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How Much Electricity Is Your Computer Using?

by Sean P. Aune | February 23, 2010February 23, 2010 12:25 pm PDT

While there are definite schools of thought about whether you should leave your computer on full time or not, one of the factors that might help you decide which is better for your system is just how much the electricity costing you to leave it on full time?

Do you remember as a kid that your parents would walk around the house turning off lights and yelling about how you needed to turn them off if you weren’t in the room?  This was usually followed by a comment about how money doesn’t grow on trees and you would be doing the same when you paid the bills.  Well, the problem was they didn’t count on not only computers taking off, but this always-on/always-connected attitude that the majority of Internet users have adopted.

power meterAnandtech did a lengthy detailed post a while back that included math calculations that were way beyond my comprehension, but from all of the different calculations I’ve looked at in my research, they seemed the most detailed, and at the end what you discover it some very basic facts:

  • A middle of the line computer run for 8 hours a day will cost you around $93.51 a year.
  • The same system running 24/7, and calculating in idle hours, would cost you $128.12 a year.
  • A 24-hour system (like a server) will run your around $440.85 a year.

Of course all of the calculations will vary depending on where you live, what the taxes are like, items you have installed on your system and so on.  Then you need to start adding in other things such as do you have a router?  You probably also have a DSL/cable/fiber modem in the system also.

Starting to cringe about that bill you never give any thought to?  Then you start adding up the fact your hard drive is always active, meaning it could die sooner … then there is your carbon footprint from the power being delivered to you … this is beginning to make me wonder why we’re even running these things!  They’re money suckers and killing the planet!

Let me go Google some solutions for other things I can do with my time …


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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