What a great unbiased and in depth article. Thanks for this.
Given all of the comments to this article already, it is clear that this topic is a very divisive topic. It is very complicated with numerous parameters and trade offs, which I think the author did a great job covering.
For me, there a few key items in this article that seem extra valuable. In retrospect, my comment comes out super preachy, sorry about that in advanced. I will go yell at some clouds now.
1) Performance / Watt is really what matters (performance = FPS, score, etc...). Just looking at power usage does not really tell you the benefit that you get form the latest and greatest CPU or GPU. Even though power levels are slightly or may be even modestly increasing generation over generation (5-20%), you are typically getting a performance improvement that is significantly higher (30-50%). That is pretty impressive if you ask me. Physics is a limiting factor here, not that these companies want to push power through the roof. The 30% more power for 5% more performance is a marketing thing for the top of the line components. It is a very competitive market, and bragging rights matter when it comes to sales. You as a consumer need to make the personal choice on how much performance you want and what price you are willing to pay ($$$, power, heat).
2) All of the fuss about how much power these systems use is really not that big of a deal. Even for high end systems the yearly cost is not that much compared to the cost of your computer. Especially so if you are willing to drop $1500-$2000 on just a GPU, then the cost to run that computer at a worst case of $0.50 a day is insignificant. That is like buying a Ferrari and complaining that it only get 10 mpg and it needs premium fuel. You can't have your cake and eat it too. For reference, this time of year my office is pretty cold in the morning. I use a run of the mill 1500W portable heater to warm it up. It usually takes about an hour and I really don't think anything of it. Did you know that adjusting your home thermostat by one degree can change your heating/cooling bill by 10%? How many times did you want it just a bit cooler or warmer in your house and you nudged 1 or 2 degrees and never once batted an eye at the cost difference.
3) You the consumer get to choose what is important to you. You don't have to buy these more powerful and power hungry components.