What Is the Asus E-Green Utility?

by Dan Stone

The Asus E-Green Utility is a computer program that Asus-brand devices and computers run to reduce optical drive energy consumption. Optical drives include CD-ROM, DVD and Blu-ray drives. Programs like the E-Green Utility decrease how much power a computer needs to run, which enables the device to run with a smaller power supply and decreases total energy costs. E-Green also helps laptops extend their battery life without any changes to the hardware.

E-Green in Action

E-Green disables optical drive activity if the drive has been idle for more than two minutes. According to Asus, E-Green reduces optical drive energy use by 77 percent for IDE/PATA models and 27 percent for SATA models; the disparity is simply because SATA devices are already more energy-efficient than comparable IDE devices. The E-Green program activates automatically unless the user has disabled it on the computer. According to Asus, E-Green registers information like how much power the program saved since installation and how much power an optical drive is using. While E-Green reduces energy usage, it does not increase the optical drive's lifespan. E-Green is exclusive to optical drives; there is no alternative for hard drives and other storage device types.

Determining Energy Use

Optical drives typically use between 10 and 20 watts of energy when in use and drop to around 1 to 5 watts when idle. E-Green doesn't save any energy when the drive is reading or writing to a disc, but it almost negates the idle drive energy cost. According to Energy.gov, you can determine the cost of running a device by multiplying its wattage by how many hours it's used over a year and dividing by one thousand -- multiply the answer by 11 cents to get the cost-to-operate.

E-Green Cost Savings

If you were to run an optical drive 24 hours a day for an entire year it would use approximately 88 kilowatt hours of energy. At 11 cents a kWh, the drive would cost approximately $9.63 to run. If you were to keep an optical drive on all year and use it for three hours a day, it would use about 50 kWh of energy and cost around $5.50 to run. With E-Green, that same drive would only use 19 kWh over a year and cost just $2.09 to power. The cost savings would add up to $17 over a five-year lifespan of the drive.

Energy Saving Profiles

Like E-Green, Windows 8's Power Options system also reduces computer electricity consumption. The power plan system controls things like monitor brightness and energy use profiles that sacrifice performance for better efficiency. The Power Options also use some of the same concepts E-Green uses, as both turn off computer components if they aren't being used to save energy. The E-Green program takes priority over the Windows Power Options and improves the energy savings. You can access the power control settings by searching for "Power Options" on the Charms bar, clicking the "Settings" filter and selecting "Power Options."

About the Author

Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.

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