Archive for August 4th, 2010
Defragmentation As A Green Practice
If you’ve noticed that your computer performance has waned over the months (or years) your computer has been in service, you may be tempted to replace the computer with a newer model. After all, newer models offer more hard disk space, more RAM address space and faster processor(s). Getting rid of old electronics, however, isn’t necessarily green.
Most landfills charge (by weight) to dispose of old electronics. The reason for this is simple; much of what’s inside a computer can be recycled but the recycling process is expensive. Metal cases can be recycled; gold plating in connectors and copper wiring can also be recycled. Other components (like chips) contain things like gallium and arsenide (an arsenic-based compound) that can’t be deposited safely in landfills. In addition, computers often have long-life batteries that contain toxic metals like lithium, nickel, cadmium, or lead or corrosive substances that can be harmful to groundwater. Computers are also loaded with plastics and other materials that simply don’t break down, even after hundreds of years. By getting more life out of your computer, you reduce the number of old electronics that must be disposed of.
Even before a computer is end-of-life, defragmentation can still reduce the amount of energy needed to operate the computer. Defragmentation helps reduce the time required to perform certain actions; you can see this reduction when you use the computer. This reduction in operating time can also benefit less visible operations that take place on the network, or at night when the computer is otherwise not in use.
Late night updates are downloaded faster, and use fewer network resources; client-server interactions are faster and place less of a burden on server resources; backup operations take less time and are more efficient. This can be incredibly important when you’re working with a large computer base. Reducing backup times by 25%-50% per computer can mean substantial savings; the faster the backup task is completed, the faster the network resources can enter their power-saving modes. To speed up your computer, defragmentation makes technical sense, but it also makes financial sense!
Photo Credit: aubergene, via Flickr
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