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Power-Hungry PC? Here’s How Much Electrical Power Your Computer System Takes In

How much does it cost to run your PC? It’s not a one-size-fits-all response, however here’s how to determine how much electrical energy your personal computer consumes.

All of us understand we need to put our computer systems to sleep when we’re not utilizing them, however it’s simple to get lazy and leave them on all day. How much cash are you really squandering in electrical energy, however, by doing that? After a couple of computations, you need to have the ability to figure it out.

Estimation Aspects

The expense of running your computer system will differ extensively based upon a couple of elements:


In the United States, the typical expense of electrical energy has to do with 13 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh), a measurement of electrical energy use gradually. However electrical energy is more pricey in particular locations than others. For instance, Louisiana and Washington balance less than 10 cents/KWh, while Hawaii is over 30 cents/KWh. So it assists to understand what electrical energy expenses in your city.

PC Elements

Clearly, an effective video gaming PC with top-of-the-line elements will utilize more electrical energy under load than a Chromebook with a low-power CPU. If you have a costly video gaming rig with a discrete graphics card from Nvidia or AMD, you’ll require more electrical energy to power it, and pay more in turn.


Even If your PC is a monster with a 750-watt power supply does not imply it’s going to utilize 750 watts all the time. Most PCs include power-saving functions that lower energy use when the computer system is idle, or doing fundamental jobs like searching the web. So somebody mining Bitcoin or [email protected](Opens in a brand-new window) is going to utilize more power than somebody typing up Word files, even if they did so on the specific very same PC for the exact same variety of hours every day.

Step Your Electrical Power Use

P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

Considering that use can differ a lot from PC to PC (and individual to individual), the best method to learn your electrical energy expense is to determine it yourself. You can purchase a basic Kill-A-Watt meter(Opens in a brand-new window), and utilize it to determine practically anything in your home.

To determine your PC’s use, turn whatever off, plug your PC into the Kill-A-Watt, then plug the Kill-A-Watt into the wall. (I really suggest plugging your whole rise protector into the Kill-A-Watt—that method, you determine not simply the PC’s energy use, however the display, speakers, and other peripherals too).

Press the purple KWh button on your Kill-A-Watt meter, then turn your PC back on and utilize it as you usually would. Inspect the Kill-A-Watt when a day approximately to ensure it hasn’t lost power and reset to no. I suggest waiting a week so it has an excellent duration of use with which to work.

Determine Your Electrical Power Expense

After a week, record the number showed on your Kill-A-Watt meter, making certain the purple button is pushed and you’re getting the ideal figure. From here, it’s simply a little bit of easy mathematics: Increase that number by the expense of electrical energy in your location (if your city utilizes tiered prices based upon time of day, simply utilize the typical rate for your city to get an estimate). The outcome is how much your computer system expenses to run for one week.

For my tests, I left my computer system on for about 12 hours each weekday—about 8 of which it remained in active usage, because I work from house, and the other 4 it was left idle. Weekends saw just a few hours of usage, with me letting the computer system sleep most of the day.

A common weekday’s work for me consists of great deals of web surfing and file writing, in addition to periodic video gaming and other heavy work. At the end of the week, my Kill-A-Watt meter checked out 11.02 KWh of use. Considering that the typical expense of electrical energy is around 28 cents/KWh here in San Diego, my weekly expense is approximately: 11.02 KWh x $0.28/KWh = $3.08 weekly, therefore $3.08 x 52 weeks/year provides us an annual price quote of $160.16 each year.

That’s not as high as I anticipated, specifically considering my “worst-case scenario” of a power-hungry setup, pricey city, and the reality that I utilize my PC throughout the day.

What to Make From the Outcomes

Electricity measure with stack of coins - stock photo

(Picture: Talaj/Getty Images)

Considered that I let my computer system idle for a couple of hours a day throughout this test, It’s simple to see how putting my computer system to sleep when I’m not utilizing it might most likely conserve me $30-$50 each year. That’s absolutely nothing to sneeze at, however it’s not precisely lease cash, either. Still, your computer system is simply a little part of your overall house power use, so there are factors—both ecological and monetary—to save electrical energy.

Moreover, most people will most likely have a much lower annual expense than me—perhaps in the 10s of dollars—if they just utilize their computer systems for a couple of hours a day or reside in a less expensive city. The bottom line here is that you do not require to tension yourself out since you inadvertently left the computer system on last night. It most likely will not make a substantial damage in your expense.

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