Question Why focus on initial price for a system and not also focus on the power usage over time?


Feb 27, 2023
Most people want a build with a maximum price, but never seem to focus on how much power the system uses over time.
  • What are your opinions about power usage over time?
  • At your location, what is the price for 6 hours of 100W for a year?
  • Do you want the price of of power usage included in benchmarks?
At my location the cost of using 100W for 6 hours per day is approximately $100 per year.
At my location, 100 watts for 6 hours a day for a year would cost about 44 dollars. I'd guess that is pretty close to what it costs me to operate my PC and monitor for a year, given my usage of about 13 hours a day.

I keep track of my KWH cost. Ten years ago, the cost would have been about 33 dollars. About 20 cents per KWH now; about 15 cents then.

Probably human nature to not think much about total cost of ownership over the long haul....too much pleasure/obsession fulfillment in the short run. You may as well expect people to give up smart phones or stay off Twitter, Tik Tok, or whatever the latest rage is.
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You can always reduce the power your system is drawing, just by enabling vsync or using a frame limit, or if you are doing "productivity" by using bios or throttlestop to clamp the power usage to whatever level you feel ok with.

Benchmarks should absolutely show power draw for each test and also show how much lower you can turn the power before seeing a significant difference, like 10% less performance maybe.

Pugetsystems has done this in a limited manner for the 13900k.


There are vastly different power prices across the planet.
Where I live, that 100W for 6 hrs per day is approx $28/year.

Sure, you can look for lower power parts, or undervolt what you have now.
But how much performance do you want to give up in the chase for a lower elec bill?

And in the grand scheme of household power consumption, the PC is far down the list.


100W at 6 hours per day is only $15 for me. (219kWh in a year) So a decent gaming laptop could be run for that. One cheap restaurant meal basically, out of a whole year.

My gaming PC maybe uses 5 times that at most. And 6 hours a day would be a lot for me for when it comes to gaming. Drop in the bucket compared to what I actually spend on hardware in an average year.

I do run a low power system for media playback separately though. I have that system throttled. Not actually sure what the total consumption is, but well under 100W on average I would guess. (Next on my upgrade list, still running a 4th gen chip)

My car has consumed about 300 kWh so far this year, or about $20 over a good two months (about $150 a year with my regular commute)

By far the air conditioner is the lion's share of any US household. (And heating in the winter for those with heat pumps or electric furnaces)