1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

How much power does your computer use?

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by Growltiger, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    I leave my main machine active all the time, as it also works as the server for other computers. Only the monitor is allowed to sleep.

    I recently upgraded most of its internals, with a modern motherboard, i7-8700K, 32GB memory, 512GB NVMe SSD, AMD RX 580 Nitro 8G graphics card. It has a Corsair 850W power supply, and a 4TB WD drive.

    I thought it would be interesting to get an idea how much power it uses. This would also give a very rough idea of the adequacy of the power supply (inaccurate because ideally one would know the power on each of the output voltage lines, and power supplies are far from 100% efficient.)

    So I bought a cheap power meter from China. You plug an appliance into it, plug it into a power socket, and a digital display tells you how many Watts are being used.

    Here are the results. The monitor is not included, it has its own power lead.
    • Idle: 70W
    • Prime95 (drives CPU and memory hard, 100% CPU): 200W
    • FurMark (drives GPU hard): 300W dropping to 260W
    • Prime95+FurMark: 440W dropping to 380W
    I think the reason the power drops is that the GPU hits 85 degrees and the AMD software then reduces the GPU performance to avoid overheating.

    I am pleased to see that when idle it uses so little power. The maximum of 440W shows that I should be well within the limits of the power supply, even as it ages.
  2. Kingfisher


    Dec 26, 2010
    I really don't want to know because the utility company rubs salt in my wound by telling me every month I use more electricity than my neighbors.:eek:  Well, between the server, firewall, Cisco POE switches, NVR, and security systems I can't cut back as I streamlines it the best I can and have the latest energy sipping equipment. As for the computer I'm on now, I really don't know but it would be interesting to see. Please post a link to the meter you are using. Thanks.
  3. There is one called a "Kill A Watt".
    You can use it for 1 minute or for 1 month.
    It is very useful in finding what your energy hog appliances are.
    I left it on my computer for a full month, calculated the KWH used and multiplied it by my highest tiered rate for electricity and determined that my computer used $5 worth of electricity per month when leaving it on 100% of the time.
  4. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    Mine is a model for UK power sockets, but it looks identical to this one for US sockets: https://www.amazon.com/Excelvan-Display-Voltage-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B00E1E1XA2/
    The only feature I got it for was the continually changing display of Watts being used.

    My electricity company does the same as yours. There is no way to tell their computer that I don't have any neighbours and that my house is not like anyone else's anyway. I have converted to LED lighting, even including several extremely powerful security floodlights.
  5. Kingfisher


    Dec 26, 2010
    Nice! I am all LED here as well. I found my biggest electric hog was the cable boxes and TVs. Got rid of them and my bill dropped dramatically. Only one TV and box now. I think that my other draw is the UPS on the IT/security equipment that can run for many hours off of battery when the power fails. I think I will get a Kill-A-Watt like Dave to see how much draw all that equipment takes going through the UPS even though I can't change it.
  6. I found out my DirectV Energy Star rated receiver was using quite a bit less electricity monthly than my Non Energy Star receiver in sleep mode let alone when in use. I called DirectV and they replaced the receiver. The Kill A Watt has more than paid for itself over the years.
  7. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    The device I gave you the link to does all the other functions too. It can show the accumulated KWH as well as the current Watts, and Voltage. I think it is just a cheaper version of the Kill a Watt.

    I had a Belkin UPS. I found that it didn't work as the battery was not holding its charge. I replaced the battery, and when I checked that one wasn't much good either. Then I scrapped the whole UPS idea. UPS is fine if you buy an expensive setup and stacks of good batteries.
  8. That is definitely a good price and it does look like it has the same features.
  9. My editing computer draws ~710W under full load. That is just the PC..no monitor or external drives included.
  10. SteveK


    Mar 16, 2005
    We are off grid, so I have a meter I look at all the time to see energy usage. I know for instance that the toaster uses 1100 watts, a microwave is 2000 watts, my water pump draws 1200 watts, my desktop computer uses 600 watts with the monitor on.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.