Implement an European regulation to forbid consumer GPUs to draw more than 300W of power

Implement an European regulation to forbid consumer GPUs to draw more than 300W of power

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Usor Contentus a lancé cette pétition adressée à European Parliament

I am a simple geek among many who enjoy creating using computers. I currently own some low level hardware that I plan to upgrade.
The capabilities of the NVIDIA GPUs are astonishing, especially applied to my domains of interest: modelling, animation, game development, AI, and some gaming.
I considered buying one of a recent serie — a 3080Ti to say everything, but something with it, along with what's been recently announced about the new series definitely make me uneasy: not its price, but its power consumption.

The TDP of the cards of the series I'm considering is between 300 and 400W, which is considerable. And as if it wasn't enough, the new series cranks the consumption even higher for some cards — between 400 and 500W. At this point, and considering that spikes can occur in periods of intensive calculations, it is getting assuredly nearer to a full fledged appliance than some piece of computer hardware. To properly handle that, some parts, like the PSU, definitely need an upgrade.

But should we really upgrade?

Before I go further, I first want to state that I am fully aware more powerful hardware, and commonly more powerful piece of technology, more often than not require more input power. This is perfectly normal, and that fact is only narrowly questioned. But the main point of this very petition is: how much is too much?

We are currently facing an energy crisis that might not be equally noticed everywhere, but is still existing and worrying. With the current situation in Eastern Europe that brings sanctions making the price of fuel such as gas and oil skyrocket, and in general our more than urgent transition to cleaner energy sources make energy saving a very important topic. This should of course be done mainly at greater scales (e.g. industries, the wealthy), but the part of the average consumer shouldn't be discarded, as the number factor is just as important.

And, although I am not a specialist in electronics, merely an enthusiast, I have many reasons to think NVIDIA isn't doing their job optimizing their hardware to be power efficient as much as they should. Power draw like the ones we see aren't acceptable in my opinion. I think they definitely could improve all of those, but preferred to rush to deliver the most performances with no regard to the final consumption, and then offloaded this matter to other components.
After all, performances is what everyone ask for, isn't it? And if some have the money for those cards, they might as well have the money for the bills, no? Not to mention it's everyone's dream to have a small supplementary heater in their room when doing creative work or playing their favorite game, especially during summers, which are already getting increasingly hot!

As you may have guessed reading the title, this is not, although it may start like one, a popular call to boycotting. Because to me this kind of action will be of no impact here; among the few who would heed that call, most will simply ignore it for various reasons I will not state. The very form of petition has been choosen, not as a call to reason to NVIDIA for them to back down, because I also know that will barely make them raise an eyebrow; they're as much aware as anyone regarding climatic questions, so if they were showing any sign of commitment, this very petition wouldn't exist. Instead, the goal is to get enough traction to attract the attention of our European representatives in order for them to think about this and take action, in the line of the recent ones they've taken regarding consumer electronics, which I personally salute, as very responsible and beneficial for many of those.

As already stated in the title, my demand is a regulation on the power consumption of computer graphical processing units forbidding them to exceed a use of 300W.

Many might argue that's too stretch of a limit, others might say that, even if including spikes (which I implicitely do here, this is not just for limiting the TDP) the limit can be lowered further, and this even though it would be to the detriment of performances, but like I said, I am not a specialist. I am just a simple consumer who has some environmental and practical concerns. I hence entrust actual, independent specialists and regulators to discuss this matter and come with a plausible limit where the hardware could operate normally, or at least with reasonable performances for what could be expected from high-end components, while minimizing the electrical consumption.

It is to note that a regulation regarding power use of consumer electronics isn't new: those from appliances such as vacuum cleaners ended up being drastically limited as well during a period where constructors seemed to make higher and higher bid on who will get their device to consume the most. Of course this case isn't exactly the same as the overconsumption was proved absolutely unnecessary and solely for the sake of it, but it shows regulations could be put in place and a common agreement can be found.

It will then be up to NVIDIA to optimize their component use to draw less current if they want to sell, as all their cards which are above this limit shall then be banned. This comes with the danger of creating a parrallel market for then-legal cards which wouldn't be anymore, but that situation should be handled by authorities just like the rest of products falling in that category.
To close this text, a small idea that may allow a dramatic decreasing of transistors use. This is just a small hint to show doing better is always possible, although with some time and possibly at a price. But isn't the Earth (and our wallets in the long term) worth it?

0 a signé. Prochain objectif : 100 !
Quand elle atteindra 100 signatures, cette pétition aura plus de chance d'être inscrite comme pétition recommandée !