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Dell hits server efficiency targets a year early

PC and server vendors are starting to comply with published industry standards for energy consumption, which should make comparing products easier.

Dell on Wednesday said its server power supplies have met an industry target of 92 percent efficiency.

Its servers comply with the 80 Plus benchmark of making power supplies 92 percent efficient when a server is at 50 percent load, explained Albert Esser, Dell's vice president of power and infrastructure solutions.

Esser said the server power supply Dell has developed is the first to comply with the 80 Plus Gold certification, making it 14 percent more efficient than existing equipment.

That standard also meets the 2009 target set by IT industry consortium Climate Savers.

What's perhaps most notable from Dell's announcement--part of a marketing barrage from IT vendors touting energy efficiency--is that it underscores the growing importance of industry standards.

Industry experts have called for the equivalent of a miles-per-gallon rating for servers and other IT equipment so that buyers can compare products on efficiency.

Esser said Dell is participating in 80 Plus and Climate Savers programs, and will be following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star 5.0 standard, which is still being developed.

Dell plans to use the power supply in some server models later this year, according to a company representative.

Update at 8:55 a.m. PT with when Dell plans to use the power supplies.