How much electricity does a gaming PC use? [Answered]

If you are just thinking about building a new gaming PC or maybe buying it pre-built, you may wonder how much electricity does a gaming PC use.

Whether you got a huge electricity bill or not, it also seems quite logical to find out the power consumption of your gaming PC.

How much electricity does an average gaming PC use?

Your gaming PC’s power consumption most likely varies from 35KWh to 90KWh per month or from 440KWh to 1100KWh annually.

Keep in mind that a gaming PC’s power usage depends on many factors, such as hardware installed, external devices, software, and much more.

If you want to know how much power individual components use, the table below might clear things up a bit.

How much electricity do gaming PC parts use?

PartPower consumption(Watts)
The central processing unit (CPU)
55 – 150W
Random-access memory (RAM)
2 – 5.5 W
Graphics card (GPU)
5 – 350 W
Hard disk drive (HDD)
0.7 – 9 W
Solid state drive (SSD)
0.6 – 2.8 W
Case fan
0.6 – 6 W
Power supply unit (PSU)
Draw power as needed

When building custom gaming PCs, it is important to estimate the energy usage of your components to get the correct power supply unit.

On top of that, knowing what to get for your gaming computer could help with saving some money on your electric bill down the road.

CPU energy consumption

As you can see in the table above, the CPU uses more energy than any other part, except for the GPU.

To choose the right CPU for your gaming PC, you need to pay attention to a couple of things:

  • How many cores does it have?
  • What is the clock speed?
  • Voltage settings

The rule of thumb is the more cores it has, the more power you are going to need.

Why is it important?

Your gaming PC might only need a CPU with 6 cores, instead of 16. Therefore, you are saving not only on an electric bill but also on a CPU. There is not much electricity consumption difference between AMD and Intel Core processors, so you may choose whatever fits best.

Keep in mind that a gaming PC requires a higher number of cores, so if you want to save power, you may instead consider focusing on other PC components.

RAM power consumption

RAM’s power draw is extremely small in a gaming PC, however, it is the easiest electricity cost optimization.

Currently, a gaming PC uses DDR4 by default. The good news is the power usage of each iteration of the DDR is less than the previous one. However, it might not affect your average electricity cost as much.

For context, DDR1 uses about 4-5W and DDR4 works on merely 1.2W.


If you were not discouraged by such a small optimization to your energy consumption, it is a big change in your gaming PC performance.

The reason for that is, an 8GB RAM stick has the same power usage as a 16GB RAM stick.

It means, no matter how much memory you get, your average electricity usage will be the same, as long as you are getting the same number of RAM sticks.

GPU energy consumption

When talking about PC’s power consumption, the graphics card is usually the one that needs more power than every other component. For a gaming PC, this goes even further.

With a GPU, you cannot reduce power consumption, because it needs exponentially more energy when loaded, compared to when it is idle. So, how much power a gaming PC uses when playing games is higher than when it is doing nothing in particular.

Why is it important?

A gaming PC consumes more energy when the computer uses its GPU to the max. To answer how much electricity does a gaming PC use, you need to first answer how long your gaming sessions last.

Hard drive energy consumption

Gaming PC’s power consumption usually ties back into how power efficient the drive is in the gaming PC.

More on hard disk drives

Usually, gaming PCs have a bigger 3.5″ HDD inside. However, it is also possible to build a PC with a smaller 2.5″ HDD.

A 2.5″ HDD consumes 3 times less energy than a bigger 3.5″ HDD.

More on solid-state drives

An SSD does not need as much energy as a bigger 3.5″ HDD and is similar to the 2.5″ HDD’s results.

Despite that, an SSD is much more resilient and extremely faster than an HDD. Although, its life is much shorter.

Why is it important?

When it comes to a gaming computer, you most likely need both, however, could easily get away with either. Just remember that an HDD uses more power, while an SSD could save you a few dollars in electricity bills.

Case fan energy consumption

Lastly, case fans also have some power requirements.

Here are some of the things that affect the electricity usage of case fans:

  • Number of revolutions per minute (RPM), or simply fan speed
  • Size of the actual fans
  • LED lights, if present

Why is it important?

The higher the speed of the fans and the bigger the fans get, you might expect higher energy consumption.

The same applies to LED lights that the gaming PC has either on the case fans or on the case itself.

on gpu cooler units…

One trick that only gaming PC connoisseurs know is that you can use a smaller case fan instead of your broken GPU fan. Besides, it will only use as small as 0.6 W!

It is usually considered a better cooling solution, anyway.

Peripheral devices

Anything that is plugged into your computer affects your PC’s average consumption. Your electricity bill will also consist of things such as

  • mouse and keyboard
  • USB speakers
  • joystick/gamepads
  • monitor
  • external hard drive
  • LED lights

Although many of the devices listed above use very little power, you may want to consider plugging them out when you are not utilizing them at the moment.

On monitors…

Even though monitors have a dedicated power cord and draw energy from your power socket rather than your gaming PC, it might be wise to choose ones that have special power-saving modes to lower overall max consumption.

Should you consider thermal design power (TDP)?

The simple answer is yes and no. Let me elaborate.

What is thermal design power?

In the most simple terms, TDP means how much electricity your specs should use while tolerating maximum heat.

Gaming computers generally get very hot, due to the workload that those computers are for. Even a gaming console is not safe from it.

So to ensure that processors like CPU or GPU (which usually is under the most load) will not break due to the heat while you are playing a game, the best cooling solution needs to be in place.

How does it relate to electricity consumption?

As mentioned before, there needs to be an appropriate cooler for the CPU. And you can find it by looking at the CPU’s TDP.

Lower TDP means less power is required and also less cooling.

A cooler, as well as a CPU and all other PC parts, require something that will get the actual electricity to those parts.

And that leads us to the last important internal part of our gaming PC – a power supply unit.

What power supply unit (PSU) do you need for a gaming PC?

A power supply unit is something that fills your PC with electricity. It is a very, if not the most, crucial part when it comes to building or upgrading a custom gaming PC.

A PSU has more power than it is ever needed for your PC parts.

Generally speaking, you only ever need about 500 W PSU. However, some people recommend getting a 600-750 W or more PSU. Although you may save some money and get a 500 W PSU, that is fine.

80 Plus Rating

Without getting into any technical detail, the 80 Plus Rating shows the efficiency of your power supply unit.

80 Plus Rating has 6 total tiers. You can find it by its logo, which has the name on it. It should not be very hard.

For a gaming PC PSU, it is best to get bronze or silver tiers. For more efficiency, you can always go for the higher tiers as well.

Gaming PC electricity consumption using a power meter

Depending on your activity, your gaming PC consumes less or more power compared to what you might expect just from the computer.

If you want to calculate your electricity costs as accurately as possible just for your gaming PC:

  1. Get a power meter and plug it right into your wall outlet.
  2. Plug your PC’s power cord into the power meter.
  3. Play games, or do work on your gaming computer.

This will give you the best results and is a superior way of calculating your electricity costs compared to, for example, an online calculator.

How to decrease the amount of power your gaming PC uses?

Now that you know all about your PC’s power usage, let’s talk about what you can do to save as much electricity as possible.

Swipe the dust

First and foremost, you need to clean your PC every once in a while. This is probably the most important step, as the built-up dust inside your PC prevents the effective cooling of your entire system.

In turn, overheated components will require extra cooling, to fight off extreme heat. In other words, if you keep the inside of your PC clean, you will not need as much cooling. Therefore, your computer will not need as much power to work properly.

Here is what you can use:

  • damp cloth
  • compressed air

And here is what you should never use:

  • vacuum cleaner

You can use the vacuum to clean your room where the PC is, however, you should never vacuum inside your PC case!

Change your Windows settings

You may well be aware of this, but when you leave your PC turned on, it goes to sleep mode. You may even set it yourself. However, one thing you probably did not know is while in sleep mode, your RAM is still powered!

This is done to ensure your files and settings are saved and could be loaded immediately when you come back. Pretty useful, but we can try something else.

Hibernate mode instead saves your data into the drive. Loading from the drive will be slower compared to loading from RAM, but if you have an SSD, this is no longer a problem for you.

So, if you want to use less power, try turning on the hibernate mode.

Additional tips

If you already use the tips and tricks above, you must already be saving up on your energy. But if you want to go even further, try some of these:

  • Change or upgrade your older PC parts. As time goes on, your hardware wears out and can no longer work as efficiently.
  • Close background programs. When playing a game, you rarely need a browser. Or when working, you probably do not need your Discord running. Close any unnecessary programs from the Task Manager on Windows, as they make your PC use extra electricity.
  • Turn off program startup. You can find the startup page in your Task Manager. Turn off startup for any unnecessary programs, so they will not be launched with your PC.
  • Lower the brightness of your monitor. Or enable ECO or energy-saving mode on your monitor, if available.
  • Turn off RGB on your peripherals. You can try turning off the lighting on your keyboard or mouse, as it will help with energy consumption.

Frequently asked questions

In this section, let’s answer some of the most popular questions on gaming PC power usage.

How much does it cost to run a gaming PC on electricity?

It costs between $8.4 and $13.5 per month or between $65.70 and $164.25 annually, depending on your hardware, activity, and electricity rates.

Does gaming increase electricity bill?

Yes. Gaming or any other power-hungry activity on your computer increases how much power your PC uses. Hence, your electricity bill will increase as well.

Does a PC use a lot of electricity?

A PC consumes a lot of electricity. A gaming PC could power ten gaming consoles. However, how much power it uses depends on what you are doing.

How much electricity does a computer use in 24 hours?

A computer uses somewhere from 1.2KWh to 3kWh per day.

Final thoughts

In this article, I tried answering in detail how much energy does a gaming PC use. From gaming PC components to external devices that connect to your computer, they all make up the total amount of power that your gaming PC uses.

With the right understanding of what makes up the electricity bill, you can follow the tips that will help you save electricity and money, or maybe build an energy-efficient computer.

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