Your personal computer’s power consumption is not something that should raise eyebrows unless you’re using it for heavy-duty operations like gaming, cryptocurrency mining, programming, video editing, etc. However, you might be inclined to check the wattage of your PC to know just how much power you’re consuming by using it for your daily operations.
You can check the wattage of your PC in three ways. The most accurate method is by using a power meter. Plug the power meter into a wall outlet and then connect your PC to check the wattage. Other methods involve using online tools like Outer Vision or a software application like the hardware monitor, which gives real-time power consumption figures.
In this article, we shall discuss why you should check the wattage of your PC and the three methods for checking the wattage of your PC.
- Why You Should Check the Wattage of Your PC
- How To Check Your PC’s Wattage
Why You Should Check the Wattage of Your PC
Are you trying to cut your energy budget and are currently evaluating how much power your PC uses? Or you’re just a curious person eager to learn new things? We’ve come up with three reasons why you might need to check the wattage of your PC.
You Want To Upgrade Your PC
If you suddenly decide to upgrade your PC, which runs normal operations like browsing, to run heavy-duty operations like gaming, you will need to check your PC’s wattage. Before upgrading the internal components like the processor and graphics card, you must know the wattage to buy a suitable power supply unit.
You Need To Buy a Replacement Charger
Knowing your computer’s wattage is necessary when replacing your charger. The replacement charger must provide maximum charging speed without harming your computer.
To Monitor Electricity Consumption
You may be trying to save money on electricity, so you want to know how much power your computer consumes. Checking the wattage of your computer lets you know which applications are consuming a lot of power and plan how you can cut costs by limiting your time on those heavy applications.
How To Check Your PC’s Wattage
We have come up with three methods for checking the wattage of your personal computer. The three methods are effective but differ in terms of accuracy. The most accurate method involves using a hardware device called the power meter.
The second method involves using an online power supply calculator, while the third method is to measure power consumption using a software application installed on your computer.
Method #1: Checking Wattage With Hardware Device
Using a power meter to check your PC’s wattage is the most accurate of all three methods. Power meters give you real-time power consumption data with an error margin of 0.5%.
Although several power meters are available on the market, users mostly recommend the Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. According to users, the Kill-A-Watt monitor is accurate and easy to use and costs between $20 to $30. The Kill-A-Watt monitor can also be used to measure the wattage of your other electronic devices.
Follow these steps to use the power meter to calculate your PC’s wattage:
- Plug the power meter into the wall outlet.
- Plug your computer into the outlet of the power meter.
- The power monitor displays the computer’s energy consumption, usually in kilowatt-hours, on its screen.
Method #2: Checking Wattage With Online Tool
Online tools help you estimate your personal computer’s power consumption by using raw data that you provide. An online tool like the Outer Vision calculator calculates the load wattage data, estimated electricity costs from using your computer, and the recommended power supply after you have provided it with necessary information about your computer.
Unlike the power meter, the online tools may not accurately represent the exact power consumption and do not give real-time power consumption data. However, its advantage over the power monitor is that you can use the online tool to estimate the power consumption of a PC you’re trying to buy.
To use the OuterVision calculator, follow these steps:
- Visit the OuterVision website.
- Choose the basic version for a quick power consumption estimate or the expert version for the advanced estimate.
- Fill in the required information in each section.
- Click “Calculate” to display results.
Method #3: Checking Wattage With Software Application
If you want to get the real-time wattage of your computer with a software application, then we recommend using the Open Hardware Monitor. You can download and install the software for free and use it to monitor your real-time power draw readouts.
Apart from the wattage, you can also use the software to check the voltage, load and clock speeds, temperature of your processing units and hard drives, fan speeds, etc.
Knowing your personal computer’s wattage helps you monitor the amount it costs to run your PC for your daily operations. And since none of the three methods we explained requires you to break the bank, it’s left for you to decide which method you like best and apply it to check your PC’s wattage.