How Much Power Does My Windows PC Use? Here’s how to find out


Have you ever wondered how much energy your PC consumes and how much that adds to your monthly electricity bill? You can measure the power consumption of any PC through many methods and depending on how much effort you are willing to put in. you can get measurements as accurate as you want.

In this article, we’ll show you how to measure your PC’s power consumption using different methods and calculate the dollars your PC contributes to your electricity bills each month.

The different methods to measure the power consumption of a PC

There are different ways to measure a PC’s power consumption, but three of the most popular methods are to use online power calculators, Windows apps, and power meters. There are pros and cons to each method, and the following tips can help you choose the best one for you:

  • Using an online power calculator is the easiest way to determine the power consumption of your Windows PC. All you need to do is know the specs and models of all the components in your PC. This method, however, gives you an estimate of power consumption which may be inaccurate.
  • Windows apps can give you a better estimate than online calculators. However, unlike the first method, they require you to download and install them on your computer. The accuracy of the results of this method depends on the reliability of the software.
  • Using a power meter can allow you to measure power consumption with an impressive degree of accuracy. In addition, you will be able to follow the variations of energy consumption when you decrease or increase the load of the components of your device. As obvious as it may seem, you will need a power meter for this.

The tips above should help you choose the appropriate method and help you predict the accuracy of the results you will get.

Whichever method you choose, apply full pressure to your device’s components before measuring power consumption. Only then can you determine how far consumption can go. As your PC does not always run at full load, you can estimate that the actual power consumption will be less than this. Check out our guide on how to safely test your overclocked CPU, GPU, and RAM, if you’ve never done it before.

Now let’s talk about how to measure your computer’s power consumption using each method.

How to Measure PC Power Consumption Using Online Power Calculators

Calculation of energy consumption on the OuterVision power meter

To measure the power consumption of a computer using online calculators, you need data on all components installed on your device. If you don’t already know, you can get the technical specs for your device from the manufacturer’s website. After collecting this information, the next step is to select a calculator to measure energy consumption.

Even though many online power calculators are available, such as those offered by Newegg, Coolermaster, Seasonic, Bequiet and many others, none can give you a more detailed estimate than the OuterVision Power Calculator. Therefore, we recommend that you go for the same option for a close estimate.

The OuterVision calculator offers two types of power estimates: basic and expert. In the basic case, you are asked for a few details and get a quick estimate of power consumption, while in the expert case, you can get an in-depth assessment of the power consumption of the entire your device.

How to Measure PC Power Consumption Using an App

To know how much energy your computer consumes during peak load, you must stress your components before measuring the power consumption with an application. Although you can use any free benchmark program for Windows for this purpose, we recommend using AIDA64 Extreme.

AIDA64 Extreme allows you to test specific components and display their power consumption as soon as load is applied. Thus, you can determine which components consume the most power when operating at full capacity. Follow these steps to measure your computer’s power consumption using AIDA64 Extreme:

  1. Download the software from the AIDA64 download page.
  2. Install the software once it has been downloaded.
  3. Type “AIDA64 Extreme” in Windows Search, right-click on the application and select Execute as administrator.
  4. Click on the Tools tab and select System stability test.
    Selecting System Stability Test from drop-down list in Tools tab of AIDA Extreme software on Windows
  5. Check all the boxes in the upper left corner of the System stability test window to test your entire system.
    Check all the boxes in the upper left corner of the System Stability Test window to test all components of AIDA Extreme software on Windows
  6. To view a graph showing power fluctuations, navigate to the Powers tongue.
  7. Click on the Begin button.
    Graph from AIDA64 software showing CPU power consumption under full load

As soon as the stress test starts, the software displays the power fluctuations. Let it run for a while and see how the power consumption has fluctuated. You can also uncheck a few boxes to relieve specific components and see their impact on power consumption. In the same way, you can check the power consumption of individual components under full load.

While this tool will give you a better idea of ​​power consumption, if you want the most accurate measurement, we recommend using a power meter or other power meter. If you go this route, be sure to keep your system at maximum stress like you did with AIDA64 Extreme.

How to measure energy consumption using a power meter

Oukitel P2001 output load vs power meter output load.
Image credit: Tina Sieber

Since the power meter measures the average flow of electrical energy, it can measure the power consumed by even the smallest chipsets in your PC. Therefore, when you compare this method with the other two, you can expect the power meter to provide the most accurate measurement of power consumption.

To measure the power consumption of a PC with a power meter, you must insert the power meter directly into the outlet, then plug the PC directly into the power meter. As soon as you press the power button on the outlet, a digital display shows you the number of watts consumed by your device in real time.

Increasing the load will also increase the power reading and vice versa. Thus, overloading your PC to its maximum capacity will allow you to see how much energy it consumes at its maximum performance.

How to Calculate the Cost of Your PC’s Power Consumption

Cash money and a calculator on printed white paper

Once you have your PC’s power consumption data in watts, convert it to kWh using any online calculator. After that, multiply the calculated power consumed in kWh by the cost of electricity per kWh charged in your state or country. This is how much your device adds to your electricity bill every hour.

For example, if your appliance consumes 200 watts and your electricity supplier charges you 20 cents per kWh, your electricity cost will be four cents per hour. To calculate the monthly costs, multiply the hourly rate by the average number of hours of daily use of your PC and the number of days of use per month.

Know how much energy your PC is using

While the little box on your table won’t break the bank in electricity costs, it’s essential to monitor it and try to reduce it as much as possible. This small expense, when added to the annual electricity bill, can add up to a considerable amount.

Hopefully, our article will help you determine the actual power consumption and calculate the costs accurately. Several online tools allow you to estimate the price automatically if you don’t want to do it manually.


Comments are closed.