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Power The Almighty Buck Games Technology

Digging Into the Electrical Cost of PC Gaming 162

Posted by timothy
from the with-compound-interest-you'll-die-rich-in-nazeroth dept.
New submitter MBAFK writes "My coworker Geoff and I have been taking power meters home to see what the true cost of PC gaming is. Not just the outlay for hardware and software, but what the day-to-day costs really are. If you assume a 20 hour a week habit, and using $0.11 a KWH, actually playing costs Geoff $30.83 a year. If Geoff turns his PC off when he is not using it, he could save $66 a year."
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Digging Into the Electrical Cost of PC Gaming

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  • PC gaming? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MsWhich (2640815) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:19AM (#40141951) Homepage
    I'm not sure how this has anything to do with the cost of PC gaming, considering that my mother, who only uses her computer for Facebook and TurboTax, could see the exact same benefits by doing the exact same things the article suggests.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:24AM (#40142007)

    Everyone always has a right to complain, but some people's complaints are silly and make me think they're idiots, or to put it nicely, their personality is generously infused with irony.

    I can't say whether or not you're an idiot, though, because you merely said "too high" rather than explaining why you think your rates are "too high" -- you might have good reasons which expose corruption in your state's PRC, or you might have amazingly stupid and arrogant reasons, based on arbitrarily saying things without thinking hard about them, and where even those shallow thoughts are founded completely on a lack of information and evidence.

    So who knows? You didn't even give numbers for "too high" (which wouldn't tell the whole story either, but would probably bias me one way or the other).

  • Re:Power (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:35AM (#40142133)
    I have a meter as well; one thing to consider with replacement appliances is the reliability and longevity of the appliance.

    I have a 33 year old Sub Zero built-in refrigerator in my new house. It's so old that it has only one knob for temperature adjustment, and the refrigerator compartment on top is slave to the freezer setting. I've removed the cover to the compressor and coils to clean them, and I've found some indication that a service or two have been performed over the years, but compared to a friend's brand new LG unit that's had to be serviced twice in eight months and had cost them $1600 to purchase, I'm happy to use this fridge for the moment. Plus, a new built-in refrigerator will cost between $4000 and $8000 depending on what brand and features are chosen. This unit can run for a very, very long time for $4000 worth of electricity.

    As for TVs, one doesn't necessarily have to use the fancy, big TV all of the time either. For many years I had a projector screen that could roll down in front of the entertainment center, blocking the 27" TV in it, so I could use my projector when I wanted to watch something of substance. Now, I have the projector in a different room from the TV we watch the news on, and we only use it when we actually want to watch a movie or some other thing where surround sound and a big image matter. Obviously the roll-down method won't work with a fixed TV, but putting the fancy home theatre TV into a different room would.

    My current PC (an old Dual-Xeon box) has a hardware sleep switch that ties into some pins on the motherboard, and when pressed the computer drops down to a low power state. When I'm done using it I just put it to sleep, and when I want to use it again it comes back in about three seconds. Works well, keeps all of my programs running fine, and saves power.

    There are lots of techniques that can be used to save power, but the biggest hogs in the house (HVAC, hot water heater, refrigerator, oven/range/cooktop) don't hold a candle to the consumer devices that everyone always panics about. If you want the most bang for your buck, insulate your house. Change your windows. Plant some trees that increase shade on the structure. Turn your thermostat up a couple of degrees and install some high efficiency ceiling fans to keep the air moving a little. Sure, turn off the electronics you're not using, but don't assume that it'll be earth-shattering on your power bills just by doing that.
  • As compared to...? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @09:53AM (#40142345)

    I'm not sure what exactly the article is trying to convey here, as measuring electrical consumption is merely fine-tuning an existing expense related to a hobby, and an obscenely small amount of money being measured at that (c'mon, ~$30/year? People who will spend twice that much in a month on caffeine just to play said hobby).

    Compare playing video games to spending money on cable TV. Or going to the movies. Or riding a bike outside. Discussing literally pennies of electrical savings per day seems rather pointless when you're spending considerably more to sustain that kind of hobby in the first place.

  • Reality sucks, eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @10:49AM (#40143301)

    Someone just moved out of his parents house and realized that electricity actually costs money. Spoiler alert, 40 minute long hot showers also costs a lot on the water and gas bills.

    Its hilarious me when teens / early twenty-somethings leave the protected isolation of their parent's nest or university dorm and suddenly get a good ol' does of reality.

  • Re:PC gaming? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phreakiture (547094) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @11:05AM (#40143535) Homepage
    It's a pity there isn't a -1 Snobbery moderation option.
  • Negative spending (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:57PM (#40148187)

    If you are playing PC games the lights all over the house may be turned off. If you were not playing PC games then you might be moving around the house with the lights on. Likewise in winter your heating from the game is just heating your house. Even better it's heating the room you are in, so you can let the house be more cool. If you were not gaming perhaps you would be driving your car somewhere, like your girl friends house, and using gasoline. It could be that gaming saves you money over alternative activities in terms of electricity.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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