I bought a powerful GPU for creating games and artwork generated by AI, but when it’s at full power, it takes a lot of power. But what about boring chores?
Idle power consumption is similar across GPUs
When a new GPU is released, there’s constant talk about how much power they’re consuming, and curious PC builders are left wondering if they need a new PSU to support their new (and almost always higher) power demands. want to know
It’s easy to think that these new powerful GPUs take a lot of power in every aspect. In fact, you might think, “I spend most of my time working on spreadsheets and documents at work, and very little time playing games, so I’m probably wasting a lot of electricity on this. ”
Fortunately that did not happen. Although there are significant differences in the peak capabilities of different generations of graphics cards, there is not much difference between idle and semi-idle loads.
There is a huge difference between cards like the GTX 1060 and RTX 3080 when it comes to the maximum processing capabilities and capabilities. The GTX 1060 uses about 5 watts of power when idle and the RTX 3080 uses about 15 watts of power when idle.
It’s not quite the same power consumption, but it’s a fairly small difference. You don’t want to ruin the environment or risk energy bills that you can’t afford with fluctuations in idle energy consumption. At 12 cents per kilowatt-hour and 8 hours of computer use per day, the difference in idle power consumption between the two cards is about $0.29 per month.
If you want to search the power consumption data of different cards, you can search the internet and search for your specific card. However, a helpful shortcut to go deeper and compare is to check out the power consumption stats in our in-depth TechPowerUp card review, like this one for the ASUS RTX 3080 Noctua OC.
For each card they review, they perform a comprehensive stress test and provide power breakdown data for idle, multiple screens, gaming, and maximum power consumption. You might not want to delve into power consumption data too much, but if you do, it’s there. Find a card or similar model and drill.
Speaking of power consumption, if you want to test total power consumption idle and load your computer (or other device), check out our guide on monitoring power usage.
Energy consumption under load is another story
Of course, the power consumption under load will be different for newer, more powerful cards. This is exactly the reason why PSUs need to be upgraded to keep up with the demands of new GPUs.
Under load, the aforementioned GTX 1060 card can reach a power consumption of 125W when playing hard games or doing display work.
On the other hand, the RTX 3080 can easily reach 345W while playing tough games. Admittedly, that’s a 220 watt difference, not a trivial amount.
However, it still does not affect your electricity bills as much as expected. Let’s say you’re playing a game that’s already hooking up to your GPU and you’re playing for 4 hours a night. Again, using 12 cents per kWh as the base point, you’re spending $1.80 per month on power consumption for the GTX 1060 and $4.97 per month on power consumption on the GTX 3080.
So, assuming every second of your gameplay effectively resets the GPU (which it might not be), you’re spending an extra $3.17 per month for the same amount of games.
Upgrading your GPU may save you money! A joke in the PC gaming community is that by the time you upgrade your device, you’ll be too busy to enjoy it. Throw a powerful new GPU out there and be confident that your electric bill will go up as you stay busy with school, work, kids, or all of the above.