Due to regulations that recently went into effect, Dell will not ship some of its power-intense gaming PCs to certain states because of how much energy they use.
According to the company’s website (via The Register) PCs like the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop won’t ship to California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington because these states won’t allow them due to their standards.
“This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states,” the site states. “Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled.”
California was the first to approve energy efficiency limits for computers in December of 2016. Though the regulations didn’t take effect until January 1st, 2019, PCs built between then and July 1st, 2021 must use no more than 50/80/100 kWh per year for expandability scores (ES) of less than 250, 251–425, and 426–690, respectively. Anything assembled after July 1st, 2021 must follow Tier II restrictions: consume no more than 50/60/75 kWh per year for the same ES scores. According to the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 description, it idles at 66.29 watts, but uses 563.01 watts when stressed.
The expandability score comprises of four non-active usage modes: short-idle, long-idle, sleep, and off-modes. It’s also based on the number and types of interfaces, traditional power requirements from add-ons like graphics cards, high-bandwidth system memory, and such.
The Natural Resources Defense Council an environmental advocacy nonprofit, projected back in December 2016 that the California standards would save “more than 2.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year–equivalent to annual electricity use by all the homes in San Francisco–and avoid 730,000 tons a year of climate-disrupting carbon pollution from fossil fuel-fired power plants.” This caused other states to adopt similar regulations.
In a statement to The Register, Dell confirmed that the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 are the “only impacted systems across Dell and Alienware.”
“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,” a representative said. “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.”
It’s unknown if the standards within these six states will affect other PC manufacturers.