Frequently Asked Questions:
Computers, Monitors, and Signage Displays

Registration and Certification

1-1) Is certification of products for this regulation similar to other products in the Energy Commission’s Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System (MAEDBS) database such as battery charger systems?

Yes, the process to certify computers and monitors is similar to other products that are subject to California or federal energy efficiency regulations such as battery charger systems.

1-2 ) Are there going to be any marks required for product certification or registration?

Section 1607 "marking requirements" requires products to be physically marked with manufacturer name, brand name, or trademark; model number; and date of manufacture. No other marks are required. Per section 1607(b)(3), if the date is in a code that is not readily understandable to the layperson, the manufacturer shall immediately, on request, provide the code to the Energy Commission.

1-3) Are there any fees to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or resellers to certify their products to the MAEDBS?

No, the Energy Commission does not currently charge entities to certify and register products to the MAEDBS.

1-4) If a manufacturer of computers is registered with MAEDBS as a "3rd party certifier" for the "small battery charger systems" in notebooks or other types of computers with integrated battery charging circuitry, do they need to register again for computers?

No, 3rd party certifiers do not need to register again.

1-5) If a test laboratory for computers is registered with MAEDBS as a test laboratory for "small battery charger systems," do they need to obtain approval again for computers?

Yes, a test laboratory will need to submit an application to receive an approval for testing of computers and monitors. These test laboratory applications must be resubmitted each calendar year.

1-6) If a notebook computer is certified and registered with MAEDBS for having "small battery charger systems", does it need to be certified again as a notebook computer?

Yes, computer models that are certified as meeting the battery charger standards will also need to be certified as meeting the computer standards.

1-7) What is the process to register computers?

The process to certify and register computers is similar to other products that are regulated in California. You can find general instructions for submitting appliance data. The Energy Commission will also offer outreach and education, including fliers and webinars, on how to certify computers to MAEDBS. Webinars and other outreach and education materials are posted to the Commission’s website at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/appliances/.

1-8) When can manufacturers start to certify computers to the Energy Commission’s database?

The database was ready on October 23, 2017, for certifying those computer types that have an effective date of January 1, 2018. For other computers and for monitors, the database will be ready at least a couple of months in advance of the effective date. Note that computers manufactured before the effective date do not need to be in MAEDBS in order to be sold or offered for sale in California.

1-9) Should all types of computers that are subject to the regulations, including notebooks and desktops, be in MAEDBS after January 1, 2018, in order to be sold in California?

Computer products that are sold or offered for sale in California are not required to be in the Energy Commission’s database before the effective dates of their respective regulations. For example, since the effective date for the notebook regulations is January 1, 2019, notebooks manufactured before January 1, 2019, do not have to be in the database to be sold in California.

1-10) Do all computers need to be in the MAEDBS by their regulation effective date in order to be able to be sold in California?

No, only those computers that are manufactured on or after their regulation’s effective date need to be certified to MAEDBS in order to be sold or offered for sale in California.

1-11) Will there be a Qualified Products List for consumers, similar to ENERGY STAR®, to know what products are available for purchase in California?

Yes, MAEDBS includes the models certified to the Commission as meeting the applicable standard. MAEDBS is a publicly available and searchable database. You can access and search MAEDBS through the Energy Commission’s website at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/appliances/

1-12) What is the process for determining whether new technologies (that aren't explicitly covered in the existing regulation) are subject to any requirements by the California Energy Commission?

The first place to review the requirements for computers is the regulations themselves at California Code of Regulations, Title 20, sections 1601-1609. If there are questions about the applicability of the computer regulations to a new technology, stakeholders may consult with the Energy Commission staff. In most cases, the computer and computer monitor standards are flexible enough to accommodate new technologies and innovations without the need for repeated, time-consuming, and resource-intensive rulemakings to develop new allowances or adders. However, if the existing standards do not accommodate a new technology, manufacturers or other stakeholders can submit a petition along with the supporting data to the Commission and propose changes to the standards. The petition should include:

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the petitioner;
  • The substance or nature of the change to the regulations requested;
  • The reasons for the request, including any data or evidence to support the specific change to the regulation requested, and information showing why the new technology cannot be incorporated absent a change in the regulations; and
  • A reference to the authority of the Commission to take the action requested.

The petition should be submitted to the Executive Director with a copy to the Deputy Director of the Efficiency Division. (See Title 20, Section 1221, for more information.)

If a petition is submitted, each new innovation or technology will be evaluated on its own merit using the best information available to the Energy Commission. After completing its evaluation, the Commission will determine whether or not changes to the regulation are needed. Any changes to the regulations would require a formal rulemaking, including a Notice of Proposed Action, a 45-day comment period, adoption by the Commission at a business meeting, and approval by the Office of Administrative Law. If the petitioner has provided sufficient information for the Commission to support regulatory changes, then the Commission can commit to completing the formal rulemaking process in about six months from the time that all necessary information and data is submitted to the Commission. If the petition is incomplete or the information submitted is insufficient, then the Commission will need more time to work with stakeholders to gather additional information.

Stakeholders can work with the Energy Commission's Chief Counsel's Office to submit confidential or proprietary data or information that supports their proposal under the Commission's confidentiality process. (See Title 20, Section 2505, for more information.)

Definitions, Scope, and Effective Dates

2-1) Does the computer regulation apply to computers that ship into a California port, but are then not sold into California? If the product just passes through a California international shipping port does it have to be registered or comply?

No, regulations only apply to computers that are sold or offered for sale in California. It doesn’t apply to products that transit through California for sale in another state..

2-2) Does the computer regulation apply to business-to-business development vehicles intended for engineering, development, validation purposes, etc. (including full computer systems), that are shared among industry partners?

If two companies are working together to make a prototype system, then those protypes do not have to comply with the computer regulations. However, business-to-business development vehicles cannot be used to circumvent the intent of the regulations in order for a company to sell noncompliant computers to another company.

2-3) Does a computer have to comply with the Energy Commission’s computer regulations if:
  1. The end user lives in California and orders a computer on a website where the inventory is not in California and the product is shipped from out of California?
  2. The end user does not live in California and orders a computer on a website where the inventory is in California and the product is shipped from California?

In general any type of transaction that pertains to an "… appliance that is sold or offered for sale in California" must comply. For these cases: (a) has to comply and (b) does not have to comply. In some instances, a determination would have to be made on a case–by-case basis, and based on the specific facts.

2-4) Should computers provided to companies’ offices in California comply with this regulation if those computers are not intended to be sold in California?

Yes, if computers are purchased elsewhere with the intent of being used in California, it is considered as "sold in California" and must comply. If a manufacturer or retailer directly sells computers to another company for its office uses in California, those computers must also comply. There might be some unique circumstances where this would not be the case; therefore, a final determination would be fact-specific. For example, if a manufacturer sells computers elsewhere and a consumer buys and brings the computer over into California during a move, that computer would not need to comply.

2-5) Do computer regulations apply to individual computer components besides complete computer systems that are sold in California?

The regulations apply to the computers as defined in section 1602 of the regulations. A component, such as an add-in card or a discrete GPU, which does not meet the definition of a computer by itself does not need to comply with the computer regulations individually.

2-6) If a desktop computer could be qualified as a high-expandability computer and is marketed with different power supply sizes, does it have to have different model numbers for its high-expandability and desktop versions in the Energy Commission’s database?

No, they can have the same model number. However, they must be tested and certified under each category separately and must comply with the effective date and requirements that pertain to each of their specific categories. A similar approach may be taken for mobile workstations and mobile gaming systems.

2-7) For desktop computers that meet the definition of "High-Expandability Computer" (with requirements effective January 1, 2018), can manufacturers choose to classify them as "Desktop Computers" and plan to comply with the total energy consumption (TEC) limits and other requirements specified in Tier-1 (effective January 1, 2019) and Tier-2 (effective January 1, 2021), and not classify and register the product as a "High-Expandability Computer" (effective January 1, 2018)?

No, if a computer meets the criteria for the high-expandability computer and it is manufactured on or after January 1, 2018, then it must comply with the high-expandability computer requirements.

2-8) If a display can fall under multiple definitions, how do you decide which definition to follow for compliance purposes?

If a computer monitor meets the criteria and definition for two categories of computer monitors, the least stringent standards between those categories apply. For example, a "medical computer monitor" that is a "very high-performance" monitor only needs to comply with medical computer monitor standards. If displays meet criteria for several "allowances" from Table V-5, those allowances are added together as long as they are for different types of features or functions. For example a gaming monitor with enhanced performance display with a color gamut support of 39 percent of CIELUV, can have one allowance for enhanced performance (EEP) plus one allowance for gaming (EGame).

2-9) Signage displays are newly defined in the revised regulation. In other parts of this regulation, equipment newly added is provided a transition period with a future effective date. However, the Table referenced below (to which signage displays are newly added) does not include the typical transition period with a future effective date. What is the transition period/future effective date for signage displays? Is there an additional phase-in period specified somewhere else for signage displays?

There is none. Signage displays were already required to meet the television standards, and the changes made in this rulemaking merely clarified that requirement.

2-10) Are manufacturers responsible for changes made by the retailer after sale? Computers & computer displays are available for purchase from manufacturer’s websites and also through various brick and mortar retailers. This potentially introduces two scenarios:
  1. A manufacturer sells covered products to a retailer. The retailer has the covered products shipped to their distribution center located outside of the state of California. Compliance with the Title 20 regulation was not specified by the retailer in the business contract. The retailer ships the covered products to a store located within the state of California. Who is liable if the covered product does not comply with the regulation?
  2. A manufacturer sells covered products to a retailer. The business contract includes compliance with the applicable Title 20 regulation. The covered models are shipped to the retailer located within the state of California and comply with the regulation. The retailer modifies the as-shipped configuration and increases the power consumption and the appliance no longer complies. Who is liable in this situation?

Manufacturers are responsible to sell models in California that are certified and comply with the applicable standards and that are listed in the Energy Commission’s database, as well as to take reasonable precautions to ensure that models they sell to a retailer that are not compliant with California standards are explicitly identified as "not for sale and distribution in California." Retailers and distributors are responsible for ensuring that computers that they are offering for sale or selling in California are in the Energy Commission’s database. If a retailer or distributor, without the manufacturer’s knowledge, makes modifications to a computer that change the energy consumption levels, then the retailer or distributor becomes a manufacturer and must test, certify, and comply with the applicable standards.

2-11) Are outdoor informational displays considered computer monitors or signage displays? Many of these outdoor-type displays are designed with features fit for outdoor purposes which often result in higher energy consumption than their regular counterparts (computer monitors or signage displays). High luminance for outdoor presentation, and internally–equipped fans and heaters in order to maintain temperature of the displays in summer and winter are some of the mentioned features.

If the product meets the definition of a television or signage display, for example, then it should comply with those requirements. If it meets the definition of a computer monitor, then it should comply with those requirements. There are certain exemptions, for example, professional signage displays as defined in section 1602 are exempted from complying with the signage display regulations. For specific product determinations, please send a specification sheet of the product to the Energy Commission’s Appliance Hotline at: Appliances@energy.ca.gov.

Test Procedures and Calculations

3-1) For the storage adder, if there are two different types of storage drives in the computer and they have the same size (capacity), then does the manufacturer get to choose which adder to apply to the system?

Yes, if both storages have the same size exactly, then the manufacturer can choose to assign one as the "main storage" and the other as the "storage device other than main storage device."

3-2) Sometimes small scale servers don’t have a dedicated display connected to the unit. Once the server is configured it can be left alone to do its job or it can be provisioned to work with a monitor. If this happens does the small scale server have to comply with the requirement "connected display into sleep mode within 15 minutes of user inactivity" (Section 1605.3(v)(6)(C)). Since the requirement says "connected," if there is no connected display then one would assume this requirement does not apply.

If the small scale server as-shipped is not configured to be connected to a computer monitor or display, either wired or wireless, then section 1605.3(v)(6)(C) does not apply.

3-3) Computer monitors with touch screen capability have an additional watt allowance. If a signage display has touch screen capability, is there an additional allowance? If not, is it appropriate to disable the touch functionality during testing?

There is no extra allowance for touch screen capability for signage displays. For signage displays, the test procedure is 10 C.F.R. Section 430.23(h) (Appendix H to Subpart B of part 430) (same test as for televisions), which addresses what features may be disabled.

3-4) A zero client, which is a thin-client without an operating system (OS), doesn't have sleep mode or any alternative sleep mode because it doesn't have the OS. How would one calculate TEC? (In the equations, sleep mode should be considered to calculate the TEC.)

Normally such computers are operated through a remote server’s operating system and should be tested the way they are designed to operate. Because zero thin-client computers do not have an operating system, they are exempted from transitioning into sleep mode and other power management settings per section 1605.3(v)(5)(C).

However, sleep mode measurements are modified from the ENERGY STAR test procedure in order to accommodate computers without traditional ACPI S3 sleep modes or computers such as zero thin-clients that don’t have any type of sleep mode. For such cases, the power that is measured after 30 minutes of user inactivity is considered as "sleep power" and is used for the TEC calculation. The test procedure for the sleep mode power measurement is outlined in section 1604(v)(5)(H).

3-5) Does the discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) adder apply for computers that are configured with enabled hybrid graphics?

Yes, the discrete GPU adder applies in the same way to systems with enabled hybrid graphics as other systems with discrete graphics.

3-6) Does the reference in the Energy Commission’s regulation to ENERGY STAR test methods include requirements applicable to the test labs that perform the testing?

No. For the Energy Commission’s test laboratory requirements refer to section 1603 of Title 20 of the California Code of Regulations.

3-7) A SATA Express connector provides a problem with expandability score calculation. Using the picture below, what is the correct value of SATA ports and SATA Express ports?
  • Option 1 – 4 SATA ports + 2 SATA Express ports
  • Option 2 – 6 SATA Ports + 1 SATA Express ports
  • Option 3 – 8 SATA ports + 0 SATA Express Ports
Background: a SATA Express connector uses 2 SATA ports + a little extra (see Figure 1 below). If only using 2 SATA ports because of not double counting any port, then we ignore that little extra connector. But the SATA Connectors on the left of Figure 2 provide two options – SATA or SATA Express.

The expandability score is calculated for "as shipped" configuration. If for example, a motherboard has 8x SATA from which 4 are converted to 2x SATA Express when the computer is shipped then the expandability score should be calculated with 4x SATA and 2x SATA Express. For the expandability score calculation follow the steps in section 1604(v)(5)(C).

3-8) For many computers, an SD Card reader is hardwired to the motherboard and it is standard for all configurations. SD Card readers require additional power budget when the computer is in the short- and long-idle states. Should manufacturers include SD Card reader under the expandability score category for PCI slot other than PCIe x16 (only count mechanical slots)?

There is no specific expandability score allocated for SD card readers. However, SD card readers can receive the Add-in card adder if they meet the definition of an add-in card in section 1602(v) and meet the criteria stated in table V-8.

3-9) If a manufacturer develops a computer that incorporates wireless charging and the power is sourced from the system (e.g. wireless charging integrated into the computer), the computer may be supplying the power continuously to the wireless charging in S0 idle/S3 (Standby)/S4 (Hibernate)/S5 (off). Power consumption may be 1W-15W/40W depending on whether the device is being charged or not. The Energy Commission provides relief for displays that allows the exclusion of certain functions not related to the display of images. Can manufacturers apply this relief for computers that include integrated wireless charging features?

Test procedures for computers must follow the ENERGY STAR test procedure with the modifications that are included in section 1604. Computer tests are mostly performed in the "as-shipped" configuration, including a case where a computer is shipped with an enabled wireless charging.

3-10) Workstation’s power supply unit (PSU) efficiency requirements: The 115V/230V requirements are noted in Table V-9. Some companies have workstation products that will ship into California that utilize a 115V PSU/power cord. Does that imply the 230V efficiency requirement isn’t applicable?

Per section 1605.3(v)(6)(A), small-scale servers, high-expandability computers, mobile workstations, and workstations manufactured on or after January 1, 2018, must be powered by an internal power supply that meets or exceeds the standards in Table V-9. If the workstation unit itself is rated for both voltages (115 V and 230 V) and is powered by a power supply that is capable of operating at both 115 V and 230 V, then the power supply needs to meet both efficiency requirements. This is because the unit could be used with both voltages by swapping the power cord. If it’s only rated for a single voltage, then it only needs to meet the requirement for that particular voltage.

3-11) Is there an adder for integrated organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays used in either "Notebooks" or "Integrated Desktop Computers" because "Computer Monitors" have an adder for OLED displays?

No, there is no OLED adder for integrated displays in the current computer regulations.

3-12) How does the Energy Commission define the storage "other" TEC adder?

The TEC adder for the storage device that is listed as "other" in Table V-8 applies to the "storage device other than main storage device" that is not: 3.5-inch drive, 2.5-inch drive, solid state drive (SSD), or solid state hard drive (SSHD) in desktop, mobile gaming system, or thin-client computers. This adder is 26 KWh/yr.

3-13) How do you calculate system memory bandwidth qualification criteria in order to use it in the relevant equations to calculate the appropriate kilowatt-hour adder?

See Appendix A.

3-14) Does the Expandability Score for USB ports depend on whether the port provides the default power level that's associated with the USB Standard specification, or more than the standard USB power as specified in the USB Power Delivery (PD) or USB Battery Charging (BC) specifications?

USB expandability scores are assigned based on the "as shipped" configuration of the USB. For example an expandability score of 100 is applied to a USB port that uses USB PD protocol and is capable of providing 100 Watts or more of power to a device.

3-15) If a notebook includes an RJ45 connection that supports a wired Ethernet Card with a transmit rate of 10GB/s or greater that also supports Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), can a manufacturer apply both adders?

Yes, both adders would be applicable. Note that in order to apply the EEE adder, it must be enabled when the computer is shipped.

3-16) If a system has a discrete GPU that is connected through a PCI-E x 16 on the motherboard, not in the package of the CPU, can it claim the PCI-E x16 Expandability Score since it is providing the same power and functionality to that of what the connector would provide?

Yes, if a discrete GPU card is connected through a PCI-E x 16 on the motherboard, the system can claim an expandability score for the PCI-E x 16 and an adder for the discrete GPU.

3-17) What is the process to get a new interface recognized for the expandability score table (Section 1604 Table V-1)? There was discussion that new connectors in the future would be allowed with a one watt to one point equivalence.

Although the general approach in determining the expandability score associated with each interface is consistent with assigning about one point for every one watt that the interface consumes, the expandability score is limited to the scores for the interfaces that are listed in Section 1604 Table V-1. Any request to assign an expandability score to a new interface will require changing the regulations and should follow the steps outlined in answer to Question 1-12 in which case a determination will be made on a case by case basis.

3-18) Are next generation interfaces that improve on existing generations of technologies eligible to use the same expandability score (Table V-1) as the previous generation technology?

Yes, as long as the performance of the new generation interface exceeds the performance of the older generation. For example an unconnected USB 3.1 Gen 2 motherboard header can claim the same expandability score as an unconnected USB 3.1 Gen 1 motherboard header.

Appendix A: System memory bandwidth qualification criteria

1) For computers to qualify for certain exemptions or adders based on system memory bandwidth requires understanding of how to properly apply both memory bandwidth and capacity criteria. In four instances, to determine the applicable product under the definitions in section 1602(v), the manufacturer needs to determine whether their system meets both a memory capacity and a system memory bandwidth criteria:

#Occurrence in 1602(v)Qualifying Bandwidth CriterionQualifying Capacity Criterion
1High-Expandability Computer Definition, part (2)(ii)432 GB/s or more8 gigabytes or more
2High-Expandability Computer Definition, part (3)(ii)632 GB/s or more8 gigabytes or more
3Mobile Workstation definition, part (3)(ii)134 GB/s or more4 gigabytes or more
4Table V-8, System memory bandwidth adder, part (3)146 GB/s or more (see note)4 gigabytes or more (see note)

Note: The last section of Table V-8, lists the disqualification criteria for system memory bandwidth adder. To qualify for the adder, we have restated it as qualifying criteria. See Example 4 in this FAQ for further explanation.

2) To determine if the system meets both the system bandwidth and system memory capacity criteria, apply the following steps:

  1. For systems with a single channel of memory, directly compare the system memory bandwidth and capacity against the criterion. No further steps are needed.
  2. For systems with two or more memory channels, sum the memory capacities of only the memory channels that individually meet the bandwidth criterion. If this sum meets the capacity criterion, it meets the overall criteria and no further steps are needed.
  3. In all remaining cases, the sum of the bandwidth of all of the memory channels must meet the bandwidth criterion and each memory channel must meet the minimum capacity based on the following:

Example 1: High-expandability computer definition, part (2)(ii)

A desktop system manufactured on June 1st 2018, with a power supply of 750W, an integrated GPU, a system memory configuration comprised of 8GB of DDR4-2000 with 128-bit channel width and two 4GB HBM2 1600MT/s devices of 1024-bit channel width has three memory channels in total each with bandwidth as follows

BWDDR4 = 2000 * 128 / (8 * 1000) = 32 GB/s
BWHBM2_#1 = 1600 * 1024 / (8 * 1000) = 204.8 GB/s
BWHBM2_#2 = 1600 * 1024 / (8 * 1000) = 204.8 GB/s

To make a determination of whether this system’s memory configuration meets part (2)(ii) of the high-expandability computer definition, apply the steps outlined in the Appendix A section 2-A through 2-C of the FAQ:

  1. System is not comprised solely of a single memory channel --> Go to step B.
  2. There is no single memory channel that meets the memory bandwidth criterion --> Go to step C.
  3. Summing the bandwidth of all of the memory channels yield 441.6 GB/s and meets the bandwidth requirement of 432GB/s. Next, determine if each channel meets its minimum capacity requirement as follows:

The example desktop system qualifies as a high-expandability computer since it meets the eligibility date, power supply wattage, memory capacity and system memory bandwidth requirements.

Example 2: High-expandability computer definition, part (3)(ii)

If the system in example 1 were to be manufactured after January 1, 2020, it would fail to meet the system memory bandwidth requirement of 632GB/s since the sum bandwidth of all the memory channels is only 441.6 GB/s. The sum of each channel memory bandwidth needs to be ≥ 632 GB/s plus each channel needs to meet its minimum capacity requirement per above for it to be classified as a high-expandability computer.

Example 3: Mobile workstation definition, part (3)(ii)

A computer with an integrated GPU and a system memory configuration comprised of 8GB of DDR4-2000 with 128-bit channel width and one 4GB HBM2 1600MT/s device of 1024-bit channel width can be classified as a mobile workstation if it meets all of the requirements stipulated in the mobile workstation definition. To determine if (3)(ii) is met, apply the steps outlined in Appendix A section 2-A through 2-C of the FAQ:

BWDDR4 = 2000 * 128 / (8 * 1000) = 32 GB/s
BWHBM2_#1 = 1600 * 1024 / (8 * 1000) = 204.8 GB/s

  1. System is not comprised solely of a single channel --> Go to step B.
  2. There is no single channel that meets the memory bandwidth criterion --> Go to step C.
  3. Summing the memory bandwidth of all of the memory channels yield 236.8 GB/s and meets the bandwidth requirement of 134GB/s. Next, determine if each channel meets its minimum capacity requirement as follows:

Example 4: Table V-8, High Bandwidth System Memory adder

Ensure the computer system meets the eligibility criteria for high bandwidth system memory adder as outlined in the regulation. Meeting any one of the four disqualifying criteria will make the computer system ineligible from applying for the high bandwidth system memory adder.

#Disqualifying Criteria
1Expandability score includes a credit for 4-channel memory.
2System memory bandwidth is less than 146 GB/s.
3

Less than 4 GB of the system memory has a bandwidth of 146 GB/s or more and either:

  1. Has an integrated display with a resolution of 9 megapixels or less
  2. or

  3. Does not have an integrated display.
4Uses an adder for a first discrete GPU.

Alternatively, the disqualifying criteria can be restated as qualifying criteria where the system must meet all 5 qualifying criteria to be eligible to apply the high bandwidth system memory adder.

#Qualifying criteria (meets all 5)
1System memory includes high bandwidth memory (HBM) type
2Expandability score does not include a credit for 4-channel memory.
3System memory bandwidth is 146 GB/s or more
4
  1. 4GB or more of the system memory has a bandwidth of 146GB/s or more
  2. or

  3. Less than 4GB of the system memory has a bandwidth of 146GB/s or more and has an Integrated display with a resolution of 9 megapixels or more
5Does not have an adder for discrete GPU

To make a determination of whether the computer system meets qualifying criterion (3)(a), apply the steps outlined in Appendix A section 2-A through 2-C of the FAQ. Note that determinations in steps “A” through “C” below should include at least one channel with HBM type memory. If the system does not meet the criterion (3)(a) (i.e., it has less than 4GB of system memory with a bandwidth of 146GB/s or more), then it can still be eligible for the system memory bandwidth adder if it has an integrated display of 9 megapixels or more by meeting criterion (3)(b).

Example 5: Applying the High Bandwidth System Memory Adder:

A computer without a discrete GPU that has a system memory configuration comprised of two 8GB DDR4-2000 with 128-bit channels and a 4GB HBM 1600MT/s devices of 512-bit channel width has three memory channels in total each with bandwidth as follows

BWDDR4_#1 = 2000 * 128 / (8 * 1000) = 32 GB/s
BWDDR4_#2 = 2000 * 128 / (8 * 1000) = 32 GB/s
BWHBM = 1600 * 512 / (8 * 1000) = 102.4 GB/s

To determine if this system is qualified to receive the high-bandwidth system memory adder, answer the following questions:

  • System memory includes high bandwidth memory (HBM) type?
    - Correct, because one of system memory channels include HBM memory
  • Expandability score does not include a credit for 4-channel memory.
    - Correct, because this system doesn’t have 4-channel for system memory
  • System memory bandwidth is 146 GB/s or more
    - Correct, system memory bandwidth is 166.4 GB/s
  • Either,
    • 4GB or more of the system memory has a bandwidth of 146GB/s or more (see test below)
      or
    • Less than 4GB of the system memory has a bandwidth of 146GB/s or more and has an Integrated display with a resolution of 9 megapixels or more
      - Apply the steps outlined in Appendix A section 2-A through 2-C the FAQ:
  1. A. System is not comprised solely of a single channel --> Go to step B.
  2. There is no single channel with HBM memory that meets the memory bandwidth criterion --> Go to step C.
  3. Summing the memory bandwidth of all of the memory channels yield 166.4 GB/s and meets the bandwidth requirement of 146 GB/s. Next, determine if each channel meets its minimum capacity requirement as follows:

A computer system that meets the qualifying criteria can use the system memory bandwidth in the appropriate Desktop or Notebooks equations below to figure out the adder in kWh.

S = System Memory Bandwidth System Memory Bandwidth Adder (kWh)
Table V-8 Desktop computer22.78 * tanh (0.006 * (S-70) + 0.15) - 12.33
Table V-8 Notebook computer9.11 * tanh (0.006 * (S-70) + 0.15) - 4.45

Comparison of System Memory Bandwidth and Discrete GPU (Tier 1 and 2) adders:
Note: The table below does not cover all cases of system memory bandwidth adder. Use the above equations to calculate the adder in kWh.

System Memory BandwidthDiscrete GPU Tier 1Discrete GPU Tier 2
SystemMem_bw (GB/s) Desktop (kWh) Notebook (kWh) Frame Buffer BW (GB/s)Desktop (kWh) Notebook (kWh) Frame Buffer BW (GB/s)Desktop (kWh) Notebook (kWh)
14600.48146502514636.518.3
1601.29116052.526.316037.718.8
1762.621.5317655.327.717638.819.4
1923.791.99192582919239.819.9
2084.812.420860.430.220840.520.3
2245.692.7622462.731.422441.220.6
2406.453.0624064.932.424041.720.9
2567.093.3225666.933.425642.221.1
2727.643.5427268.734.327242.621.3
2888.113.7228870.335.22884321.5
3048.53.8830471.935.930443.321.6
3208.834.0132073.336.632043.521.8
3369.14.1233674.537.333643.821.9
3529.334.2135275.737.83524422
3689.524.2936876.738.336844.322.1
3849.684.3538477.638.838444.522.2
4009.824.4140078.539.240044.722.3
4169.934.4541679.239.641644.922.4
43210.024.4943279.939.943245.122.5
44810.094.5244880.540.244845.322.6
46410.154.544648140.546445.522.7
48010.24.5648081.540.848045.722.8
49610.254.5849681.94149645.822.9