woman in gray shirt sitting in front of macbook
You’ve probably spent a significant amount of money on your first gaming system You’re ready to relax and play all day long.

Gaming PCs are renowned for their power-hungry machines.

Does this sound true?

 

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Do gaming PCs consume lots of power?

What is their average consumption?


How Much Electricity Does A Gaming PC Use?

A gaming computer consumes between 400 to 700 Watts of power, based on its hardware configuration as well as the application used.

That’s about eight dollars over the course of a month, assuming that you utilize your computer for 5 hours per day and pay an annual rate of $0.15 per Kilowatt-hour.

However, this calculation is only an estimate of the upper limit which means your actual numbers might be smaller if you’re an avid computer user.

The cost of electricity to run your computer is based on the following aspects:

  • The the time you are using your computer.
  • Your hardware, specifically your GPU and CPU because high-end machines typically use more power than budget choices.
  • The programs and games you play consume much more energy than the 720p but it’s still more energy-consuming than letting your computer sit in idle.
  • How much your electricity company costs per kilowatt hour and if they offer variable rates for different times during the day.

Use the table below to determine the cost per hour of operating a typical gaming PC depending on the way you make use of it as well as how you pay the company per kilowatt hour.

The final two columns provide an estimate of monthly and daily expenses, assuming that you play at least two hours every day, complete your normal activities for two more hours, and then leave your computer unattended for an hour.


kWh

Idle

Regular use

Gaming in 4K

The cost per day

Cost per month
0.07 0.013 0.021 0.035 0.12 3.74
0.09 0.016 0.027 0.045 0.16 4.81
0.11 0.020 0.033 0.055 0.20 5.87
0.13 0.023 0.039 0.065 0.23 6.94
0.15 0.027 0.045 0.075 0.27 8.01
0.17 0.031 0.051 0.085 0.30 9.08
0.19 0.034 0.057 0.095 0.34 10.15
0.25 0.045 0.075 0.125 0.45 13.35
0.30 0.054 0.090 0.150 0.53 16.02
0.35 0.063 0.105 0.175 0.62 18.69
0.50 0.090 0.150 0.250 0.89 26.70

Note to find your cost per kilowatt-hour, visit the site of your local power company. Check to see the rates during different times of the day, so that you can alter your consumption and reduce your cost.

2. Note The amounts shown in this table are USD. If you are in a different county, you can search for the conversion rate of your currency to USD and then multiply the figures by the rate.

As we mentioned earlier the hardware you use has a significant impact on how much power you use.

Furthermore, various pieces of hardware come with various mechanisms that optimize their energy consumption.

The same hardware does not require a set quantity of energy.

The amount of energy it consumes varies on the job it is performing.

We’ll look at three levels of specifications and the amount of power you can expect from each.


1. High-End PC

Gaming PCs with high-end specs are made up of the best hardware, with high-end cooling as well as plenty of customized RGB lighting.

They typically utilize an 850 or 1,000-watt PSU, however this doesn’t mean that they’re using 1,000 watts of power per hour.

The maximum consumption will rarely exceed 800 watts.

A gaming processor of high-end like AMD Ryzen 9 5900X AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, is rated at 140 watts, however, it can reach about 200W when placed at full capacity.

The Intel’s equivalent, it’s called the Core i9 12900K, draws approximately 240 watts when utilized often, and can reach 300 watts.

Overclocking both CPUs will increase the power they consume.

Regarding GPU it is possible to opt for the Geforce 3090 Ti RTX, its wattage is between 400 to 480.

The standard RTX 3090 has about 20 percent less power , if you’re looking to bring the power down.

It is recommended to consider adding 80 watts to the motherboard and 10 watts for the SSD and 30 Watts for RGB lighting and fans.

Remember to also consider your monitor, as it can draw between 50 and 70 Watts based on its dimensions and the model.

When you combine those numbers and add them up, you could expect 700-800 watts.

If you assume that you use the computer over two hours and then use it for everyday tasks for two more hours and then leave it on for one hour. Here are the estimated expenses.

  • The cost per day ($0.15 for each KWH): $0.45
  • Cost per month: $13.5
  • Yearly cost: $164.25

Note that because the monitor is equipped with a separate cable for power, the monitor does not draw the power from your PSU However, it requires electricity, which you will have be paying for.


2. Midrange PC

Gaming PCs that are average are designed ideal for people who want to shell out a fair amount of money in order to obtain decent computing power.

They may not have the highest-priced components however, you can anticipate an adequate amount of power usage from their carefully selected components.

The PSUs used in these computers vary from 600 to 750 power.

To play on this kind of PC, you could choose to use the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X or an Intel Core i5 12400K.

The AMD CPU consumes approximately 65 watts, whereas the Intel one is able to draw around 75 watts. It could even increase to 85 watts at short intervals.

Both CPUs draw more power if you increase the speed of them.

For GPU You can opt for the Radeon 6600 XT that draws approximately 160 watts of power or the Nvidia RTX3060 that draws around 200 Watts.

You’ll require around 60 watts of power for your motherboard, while cooling needs will range from 15 to 20 watts, and most likely, you won’t be able to have RGB.

In the end, a mid-range display requires between 40 and 50 watts to operate.

Based on the same assumptions regarding your usage that you made in the last scenario here’s what running this computer costs you.

  • The cost per day ($0.15 for each Kilowatt hour): $0.28
  • The monthly cost: $8.4
  • Cost per year: $102.2


3. Budget PC

A budget gaming PC has been built to be equipped with the highest quality components available without going over a price limit.

They typically have the basic hardware, with the stock cooling. They typically have a 450-550-watt PSU.

They can also steer clear of the most recent generation of hardware to reduce costs.

Its Intel Core i3 12100F is typically the best choice for a cheap CPU however, you could choose to go with AMD Ryzen 3 5300. AMD Ryzen 3 5300.

The Intel version requires 55 watts when fully loaded While the slightly less powerful AMD version requires 65 watts of power to function.

If you’re looking for a GPU you could opt for either the GeForce GTX 1650 or the Radeon RX 5500 XT, both of which use between 100 and 125 watts based on the workload.

The additional wattage generated by memory, motherboard and cooling on an affordable gaming PC will not be more than 100W.

It is interesting to note that budget monitors do not consume greater than 25 watts and there are options that consume just 16 Watts.

When you’ve added up the figures, here’s what a gaming laptop will cost you based on the same assumption of use.

  • The cost per day ($0.15 for each Kilowatt hour): $0.18
  • The monthly cost: $5.40
  • Cost per year: $65.70

Note If you’re with a very low budget then you may want to consider AMD’s G series processors, which have integrated GPUs, and give an acceptable level of performance.

They use even less power than if you use an integrated graphics card.

Here’s a quick overview of the way these chips work:

How To Measure Your PC’s Electricity Consumption

Even though we’ve given you a number of estimates in detail however, these are only just estimates.

If you’re interested in this, you can assess the actual amount of power your PC consumes quite easily.

All you require is a power gauge and an extremely simple calculation formula (or the online calculator).

A power meter can be described as a basic device that determines how much electric power flows via an outlet.

If you don’t own an electric power meters, you can purchase one on Amazon at around $30.

Connect the power meter to the outlet, then plug in your battery into your meters.

In this way, you’ll be able to precisely determine how much energy your system consumes.

Utilize your computer as you normally would during just a few hours or even a day.

Check the total power consumption over the course of the day and then multiply it by the per-kilowatt-hour cost to determine the amount you pay for energy each day.

It is possible to extrapolate the cost of your annual and monthly expenditures by multiplying it with 30 or 365 respectively.

If the meter isn’t giving you the total number of kilowatt hours You are able to convert that total power into Kilowatt-hours with an online converter.


How Much Power Do Peripheral Devices Use?

USB devices like keyboards and mice require less than 1 watt to run.

Others USB input devices, such as joysticks, steering wheels and thumb drives, also consume very little power.

USB speakers are generally more powerful, with an average of 2.5 watts.

If you have speakers that come with dedicated power cords however, you can anticipate anything from 20 to 200 Watts power.

In the end, an external hard drive consumes seven watts from your computer to function.


How To Optimize Your PC’s Power Consumption

You can clearly see that an ultra-high-end gaming system isn’t going to cost you much in terms of power costs unless you’re in an area that is remote and the cost of electricity is very expensive.

It is still beneficial to cut down on your energy consumption as well as save some bucks whenever you are able to.

Here are some tips to reduce the power consumption of the type of hardware.


1. Remove Dust

Dust can be described as an insulating substance that is, it hinders the transfer of electricity and heat.

When dust gets accumulated within your system, your cooling system has to be more efficient in bringing down the temperature inside your system.

The hardware will operate at a higher temperature so it’ll be less energy efficient.

The usage that is not enough will rise in time, and will significantly increase your electricity bills.

Make sure to clean your home every couple of months.

If your vehicle’s configuration permits it, install dust filters to the intake fans in order to stop dust particles from getting in the first place.


2. Invest In Adequate Cooling

A well-designed cooling system will reduce your system’s temperatures to levels at which the hardware will operate with more energy efficiency.

The ideal CPU will operate at around 70deg Celsius while your GPU may be a bit higher under heavy load.

The savings you will make from your electricity bill will likely cover the additional cost of larger, more powerful heatsinks and fans.

Furthermore, your hardware will last longer if you run it in moderate temperature.

But that, you shouldn’t be excessively concerned with custom water cooling or solution for liquid nitrogen unless you intend to really overclock your system or break the world record!


3. Upgrade Your Components

Older parts typically use more energy, and this is due to two reasons:

  1. The circuits wear and tear from frequent use, which makes them less reliable.
  2. They’re built on outdated technology and don’t utilize modern technologies for energy-efficient operation.

Here are a few minor adjustments that can help to reduce energy waste:

  • Set up an SSD A SSD is at minimum 25 percent more energy efficient than a conventional hard drive, and it’s significantly quicker.
  • Replace your older monitor Older CRT and LCD monitors draw more power than the latest LED models.
  • Buy a more powerful PSU: PSUs can’t deliver the power as their claims suggest. Your PSU must be rated as efficient at 80 or greater.
  • Replace your PSU When your PSU is older than five years it’s likely that some of its capacitors are not able to hold an electric charge. The newer model won’t use so much energy.


4. Uninstall Unnecessary Software

There are a lot of applications that we don’t need for a while.

Unfortunately, these applications may contain Windows applications running on the background, which can strain the CPU.

If you have a premium CPU, you won’t be able to detect these programs taking advantage of your system resources.

But, it does not mean that your computer isn’t burning energy running it.

By removing these programs, you free your system from performing useless tasks and lets your CPU operate at lower frequencies which results in lower power usage.


5. Close Background Programs

Sometimes, you might not need to uninstall the program since you are using it frequently.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to be constantly available.

In general, you should keep important programs running in the background. Close those that don’t do you any good.

When I look at my computer, I can only see Skype open as I use it to work.

If I have to use another software, I’ll launch it, then do whatever I’m required to do, then close it.


6. Adjust Your Windows Sleep Settings

Windows allows you to set the length of time it will keep the computer in low level if you aren’t interacting with it.

It’s an excellent feature that lets you cut your power consumption to almost zero, and without losing your software.

If your computer goes into sleeping mode, open programs and files are transferred to RAM, and the system is in a state of low power.

It requires a small amount of power to keep the RAM running.

Change Your Windows settings to shut off the monitor , and then quickly switch into sleep mode.

In this way, you’ll conserve the most energy while away from your computer, and you’ll still be able to return to your work in a matter of seconds.

Tips for the Pro If you own the SSD to serve as the boot drive should set your Windows to sleep instead of Sleep , as the load times will be identical, but you’ll be able to reduce the power consumption by using Hibernate.


7. Dim Your Screen

Your screen’s brightness is directly proportional to the power that your monitor consumes.

The intense light could harm your eyes.

Dim the brightness of your computer screen to conserve watts and shield your eyes.

If you notice that the colors get dull If you are unhappy with the colors, you can increase the intensity of the colors on your screen instead.

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