Many people fail to heed their gaming PCs’ power consumption because they are unaware of how power-hungry they can be. The power consumption actually depends on the components in your PC. It can be increased further if the PC isn’t serviced as required.
- The power consumption of a gaming PC varies between the builds. A high-end PC will consume more power than a mid-range and low-end PC.
- A PC may consume more power if it is covered in dust, is overclocked, runs resource-intensive software/applications, or has a poor cooling system.
- You can reduce power consumption by cleaning the PC, upgrading components, underclocking, improving the cooling system, and using different power modes.
Average Energy Consumption Of A Gaming PC
Gaming PC energy consumption varies across types. High-end PCs typically use up to 750 Watts, mid-range around 460 Watts, and budget PCs approximately 300 Watts.
The difference between SSDs and HDDs also plays a role in power consumption. High-end PCs have a better cooling system, and RGB lights that take up more power. Lastly, high-end PCs are equipped with powerful GPUs that take up electricity to run.
Power Consumption Of Individual PC Parts
Below, we have listed how much power your PC components consume individually. This will help you figure out where to work easily when trying to make your PC consume less power.
CPU, out of all the PC components, consumes the most power to run. Of course, the power consumption still depends on the CPU model installed on your PC. If you have a low-end CPU, it can consume up to 95 Watts.
Whereas a mid-end CPU can consume up to 125 Watts of energy. Lastly, if you have a high-end PC for gaming purposes, video editing, or graphic designing, its CPU may use up to 150 Watts of energy.
GPUs are second to CPUs when it comes to consuming power. Again, the power consumption of the GPU entirely depends on its model. If you have a low-end GPU for a budget PC, it will most likely consume up to 120 Watts.
Moreover, if your PC’s GPU is mid-range, it can use up to 200 Watts. Whereas, if your GPU is high-end, it can use up to 500 Watts of energy. Again, these figures may vary according to your use of the GPU; they may go higher if you overburden your GPU by overclocking.
The power consumption of RAM entirely depends on its size. It may use as little as 1.5 Watts of power starting from the lowest amount of RAM. However, as you go higher up to 16 GB, your RAM may use up to 6 Watts of power. If you double it to 32 GB, the power consumption will double up to 12 Watts.
If you have a 2.5” HDD, it is likely to consume up to 3 Watts of energy. A 3.5” HDD can consume up to 15 Watts of energy. On the other hand, SSDs supposedly consume less power than HDDs and are preferred more over them. An SSD can consume from 3.5 Watts to up to 8.5 Watts.
The power consumption of PC fans depends on their dimensions and their RPM. The least amount of power that a PC fan may require to run can be as low as 0.6 Watts. However, as dimensions and RPM increase, the power requirement may increase to 6 Watts.
The power consumption of the monitor may vary between models again. If you have a budget monitor, it can consume as little as 25 Watts. However, going higher to a mid-range monitor may take up to 50 Watts of energy. Lastly, a high-end monitor may require up to 70 Watts of energy.
Motherboard And PSU
These components are entirely different from each other, but their power consumption depends entirely on the power requirement of other components. That’s because these two components play the role of supplying power to the other components.
Despite that, the motherboard can typically take up to 150 Watts of energy. At the same time, a PSU can take up from 200 Watts to 1800 Watts. Again, this power consumption figure entirely depends on the model of the PSU.
Last and least, peripherals are the ones you need to worry about the least when it comes to power consumption. They take as little as 0.5 Watts of energy to run.
Ways You Can Measure Your PC’s Power Consumption
The simplest way to measure your PC components’ power consumption is by looking it up online. All you have to do is open your web browser and write the model of your PC components along with power consumption. You will be displayed with the answer immediately.
For precise results on your PC’s power consumption, use a power meter. Plug it into an electrical socket, connect your PC’s cables to it, and get accurate readings. You can also try testing the power consumption of your PC when it’s running, sitting idle, overclocking, and using resource-intensive applications.
Another way, although less reliable, is to check your PC components’ TDP. The TDP tells the heat your PC components produce, presumed to be the power it consumes.
It is true to some extent, but the TDP is also the maximum heat the component can radiate, which might not be the case every time it is used. Therefore, looking up the components’ power consumption online is advised.
Why Your PC Is Using More Power Than It Should?
Let’s say you used the method mentioned above to measure your PC’s power consumption, but to your surprise, it is using more power than it should. A serious issue can be the reason why your PC is doing so. According to our understanding, here’s a list of reasons why your PC is consuming more power.
The PC Covered In Dust
Dust inside the PC leads to your PC components heating up too much. The overheating further leads your cooling components to work harder than they should. Make sure to learn about how often you should clear your PC so you can do it timely.
Heavy-duty games, graphic designing, and video editing software push your components to their limits. Your components are forced to work at total capacity or close, which pushes them to draw more power.
Despite the goods, overclocking still has its disadvantages, more power consumption being one of them. Overclocking again pushes your components more than they should. When your components work more than they are supposed to do by default, they draw more power. Learn about how to turn off overclocking in case you already don’t know how to do it.
Usage Of Outdated Components
Outdated PC components are often the culprits behind more power consumption. They might not be as power efficient as the components available now. Some people prefer using a CRT monitor over LCD and LED monitors. CRT monitors are why your PC is drawing more power than it should.
Poor Cooling System
If you have a high-end PC, your components may radiate more heat than a budget/office PC. If you are using just fans to get rid of the heat generation, they may not do the job well. Again, as mentioned before, your fans may also be working more than they should, which will cause them to draw more power than usual.
Ways You Can Reduce Your PC’s Power Consumption
Now that you’ve gone through the possible reasons behind your PC consuming more power than it should, here’s how you can prevent it from doing so.
Clean Your PC
The first and foremost step you should take before anything should be to clean your PC. Its motive should be reduced power consumption and its betterment and longevity. Our guide on the lifespan of gaming PCs will help you figure out how long such PCs last.
Opening your computer case by unscrewing it to clean your PC would be best. You should then proceed to clean the PC parts using compressed air individually. If you do not have an air compressor, get help from our article on how to clean your PC without an air compressor. We also have individual guides on how to clean PC fans, tempered glass, and motherboards.
Avoid Using Resource-Intensive Software/Application
You should avoid using resource-intensive and heavy-duty software and applications if your components are not powerful enough to keep up with them. It is also best to keep such applications as minimal as possible to avoid power from being overconsumed and your components wearing out.
Underclock Your PC
If you are overclocking any of the components of your PC, it is best to try underclocking them. Besides the consumption of more power due to overclocking, there’s more power consumption due to fans working extra to eliminate the heat produced by the overclocking components.
Get Your PC A Better Cooling System
If you feel the fans in your computer case are not doing a good job of keeping things cool, it is better to install more fans. If you are ready to take things up a notch, it is even better to install a water-cooling system. A cooling system will do a better job than your PC fans. To help you decide better, we have an article on AIO vs Air Cooler.
Upgrade Your PC Components
If you are still using outdated PC components that are not power efficient, it’s time to upgrade them. That way, you will notice an improvement in your PC’s performance and a reduction in the power your PC is consuming.
If you often leave your PC idle with your unsaved data, it is better to use power modes so that your PC consumes less power. Power modes have two different forms: sleep mode and hibernate mode. The sleep mode uses your RAM to store your unsaved data and all the applications you have left open.
When the PC is left in sleep mode, it saves power consumption by not using your storage, display, and peripherals. On the other hand, having an SSD drive as the boot drive on your PC gives you the advantage of using hibernate mode.
Adjust Your Brightness Levels
This is a tip that helps in saving power. While using your PC, setting your brightness level slightly lower than the highest level is better. Doing this can make a considerable amount of difference in the power consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gaming PCs will consume power even when idle. However, the power consumed while sitting idle will be far less than what’s consumed when it’s running.
SSDs are highly recommended if your gaming PC consumes less power. Also, having an SSD gives you the advantage of using hibernate mode, which helps you save power.
CRT monitors will give you a good gaming experience. However, switching to LCD/LED monitors is better if you look forward to saving more power.
- Gaming PC Power Usage: How Much Is Required?
- Get Computer Out Of Power-Saving Mode [Windows & Mac]
- How To Check Insufficient Power Supply
Thank you! Please share your positive feedback. 🔋
How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 😔
Ali Rashid Khan is an avid gamer, hardware enthusiast, photographer, and devoted litterateur with a period of experience spanning more than 14 years. Sporting a specialization with regards to the latest tech in flagship phones, gaming laptops, and top-of-the-line PCs, Ali is known for consistently presenting the most detailed objective perspective on all types of gaming products, ranging from the Best Motherboards, CPU Coolers, RAM kits, GPUs, and PSUs amongst numerous other peripherals. When he’s not busy writing, you’ll find Ali meddling with mechanical keyboards, indulging in vehicular racing, or professionally competing worldwide with fellow mind-sport athletes in Scrabble at an international level. Currently speaking, Ali has completed his A-Level GCEs with plans to go into either Allopathic Medicine or Business Studies, or who knows, perhaps a full-time dedicated technological journalist.