Electricity bill sky high

By stevedixon77 · 21 replies
Sep 4, 2008
  1. Hey all

    My electricity bill is out of the roof with a small computer i bought its only a standard p4 and has not been over clocked am i able to under clock and would this help my pocket with the electricity.

    many thanks
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    On average, a computer uses $1.00 worth of electricity per day... if on a lot.
  3. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Posts: 127

    Wow $1.00? is that about 70p? My computer is on 350 days in a year so that Means I'm paying 265 pounds a year to run my pc?

    I don't think that's right Mind you its only on about half the day so lets make it 132.5

    (sorry my computer doesn't have a pound sign and allot of the keys are messed up for some reason)
  4. stevedixon77

    stevedixon77 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I wish mine was the same as its on for about 12hours four days a week but i spend twenty pound a week on electric
  5. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Let's say your comp uses about 250 watts of power (probably slightly HIGH) while connected and ON.

    250 watts is 1/4 kilowatt.

    So you have 1/4 x 24 = 6 kwhrs (kilowatt hours) of consumption daily.

    Monthly, you have 30 x 6 = 180 kilowatt hours.

    So, look at your full disclosure hydro bill and calculate the price-per-kilowatt-hour and there you are (use the excess rate since noone should REALLY need a computer at home).

  6. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Posts: 127

    OK so ill do it in dollars, so its on 208 days a year

    So that's $208 dollars ( i think 12 hours counts as allot lol)

    So that's $4 a week

    I would list what all you're main components on here and let someone who knows about hardware take a look
  7. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    That's entirely subjective. The cost to operate a computer 24/7 depends on a myriad of factors, ranging from the power consumption to the location you live in.
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    An average of what???

    Assuming your electricity is expensive ($0.15/kwh) and assuming you play games all day on a high-end PC for 24 hours a day (Let's say 300 watts per hour), that would be true.

    How can such specific and extreme circumstances be an 'average' of anything?
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    This is probably the post that needs to be emphasized. Combine that with Rick's expensive estimate of 15cents per KWh = $27 a month. So roughly $1 a day, but thats for a pretty high end, and somewhat inefficient computer. Mine doesn't even use 250W under full load (specs on the pulldown menu).
  10. resu

    resu TS Rookie Posts: 172

    try this site its been helpful for our office and also for me as i've proven that if we get rid of our CRT monitors and replace em with TFTs we save around £200 a year on electricity bills :D


    i mean its a uk site but you can enter in how much you pay per hour or what ever and you should be able to convert to dollars etc

    hope this helps
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    You really need to consider using the S3 standby state. It drops to power consumption to about 10 watts.

    This has been a hardship for me, since I now have to do without my "Jessica Simpson Screensaver". I don't know what to do with all the free time I have, now that I don't have to constantly remove spyware from my computer.

    OK, the dumb blonde thing, just kidding. The S3 standby, serious as a heart attack.
  12. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Posts: 170

    Since you mentioned it, I've gotta ask.

    What's with all the modern 700W+ PSU's if no computer ever uses them, even under load? Is it some kind of burst wattage required on bootup to fill capacitors and whatnot?
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    Face it, a car certainly doesn't need 4 15" subwoofers either.

    Although I suppose that having your computer dim the lights when you fire it up, is a step toward intimidating your opponent in a video game matchup.
  14. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Posts: 170

    Huh? I know most modern computers wouldn't boot with a PSU the 250W size he suggested, his certainly wouldn't. I asked a legitimate question, sorry if it seemed otherwise.
  15. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I must say I_am_a_newbie brought up a good question.

    I have some suggestions why we'd need bigger than 250W:
    1. some leeway. You should always get a PSU with extra juice for upgrades and whatnot.
    2. Wattage is measured at a specific temp (25C if I'm right). So your PSU would pump less Watts when you're using it on normal operating conditions (usually about 40C)
    3. Wear and tear. Your PSU gets less efficient, and pumps less power as it ages, so if you want your computer to last more than a few months, get something more than bare minimum.

    Other things might be the fact that peak draw can be pretty high, but unsustained. Not really sure about that.

    Also, don't forget that some people run SLI or crossfire systems, and those will draw significantly more power (given that most of the power is drawn by the graphics card).
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    First let's deal with the, "burst wattage on bootup' question. Audio amplifiers such as a home AV receiver do this; The speaker protection relay is set to not supply power to the speakers BEFORE the power supply capacitors are fully charged. These caps are very high capacity, because transistors are basically low voltage, high current amplifiers. The PSU caps remove the line "ripple" and prevent the voltage from dropping when a huge trasnsient spike in signal occurs. But the overall capacity of the PSU is not increased to accomodate this. That there is no power supplied to the speaker and final amplifier before the caps are charged is to prevent damage to these parts. The sudden onrush of current to discharged caps would fry the transistor junctions. This is the click you here when your receiver finally has speaker output. I haven't heard any such click from the PSUs in computers I've dealt with, so let's move on.

    Of course trying to use a 250 watt PSU in a high performance gaming rig is foolhardy if not ridiculous. But manufacturers of video cards always give system PSU recommendations right on the side of the box. They usually read like this, >"system requirements"<. So now, if the box says, "400 watts minimum", do you think that they actually mean you need an 800 watt unit? Not bloody likely. Methinks a > GOOD QUALITY< 450 would do the box proud.

    Many thousands of words have been written all over the web, and right here at Techspot, about brand, quality, and capacity of PSUs. So we've reached the point here where we begin to reinvent the wheel.

    Then there's marketing, if you're stupid enough to buy a 2,000 watt PSU to power a 500 watt computer, no one at the store is likely to stop you. Look to receive encouragement instead. Be the first kid on your block to have one, that'll be $300.00, cash or charge?

    All things being considered, every recommendation has to be tempered by what you have as a computer, what you would like that computer to become after upgrades, and how much you have to spend, and that's why every thread PSU thread is slightly different. The are PSU estimation tools around the web, Newegg comes to mind, and the suggestions here from experienced users. At the end of the day, only you can determine if you're a 4 15" subwoofer kinda guy, or you would just like to get the sound system right.
  17. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Well, its not like a 2000W PSU would draw more power than a 500W PSU on the same computer.

    Personally have a 650W PSU on my rig which is less powerful than captaincranky (which for some reason does sound a little cranky today). Its more than I need, but I had visions of upgrading to crossfire in the future (which seems extremely unlikely at the moment).
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear........

    No, but it would cost quite a bit more to purchase at the outset, which was my point, determining the difference between what is necessary and what is status.

    "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray". I have no idea whose quote that is, and being somewhat "cranky", meh, who cares. I would have preferred "who" does sound a little cranky today, in lieu of "which", but what the hay, we're all friends here. Unless of course you were actually referring to your computer, in which case consider this a retraction and apology.

    I liked the "powerful" thing though, flattered even. Maybe we could paraphrase the old opening from the original "Adventures of Superman" TV series to something like this; "more powerful than a forum troll". But on second thought, it would only go to my head.:blush:

    In hindsight, perhaps "pedantic" would have been a better choice of adjective than "cranky".:rolleyes:

    God, I hope somebody besides me can remember the Superman TV series, it was during the '50s:haha:

    Edit; It was 1952-58 and starred "George Reeves", Who ended his own life in 1959. As you know Christopher "Reeve" lost his life to an unfortunate accident. Makes one wonder if the role of "Superman" is cursed. Or, perhaps that surnane is cursed. What this has to do with PSUs, I have no clue, so here again, I suppose an apology is in order.
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I didn't suggest a 250W. I'm saying under load, my system pulls 244W from the wall. The entire system is probably using less than 244W because PSU's aren't 100% efficient in converting AC to DC. But that doesn't matter here because its not that simple. Amperage comes into play, and while that is related to Wattage a 250W PSU won't be able to supply the amps down the 12V rail(s) that a system like mine requires.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    This I'm not so sure about, at least with respect to home entertainment. I just replaced a 32" CRT standard definition TV with an LCD unit of 37". The spec plate listed the CRT as 135 Watts whereas the LCD is listed as 165 Watts (!) or (?) as the case may be. I think when we move away from CRT and toward LCD, we spoil ourselves with larger screens, thus negating any energy savings.

    When it's hot in my house and you walk past the LCD TV, you can feel the heat from a foot or so away. It's kinda' weird when you're not expecting it. A whole buncha light takes a whole lotta watts, and makes a whole lotta heat even when you're talking about fluorescents.

    As I always point out "our results may vary", and usually do.
  21. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Big is good.

    Me needs another LCD to complement my 22" + 19" setup....
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    Yes it is....very good. I'd like to get another 22" monitor with a swivel base so I could display one wallpaper horizontal and one verticle.

    I hope the "green police" don't get wind of this.
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