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For Gamers: How Much Power is My PC Using?

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For Gamers: How Much Power is My PC Using?

Have you been asking yourself, “How much power is my pc using?”

You have two options for determining power usage of your computer. The one that costs you money is more accurate. The one that’s free is less precise.

When you’re ready to figure out which is which, read on.

How Much Power is My PC Using?

The easiest way to figure out how much electricity your PC is using is to invest in a power meter plug. They’re inexpensive devices that fit between your PC plug and your wall outlet. They measure precisely how much power any given device is using.

If you just want a rough guesstimate, here are a few general guidelines for PC power usage.

Budget PC Builds

  • Load Wattage: 310 Watts
  • Recommended Wattage: 360 Watts
  • PSU headroom: 140 Watts

Mid-range PC Builds

  • Load Wattage: 388 Watts
  • Recommended Wattage: 438 Watts
  • PSU headroom: 262 Watts

High-end PC Builds

  • Load Wattage: 505 Watts
  • Recommended Wattage: 555 Watts
  • PSU headroom: 345 Watts

Extreme PC Builds

  • Load Wattage: 812 Watts
  • Recommended Wattage: 862 Watts
  • PSU headroom: 688 Watts

Remember, these are only estimates. The general rule of thumb is that more powerful CPUs and video cards require more power.

If you’re concerned about the effect of your PC on your power bill, these are a few other power-saving tips. If you’re building your own PC and need to determine power supply consumption for your power supply unit, read the next section.

How do I calculate my power supply unit requirements?

When you hunt for a power supply unit (PSU) for your PC, you’ll want to leave yourself a little wiggle room. First, figure out how many amps your individual computer components use. Add them together.

Then find out how many volts your components use. Add them together. If you have any trouble finding these numbers, check on their manufacturer’s websites.

Next, you’ll want to multiply the total number of amps by the total number of volts. This is how you calculate watts:

Volts * Amps = Watts

The result is the total number of watts that your PC requires. This is what you use to determine which PSU to buy for your PC. Add at least 10% to this number.


Well, if you overclock any of your components, they’ll draw more power. Also, you may want to add additional components which will draw more power. Then, you won’t need to buy a new power supply each time you upgrade.

You can also use a PC power use calculator to figure out how many watts your PC is drawing. It’s a simple online calculator in which you choose your computer components from drop-down menus. The calculator does the rest for you.

The drawback is that it isn’t as exacting as doing it by hand. You may end up with a number that’s somewhat smaller than the number you actually need. Be forewarned.

What’s Next?

We’ve answered the question, “How much power is my pc using?” If you’re reading this article to figure out which PSU to choose, remember to always round up. It’s better to buy a PSU with more watts than you need.

If, on the other hand, you’re hoping to save money on your next power bill, your PC may not be the power hog you think it is. Contact us today for additional power-saving advice and other electrician services. Good luck and happy gaming!