How bright is your computer?

A discussion with T turned silly today as we were talking about arbitrary measures of performance as reported by computer hardware manufacturers. Basically, there are very few standards for measuring PC hardware performance and comparing it effectively - and when I say few, I actually mean "none at all". So, we developed our own arbitrary performance metric: brightness.

Step 1: Find the manufacturer-reported wattage for your power supply.

Step 2: Divide your power supply wattage by 60 to obtain the number of 60-watt light bulbs your power supply is equivalent to.

Step 3: An average 60-watt light bulb emits about 800 lumens of light. Multiply the value obtained from step 2 by 800 to obtain the number of lumens your power supply is equivalent to.

Step 4: Realize that, just as with humans, power draw determines how fast and powerful your PC is. So it's not just your power supply that is several thousand lumens bright, but your whole computer!

Step 5: Find the nearest computer geek and explain how powerful your computer is, in lumens, as well as the process you went through to obtain your measure of performance. Try to keep a straight face at their reaction.

Here's the brightness of my PC:
1) My power supply is reported as a 500 watt PS
2) My PS is therefore equivalent to 8.3 lightbulbs
3) That means my computer's brightness is 6640 lumens

I'm not going to explain how each step contains a hilariously bullshitty figure resulting in the most bullshitty measure of performance ever invented. I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

(I learned that from lazy textbook writers. ;))

5 things about

How bright is your computer?
  1. Apparently I have a "60W MagSafe Power Adapter with cable management system"? Apple confuses me :(

    I also have a "Built-in 63.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery". These figures are really low compared to yours! So I think I'm doing it wrong.

    But I'll do these calculations anyway.

    60/60 = 1 (lol)

    1*800 = 800 (wow this was easier than I thought)

    My Mac's brightness is 800 lumens. It would appear your computer is 8x brighter than mine!

  2. LOL yeah, I had forgotten about laptops; they would have a much smaller power draw than an actual desktop. Someone on the Internet measured the draw from an eeePC - it was like, 20 watts. So my netbook isn't even a full lightbulb bright.

  3. Lol, so does that means we need to change the units to fit laptops better? I mean my mac is a lot faster than desktops and I won't have my mac made to feel less bright compared to slower computers :P

  4. We can do the watt to lumen conversion using the rate from compact fluorescents.

    Because laptops are designed to conserve energy, and so are CFLs. It works.

    A CFL puts out about 15 lumens per watt, so multiply your wattage by 15 to get a more reasonable value. My netbook is about 300 lumens bright using this modified conversion. :P

  5. Sure....but how many computers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?


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