How to measure the power consumption of a PC (and why it is important) | Digital Trends Spanish


Computers are powerful machines. These devices that most of us have sitting on our desks or laps are capable of doing incredible things. From intense video editing and image rendering to gaming, social media and all kinds of work. But how much energy do they use? How to measure the power consumption of a PC? Read on and you will find a quick solution for you.

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How to measure energy consumption with software

Daniel Martin / Screenshot

If you need to know how much power your computer or laptop is consuming, the process is relatively simple. However, you will require some additional hardware and software tools.

The software is great for getting an instant idea of ​​how the individual components of your computer are consuming power. Even so, they only provide an estimate of consumption for relatively short periods of time.

To get an idea of ​​the amount of energy your computer uses, we recommend that you visit OuterVision, is a free to use energy supply calculator. This service is very detailed, works for laptops and desktops, and is used by both hardware professionals and enthusiasts.

Basic verification allows users to estimate the power consumed by the monitor, storage, optical drive, video card, memory, processor and motherboard of your device, also taking into account the total time spent on the computer use and intense gaming or rendering.

Advanced users and experts can do all of the above, as well as calculate power consumption for fans, liquid cooling kits and pumps, PCI-e cards, processor utilization, multiple sets of video cards, and any attached technologies such as controllers. , keyboards, mice, USB devices and LED systems.

You can even calculate the power consumed by overclocking your graphics card and processor, compare the efficiency of different components, and determine how much power your computer actually needs.

Another great software option is Sidebar Diagnostics, which displays an advanced version of the native Windows Resource Monitor and allows you to view data about your computer’s power consumption along with your active GPU, network, and drivers.

Open Hardware Monitor is another free option worth considering, as it monitors your computer’s voltages, load and clock speeds, temperature sensors, and fan speeds.

How to measure power consumption with hardware

Buying devices capable of accurately measuring the total power consumption of your computer is not economical. However, if you need to make sure you have data that is timestamped and it is calculated within a 0.5 percent margin of error, then hardware is the only way to go.

If you want the best readings for your computer’s overall power usage, you’ll need to measure the connection from a wall outlet with an external power meter, such as an electricity usage monitor. P3 Kill-A-Watt.

This energy meter will allow you to take an accurate measurement of your computer’s energy consumption, available at Amazon, Home Depot, hardware stores, and other retailers for around $ 20 to $ 40.

How to measure the power consumption of a PC with the external power meter P3 Kill-A-Watt
Daniel Martin / Screenshot

For more detailed information, you will need something like the plug recorder HOBO UX120-018, which costs a whopping $ 239. However, users will be able to have a snapshot view of real-time 120V plug variables and totaled and time-stamped charging information for detailed energy analysis. This device also measures and records the power and consumption of your computer.

How important is it?

You may be wondering about the power consumption of your platform simply out of curiosity. But beyond that, there are some crucial reasons why you should know what kind of power your PC uses. One of the most common is updating your computer.

Individual pieces of hardware, like newer high-end graphics cards, may require a robust power supply. Before you go out and buy that expensive new video card, make sure you don’t need to upgrade the power supply as well.

Also, if you find that you need to upgrade your power supply, knowing the exact power requirements is essential. Increased electricity use will affect other components of your computer, and even the circuits in your home can play a role.

You will notice an increase in your power needs with any computer upgrade. For example, if you add high-performance components to improve your gameplay or rendering, your computer will need additional power. That will usually mean more charges on your electricity bill.

An everyday desktop or laptop computer likely won’t have a significant impact on your monthly payments. However, you may see a monumental change in a game system.

More power will also cause more heat and noise, as your computer will activate its fans to prevent it from overheating. It’s best to pay close attention to your computer’s power use if you’re concerned about heat or sound.

Keeping track of the energy your computer uses is very important if you want to undergo significant system upgrades without having to worry or worry about the cost of your electric bill.

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