If your business is extending equal-opportunity employment concepts to your technology, it’s time to rethink your strategy. While the knowledge, skill, and maturity of older workers can be a boon to business, the latest Prowess Consulting benchmark testing proved what we all know, the same doesn’t apply to the computers your employees depend on to get their jobs done.

Testing One Generation of Computers Against the Next

To test the impact that a computer’s age has on its performance, its user’s productivity, and its energy consumption, Prowess compared an older client PC, powered by a 3rd generation Intel Core i5-2400 processor, against newer client PCs, powered by 6th generation Intel Core i5-6500 processors.

Clients Tested

5-year-old PC:

  • Lenovo ThinkCentre M91p DH7,
    powered by a 3rd generation Intel Core i5-2400 processor


vs. New PCs:

  • HP EliteDesk 800 G2 SFF
  • Lenovo ThinkCentre M800Z

Both powered by 6th generation Intel Core i5-6500 processors

We tested these PCs using popular benchmark applications:

  • Futuremark 3DMark Ice Storm, a graphics-centric benchmark for comparing the rendering and physics-engine capabilities of different computers
  • BAPCo SYSmark 2014, a general benchmark for assessing computer performance using synthesized workloads for office productivity, media creation, and data analysis
  • Principled Technologies HDXPRT 2014, a media-creation-centered benchmark that measures PC performance

Using these benchmark applications, we ran each system through everyday tasks, including starting up; logging on; opening Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word; opening and saving a file in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word; sharing a screen with Microsoft Skype for Business; and using Google Maps, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator.

Results Show That Age Does Matter

We expected to see the newer-generation computers perform better overall, but we were surprised by just how much a computer’s age and processor actually impacts its productivity, performance, and energy consumption.

On almost every functionality test we performed, the newer PCs with the 6th generation Intel Core processors outperformed the older systems. On the few tests where the newer PCs didn’t outperform the older ones, performance was virtually identical. In general, performance was about 50 percent faster on the newer systems, and sometimes as much as 150 percent faster.

If we extrapolate our findings to an organization of 5,000 employees, waiting for old desktop PCs is roughly equal to having 20 employees on the payroll that do absolutely nothing all year.

Our tests also showed that PCs powered by 6th generation Intel Core processors use 60 percent less power than PCs powered by 3rd generation Intel Core processors; so the same 5,000 employees using older PCs can result in more than $45,000 worth of wasted energy costs per year compared to using newer PCs.

Findings Overview

Compared to 3rd generation Intel Core processors, 6th generation Intel Core processors:

  • Spend 80 percent less time starting up
  • Open Outlook more than 6 times faster
  • Open Word and PowerPoint files more than 6 times faster
  • Enable 38 percent faster screen sharing
  • Perform 49 to 80 percent faster when editing media files
  • Consume 60 percent less power when in use

Save power with newer computers


Here’s Your Case for New Computers

In the end, our test results present a powerful case for replacing your company’s older PCs with newer ones, especially if your older PCs are pushing the five-year mark. Read the details in the full report, “Why Your Computer’s Age Matters: Functionality and benchmark tests show the benefits of using current technology,” and then pass the report on to your managers.


1 5,000 employees at 1 workday per employee over a 250-workday year.

2 $45,045, assuming a weighted harmonic mean power savings of 9.92 W for a mix of 76 percent idle/16 percent load/8 percent off or asleep on desktop computers tested by Prowess (see California Energy Commission. “Computers Use More Energy Than Previously Thought.” 2014. http://www.energy.ca.gov/releases/2014_releases/2014-10-28_computer_use_more_energy_nr.html.) and 8,766 hours per year at an average U.S. commercial electricity price of $0.1036/kWh (see U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Average Price of Electricity to Ul­timate Customers by End-Use Sector.” January 2016. https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_5_6_a.). See www.prowesscorp.com/businessclient for details.

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