Evan and Nathaniel Mills have published a study in Energy Efficiency titled “Taming the Energy Use of Gaming Computers.” The study looks into just how much energy gaming PCs use on a yearly basis.
According to the study, Gaming PCs make up 2.5% of the global PC equipment base, but use 21% of the power. Gaming PCs use about 75TWh/yr which equals out to $10 Billion and with the amount of people getting into PC gaming the number is only expected to rise. Mills concluded that the average Gaming PC including a display uses 1400 kWh/yr. This number is 6x a normal PC and 10x gaming consoles.
Of course it’s common sense that the best way to decrease our energy use is to get more power efficient parts. Mills did a study where he took a basic system and added more efficient parts such as a PSU, GPU, Display, Motherboards, and RAM. The test concluded that it efficiency increased significantly while performance barely dipped at all.
Besides the 80Plus notes on Power Supply Units, there really aren’t any standardized regulatory ratings for computer parts. An example Mills used was using an identical motherboard that had efficiency ratings ranging from 62W-98W according to different websites. Mills found that “nameplate power estimates for the key components in gaming computers significantly exceed power use in practice (on the order of 50 percent) and their direct use can thus yield overestimates of energy use.”
Mills also stated “to enable improved energy analyses as well as better consumer decision making, standardized methodologies should be developed to more rigorously and consistently benchmark and normalize energy use and peak power demand of computers as well as that for specific games.”