California Bans High-End Personal Computers

…with Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Colorado, and Vermont quickly following suit.

     Some people in six states started out July leaning that those states won’t let them have personal computers that are considered too powerful.

     What prompted this?   Gamers who like to play videogames on computers (and also crypto-currency miners), and use high-end personal computers to do it.

“Yes, this was driven by the California Energy Commission (CEC) Tier 2 implementation that defined a mandatory energy efficiency standard for PCs – including desktops, AIOs and mobile gaming systems. This was put into effect on July 1, 2021. Select configurations of the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 were the only impacted systems across Dell and Alienware.”

     Not everyone using high-end personal computers are gamers or crypto-currency barons. Many small businesses and individuals use these more powerful computers for business, research, or a myriad of other reasons.


“California in 2016 passed new regulations that mandate energy efficiency standards for different categories of consumer appliances, but the regulations have rolled out in tiers. The Tier II rules went into effect on July 1 and cover PCs including desktops, AIOs, and mobile gaming systems. Most gaming machines machines made after July 1 are restricted to using no more than 50, 60, or 70 kWH of power a year, depending on the type of computer in question. These need to be tested by California-approved laboratories. Some high-powered gaming PCs cannot be sold in California and several other states as new regulations cap power consumption.

“Dell’s Alienware rigs consume 63 kWH a year when they’re idle and 563 kWH a year when working in overdrive. So the new requirements are quite restrictive. Dell for its part says that only two systems are restricted in California, the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12.”

     That’s right, in order to sell a computer in California, the computer must be “tested by California-approved laboratories”. This is eerily similar to the testing requirements for handguns in California imposed over two decades ago.

     That requirement wasn’t about crime or safety, and this isn’t about actual computers using electricity, as can be seen by servers, workstations, and even dedicated gaming consoles unaffected by this.

“While some had worried about the bill being an issue for game development studios and AI researchers, this regulation only seems to affect personal computers. Servers, workstations, and the aforementioned gaming consoles seem to be unaffected.”

     For now, you can still buy the individual parts in these states or buy an already built rig in another state and bring it in… for now.

     With all the rampant drug zones, “autonomous zones”, homeless encampments, feces on the streets, and general woke oppression, it is this that these states consider worth cracking down on? These states are perfect examples of anarcho-tyranny.

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