Reducing the cost to run my PC

I find myself using my PC a lot more each day and the cost to run it seems fairly high. Below is the specification (taken using Belcarc advisor, hope this is sufficient) - would something as simple as changing the PSU to something with a higher efficiency rating reduce my running costs or is it a combination of components that is the issue? Currently, the PSU is a budget 400W version. The whole system is about 5 years old.
Thanks in advance.

2.40 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
4096 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded

System Model
Board: BIOSTAR Group GF7100P-M7
Bus Clock: 266 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG 08/28/2008

560.01 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
333.59 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S202N ATA Device [Optical drive]
TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S202N ATA Device [Optical drive]

Corsair CSSD-F60GB2 [Hard drive] (60.02 GB) -- drive 1, s/n 10376503340009990050, rev 1.1, SMART Status: Healthy
SAMSUNG HD501LJ [Hard drive] (500.11 GB) -- drive 0, s/n S0MUJGWQ201152, rev CR100-12, SMART Status: Healthy

Memory modules
4096 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'A0' has 2048 MB
Slot 'A1' is Empty
Slot 'A2' has 2048 MB
Slot 'A3' is Empty

Local Drive Volumes

c: (NTFS on drive 1) * 59.91 GB 4.49 GB free
d: (NTFS on drive 0) 500.10 GB 329.10 GB free

Standard floppy disk controller
ATA Channel 0 [Controller] (2x)
ATA Channel 1 [Controller] (2x)
Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller (2x)

NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT [Display adapter]
DELL E248WFP [Monitor] (24.0"vis, s/n XX-0FY131-XXXXX-842-27NS, April 2008)
DELL E248WFP [Monitor] (24.0"vis, s/n XX-0FY131-XXXXX-836-292S, March 2008)
5 answers Last reply
More about reducing cost
  1. If your PSU is a no name brand then getting a 80 plus PSU would definitely help your energy bill. Here's a nice cheap one.
  2. The savings on the energy bill will not pay for the investment in a new PSU but a good quality PSU can pay for itself by not killing other components that a crappy one can do.
  3. Thanks for your responses guys. I have an energy monitor hooked up to my electricity supply, as does my friend. My PC costs more than twice as much per hour to run compared to his. Both similar age systems, his is dual core, mine is quad - is this likely to be the main reason for the cost?
  4. Quickest way to reduce power consumption from what I see is from your monitors, your running 2 monitors which draw 80watts each. For a total of 160w, when I was looking at monitors a year or 2 ago when mine went out it was quite easy to pick up monitors which use 20w and there were a few that used less than that which were in the 22-24in range.

    Than the next step would be a good 80 plus certified PSU, mainly for stability reasons of not killing your components if the no name PSU goes kaboom which is not fun trust me I know from experience (it took a few components with it).

    This is what I see as would change the most without pretty much buying a new computer. If it cost effective to do, no doubtful. But if you want there is always messing with the power options and putting the computer in standby/sleep/etc when you walk away from it to save some power. And to have the monitors shut off instead of using screen savers when they are inactive, which is what I do.
  5. The number of hours of usage is the biggest contributor to PC cost of USAGE. Plan the number of hours you really need it then keep it at that level.

    Shut it down when do you need it.

    That's biggest or high impact action you can do to save money.

    You need to study the breakdown of the over all usage at your facility (house or office). Electric charges are graduated. The higher you go to the consumption bracket the more money you pay $/KW-Hour.
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