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Power consumption of modern gaming PC's (cost)

Last response: in Systems
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October 22, 2008 9:00:25 AM

Hi again guys

Just out of interest, has anybody ever done a test on the actual cost of running a modern gaming PC?

I ask because since looking around at various graphics cards tests and given that PSU's are commonly in the 600W to 1000W range these days it sounds like a games PC could actually be costing me more to run than I've previously realised.

I mean, the recent review of the 4870 X2 graphics card talks about high power consumption - but what does this really mean for the person paying the electricity bill?

My rig as it stands has an E6600 cpu, 8800GTS graphics card and a couple of hard drives plus all its 8 USB ports are taken up with peripherals, many of which draw power from the ports, and it is in an Antec 900 gaming case with like 5 case fans - it has a 700W PSU. The PC is on all evening every evening from about 5:30pm when I get home from work until I go to bed and virtually all weekend except at night. I'd love to know just how much all this actually costs me in real money! Is it like boiling a kettle all evening? Probably not, but it must cost something...!?

Since I am planning yet another graphics card upgrade, plus big screen monitor I'm obviously going to be further increasing my power consumption and as I'm going to be buying my own house in about 12 months time and things like this are going to start mattering!

Does anybody know anything about this sort of thing?

Thanks

Graham
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
October 22, 2008 9:32:44 AM

The rated wattage of your PSU has no bearing on cost.

The efficiency of the PSU at the actual load has the largest bearing on your bill.

If your rig ends up needing 400W (alot) a good PSU will pull 500W or less at the outlet.

So power wasted: about the same as a 100W lightbulb.

We buy PSUs that are rated far over what is needed generally. This is done for the sake of longevity and in some cases efficiency... as many PSUs are most efficient around the 60% mark.

You can calculate your actual usage here:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

Keep in mind that a modern MB, CPU, and GPU will not pull the max amount most of the time. At idle, even with all your fans at full, you'll almost certainly be under 200W. Your monitor I can't say.
a c 79 U Graphics card
October 22, 2008 11:23:34 AM

Invest in a kill-a-watt power consumption meter or similar and do some measurements :D  those meters are quite cheap, $20-30 or there abouts
Related resources
October 22, 2008 11:54:17 AM

Few months ago I tested the wattage consumption of some things in my house for fun. I used an Amperimeter connected in serial. Then you just multiply (Amps X Volts) = Watts. (I live in Uruguay and the standard volts in the wall are 220).
In that time the specs of my pc were:

600W PSU
Pentium D 925 3.0 (i think with a TDP of 120W)
XFX 8800GS
Intel DQ965GBF
HDD Sata II SP250 Samsung
(2 X 1)GB Kingston DDR2 667

While booting the PC consumed 120W
When it was in idle 108W
Playing Crysis 208W
Suspended 4W
When it was off 3W**

Im sure that the procedure was correct because I tested the microwave that says it was 1320W and after testing (And doing the math) it was 1323W

**That motherboard has some feature that it stays always connected to the lan so you can remotely turn it on, and other things.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
October 22, 2008 12:23:38 PM

Nice diegoo.

Yes your PSU needs to always be active as well, to monitor the one button on your case.
October 22, 2008 12:54:34 PM

booting pc consumed that much watts?? is it the same when i wake my pc from sleep? so there are no reasons to shut pc down when i can put my pc to sleep and while the watts usage are almost the same rite?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
October 22, 2008 1:02:58 PM

When he says while booting, he means while Windows is loading the comp draws that much... of course, because the CPU is working harder than once everything is loaded.

Yeah, not much difference in power consumption between asleep and off.
October 22, 2008 2:57:06 PM

Doesnt seem a good idea to run a PC 24 / 7 just to avoid a high power consumption at boot up...cant be doing those delicate components any good!
October 22, 2008 3:54:51 PM

accu said:
booting pc consumed that much watts?? is it the same when i wake my pc from sleep? so there are no reasons to shut pc down when i can put my pc to sleep and while the watts usage are almost the same rite?


Power Usage is not enough to worry about the benefeit of using sleep or powering off your computer.
The amount of money we are talking about is very small.

Personally, I don't even sleep my PCs.
They stay on 24/7/365.
I prefer my gratification to be instantaneous.

October 22, 2008 4:09:00 PM

750 watt power supply max rated power usage.
10amps X 110. volts = 1,100 watts

1,000 x 24 hours/day = 26,400 watts
26,400 divided by 1000 = 26.4 Kwh
26.4 x 0.12 = $3.17/day
$3.17/day x 30 = $95.10/month

Pretty cool...and maybe pretty scary. In the PG&E region of California, the average cost per Kwh is $0.12. In actuality, if you are on the regular rate schedule, you are paying $0.115 for your Basic Kwh allowance and $0.133 for every Kwh in excess of your Basic allowance.

Edit: Not this figure is for max rating 24 hours a day for 30 days.

If you played Games 4 hours a day, every day for 30 days it would cost you about
$16.00 for the 30 day period.



a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 23, 2008 12:02:09 PM

idle 108W=0.11 KW/h
0.11*0.12=$0.01/hour
24*0.01=$0.24/day
0.24*30=$7.20/month
7.20*12=$86.40/year

Sounds more in luine with my electric bill.
!