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Energy Absorption

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  • Homebuilt
  • Computer
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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July 22, 2010 9:53:13 AM

Hi, I am just really curious about this. My parents are always trying to save money on their electrical bill and always tell me how much my computer is using. They don't like me keeping it on when it isn't necessary. I am running a 30in monitor and a 24 inch as well as my computer.

Does a computer being on during the day and off at night use a lot of electricity?

More about : energy absorption

a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 10:07:10 AM

its all relative.

think about the sort of power supply in your system.

compare that to the 1000w and higher power supplies you see in small electric heaters and suddenly it doesn't seem like alot.
there are programs you can download to monitor exactly what power your PC uses at idle though. add that to whatever your local power bills are and you have a number.

assuming you have power saving features turned on though, and your CPU and GPU downclock when idle, the power usage should be minimal. but, if only for the sake of the environment, i would recommend at least putting your PC into sleep mode when not being used.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 10:08:27 AM

Well the best way to see is getting one of those energy monitoring devices, hooking all your equipment through it and seeing how much it costs you per day. But if its a fairly standard computer, not a low power machine, having it on all day will stack the bill quite a bit.
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July 22, 2010 12:33:55 PM

Electricity is only used if the machine is on, so any time the machine is up and running it is using power and spinning the meter. Even if the usage is minimal during the night, the fact is the machine is still running and using power.

Studies have shown that even leaving consumer appliances plugged in uses power even if the appliance is not being used and increases electric usage; even if all that appliance is using the electric for is to run a clock, like a coffee maker.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 1:03:06 PM

chunkymonster is right!

And, I would like to add that even on idle, the small amount of energy that it consumes, is thrown off as heat. This heat in summer is an additional load on the air conditioner (in winter it will augment the furnace).
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2010 6:44:52 PM

Compare this way. It would be common for a current-design PC to use 200 to 300 Watts power even when doing nothing, unless you put it into sleep mode. Each monitor, even if showing just a screen saver, will use about least 50 Watts, and you have two of them. (If you actually turn both off, their power consumption is no more than a few Watts. Then there's a bit for your speakers. What about your printer - do you turn it off when not in use?

All together, if they are just idling but not turned off, they could easily be using 200 to 400 Watts That is like having a very bright 200 Watt (or two) light bulb running 24/7, whether you're using it or not. You and your parents would not do that. So don't do it with the computer, either. Find a way to shut off or at least reduce to minimum power use.
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July 22, 2010 7:02:50 PM

To completely save power put it all on a power strip or strips and shut everything off "Power Off" when not in use. Use sleep when you go to eat or are taking a break.
Sleep will keep power on your ram so you will use more power than in "power down" mode.

You could get them off your back by offering to pay for the extra Kilowatts you use.
Na, then they'd want you to pay for food too.
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