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High-End Gaming PCs Banned in Six US States after California Energy Bill Limits Sales On High Performance PCs

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US States California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have banned the sale of high-end gaming PCs under a new energy bill.

The California Energy Bill was written in 2017, and recently went into effect. This led to several US States outside of California joining in; effectively banning high-end pre-built gaming PCs.

The state had recently published a paper looking into the power efficiency of computer gaming. They claim in their findings is that computer gaming in California consumed 4.1 terawatt hours in 2016, costing roughly $700 million USD in energy bills. They list consoles with taking a bulk of the emissions at 66%, and desktop computers at 31%. In spite of this, consoles are seemingly exempt from the bill.

As an answer to this, Dell has pulled the sale of seven of its eight Alienware gaming desktops from those states. Only the Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop is widely available; packing a i5 11400F, a GTX 1650 Super, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The other R12s which are restricted on shipping feature one major component different; such as a 1TB harddrive or different graphics cards.

The disclaimer reads “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. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled.” Those disclaimers are not seemingly on Amazon, but will likely be mentioned closer to checkout.

A screenshot of the disclaimer spread on Twitter. 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 work around this by upgrading the PC after purchase; or build your own system entirely which we will have a guide on in the next few days.

We have reached out for comment from Dell, Digital Storm, Origin PC, CyberPowerPC, Maingear PC, NZXT ,and others.

This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s tech or a story you want us to cover!

Image: Amazon


Allen Watts

About

A long time PC gamer, He enjoys FPS, RTS and RPG games. He also has a love of PC hardware.




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