The average gaming PC will often use somewhere between 300W and 700W of power. The exact amount of electricity that is used (and how much it costs) depends on the PC itself, your usage of the computer, and the price of electricity in your area.
With electricity costs climbing throughout the country, people are becoming more aware of their usage of things like TVs, game consoles, and yes, gaming PCs. These gaming PCs are often known as very power-hungry and often have a reputation for hogging a lot of electricity.
But how much power does using your gaming PC actually use? Keep reading to find out.
- Gaming PCs often use anywhere from 300W to 700W to operate.
- The exact amount can easily be measured using a power meter.
- How much power your PC uses depends on the specs, the peripherals you are using, and more.
The Average Amount of Power a Gaming PC Uses
The average gaming PC will use somewhere between 300W and 700W of power at any given time. For comparison, game consoles like the PS5 and Xbox often use around 200W or so, and a simple modern television will use a little over 50W.
If you want to know exactly how much your gaming PC in particular is using, you can use a power meter. This device gets plugged into an outlet, and then when you plug your PC into the meter, you will see the power consumption of your PC in real time.
If you are curious about how much this PC usage contributes to your power bill, that process is quite simple. You simply need to find out how much power it uses at a given time, figure out how much time you spend on it, and then learn the cost of electricity in your area.
For example, let’s say your PC uses 500W of power, you play it for 5 hours each day, and your electricity cost is 15 cents per kWh. You would spend only 40 cents a day, which would end up being around $12 a month in electricity costs.
So while a gaming PC does use more power than many consoles and TVs, the cost of this power doesn’t add up to be a ton for most gamers.
Factors That Influence How Much Power a Gaming PC Uses
While looking at the average amount of power that a gaming PC uses (and how much that will cost) can be helpful, the truth is that every PC is different. What one person’s PC uses in terms of power (and how much it adds to their monthly power bill) can differ wildly from the next.
Here are a few factors that will influence how much power a gaming PC will use.
Software and Hardware
The software and hardware in your PC is one of the biggest dictating factors when it comes to its power consumption. In terms of hardware, things like a high-end graphics card (GPU) and processor (CPU) will use a lot more power than low-end or budget choices.
The more advanced your hardware, and the more powerful your computer and settings are as a whole, the more electricity it will consume. In addition to hardware, the games and software you use can also play a part in how much power your PC will use.
For example, playing graphically simple games will use less power than gaming in 4K in a hugely detailed game, as this forces your computer to work harder and use more of its available performance.
Also, using peripherals like a mouse, keyboard, webcam, speakers, an external hard drive and other devices could lead to higher levels of power consumption, too.
Frequency of Usage
Of course, how often you play games on the computer will also dictate how much power it actually uses. The more frequently you play games (especially ones that are graphically intensive and require a lot of power), the more electricity your PC will need to consume.
Here are a few common questions about gaming PCs and power, along with their answers.
What are some tips to reduce the power consumption of your gaming PC?
If you want to reduce the power consumption of your PC, make sure to remove the dust and keep it clean, consider more efficient components, ensure you have adequate cooling in place, and uninstall software that is unnecessary and doesn’t get used.
What parts or components of a PC use the most power?
While it can vary from machine to machine, it is normally the GPU and CPU that is responsible for a majority of the power usage. Other things like the SSD or HDD, RAM, and optical drive use a little, but not nearly as much.
The exact amount of power a gaming PC uses depends on how often it is used, and how high-end and powerful the machine is. Something high-end will almost always use more power than a budget-friendly PC will.
While gaming PCs use more power than things like consoles, laptops, and TVs, they won’t cost most users much more than a couple of dollars a month. If you worry about your PC using too much power, invest in more efficient components or find ways to reduce consumption.
Have you ever tested how much power your gaming PC uses? Let us know in a comment below!