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Energy usage is a topic that concerns many because inflation in the economy keeps driving energy prices higher every day. If you’re running a big office where so many laptops and desktops are being used, you might have wondered at the energy consumption of those laptops you use all the time. So how many amps does a laptop use?
The total amperage of laptops ranges from 3 to 9 amps depending on the performance of the device. So, understanding how these devices consumes energy gives you an insight into factors that contribute to your electricity bill. Perhaps by understanding the amp usage of individual devices, you would know how to regulate your energy usage.
This article deals with several aspects of the energy consumption of laptops and even desktops. So, if you’re curious about this and want to discover what you’ve been paying for, find all the details below. Also, you can click this link to know more.
When Should You Get Worried About Your Laptop’s Electricity Usage?
Laptops are typically not high-energy users; users who have a laptop or two in their home might never need to look into their total energy usage. But it becomes a concern when 20-50 laptops are running consecutively.
In big offices like stock brokerage firms or banks, you can find up to 100 people using one device or the other. At this point, it becomes necessary to look into your energy usage. You can click this link to watch more
How Many Amps Does a Laptop Use?
A laptop consumes 3 to 9 amps depending on the type and capacity. But how many amps does a laptop use can’t be answered so simply because we have different types of laptops designed to handle different tasks?
So, let’s consider different laptop types and their amp usage below.
What Is the Energy Usage of Apple Computers and Laptops?
Apple devices, in general, are well known for their low energy usage and high performance. Recent MacBook designs are so efficient their fan kicks in once in a while, as opposed to windows laptops which are always on.
All these features lead to a device that prioritizes energy consumption. Apple laptops max out at 3 amps, so even if you have a charging brick that produces more power, the laptop steps the current down.
What Is the Energy Usage of a Gaming Laptop?
Gaming laptops are built with performance in mind; these devices can run programs other laptops are just too weak to attempt. With components like an extra fan, advanced cooling systems, and dedicated graphics card, it’s no wonder they are the top energy consumers amongst laptops.
Gaming laptops can use between 5-9 amps of energy per hour; it depends on the brand. In recent years, a lot of work has been put in to see how these energy ratings can be reduced. It is simply not possible to make a laptop that performs better than its peers but consumes less energy.
What Is the Energy Usage of a Normal (Office) Laptop?
Normal laptops are made to be efficient and last all day. These are the type of laptops you typically find in an office environment. An integrated graphics card, single fan, and medium-range processor all contribute to ensuring they last more on a single charge.
Laptops in this range typically have an amp rating of 0.41- 1 amp per hour. Please note this differs according to laptop brand and other factors. You can always find the specific energy usage on your battery pack if needed or consult the manufacturer’s website.
What Is the Energy Usage of a Desktop?
Desktop computers are one of the highest energy users besides gaming laptops. This is because their parts are bigger and have separate energy outputs. A normal desktop computer will have a monitor, CPU, printer, or scanner attached to it; all these lead to higher energy usage.
A normal-performance desktop computer will typically use 3.33 to 4 amps per hour to run. A desktop computer built for gaming will use more than this.
What Is the Energy Usage of a Supercomputer?
The chances of you asking this question are low unless you mine Bitcoin for a living, run a server plant, or make advanced calculations. But let’s just answer this question while we are here.
Supercomputers are the highest energy users, with some using as much power it would take to light an apartment building. Annual yearly expenditure on energy can cost between 3-6 million dollars. A good example is the Tianhe-1A, which can consume 4.04 megawatts (MW) of electricity in an hour.
What Components Consume Energy in a Laptop?
When it comes to pc usage, so many factors contribute to the overall power output. We can narrow down the components of your pc to 10 major parts. These are:
This is the display component of your laptop and arguably the most energy-intensive part. The monitor requires a lot of energy to keep displaying visual images.
You might notice when you’re playing a high-powered game; your battery discharges faster. Even though some of the blame can be attributed to the CPU and graphics card working at top performance, most of the blame goes to the monitor. It accounts for 45% of total energy usage.
The graphic card (graphic processing unit) is an integral unit in pc operation. It is responsible for rendering the images you see on your screen. They account for 30% of total energy usage.
Graphics cards come in two main forms;
Integrated Graphic Cards
Integrated graphics cards are commonly found on budget-friendly laptops that are inexpensive. As the name implies, it is integrated into the motherboard of your pc and can’t be swapped or upgraded. They work just fine for low-performance tasks like typing, browsing, and running light programs.
Generally, games do not run well on integrated graphic cards, which is why gaming laptops don’t make use of them.
Dedicated Graphics Cards
Systems with dedicated graphic cards also run an integrated type for support. The way this works is; your laptop “dedicates” a certain number of video computations to the dedicated graphics card; this leaves the integrated graphics free to run background operations, leading to a more powerful laptop.
Dedicated graphics can be upgraded as new versions are released, thus leading to a laptop that is up-to-date. This is why they’re perfect for gamers; you can simply upgrade if yours has difficulty running some programs. A very good gaming graphics card is the AMD Radeon RX 6600.
The central processing unit or CPU is responsible for executing inputted commands. As the brain of the computer, it is an integral part of every single action the laptop takes. Generally, CPUs don’t require a lot of energy to run; they account for just 2% of the total power output.
Processing components like hard disks, CPUs, and graphics cards generate a lot of heat when they’re being used. To keep them in optimal performance mode, a fan is required.
All laptops have an internal cooling system; even though they’re always running, fans are made to use a minimal amount of energy. They account for 5% of total energy output.
The hard disk is where a laptop stores most of its local files, such as; programs, documents, pictures, and videos. They account for 5% of the total energy output. There are two types of hard disks;
This type of hard disk makes use of moving mechanical parts that read a magnetic disk. The magnetic disk is where files are stored. Since it is mechanical, you can often hear a clicking or whirring noise when they operate.
SSD hard disks are known to be more efficient than the HDD variants; this is due to their structural makeup. SSD (solid-state hard disks) make use of memory nodes that are interconnected. This allows for faster data processing.
Random Access Memory, or Ram as it is commonly called, is a temporal storage system. Recent programs and files you still need are stored in this temporal memory. This is what enables you to switch between opened programs seamlessly without losing your work progress. It accounts for 1% of the total energy usage.
The mouse is a pointing mechanism that is used for basic interactions on your laptop. It accounts for 0.5 to 1% of total energy usage.
The motherboard can be said to be the blueprint all other components build on. The motherboard is a circuit board with provisions made for other circuit boards and components to be inserted into. It accounts for 6% of the total energy output. Watch this video to see a total strip-down of a laptop.
How to Calculate a Computers Energy Consumption
To accurately calculate the energy consumption of your desktop or laptop in a day, you need to have the information below.
- Amount of hours the laptop is used in a day.
- And the Amp rating of your laptop, which can be found in your user manual or on the battery pack.
The exercise below shows how we calculate this. For this exercise, let’s assume you work for 10 hours per day, and your laptops energy rating is 6.55 amps
|Laptop amp rating
|Total hours laptop is used in a day
|10 hours used daily
|Total daily energy consumption
|65.5 amp daily usage
We can also calculate the monthly usage; to do this, we simply multiply our daily usage by the number of days in a month. Example;
|Laptop daily usage
|Total days in a month
|Total energy used in a month
|196.5 amp monthly usage
You can see how easy it is to calculate our daily and monthly usage once we know how much amp our laptop uses. If you want to calculate your yearly usage, all you need to do is simply
|Laptop monthly usage
|Total months in a year
|Total yearly usage
|2,358 amp yearly usage
If we are to use the value from the yearly calculations, simply find what “2358 amps” is worth in your location, and you have the cash value of your yearly usage.
Tips to Increase Energy Economy
- One factor often overlooked when using laptops is;” Just how much external devices contribute to the overall data usage”. By disconnecting all external devices from your device when not in use, you can conserve energy.
- Your laptop has inbuilt power management settings. Changing this to best battery life instead of best performance will help it last longer without a charge. Less charge time means less energy use.
- When your battery is full, unplug the system and turn off the charger. This is a better alternative than leaving your laptop plugged in all day.
- When replacing accessories like chargers, ensure you get the one made by the manufacturer. Because they are more compatible, they tend to use less energy than “black market” accessories. Also, it’s important to know the watt consumption of your laptop charger.
- Use “energy saving” extensions and fuses when connecting your laptop.
- Put your laptop in sleep or hibernation mode when not in use. In sleep mode, laptops use the lowest amount of energy possible to keep your files open.
- Look for accessories with good energy ratings when shopping for external devices. It might cost more now, but it will save you more money in the future.
- Always shut down your laptop if you’re done for the day, and don’t forget to unplug the charger.
- Allow your laptop to upgrade regularly. System updates are released to rectify software flaws; this helps your laptop run faster and more efficiently, thereby saving data.
Laptops are not huge energy users, but when multiple laptops are running consecutively, energy usage becomes a problem. But by making a few changes to our daily usage, you can drastically reduce our energy usage.