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Explanation Of The Calculation Method

What Do High-End Graphics Cards Cost In Terms Of Electricity?

The Fundamentals of Our Consumption Calculation

It might seem complicated at first reading, but it is in fact really quite simple. We follow a specific person over a long period of time and track the run time of all programs and the total power consumption, including idle periods. The result is a representative, statistical average value of an average day. The details of the computer configuration used do not matter, as we are just after the average daily application usage of the users for now.

For our next step, we choose any of the relevant applications and measure the energy consumption of our test system equipped with a very low-end graphics card. The results are assigned to each respective application as a base value. Then, we measure the average consumption of each application again, but with different, more powerful, high-end graphics cards.

The period of time for testing varies between the applications. Games are tested for at least 15 minutes (much longer in most cases), depending on how graphics-heavy the game is, for example. We limited ourselves to five minutes for hardware-accelerated video.

As the last step for each profile, the power consumption of every single graphics card configuration is determined, including the basic configuration. We simply use the sum of time spent in the programs per day, multiplied by the specific consumption of each graphics card setup for the respective applications.


In the end, we get the average total power consumption values for each system and graphics cards used. By subtracting the base configuration values from each result, we get the pure consumption compared to the base configuration. Multiplying the results with the current cost of electricity, we get to total costs, both the initial costs and the operational costs. Multiplying the daily values by the amount of days using the computer per year takes us to a yearly result.

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