Power Analysis: The Gamer
Gamer Profile: Full Power
This is close to a worst-case scenario from a power consumption standpoint. In addition to having the longest average use time per day, the time was spent running the most graphics-heavy applications. We started by calculating the daily average in hours. This includes work days as well as weekends, so that we get a representative average value that can be used for yearly estimates.
We were almost a bit shocked to find out that the yearly electricity cost is pretty significant compared to the purchase cost of high-end graphics cards. This also applies to upper-mainstream cards. After just two years, the operational costs have exceeded the initial investment costs. Keep in mind that we are showing just the additional costs for mid- and high-end graphics cards compared to the base system. The actual total operational costs, including the CPU, memory, and other components are still much higher!
The most expensive high-end cards should not automatically be the first choice for avid gamers! Instead, buying just as much performance as you really need for smooth frame rates (maybe with overclocking headroom) means that the money saved on a lower purchase price and energy consumption will make it much easier to afford yet another new graphics card next year. The high operational costs of an expensive flagship graphics card make this harder.