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Dell stops gaming PC shipments to some US states after breaching energy efficiency laws

Alienware R10 and R12 desktop gaming machines are now prohibited in California and six other US states

A gamer with neon lights

PC manufacturer Dell has halted shipments for some versions of its gaming PCs in six US states after the products failed to meet new energy efficiency standards.

The regulations affect "select configurations" of the company's Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 gaming systems, according to a statement seen by Reuters.

California's revised efficiency standards for computers came into effect on 1 July, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering electricity bills for consumers. Similar laws have also been enacted in the states of Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

The requirements state that desktop computers and mobile gaming systems manufactured between 1 Jan 2019 and 1 July 2021 can consume no more than 50/80/100 kWh per year for environmental and social scores of less than 250, 251-425, and 426-690 respectively. For devices that are manufactured after 1 July, the kWh per year limit is 50, 60 and 75.

Dell has now suspended shipments of the R10 and R10 desktop gaming systems in light of these regulations, but has not specified why these particular models do not meet the standards.

However, the Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition, which is included in the shipment ban, has a short-idle energy consumption of 66.29 watts and 563.01 watts when stressed, according to its product compliance data sheet.

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This machine's product page also includes a message that states it "cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states".

Residential computers and monitors account for around 2.9% of the electricity consumption in the most popular US states, according to the California Energy Commission. Dell said it will have new models and configurations that will "meet or exceed" the new regulations and that it will be "in line with" its own long-term goals on energy and emissions.

California became the first state to approve energy efficiency limits for computers in 2016. At the time, the California Energy Commission voted unanimously to adopt tougher appliance energy standards, with the five other states adopting similar standards in the following years.

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