Certain prebuilt Alienware gaming PCs can no longer legally be sold in half a dozen US states due to recently passed power consumption laws.
As reported first by The Register (spotted by Vice), some of Dell’s Alienware Aurora R10 and Aurora R12 gaming PCs are no longer available for sale in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington. Heading over to Dell’s website and looking to purchase certain configurations will display a warning message to buyers, indicating that it will not be shipped to those provinces due to power consumption regulations that have been adopted in those states. Dell notes that any orders that are slated to ship to those states will now be canceled.
The gaming industry is a considerable contributor to carbon emissions. As hardware becomes more powerful and displays increase their pixel counts, the amount of power these devices consume will increase. To combat this, some US states have begun to add regulations on power consumption. California was the first state to approve energy efficiency standards for PCs in 2016 under its Appliance Efficiency Regulations, with other states following suit in the following years.
“While our most powerful gaming systems are available in all 50 states, it is accurate that select configurations of the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 aren’t shipping to certain states due to the recent California Energy Commission (CEC) Tier 2 regulations that went into effect on July 1, 2021,” a Dell spokesperson told IGN in an email. “New models and configurations will meet or exceed these regulations, in line with our long-term focus to address energy and emissions.”
According to a fact sheet, more regulations impacting computers will go into effect in California beginning December 9. Those new regulations could extend to “computers with high-speed networking capability, multi-screen notebooks, notebooks with cyclical behavior, and monitors with high refresh rates.”
While these regulations could help minimize the carbon footprint of computer hardware, it is unclear whether they would apply to cryptomining rigs, which remain legal in California. Forecasters have said that Bitcoin mining alone could consume as much power as Italy in less than 5 years.
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.