Are you concerned about the power consumption of your gaming PC? Well, you should because gaming PCs, on average, take a lot more power than other electrical appliances in your home.
A gaming PC in your home uses 200-550W on average. The stated requirement applies to a mid-range gaming PC. 300–550-Watt usage translates to a yearly consumption of 1400KWh, which is a lot. This figure is higher than most of the other mainstream household appliances and even 6 times more than a typical laptop.
That being said, the power consumption varies heavily due to the difference in specification of gaming PCs. The consumer’s usage frequency and the tasks performed on the PC also have a great impact on the power requirement of the PC.
Therefore, there is a high chance that the power consumption of your gaming PC may not be the same as others. Hence, it is important to find a personalized power consumption figure for your gaming PC for accurate measurements.
How To Calculate the Power Used by a Gaming PC?
You can measure the power usage of a gaming PC in two ways.
- Connecting a power meter to the PC socket
- Using online tools to calculate power consumption
There are multiple methods by which you could use these two techniques to measure PC power voltage. Despite the method you use, measuring the PC’s power consumption via a power meter will always be more difficult than the online measuring method but at the same time more accurate.
Similarly, while you can measure the power consumption of a gaming PC through online tools, the result will not be accurate. Expect a 10-20% power discrepancy when measuring through online power tools. It can be even higher if you use a poorly calibrated tool.
While there are many methods for convenience, I am going to stick with the easiest method out of the bunch, and that method is by using an online tool. But we won’t use just any tool; I will tell you about a tool that is known to provide quite accurate results.
By using this method, you won’t have to buy any external gadget or gear to measure the power consumption of your gaming PC. The following is how you can measure your PC’s power consumption easily and effectively.
- Open the OuterVision Power supply calculator
- On the website, you will find a detailed form. Fill it with accurate information.
- Click on the calculate button. The tools will subsequently tell you the power supply wattage that you need for your PC
- After knowing the PSU wattage, simply remove 20% from the number. For example, if the tool gave you a 620W figure, then by removing 20%, the number we have left will be around 500W. Your peak power consumption figure is applicable during heavy usage.
- When using the PC for light tasks like browsing the web and watching Twitch, the power consumption will sit around 200W. This represents your PC’s lowest power consumption.
- Now that you have your highest power consumption and your lowest power consumption figure, head over to the Energy use calculator.
- Enter in your power consumption values and fill the rest of the data to get the cost per hour for your gaming PC when using the PC for heavy and light tasks, respectively.
You can also use this technique to calculate the power draw for mining. The difference will be that the mining system will not have a low power consumption figure because mining requires the PC to run at the maximum pretty much all the time.
Is Your PC Consuming More Power Than Expected?
If, after testing, power consumption figures are on the higher side, then there are certain precautions that you can take to lower the power consumption of a gaming PC. Higher power consumption will be anything upwards of 550W.
Before I get into how you can minimize power consumption, let’s see why high-power consumption occurs in the first place.
A higher power consumption usually occurs if your PC has powerful and high-end components like the latest Nvidia RTX 3000 series graphic cards or Intel i9 processor. The situation can be worse if you run a high-end AMD graphic card on your computer because AMD Radeon graphic cards generally require more power than Nvidia graphic cards.
This is the normal situation, but sometimes higher power consumption can also be due to other factors. The most frequently occurring factor that causes a spike in your PC’s power consumption is dust accumulated.
The buildup of dust is inevitable, and if you don’t clean your gaming PC regularly, it can get clogged up by dust. If dust clogs your computer, it will affect your machine’s performance.
Therefore, the computer will utilize more power to function because now it also has to overcome the burden of dust particles. In this way, dust accumulation greatly increases power consumption because each PC component has to work harder to achieve the same previous result.
How to Clean Dust Buildup?
Getting your gaming PC free from dust will decrease the power consumption of the PC and increase its performance. Eliminating dust from your gaming PC is relatively simple, but it is a time-consuming task.
To free your gaming from dust completely, you will need to spend quite some time cleaning each component thoroughly. To find out more information on how to clean a gaming PC refer to my in-depth article on the matter.
After cleaning the PC, you will observe a decrease in power consumption. The severity of the decrease depends on the state of your gaming PC, but on average, expect around a 50W decrease for a well-neglected gaming PC with a moderate to a high amount of dust particles.
Related PC Guides
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- Are Prebuilt PCs Good?
This wraps up our article on the power required by a gaming PC. To conclude, a gaming PC consumes anywhere from 200-550W of power. A gaming PC has highly variable power figures.
On a gaming PC, the power draw is completely dependent on the user’s consumption. If you use your PC a lot for heavy tasks, then expect a high power draw. On the contrary, using the PC for light tasks represents a completely different picture with little power draw.
For example, when gaming, the power consumption of a gaming PC will be quite high. Likewise, the gaming PC will not require a high amount when watching a simple movie.
To get the most optimal power draw, you will need to emphasize the PC’s use and try to streamline the tasks you do on it so that it does not demand a high amount of power.
Before signing off, I also want to preface the importance of cleaning a gaming PC. After a thorough cleaning session, you will not only observe lower power consumption figures but will also experience a boost in the overall performance of the PC.
Before I end this article, I am interested in knowing how much power your gaming PC uses. Also, don’t forget to mention your PC specification as well.