How Much Power Does a Laptop Use?

Laptop Charger

Laptops are an essential tool for most people these days. They’re portable, require just one cable to connect, and let us do just about any task we want. But have you ever wondered how much power your laptop consumes?

Quick Answer

Most laptops use somewhere between 40 and 100 watts of power, and this consumption depends on many factors, such as hardware components, software applications, screen size, and settings configuration.

Power consumption always increases with the increase in screen size and the number of programs running. Therefore, giving a fixed figure for the laptop’s power consumption isn’t easy.

If you’ve ever looked at the electrical side of a laptop and wondered why it pulls only 50 watts compared to a desktop that draws 300-350 watts, this is the article for you.

Popular Laptop Models and Their Power Usage

Calculating the rough power consumption of a typical laptop is an excellent way to draw comparisons and make judgments about the relative performance of computers.

As a benchmark for performance and longevity, here is a list of the typical power consumption of some usual laptop models across the board.

Google Chromebook

Chromebooks are a good option for laptops since they run on Google‘s fast and lightweight Chrome OS versus Windows. 

Chromebooks, such as those from Acer, HP, and Samsung, typically use 45-60 watts. Additionally, they have a longer battery life because Chrome OS needs less power to run.

Apple MacBook

Apple MacBooks are known for being well-designed and robust, meaning that they draw a decent amount of power. Still, power consumption depends significantly on usage.

The 13″ MacBook requires 60-70 watts, the 14″ MacBook Pro needs anywhere between 67 and 96 watts, and the 16″ MacBook Pro needs 140 watts.

Microsoft Surface

Best known for their tablet-like designs, Surface Windows laptops look fantastic and have impressive specs and components.

Microsoft Surface ships with a 65-watt charger. During idle and low CPU usage, power consumption hovers at around 20-30 watts, while it can reach up to 60 watts during intense use.

Notebook Laptops

Depending on the size of the screen, you may find power consumption as low as 20 watts and up to 100 watts in high-performance settings.

Notebooks are a great option if you want to save on power consumption, plus they offer the advantage of mobility because of their size.

Gaming Laptops

Gaming laptops are slightly more power-hungry than an average laptop because they have high-end CPUs and GPUs for extra performance.

With all those components, an average gaming laptop consumes between 200 and 400 watts of electricity to give the performance needed to run games.

Average Power Consumption of Laptop Components

You can get laptops that range from ultra-portables to gaming laptops that vary in size, weight, and performance. However, with that boost of power come higher electricity demands.

Let’s break down the average power consumption of the various components of a laptop to estimate your overall power consumption.

Central Processing Unit (CPUs)

CPUs are among the components that consume the most power, and they are responsible for crunching through calculations required by many other devices. The power consumption of processors ranges from 50 to 150 watts, depending on the number of cores.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPUs)

The better the graphics performance, the greater the power usage when it comes to power consumption. Depending on their performance, a low-end GPU usually consumes 25 to 80 watts, whereas a high-end GPU can consume 200 watts.

RAM and Hard Disk Drive

For every 8GB of DDR3 or DDR4 memory, 3 watts of power is needed. In contrast, SSDs take up only 3 watts of energy compared to HDDs, which can draw up to 9 watts. RAM and HDDs are less power-hungry than the CPUs or GPUs.

Screen Size and Resolution

Typically, a 16-inch screen consumes 60 to 70 watts per hour, while a larger screen may consume 150 watts per hour. The screen resolution also plays a role in the overall energy consumption.

Laptop Power Saving Tips

Whether you’re an energy saver, greenie, or want to save money, here’s a quick rundown of some things you can do to conserve energy and extend the lifetime of your laptop.

  1. Use a charger only when your laptop is charging, and disconnect the charger once your computer has finished charging.
  2. When not in use, disconnect all external devices, such as external mice, keyboards, printers, etc.
  3. Lower your display’s brightness, so you are using less energy. Keeping it at the lowest setting possible will make a big difference.
  4. Switch to the Energy Saver power scheme in your power options to take advantage of Windows’ built-in power-saving features.
  5. When it’s not in use, shut down the laptop rather than going to sleep, as this will save you more energy.

These are a few things you can do to conserve energy, prolong the life of your device, and cut down on environmental impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many watts does a laptop use in 1 hour?

The power consumption of a laptop depends on many factors. It will consume about 60 watts per hour if it’s a regular laptop, but it will consume a lot more if it’s a high-end gaming laptop. The guide above provides more details.

Does a laptop use more electricity than a desktop?

Laptops are often more energy-efficient than desktops because they can run off battery and don’t need to be plugged in as often. On the other hand, desktop computers must always be plugged in and can consume anywhere from 200 watts to more than 800 watts per hour.

How much power does a laptop use in a day?

In general, laptops consume between 50 and 150 watts per hour, depending on the type of laptop, so if you use your computer for 10 hours a day, it consumes between 500 and 1500 watts a day.

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