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Alienware cancels PC shipments to certain states over new energy regulations

Alienware R12
(Image credit: Alienware)

PC hardware manufacturer Dell has cancelled shipments to a number of US states over new energy efficiency requirements.

Over on Twitter (via PC Gamer) writer and YouTuber Marie Oakes noted a disclaimer attached to listings for Dell's Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop. That note states that "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 cancelled."

Most models of Alienware's R12 and R10 desktops are affected by the new regulations, but there are a couple of exceptions - both the second-cheapest R12 and second-cheapest R10 listings state that the builds "compl[y] with CES power consumption regulations," and as such will ship to all states.

The reasoning behind the cancellation will vary slightly on a state-by-state basis, but Dell confirmed to The Register that in California, the change "was driven by the California Energy Commission (CEC) Tier 2 implementation that defined a mandatory energy efficiency for PC." That implementation came into effect on July 1, 2021, and states that desktops manufactured after that date must consume no more than 75 kilowatt hours of energy per year. Those with discrete graphics cards and various other additions are allowed a little extra juice, but the R10 and R12 still don't comply.

Tom's Hardware reports that other PC makers aren't offering similar warnings to their customers, but it's not clear whether that's because their systems fit within the rules, they are not yet shipping systems produced after July 1, or those companies are awaiting further instructions. Eventually, however, it's suggested that the regulations will begin catching up with other manufacturers. 

How the companies behind those top-end machines will react to the change remains to be seen. The affected states have a total population numbering tens of millions, so it's possible that in order to continue shipping their PCs to those potential customers, the likes of Dell will aim to reduce the power consumption of their hungriest machines. That could, however, mean that those builds take a hit to their performance, which might not fly with those players looking for the very best on the market.

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Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.