August 13, 2011

## Desktop PC vs. Laptop Power Consumption

I remember there was a time when the electric bill in my pad went over Php14k, almost double the usual amount I pay on regular months. We use a lot of electrical devices, including 2 desktop PCs and a number of laptops so I thought of doing a simple experiment.

For about a month, I would not touch one of the desktop PCs in my room and use a laptop instead (even for the more task-intensive and gaming routines) and see how much would that affect the total power consumption.

My computation was this — a typical laptop would max out at 90watts in power consumption while a mid-range desktop PC (with a discrete GPU) would use up to around 500watts. If you include a large monitor, that’s another 50 watts.

Assuming the computer is on and running for about 12 hours a day, that’s 550watts x 12hours/day x 30days/month to give you a total of 198kW.

For a laptop, that’s just 90watts x 12hours/day x 30days/month for a total of 32kW.

The difference of 166kW amounts to about Php2,158 for the whole month (electricity rate pegged at Php13/KWhr). In a year, you can actually save enough money to buy another laptop. If you use a netbook instead of a full-sized laptop, that’s around 40watts/hour of power consumption and could drop your bill by another Php234 per month.

If you also have aircon in your room, the heat dissipation coming from the PC could add to the power consumed by the aircon to cool the room to the desired temperature (though there’s no way for me to figure that one out).

### 84 Responses to “Desktop PC vs. Laptop Power Consumption”

1. Delecroix says:

I use Asus’s EPU technology to save power with my desktop, honestly it works cause my father has a voltage indicator on how much does my PC use up in terms of watts and I’m getting an average of 89 watts in power saving mode but when doing Adobe After effects I turn it off and usually have around 230 watts without power saving mode. So that I can get the best performance in rendering graphics :D

My AVR can support all of my devices then its connected to the voltage indicator

2 – Chimei 196VD Monitors
1 – i3 – 530, Asus P7H55 Motherboard
1 – DDR3 1GB Graphics Card
1 – Altec Lansing Speakers

2. Steve says:

I usually use desktop computers 10 years ago. I read their comments and their right too. But laptops are really energy saver and regarding their durability I use laptop cooling fans connected to usb which draws power from the same laptop.With regards with the battery, there is a battery maintenance software which you can download too for free.Desktop are good for games and video editing work but consumes lot of power or electricity especially if you use it 24hrs. a day.

3. Earl says:

I believe the age and technology of your desktop will mostly determine if it will consume more or less electricity.

With technology nowadays, with the latest cpus and gpus, i dont feel any increase in electricity consumption. Add in the age/tech of your monitor, with an LED, you’re saving more than you’re consuming.

On the TV alone, our household spent more having the old 32in LCD, compared when we replaced with a new 42inch.

4. Edwin C says:

Isn’t it obvious?

5. zsc says:

It’s basically wrong to compute the power consumption of your desktop or laptop based on its rated power. The 500W rating of a power supply in a desktop is the maximum theoretical load a PS can handle, the same principle applies to a laptop power supply. On the average, desktop draws 50-70W, 15″ CRT monitors draws 75W, while a 19″ LCD consumes 35W. New led backlit laptop barely consumes 20-40W…

• JP Yao says:

The same things going on in my head.

6. jonaflormicfren