Unnamed Administration sources reported that Sean Donelan said:
Of course, these numbers are pretty bogus. Most computer manufacture
specification sheets are useless for accurately forecasting the power
consumption of the equipment. I suspect, after Sun's PR people realize
they are getting beat up, they will go back and better calculate the power
consumption figures for their servers.
I'm not very interested in who really has the coolest, most efficient
computers. I am interested in getting accurate information for planning
purposes. If this leads to computer vendors publishing more accurate
information, great. I'm afraid instead, the pendulum will swing the
other direction and vendors will begin understating their true power
The best test I can come up with at the drop of a hat:
Plug server into std. watt-hour meter.
Run benchmark X, Y and/or Z for one hour.
Note KWH's consumed.
This is so trivial a software house could do it if they
had an electrician buy the meter and wire it up with plugs.
It will tell you true KWH's, as that's what they measure. The
meters are highly tracable back to NIST/etc standards  and
they are cheap.
Radical idea: why not call The Donelan Test, and demand it from
1] Want stds that have been beaten on? Use those proven by products
with lots of money changing hands.