How Much Power Do Computers Consume?

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What Is The Power Consumption Of Desktop Computers?

The power consumption of desktop computers ranges from 40 to 250 Watts for PCs without monitors. Workstations may consume more energy. Desktop monitors are typically 20 Watts (not including CRT or LED-backlit models).

Computers have a maximum wattage on their power supply unit (PSU) which is usually well over 300 Watts (and over 1,000 Watts in the case of some high performance models). However, this wattage rating is the peak power output of the PSU, not the power consumption. The power consumption of computers varies significantly due to two key factors: Usage, and which parts are in them.

CPU concept

If you use an SSD, your computer will consume less power, if you use a high end video card like an AMD RX Vega model over a low end one, your computer will consume more power. If your computer contains an Intel i5 CPU, it will consume less power than if it was an i9. This is why this page breaks power consumption down by each computer part.

Monitor power consumption is heavily influenced by the size of the monitor (i.e. larger monitors consume more power). However, newer LED-backlit monitors consume far less energy than their older CFL-backlit counterparts.

LED-backlit monitors are not to be confused with OLED models. The LED-backlit monitors I referred to above are LCD monitors. OLED monitors do not utilize LCD technology.

Reasons

The power consumption of a desktop computer is attributable to a number of factors, including the type of CPU it has, video card (GPU), the type and number of drives in the computer, as well as other peripherals in the computer (such as additional video cards, video capture cards, CPU fans, chassis fans, among other devices).

For example: My desktop PC consumes between 40 and 85 Watts, depending on usage. It exceeded 80 Watts when doing certain video intensive tasks, such as watching TV shows (using a TV tuner adapter).

Table of Contents
Hard Drive Power Consumption
CPU Power Consumption
GPU Power Consumption
Fan Power Consumption

A Breakdown Of PC Power Consumption (Estimates)

Hard Drive Power Consumption

Conventional Hard Drive Power Consumption: 5 Watts to 6.8 Watts.

Solid-State Drive (SSD) Power Consumption: 1.6 to 4.1 Watts. SSD energy usage varies more widely than conventional hard drive power usage because SSDs use far less energy when idle (due to the lack of a power-hungry spindle motor).

Most of an SSD’s power consumption is attributable to read and write (I/O) operations.

CPU Power Consumption

This section provides CPU power consumption data based on their manufacturer’s official TDP ratings (the wattage), ordered by wattage (ascending).

The power consumption of a CPU is determined primarily by operating frequency, which is then determined by usage. Usage in this case refers to processing power demand (CPU utilization).

As a result of this, video games and other CPU-intensive apps will increase your PC’s power consumption. Leaving your computer idle usually causes it to consume less power, and (if nothing is running) operate at or near the CPU’s base frequency.

The power consumption figures in the tables below are derived from the TDP ratings provided by the CPU manufacturers.

AMD CPU Power Consumption

The power consumption of AMD processors ranges from 65 Watts to 180 Watts for the models in our database.

AMD CPU Power Consumption

BrandModelCoresBasefreq(GHZ)Maxfreq(GHZ)CachePower Usage (Watts)
AMDRyzen 3 2200G (with Vega 8 GPU)43.53.7465
AMDRyzen 3 120043.13.4865
AMDRyzen 3 1300X43.53.7865
AMDRyzen 5 160063.23.61665
AMDRyzen 5 150043.53.71665
AMDRyzen 5 140043.23.4865
AMDRyzen 7 170083.03.71665
AMDRyzen 7 1800X83.64.001695
AMDRyzen 7 1700X83.43.81695
AMDRyzen 5 1600X63.64.001695
AMDFX-830083.34.2895
AMDFX-8320E83.24895
AMDFX-8350844.28125
AMDRyzen Threadripper 1950X163.44.0032180
AMDRyzen Threadripper 1920X123.54.0032180
AMDRyzen Threadripper 1900X83.84.0016180
The power consumption of AMD processors, ordered by wattage. This includes the power consumption of Ryzen CPUs, and the power consumption of the AMD FX CPUs.

Intel i5 Power Consumption

The power consumption of Intel i5 processors ranges from 65 Watts to 95 Watts for the desktop models in our database.

Intel i5 CPU Power Consumption

BrandModelCoresBasefreq(GHZ)Maxfreq(GHZ)CachePower Usage (Watts)
Inteli5-740043.03.50665
Inteli5-750043.43.80665
Inteli5-650043.203.60665
Inteli5-347043.23.60677
Inteli5-3570K43.43.80677
Inteli5-4690K43.53.90688
Inteli5-7700K44.204.50891
Inteli5-6600K43.53.90691
Inteli5-7600K43.804.20691
Inteli5-240043.103.40695
The power consumption of Intel i5 CPUs, as well as other specifications such as i5 clock speeds, cache memory, and their core counts (desktop models only).

Intel i7 Power Consumption

Intel i7 CPU wattage ranges from 35 Watts to 140 Watts for the desktop models in our database. In the SQL table below, the ‘tdp’ field is the CPUs’ maximum wattage.

Intel i7 CPU Power Consumption

BrandModelCoresBasefreq(GHZ)maxfreq(GHZ)Cache (GHZ)Power Usage (Watts)
Inteli7-6700T42.803.60835
Inteli7-7700T42.903.80835
Inteli7-670043.404.00865
Inteli7-870063.24.601265
Inteli7-770043.604.20865
Inteli7-479043.604.00884
Inteli7-4790K44.004.40888
Inteli7-7700K44.204.50891
Inteli7-6700K44.004.20891
Inteli7-8700K63.74.701295
Inteli7-7820X83.604.3011140
The power consumption of Intel i7 CPUs (in the desktop segment) ordered by wattage, as well as other details such as the CPUs' base frequency, maximum frequency, core count, and cache memory.

Intel i9 Power Consumption

The power consumption (TDP/Wattage in this case) of Intel i9 CPUs ranges from 140 to 165 Watts, dependent on the model. Unsurprisingly, the 14, 16, and 18-core models consumed more energy than those with fewer cores, and all the i9 models consumed more power than all the i7 models in our database (with one exception: the i7-7820X).

Intel i9 CPU Power Consumption

BrandModelCoresBasefreq(GHZ)Maxfreq(GHZ)CachePower Usage (Watts)
Inteli9-7900X103.304.5013.75140
Inteli9-7920X122.904.4016.5140
Inteli9-7980XE182.604.4024.75165
Inteli9-7960X162.804.4022165
Inteli9-7940X143.104.4019.25165
The power consumption of Intel i9 CPUs ordered by wattage. Other details include core count, base frequency, maximum frequency, and cache memory.

AMD power consumption data is on its way. I’m just wrapping up that section before uploading it. 

Video Card Power Consumption (GPU Power Consumption)

As is the case with other electronic devices, the power consumption of GPUs is the current wattage * the amount of time in hours that it is running. GPU wattage varies, as GPU clock speeds are adjusted dependent on processing power demand.

GPU power consumption is often called ‘TDP’. TDP means ‘thermal design power’, and is the maximum power dissipation of a GPU, which is why the power consumption of GPUs may be lower than this figure on average (assuming typical computer usage with idling, etc).

If you are building a cryptocurrency mining rig (specifically a GPU mining rig), your GPU power consumption may be close to or equal to the TDP, due to high GPU utilization.

The table below lists the power consumption of NVidia and AMD GPUs, including the NVidia Titan series, NVidia GeForce series, and the AMD Radeon Series.

GPU Power Consumption

BrandModelPower Usage (Watts)Base Freq (MHZ)Boost Freq (MHZ)VRAMClassGigaflops
AMDRX 55050110011834Radeon1100
AMDRX 46075109012002Radeon2200
NVidiaGTX 1050 TI75129013924GeForce2138
NVidiaGTX 105075135414552GeForce1862
AMDRX 56080117512754Radeon2600
NVidiaGTX 95090102411882GeForce1825
AMDRX 47012092612064Radeon4900
NVidiaGTX 960120112711782GeForce2413
NVidiaGTX 1060120150617086GeForce3800
NVidiaGTX 970145105011784GeForce3920
AMDRX 570150116812448Radeon5100
NVidiaGTX 1070150150616838GeForce6463
AMDRX 480150112012668Radeon5800
NVidiaGTX 980165112612164GeForce4600
NVidiaGTX 1070 TI180160716838GeForce8100
NVidiaGTX 1080180160717338GeForce9000
AMDRX 580185125713408Radeon6200
AMDRX Vega 56210115614718Radeon21000
NVidiaGTX 980 TI250100010756GeForce5600
NVidiaGTX 1080 TI2501544165811GeForce11300
NVidiaTitan X2501417153112Titan11000
NVidiaTitan Xp2501405158212Titan12000
NVidiaTitan V2501200145512Titan110000
AMDRX Vega 64345124716778Radeon27500
The power consumption of many common graphics processing units (GPUs), as well as their base frequency, maximum frequency, compute power in gigaflops, and video memory (VRAM). This table is ordered by GPU wattage.

The table shows a significant correlation between the compute power of the GPUs (in gigaflops) vs GPU power consumption. However, some models are exempt from this correlation due to newer, more efficient technology.

For example: The newer NVidia Titan V is 250 Watts, while the AMD RX Vega 64 is 345 Watts. The Titan V achieves up to 110,000 gigaflops, while the RX Vega GPU only achieves 27,500 gigaflops. Both are powerful cards, but newer models usually trounce the performance of older ones. The Titan V GPU is also built for scientific research applications.

Power Consumption Of Fans

The power consumption of computer fans is dependent on size, airflow, efficiency, and usage. Most CPU fans are of variable speed PWM models, and some chassis fans are PWM controlled as well. This means that their power consumption will be determined by the speed the fan is currently operating at, as fan speed follows CPU temperature.

The maximum power consumption ratings of CPU and chassis fans observed was as low as 0.6 Watts for a 120mm Noctua PWM model, and as much as 4.8 Watts for an LED-illuminted model. As for the others:

  • 0.6 Watts (120mm model).
  • 0.84 Watts.
  • 1.08 Watts.
  • 1.2 Watts (80mm).
  • 1.44 Watts (120mm).
  • 2.76 Watts (140mm).
  • 3 Watts (120mm).
  • 4.2 Watts (120mm model with LEDs).
  • 4.8 Watts (120mm model with LEDs).

As the figures above suggest, bigger fans don’t necessarily consume more power. Some designs are more efficient than others, while some smaller fans have more powerful motors to spin their blades faster to augment airflow. The figures also show that the inclusion of LEDs increases power consumption. LEDs need power too!

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