculously inefficient luxury item.

Now whether they are targeting the right cards is another matter, but the fact they are targeting graphics cards is of absolutely no surprise whatsoever to me. Its good that they are trying to reduce the energy people waste because frankly not alot of people give a damn, and if it wasn't for people doing things like this we might not have awesomely efficient TVs or Fridges like we do now.

Sorry to say it but the tech we use really is the one of the final frontiers in terms of wasting energy :) The alternative is for them to put a massive tax on these graphics cards I guess which they could use to fund green initiatives.

edit: oh, and whilst performance is related to power, essentially the planet doesnt care about how powerful your pc is :)
Bogomip 18th October 2012, 14:12 Quote
BTW that GFX card mentioned above is around 13 pence to run per two hours at current prices :) Thats about £7.80 to run per month. For reference, this is only 0.1p per kWh cheaper than an equivalent amount of energy gained from petrol. Cars manufacturers are looking at making their products more eco friendly, why shouldn't chip manufacturers? :)

http://www.confusedaboutenergy.co.uk/index.php/domestic-fuels/fuel-prices
Grape Flavor 18th October 2012, 18:35 Quote
Ha, you Euros built yourselves a nanny state, now you have to stew in it. Makes me glad I live in the US of A where, for the time being, we don't have as many government bureaucrats oafishly stabbing their fingers into every pie, micromanaging every aspect of our lives.

Welcome to the hell you built yourselves, it's only going to get worse.
Kovoet 18th October 2012, 18:40 Quote
Solution just leave the EU
faugusztin 18th October 2012, 18:43 Quote
@Grape Flavor: now after the anti-EU rant is over, the fact is that this whole regulation talks about the IDLE power consumption of the graphics cards. G7 has a limit of ~65W of IDLE power consumption.

Show me a currently sold graphics card consuming that amount of power in IDLE. You can't. Let me link this :
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_690/images/power_idle.gif

Nothing to see there, most current highend graphics cards would fit in the G5 category of this regulation.
Bogomip 18th October 2012, 19:57 Quote
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2012/10/18/his-radeon-hd-7970-3gb-x-turbo-review/8 ...

Bit tech lists every graphics card it wants to compare... all of those are idling over 65W aren't they ?

edit: Grape Flavour, America is a big problem in the energy consumption problem. Gas prices being so cheap is a big problem. Forcing companies to be more efficient in their designs isn't a nanny state ideal, its progress towards tackling a global problem.

edit: why would you even link that, I just wikipediad that 400 series and they were released in 2010!
Deders 18th October 2012, 19:59 Quote
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, that would be the total system power.
Bogomip 18th October 2012, 20:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, that would be the total system power.

Ah so it is :)
Bogomip 18th October 2012, 20:06 Quote
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=916&Itemid=72&limit=1&limitstart=10

There you go then, that lists several graphics cards with an idle power consumption of over 65W :)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2

Ignoring the crossfire ones as I guess they dont really count.
theshadow2001 18th October 2012, 20:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogomip
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2012/10/18/his-radeon-hd-7970-3gb-x-turbo-review/8 ...

Bit tech lists every graphics card it wants to compare... all of those are idling over 65W aren't they ?

Depends how the power measuring is done. Bit-tech don't state their method. Tech power up claim to monitor the pci express power connectors and lanes which gives the power usage of the card only. There is a huge discrepancy between the two though.

Edit: Ninja'd by previous posts.

Its all irrelevant really until a benchmark procedure is detailed by the EU commission.
Deders 18th October 2012, 20:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogomip
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=916&Itemid=72&limit=1&limitstart=10

There you go then, that lists several graphics cards with an idle power consumption of over 65W :)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2

Ignoring the crossfire ones as I guess they dont really count.

Newer graphics cards drop their frequencies right down, my GPU is currently at 50MHz, memory at just over 100. Older graphics cards that you can't buy new anymore didn't clock down so low, if at all.

Also both those cards are 2 GPU's in SLI.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
Depends how the power measuring is done. Bit-tech don't state their method. Tech power up claim to monitor the pci express power connectors and lanes which gives the power usage of the card only. There is a huge discrepancy between the two though.

Bit tech have stated in the past that they use a measurement from the wall, so it includes everything the power supply is connected to. the PCIe method would just measure the card itself.
faugusztin 18th October 2012, 20:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogomip
...
why would you even link that, I just wikipediad that 400 series and they were released in 2010!

1) as other said, the regulation is talking about the graphics card idle power consumption, not system power consumption. They also defined what they count for that yearly total - 9.6 hours idling, 1.2 hours in sleep mode, rest of the day computer turned off. That means that G7 category with a yearly power consumption of 225 kWh would mean 64.2W maximum power consumption in idle mode.
2) That chart is from the latest reviews, so i am not sure why are you complaining.
3) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295, NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 - sure, yeah they eat a lot of power... And your point is ? Both those cards are very old.
theshadow2001 18th October 2012, 20:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin

3) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295, NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 - sure, yeah they eat a lot of power... And your point is ? .

The title of the article should be changed to "New EC regulations could kill off out dated and inefficient graphics boards" :D
faugusztin 18th October 2012, 20:45 Quote
By the way, idle power consumption values for other categories :
G1 34 kWh 9.7 W
G2 54 kWh 15.4 W
G3 69 kWh 19.6 W
G4 100 kWh 28.5 W
G5 133 kWh 38.0 W
G6 166 kWh 47.4 W
G7 225 kWh 64.2 W

So if we take the techpowerup values as a base for these comparisons, then except GTX590 and GTX480 everything else fits in G6 category power consumption limit. Add HD5970 to that list and everything else fits in G5 category. And many of the cards will be able to be in the G4 or even G3 category .
Bogomip 18th October 2012, 21:26 Quote
So you have just said that as graphics cards get newer the power at the top end goes down... why is everybody complaining then?

If it makes no difference whats the problem with setting a limit?
faugusztin 18th October 2012, 21:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogomip
So you have just said that as graphics cards get newer the power at the top end goes down... why is everybody complaining then?

If it makes no difference whats the problem with setting a limit?

The issue is that initial wording by NH suggested that this was a load power limit - and in that case 65W would be very, very low.
dolphie 18th October 2012, 23:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grape Flavor
Ha, you Euros built yourselves a nanny state, now you have to stew in it.

:'(
knutjb 19th October 2012, 06:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Sorry guys but it would seem you've taken NH at face value and not performed your own research. Okay you've taken their "EU cripples future graphics cards" headline and rolled your own with a "Could" in there, but the links being thrown around are way out of date and the most up the date information on this isn't being reported.

This I learned in 2 minuted of "This surely can't be right?" research.

The only document that NH is able to reference is a report that states a PC as "3 GHz processor (or
correspondingly), built-in graphics card, 512 MB RAM and 80 GB HDD" This report was written in 2007, for a directive from 2005. And I understand that directive was abandoned.

The correct documentation includes sentences such as (When referring to a review of the guidelines that will be understaken)

"The review should in particular assess, in the light of new technologies entering the market, the possibility of improving the energy consumption targets and reducing or eliminating the energy allowances in particular for graphics processing units (GPUs)."

So in one two minute bit of research we've gone from the EU completely killing the market for high end graphics cards to the discussion that the rules may be removed from GPUs at some point.

Seems to me that NH has done a bit of sensationalist scaremongering.

It's probably good that these regulations get publicised while they are still being worked on, but I think we need all the facts before we can start moaning about the EU.

The bigger unmentioned problem that we all are having on both sides of the pond are bureaucrats inside the government who believe they know best. They don't have product history or the actual numbers in use at any given time. Though they will speculate, count imaginary beans, pull a BS number out from their nether regions, and tell that you cannot have a product you desire. It's all for the public good Jeremy Bentham says, you sulk and have it no more. My 7850 is a far more capable and efficient card than my old 1900XTX but private industry cannot know best, only bureaucrats do. Ask them they'll tell how and why you are too stupid to choose.
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