How Many Watts Does a Laptop Use?

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There are several considerations that most laptop users don’t appear to be concerned about, or perhaps, it’s not something worth the sleepless nights.

Maybe you’re curious and have been attempting to comprehend the entirety of the machine you’ve been using for years, or you’re trying to find out the one you are about to get energy consumption; we’ll assist you in it.

If you’re a man of numbers, then the answer is quite simple: on average, a 15″ laptop consumes 60 watts per hour.

On the other hand, this is not its actual energy consumption.

There are several factors that you might not be aware of that dictate energy consumption.

For instance, screen brightness, charging, graphics card usage, running software, etc. might adjust power consumption.

Factors determining the energy consumption of a laptop

While we are transitioning toward better energy usage, companies are in the pursuit of coming up with better machines with less power usage and still are as efficient as any laptop you’ve used previously.

Therefore, the sort of laptop you have will generally determine its power consumption. The more external hardware you connect it with, the more its power consumption.

Let’s now delve into the determinants of the power consumption of your machine.

Type of laptop

The type of laptop is one of the determinants of your power usage. If you use a pretty general or simple laptop, it will have about 60W per hour energy consumption. In contrast, a high-end laptop (gaming laptop) would be relatively higher.

On average, some models can go as high as 100W per hour; this explains why the machine becomes very hot and demands a cooling pad for cooling.

Likewise, the energy consumption has an extra increase if you are charging it.

Graphics card

The higher the graphics card performance, the higher the energy consumption. For instance, the GPU will deliver better visuals when you are playing a high-end game. Most gaming and desktop replacements laptops normally have high-end GPUs like RTX 2070, 2080, or 2060.

A laptop with a high-end GPU also comes with a high-end CPU. In most instances, it comes with a high-quality display also, and a great battery capacity, etc.

Consequently, getting an economical laptop that comes with integrated graphics will have less power consumption.

CPU

It’s tried and tested that a machine with a low-grade processor uses much power compared to powerful CPUs like Intel i7 or i9. The explanation is quite simple. It will take more power for a low-grade processor to give your laptop good performance than it will take a high-end CPU to do it.

Adapter wattage

  • Most of the 15.6-inch laptops are accompanied by a 60W power adapter
  • Most of the 17-inch laptops are accompanied by a 90W power adapter

If a 60W adapter accompanied your computer, it would have a lower power consumption than the one accompanied by a 90W adapter due to the number of watts spent in use.

How many watts are consumed by a gaming laptop?

As a gamer, you can understand that a laptop needs to be at its best to run high-end games.

Besides, nearly all gaming laptops are bulky due to being loaded with the finest of everything. From powerful batteries to having high-end processors, even cheap gaming laptops have it all.

You may have to check the gaming laptop’s charger for its power consumption. Among the most preferred gaming laptops is Acer Predator Helios 300, which has a 180W power charger. This means its power consumption is at least 180 watts per hour.

How many watts are consumed by an Apple MacBook

In case you use a MacBook, you must be aware, as indicated in the charger, a conventional 13 inches MacBook pro consumes 61 watts of power, while 15 inches MacBook have a power consumption of 87 watts per hour.

Relying on the above assumptions, you may easily calculate your daily or weekly electricity expenditure. Since a MacBook average power usage is 0.061 kWh (61 watts/h) and operates 9 hours a day, the cost per day will be 6.04 cents and 42.27 cents weekly (Assuming 11 cents/kWh as the cost of electricity).

Means of consuming less power on your laptop

Perhaps you are highly dissatisfied after understanding your laptop’s power usage; you may consider some ways to minimize its consumption. We have tested some ways and have come up with various ones to give them a try.

  • Make sure you unplug your charger when your laptop is fully charged.
  • Avoid overcharging your battery since it reduces the battery life and, in the process, consumes more power.
  • Plugin the charger once the battery charge reaches 10%. Waiting for it to switch takes more effort to charge the drained battery and, in turn, consumes more power.
  • Purchase a cooling pad to cool the laptop while charging.
  • Before restarting your task, give the laptop some duration to cool down.
  • Your processors and other hardware should be up to date to evade pressure on the machine.
  • Always use the charger that accompanied the laptop.

Calculating the Watts Used by a Laptop

Eventually, it all boils down to getting some insights into the actual watts consumed by your laptop. You can either roughly determine it by knowing your laptop’s charger power usage or by just using an Electricity usage monitor to know your laptop’s power consumption.

Manual calculations

You can simply estimate your laptop’s power consumption by considering the adapter wattage (power used to charge your computer) in all laptops. But if you want to end up with a more accurate figure, you may consider other related things as well.

As we spoke of Acer Predator Laptop having a power consumption of 180 watts per hour, a few of the parts that increase the general usage are the CPU and the laptop’s GPU.

You will simply find the Intel processor and NVIDIA graphics card, if not AMD, in most of the system. You can either search at the official website for the component’s power consumption or to be sure, you can open the back panel and check.

Generally, the CPU’s power consumption range is about 40W to 50W, while the GPU’s is 75W to 80W. Generally, these two combined increases the laptop’s power consumption up to over 10 – 15% on average but may vary on the components’ type used.

Talking about the screen brightness, with maximum brightness, it ranges between 0.5W to 15W per hour. These are some of the components considered, while others like the SSD/HDD, the RAM., etc. Manually getting an exact figure may be impossible hence but the alternative is to use an approximate value.

As we already know that 60W of electricity (0.06 kWh) are used by a laptop, it implies that if a machine is on for approximately eight hours in a day, the cost to run the laptop will be 5.28 cents (given the price of an average energy unit is 11 cents/kWh).

Electricity usage calculation

To get more accurate results, you can choose to use an Electricity Usage Monitor. This device can tell exactly how many watts your laptop has used while charging by just placing it over the power socket. After a few seconds, the power consumption details appear on the monitor.

You can use it over other home appliances. It may be unnecessary, but curiosity makes you do the unbelievable.

To use it, you just plug it into the wall socket and plugin your laptop’s charger into the gadget. It will start reading the amount of charge drawn by your charger from the socket. In most cases, it will show the power that the charger has been built with, which is 60W.

When the laptop is fully charged, you can now determine its battery power consumption against its components. The device is also capable of showing the total laptop’s power consumption since you started using it.

You can simply get it from the e-commerce sites and learn more about your gadgets’ power usage.

Wrap up

Let’s wrap it with a summary of what we’ve discussed. The laptop consumes 60W on average while charging, but it depends on other parts combined when in use.

It’s better to use a gadget than go through the manual process in knowing your laptop’s power usage. You can use your brain and time to pursue a general idea, but use the Electricity Usage Monitor if you seek precise results.

Additionally, you can let us know your laptop’s power consumption and how you’ve tried to save the power.

Alex Berg

Founder, writer, editor-in-chief at LaptopTalks. Starting LaptopTalks is like a dream come true, combining two of his passions – writing and technology. Even in his free time, you can often find him by his gaming laptop playing the latest video games.

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