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Many laptop users don’t worry about certain things related to their devices. However, if you’re someone who likes to know all the details about your laptop and wants to find out about energy usage before buying one, this article is for you.
If you’re only interested in the numbers, a 15-inch laptop usually uses around 60 watts per hour. However, this isn’t always the exact amount because many factors affect energy usage, like charging, screen brightness, software, and graphics card usage.
So let’s delve into those and find out how your laptop uses energy, and in what quantities.
Table of Contents
- Energy Consumption in Laptops: 4 Factors
- How Many Watts Does Gaming Laptop Use?
- How Many Watts Does an Apple MacBook Consume?
- Ways to Consume Less Power on Your Laptop
- How to Calculate Watts Consumed by a Laptop?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
Energy Consumption in Laptops: 4 Factors
Tons of laptop brands manufacture laptops every year. With newer and better technologies, companies build better machines with less power usage that still work as well as any of the previous laptops, if not better.
So, the kind of laptop you have will determine the overall power consumption. The more external hardware you connect it to, the more power it will consume. Let us look at the factors on which the power consumption depends.
1) Laptop Type [Gaming Laptops & Workstations Consume Higher Power]
The type of laptop you use is a major factor in determining its energy consumption. A regular laptop typically consumes about 60 Watts per hour, while gaming and high-end laptops use much more.
In our tests, some models have consumed over 100 Watts per hour on average, causing the laptop to heat up and require a cooling pad. Additionally, charging these laptops consumes even more energy.
It’s commonly known that a laptop with a low-grade CPU uses more power compared to a powerful CPU such as an Intel i7 or i9. The reason behind this is straightforward – a weak processor needs more power to provide satisfactory performance, whereas a powerful CPU performs well with a smaller amount of power.
3) Graphics Card
The power consumption of a graphics card is directly related to its performance.
When playing high-end games or performing intensive tasks like machine learning and data science, laptops typically require a high-end GPU such as RTX 4070, 4060, or 3080. These high-end GPUs are usually paired with high-end CPUs and better-quality displays, which all contribute to higher power consumption.
We have a dedicated section in this post discussing power consumption in gaming laptops. If you’re purchasing a budget 2 in 1 laptop or a model with integrated graphics, it will consume fewer Watts.
4) Adapter Wattage
- Most 15.6-inch laptops come with a 60W charging adapter.
- Most 17-inch laptops come with a 90W charging adapter.
If your laptop came with a 60W adapter, then it’ll consume less than a laptop that comes with a 90W adapter because that’s the number of Watts it’ll be spending when in use.
How Many Watts Does Gaming Laptop Use?
Gaming laptops are a category in itself since they come with the latest powerful components. If you’re a gamer, you already know that high-end games require power-hungry specs.
Since they are equipped with the best of everything, gaming laptops also tend to use up lots of power.
To check the power consumption of a gaming laptop, start with the numbers on the charger. One of the most favored gaming laptops, Acer Predator Helios, has a 180 Watt/hr charger. This means it consumes at least 180 Watts per hour.
How Many Watts Does an Apple MacBook Consume?
If you are a Macbook user, you should know that a typical 13-inch Macbook Pro consumes 61 Watts, while a 15-inch Macbook consumes around 87 Watts/h.
Based on those numbers, you can easily calculate the cost of the electricity which you would consume each day and over a week. Since a Macbook Pro 13 consumes around 61 Watt/hr, i.e. 0.061 kWh, and it works for around 10 hours a day, it will cost about 7.32 cents with a total of 51.24 cents in a week approximately (taking 12 cents/kWh cost of electricity).
Ways to Consume Less Power on Your Laptop
If you’re not satisfied with the power consumption of your laptop, there are some ways to reduce it. Here are some tried-and-tested methods you can try:
- Remove the plug from the laptop when fully charged.
- Never overcharge your laptop, it weakens the battery and consumes more power in the process,
- Plug in the charger when the charge reaches 10%. Do not wait for it to switch off,
- Buy a cooling pad to keep the laptop cool while charging,
- To control consumption, give the laptop some time to cool down before restarting your work,
- Update your processor and other hardware to avoid any pressure on the system,
- Always use the original charger provided by the company.
There are many other things that you can try out to consume less power. For example, the high brightness of the screen consumes a lot of power. You can avoid this by dimming the screen, which will also protect your eyes.
How to Calculate Watts Consumed by a Laptop?
Ultimately it all comes down to knowing how to calculate the actual Watts used by your laptop. Either determine an approximate value by checking the laptop’s charger power consumption along with other factors as well, or simply use an Electricity usage monitor.
1) Manual Calculation
To estimate how much power your laptop consumes, consider the wattage of the adapter used to charge it. For a more precise measurement, other factors may also need to be taken into account.
We already mentioned that the Acer Predator Helios consumes 180 Watts per hour. Apart from this, some of the main components that increase the overall consumption are the CPU and GPU of the machine.
Most laptops commonly use Intel processors and NVIDIA, or AMD components. To determine the power consumption of these components, you can either check the official website or open the back panel and physically inspect them.
Mostly, the power consumption of a CPU is around 45W to 50W while for a GPU it is 75W to 80W. Overall, these two together increase the Watts used by a laptop to over 10-15%, which is only an average and can go much higher depending on the type of components used.
The power consumption of screen brightness can vary from 0.5W to 15W per hour when set to maximum. Along with other components like SSD/HDD and RAM, it may be difficult to obtain an exact measurement, but a rough estimate can provide a basic idea of the power usage.
2) Electricity Usage: The Calculation
For a more accurate calculation, you can use an Electricity Usage Monitor. This device can be used over the power socket and tell you exactly the Watts your laptop used up during charging. It includes everything since all the power being consumed is coming from a single socket and the result is on the monitor within seconds.
You can use the device for other appliances in your home as well, should you wish so.
To use it, simply stick the device onto the wall socket and plug the charger into the device. It will start reading the amount of power your charger is drawing from the socket. Generally, it will show around 60W, i.e. the power capacity of the charger.
After fully charging the laptop battery, you can measure the power consumption of the components using the battery as a power source. This method can also be used to calculate the total power consumption of the laptop during use.
You can easily get this helpful device from e-commerce sites if you want to know more about your laptop and other appliances as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a laptop consume less energy than a PC?
There is no doubt that a laptop consumes less power than a desktop PC. Overall, laptops are more energy-efficient than desktops with monitors, although some gaming laptops can consume almost as much energy as a desktop would.
Is the laptop wattage different for different brands such as Acer, Dell, ASUS, HP, etc?
It doesn’t matter what brand your laptop is; whether it is from HP, Lenovo, DELL, ASUS, Acer, MSI, Razer Blade, etc., – the Watt usage rules remain the same. If the laptop has high specs, a high-end GPU, then the consumption would be high. However, if two brands have laptops with similar specs, the wattage won’t differ much.
Gaming Laptop wattage vs Basic Laptop wattage: Which is more?
The gaming laptop’s wattage is higher than the basic low-end machine because it comes with high-end specs: a better quality display, higher graphics, high-end CPU, etc.
How many watts does a 15.6-inch laptop consume?
We tested the specifications of around 237 models and found out that, on average, most 15.6″ laptops consume around 60 Watts of power.
Laptop Wattage in 17-inch Machines?
We tested the specs of around 171 different 17-inch models and found out that, on average, most laptops consume 90 watts!
In summary, a laptop typically consumes 60W of power when charging. However, the power consumption during use varies and depends on the combined usage of other components.
Using an Electricity Usage Monitor is recommended to accurately measure the watts your laptop consumes, rather than relying on a manual process which may not provide accurate results and leave you confused. If you only need a rough estimate, you can manually calculate it, but for more precise results, it’s better to use the monitor.
We’d love to hear from you about your laptop’s power consumption and any tips you have for saving energy! Share your experiences with us and join the conversation on how we can all become more energy-efficient.