How much electricity does a gaming PC consume in 2021?

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Electricity pricing is a concern around the world, especially for gamers. However, most PC enthusiasts don’t realize how much power their machines consume. With controversial laws in several states preventing the sale of some high-end gaming pre-builts, now is a great time to watch. how much electricity a gaming pc uses.

What is the power consumption of a gaming PC?

It is difficult to calculate the average power consumption of a gaming PC because there is a wide variety of components that can be used in a build. So below we’ll provide some examples of generic PCs that represent a range of enthusiast configurations.

For these example versions, we will calculate the average cost with these assumptions:

  • The price per kWh is the US national average of $0.14
  • Assumes two hours per day of gaming usage.
  • The power supply is rated at >90% efficiency.
  • The computer goes into sleep mode or the user turns it off when not in use.

Power consumption of a high-end gaming PC

This build contains the highest-end (and most power-hungry) enthusiast-grade components on the market today. Sure, there are parts that use more power (looking at you, Xeon and Threadripper), but those are for media production and servers, and we’re limiting this release to parts that are marketed directly to gamers.

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4 (4 x 8 GB)
  • Storage: M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Secondary storage: 3.5″ 7.2K RPM SATA hard drive
  • Fans: 4X140mm
  • CPU cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i Elite
    • Annual energy consumption: $74.91
    • Monthly energy consumption: $6.24

Power consumption of mid-range gaming PCs

This version represents the average mid-level gaming PC. Most people who have built a rig in the last two years will find that it consumes about the same amount of power as this one:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060Ti
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 (2 x 8 GB)
  • Storage: M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Secondary storage: 3.5″ 7.2K RPM SATA hard drive
  • Fans: 4X140mm
  • CPU cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i Elite
    • Annual energy consumption: $53.93
    • Monthly energy consumption: $4.50

Low Level Gaming PC Power Consumption

For this build, we’ve collected parts representing the bare minimum of current-gen components a rig needs to be called a gaming computer.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-11400
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 (2 x 4 GB)
  • Storage: M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Fans: 4X140mm
  • CPU cooler: Deepcool Gammaxx 400
    • Annual energy consumption: $33.76
    • Monthly energy consumption: $2.81

How can I reduce the energy consumption of my PC?

The most important thing a user can do when trying to reduce the power consumption of their PC is to make sure they turn it off or put it to sleep after using it. Leaving a computer on 24/7 is a habit for many of us, but PCs consume a lot of power even when not charging.

Moreover, the amount of energy used by a PC is directly proportional to its processing power. So those who don’t need all the RAM and power of an RTX 3090 may want to consider an RTX 3070 or 3080 as a GPU instead.


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