Computers are an integral part of today's society. We use them for almost everything. Work, entertainment, connecting with friends, you name it – you probably use a computer to do it. Computers are incredibly powerful machines that can do amazing things. This begs the question, how much electricity does your PC consume?
If you use a computer for basic tasks like word processing and social media, your PC probably isn't eating up much power. However, more demanding tasks such as video editing or gaming may cause increased power consumption. If you're responsible for paying your household's utility bills, it's a good idea to know how much power your PC uses. Knowing how much juice your PC is consuming can help you work out your budget.
Note If you're worried about your bill, here are some ways to reduce your PC's power consumption.
Outervision's Expert Calculator allows you to enter more information about your PC. This includes everything from the basic calculator, as well as things like the number of storage drives, fans, PCI cards, and even liquid cooling devices. Additionally, to get the most accurate reading, you'll need to know things like the clock speed of your CPU and graphics card. Additionally, you can even factor in CPU and GPU overclocking. As with the basic calculator, once you have entered the relevant information, you can enter how long you use your computer in a day and whether it will be used for games or other heavy tasks.
Another way to monitor your PC's power consumption is to use a lightweight software application. There are a few available; however, one of the most popular is Open Hardware Monitor. Open Hardware Monitor is a free open source application that gives users real-time power consumption readings.
In addition to power consumption information, Open Hardware Monitor can tell you a lot more about your PC. This includes things like CPU, GPU, and hard drive temperatures, as well as fan speeds and load and clock speeds. This information can be presented in a graphics window, a desktop widget, or hidden as an icon in the system tray. In addition, Open Hardware Monitor is compatible with all Windows versions up to XP and any x86 Linux distribution.
One of the easiest ways to measure your computer's overall power consumption is to invest in an external power meter. Using these power meters couldn't be easier. All you need to do is plug the device into a wall outlet, then plug the power cable from your PC into the outlet built into the power meter. The next time you turn on your PC, the power meter will give you an accurate reading of how much electricity your PC is using.
This is especially handy for understanding the amount of energy consumed during various tasks. However, the downside is that an external power meter will not help you determine which PSU is right for your build.
That being said, getting on-the-fly readings of your PC's power consumption can be useful. There are a number of these power meters on the market, so finding one should be easy.
One of the highest-reviewed units is the Kill-A-Watt Electricity Consumption Meter, which boasts a 4.5-star rating from over 6,000 reviews. The best part is that they're quite inexpensive, with most being between $20 and $30. There are other more expensive units that offer additional features, like the ability to log power usage, but these can be a lot more expensive. For the average user, the cheaper units do the job.
Apart from determining the power consumed by your PC, you can also check the output power of the USB port to know if it is enough to power your external devices. Finally, find out how to choose a power supply for your PC.
ContentsWhy do you need to measure your PC's power consumption?How to measure power consumption using online toolsHow to measure power consumption with softwareHow to measure power consumption with meters