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Power consumption of gaming laptops?

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by jman0, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    I'm trying to reduce my electricity bill and i believe that my gaming pc is drawing more power than I can justify.
    Not breaking the bank, but can my gaming and digital art 'hobby' really cost more than the refrigerator and freezer?

    Anyway it's got me looking at gaming laptops.

    Has anybody taken any output readings of their laptops of cumulative watts over the day?

    If you're in the US your local library may have a wattage reader device that you can borrow like a book.
     
  2. FnordMan

    FnordMan [H]ard|Gawd

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    Have you actually measured your desktop? My "gaming pc" only sucks down ~60W at the wall and that's inclusive of an older monitor (~20W), a second PC (Atom based, takes bugger all for power at idle) and a network switch.

    Any lower power replacement for that would cost orders of magnitude more than the power it would save.
     
  3. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    Yes my computer is pulling around 2kWh per day (rounding up).

    It's the cumulative total you need to look at. Not the current draw.
    It might be drawing 60w this minute, but those minutes add up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  4. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    Here, this guy built a small form factor gaming desktop with power consumption in mind.
    Still pulls 1kWh per day when he's doing Battlefield 4.

    http://www.toptengamer.com/energy-efficient-itx-gaming-pc/

    I'd like to see what gaming laptops do.
    They have smaller fans so maybe there will be cost savings there.
    Plus with the battery you could always unplug for a couple hours (probably not game though).
     
  5. 777

    777 n00bie

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    You could base a calculation on the rating printed on the power supply. But if you really are using 2KWh per day gaming, maybe you could dial down the overclocked CPU and GPU or remove some of your hardware and get the same effect as buying a crippled laptop.
     
  6. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    crippled laptop?

    My pc is not overclocked. But when I take the wattage reading I'm also including my monitor,speakers and router.
    I do need those if I want to use the computer for games after all.
     
  7. 777

    777 n00bie

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    So what exactly is your hardware setup? Is it ancient?

    All I'm saying is there's no free lunch. If the new hardware is the same generation as the old it will consume similar amounts of power for equivalent frame rates and quality settings.

    The main savings would probably be from the screen and a few watts from the motherboard but you can get 24 inch screens that use 15 watts or less (at lowest brightness settings) which is a small percentage of total power.
     
  8. ob1

    ob1 2[H]4U

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    The type of screen makes a big difference too, like is it IPS or PMV or whatever over the older TN types? My PC in sig is what I consider ancient but yet it draws a bit less than you listed, plus I run a Plex server on it all the time, with frequent 4 to 8 streams at a time during prime with about 1/4 of my library being HEVC x.265 encoded. I game on this PC for an average of 3 hours per day on weekdays and 10 or so on weekends. I used a kilawatt to measure and extrapolated...
     
  9. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    You can't expect us to tell you what to do to reduce your power usage if you don't tell us what you're using NOW.

    Complete specs of your PC, monitor would be a start. Otherwise you're just shooting the shit.
     
  10. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    So what is your power consumption?
     
  11. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    You misunderstood the post then.
    I'm not posing a question of "How to reduce my power consumption?"

    I'm starting with the premise that laptops consume less power than desktops, but how much less?
    And, which gaming laptops are more efficient?
     
  12. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    No, they do not. An Intel laptop uses the exact same chips as an Intel desktop, running at slower clocks than most desktop CPUs. And an Nvidia laptop GPU is the same TDP as a desktop version.

    The performance is typically lower than desktop parts, depending on cooling and whether or not you are plugged-in. But if performance is the same (e.g. 17" desktop-replacement, plugged-in), you can bet power consumption will be the same.

    There's nothing magical about a gaming laptop. All chips today throttle up when needed, and then turn themselves off when they're not. The only difference between laptops and desktops is a wider availability of chips that are limited to below 15w, but you're not going to notice the power difference between that and the 35w T-series desktop chips. And I wouldn't recommend gaming on such a castrated chip.

    Also, are you CONSTANTLY gaming? If you're not, your power consumption should be very low.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  13. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    The MSI gaming laptop I was looking at has a 180watt psu, so it is not possible that this laptop would pull as much juice as my desktop.
    Everything, literaly everything I read online says that laptops use less power then desktops.
     
  14. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    They do not. If you're going to insist otherwise, you'd better tell me what craptastic system you're currently using that's guzzling power. You know, like I fucking asked you in your first post.

    YOU CAN BUILD A DESKTOP SYSTEM WITH SIMILAR POWER DRAW TO A LAPTOP. THEY USE THE EXACT SAME PARTS.

    PSU RATING DOES NOT MEAN THE SYSTEM DRAWS THAT MUCH POWER ALL THE TIME. LEARN THAT MUCH FIRST, BUY YOURSELF A KILL-A-WATT, AND THEN WE CAN HAVE A REAL CONVERSATION.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882715001
     
  15. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    Wow can you read?
    That WHAT I DID ALREADY on my desktop pc.

    I've love to see someone post their results using a gaming laptop
     
  16. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    You want lower power, you get lower performance. Assuming you actually bought new parts recently, from Intel and Nvidia.

    Or you tell me what your fucking desktop processor and GPU are, and when you say "AMD FX and CF 390X," I can laugh in your face because you built such a shitty inefficient system.

    But no, if you're using Intel and Nvidia, and are running something at-least as recent as Pascal and Haswell, there's not much you can do by going lower-power. You'll just be trading lower power for lower performance.

    I'M STILL WAITING FOR YOU TO PROVIDE YOUR SPECS. THIS IS MY LAST POST IN YOUR THREAD OTHERWISE, FEELS LIKE I'M TALKING TO A FUCKING WALL.

    NO, YOU DO NOT KNOW IT ALL. IF YOU DID, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE POSTED THIS DAMN THING. So stop pretending you do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  17. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    Why do you even care what my desktop is?
    The specifics are irrelevant to the discussion.
    This is the mobile computing forum.

    The discussion is: are there power consumption savings to be had with a gaming laptop vs a gaming desktop.

    Has anybody taken any output readings of their (gaming) laptops of cumulative watts over the day?

    If your answer is No you haven't, then you are spouting nothing but opinion and hot air.
     
  18. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    What matters here is that you actually learn something about efficiency, rather than pretend you already have the solution.
     
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  19. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    CNET Labs tested the energy consumption of a mix of desktops and laptops recently and found that a mainstream desktop, on average, uses roughly 100 watts when idle. Under heavy use, that number jumps to 145 watts. You can double those figures for a high-end gaming rig with dual graphics cards and other high-powered components. Based again on paying 10.6 cent per kilowatt-hour, you'll spend $112 per year in electricity to run your gaming PC should you play games for 4 hours, leave it running idle for 8 hours, and keep it turned off for 12 hours. If you let it run idle around the clock for a year, you'll spend even more--$189 without once plugging in your game controller.

    If you're replacing your light bulbs to create a greener home, you may also want to think about replacing your desktop with a laptop. Like a CFL bulb, a laptop requires a larger upfront cost, but can make it up over time with reduced energy costs. Using a broad mix of laptops, we found that the average laptop when plugged into a wall outlet uses 25 watts of electricity when idle and 62 watts when in use. If you leave your laptop plugged in all day and using the same scenario of 4 hours of heavy use, 8 hours running idle, and 12 hours powered down, you'll pay only $16 in electricity a year to power your laptop.

    source: https://www.cnet.com/news/at-what-cost-a-gaming-pc-cnet-labs-tests-pc-power-consumption/
     
  20. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    I won't disagree that laptops use less vampire power, but the gaming load power is almost identical, assuming we're talking today's Intel and Nvidia machines. The vampire load comes form the motherboard, which has a whole lot more features on the desktop to appeal to enthusiasts (tons of power phases, tons of added features).

    Really, the simpler the board, the lower the idle power, so YES choosing your own components in your desktop build can make a difference.

    Also, these "studies" are just comparing full-system power consumption, and ignore the lower processing power and DIRT-SLOW 5400 RPM laptop hard drives you have to use to get power consumption down so low. You know, instead of full-clocked CPUs and 7200 RPM drives on your average desktop, you have to sit around waiting much longer.

    I don't think you'll notice the 10-20w difference in vampire power between laptop and desktop with similar spec. Run 24/7, that translates to about $10-20/year for me. Or around $20-40/year for someone in California. I used 12c/kWh for me, and 24c/kWh for Cali. 24c is pretty accurate, for low-capacity users, and is usually my high-water-mark for electricity costs.

    But laptops come with lots of caveats: being limited to just four cores (might impact your "digital art" hobby), often having displays with high input lag (to cut-down on vampire power). And if you add an external monitor to get around this, you add to the power of the system. You also can't overclock as easily.

    And of course, you can't upgrade a laptop as easily. So before you throw-down "cash saved" from no vampire load, compare that to the cost of buying a new system every time you need to "just upgrade a video card." That ain't cheap in gaming laptop land.

    If you know what you are doing, you're going to save more money going desktop.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  21. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    Well that could be true, but where are the studies that demonstrate it?
    As a consumer we are in the dark about the cumulative power consumption on running benchmark tests on gaming desktops vs gaming desktops; gaming desktops vs gaming laptops; and gaming laptops vs gaming laptops.

    It would be a pretty simple thing for testers to do.
    It is because that knowledge is not available, that I post here.
     
  22. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    You're not going to get it. Reviewers almost universally concentrate on battery life, because it's all people care about. Gone are the days of power draw test, unless you go to NotebookCheck. But even those have started to be lazy and only quote battery.

    You're just going to have to trust me. Other than the motherboard and screen, disk, the power-consuming parts in a desktop and laptop are exactly the same.

    If you really care enough to test this out, there's nothing stopping you from buying a laptop and returning it. Do your test, and go on with life.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  23. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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    It's not something that most people care about, so it's not often measured.

    You can build a power-efficient desktop. You can build a power-wasting laptop. There's a dozen software settings that can significantly affect power draw and performance on both laptops and desktops. Laptops TEND towards more power-efficient components (lower voltage/freq set on the CPU/GPU, low-voltage RAM, etc). You can make those same changes on a desktop and sacrifice performance for power draw and get some damn-low idle settings if you want.

    The point is there's far, far too many variables to get a consistent, comparable result. You can get a "rough" estimate for gaming laptops by looking at the manufacturer-provided power adapter. If they provide a 120W brick, that machine won't draw more than 120W at full load (that's full gaming/processing + battery charging). There's no way to estimate the "idle" load on any given laptop without measuring it. You can't do the same with desktop PCs since power supplies are almost always far, far higher power than the machine actually draws.
     
  24. 777

    777 n00bie

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    I pulled out my meter and measured my i5-6500 Skylake with Gigabyte ITX board and the whole thing pulls 35W from the wall (~28W after PSU losses) when idling at the desktop with a few things open but I currently have a lowly 750 installed. (Skype, Steam, browser with a couple of tabs) I opened up ETS2 (a horribly optimized game) and did a short mission to see the power draw numbers while gaming. With most settings at high it stuck around 75W from the wall (~64W) and to illustrate how game effects and settings can influence things, power draw increased 5-6W to 80-81W when weather effects were active. TBH I don't know how CNET gets 100 watts while idle. Some of the idle power draw numbers I see in GPU reviews shock me quite frankly. I often see 80 watt power consumption for idle measurements. Some of the larger "gaming" motherboards must be huge power wasters.
     
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  25. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    You need to shut down or sleep your computer when not in use, and adjust your Energy Management/Power plan accordingly.

    If your folding or something when your away, of course it's going to chew through electricity.

    2kWh/day means it's ~averaging~ about 85W. A computer at idle is around 20W at most, and a computer in Sleep is around 2W.

    It has nothing to do with being a desktop or not. It's how you are using it.
     
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  26. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    Basically. A beefcake gaming system with way too fucking many fucking integrated features on the motherboard and a factory-overclocked 390 video card installed that sucks-down 10-15w by itself, WHOLE SYSTEM only uses 50-60w idle.

    A simpler motherboard and more efficient graphics card (GTX 1060 = 6w) would drop that vampire power to ~25-35w easily on the Intel side. And that's maybe 10w higher than a laptop.

    https://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2017/03/08/amd-ryzen-7-1700-review/6

    [​IMG]

    In other words, that bullshit about your average desktop using over 100w is just that: the finest 100% pure. It's just a targeted "study" using older FX systems sold at clearance prices from AMD, and pretending that that somehow has something to do with ALL DESKTOPS.

    But wait, I'm STILL NOT SEEING THIS 100w idle bullshit:

    http://techreport.com/review/26996/amd-fx-8370e-processor-reviewed/3

    Look at all them there 8-core 125w Vishera, with no sign of 100w at-idle. Note, this includes an HD 7950, which uses similar power to the 390.

    [​IMG]

    And all this bullshit clickbait article conveniently ignoring that the equivalent laptop gaming system costs twice as much!

    So now maybe you'll learn something, and stop being so fucking embarrassed about your system configuration? Even AMD's latest processors finally fix the poor FX idle power, AND EVEN THAT WASN'T 100w!

    A modern 22-24" LED display adds 10-20w, but if the machine is idle the system will put the monitor to sleep. So yes, when you're not using it, you really can get it down to 25-35w. And even when browsing the web, it''s 40-50w.

    And if you want to compare monitor sizes directly, this 15" 1080p Asus model draws UNDER 7w. YOU HAVE THE CHOICE OF PERIPHERALS IF YOU GO DESKTOP, so you can take advantage of the same lower-power smaller screens if you want!

    https://www.amazon.com/MB169C-1920x1080-Powered-Portable-Monitor/dp/B01C83BE06

    Using this would get our whole system down to 30-40w, even with the monitor on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  27. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    What actually is your point posting on this thread?
    You seem to not see the forest for the trees.

    If you are trying to make the point that gaming laptops pull as much power as gaming desktops and therefore there is no power savings to be had in that swap, I haven't seen convincing evidence from you.

    Sure it's neat that you have found some power consumption results comparing CPU's and can cite what a monitor can or should be pulling.


    It almost seems you are just here to tell ppl not to buy a laptop, which is basically trolling the Mobile Computing forum.
     
  28. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    I pointed you to the monitor that's the same as the one in a Laptop. It's spec sheet says 7w maximum, so I went with that.

    Congrats, you now have a comparable power usage for the display, because it's the same size, resolution and brightness as most gaming laptops.

    Since you're way too fucking lazy to do it yourself, have provided the link to the PDF Spec Sheet. Go here, and click on Section 3.2

    https://static.bhphotovideo.com/lit_files/152662.pdf

    [​IMG]

    And larger displays start at 20-25w, and from there the sky's the limit. Obviously if you connect these to your "power sipper" legendary laptop because the screen is too small, too dark, too slow, or too dark, or whatever laptop concessions they make.

    Either way you get the same power consumption as on your desktop.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...330mx-lg-ips236v-samsung-s23a550h,3131-8.html

    That's why I said there's "nothing magical" about laptops: they make a lot of sacrifices to hit those low idle levels (crapppy, way smaller screen, slower processors, 5400 RPM hard drives in entry-level devices, instead of 7200 RPM, and of course significantly higher cost). If you don't care about those sacrifices, then have at it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  29. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    Bottom line is that performance costs in terms of power.

    If you want performance, you gotta feed it power. Doesn't matter if it's a desktop or laptop, mainframe or tablet.

    Sure, you can talk about "energy vampires" all you want, but that amounts to using the correct energy management scheme when your computer isn't actively performing whatever it is you do with it, and even that isn't going to differ that much between desktop and laptop. That's what I see is the real point of this thread. Not how much power does it take to get 60FPS, XXX number of points in Folding, or so many Bitcoins processed - because that's going to be more or less constant across a given generation of hardware (regardless of form factor)

    If the OP's question is "My computer pulls to much electricity, what can I do about it" -- that's entirely different than "I just want to know what the different in laptop and desktop power consumption is".

    The original posts from the OP point to the former, but after being pretty thoroughly told that it's his (or her, I'm fair) use and not the hardware, now it seems to have shifted to the latter. Power consumption isn't a bad question to ask, but across form factors isn't a very good way of looking at it. Across generations of hardware; however, extremely interesting and very pertinent to everything.
     
  30. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    Honestly it would be quite silly of someone to post a question: "My (desktop) computer pulls to much electricity, what can I do about it" on a Mobile Computing forum.
    The question is:

    Has anybody taken any output readings of their laptops of cumulative watts over the day?

    It would appear the answer is No.

    We only have the opinions of desktop users.
    I didn't intend to incite desktop computer users to defend (get defensive?) of their choices regarding power consumption.
     
  31. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    What i'm probably looking for, is a laptop that's capable of playing some modern games and doing digital art on, that is built with energy efficient components, and has an 8 cell battery.
     
  32. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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    What you're looking for is at cross purposes, which is the point other people have made. High performance and energy efficient do not exist at the same time, it's always a trade of one for the other.

    So to get what you want, you have to basically just pick the MINIMUM performance you're willing to live with for your games and work, pick the smallest, lowest resolution screen you can be happy with, and that'll be the least power consumption.
     
  33. jman0

    jman0 n00bie

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    Sure, but how do i determine one manfucturers device over another since there may be wild variations in the efficiency of the component parts?

    Just pick a more efficient mCPU and screen size and hope the rest of the components are not "vampire" power consuming?
     
  34. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    Yup, you're at the mercy of the laptop makers. Not worth it, in my experience.
     
  35. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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    There's not "wild variations". There's really only 3 parts that eat power in a laptop. The CPU (all fairly standard), the GPU (even MORE standard), and the display. You can save a ton by turning the brightness down as low as you're comfortable with on the display. The CPU and GPU are going to depend on which ones you pick and how much time you spend at full load.

    EVERYTHING else in the laptop (or a desktop for that matter), is extremely minor for power consumption. Even if you get a full bling LED-everywhere gaming laptop, those are going to be <1% of your machine's power consumption.
     
  36. 777

    777 n00bie

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    I forgot to mention to unplug your PC when not using it. My meter said my PSU was pulling 8W from the wall even when my system was shutdown and off.
     
  37. Archmage

    Archmage 2[H]4U

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    You could estimate a laptop's efficiency using a battery-life test (though plugged-in power profile may be more aggressive), provided you know the battery capacity. Example: A Laptop may get 6 hour battery life web-browsing, and 2 hours gaming on a 70WHr battery. And on that note:

    My brother just got an Acer Aspire V15 Nitro BE for $1200: [7700HQ, 16GB DDR4-2400, GTX 1060 6GB, 1080P IPS 15.6" - verified good contrast and colors by notebookcheck] - and I removed the 1TB mechanical drive and added in a 512GB SATA Samsung 850 EVO. I was happy to perform a clean install.

    The Acer laptop chassis is a bit large... would have to spend more for a sleeker GTX-1060 laptop, like the Gigabyte Aero series, which has good reported battery life partly owing to the 94-95 WHr size.

    The Acer's battery life and temperatures improved (7-10C less under load, less annoying fans) after using Intel XTU to undervolt the 7700HQ using a -115mV offset. I also undervolted the integrated graphics using a -20mV offset for no real reason...

    It also helped my dad's 6700HQ Dell Inspiron... -125mV that time. But the 4K IPS touchscreen display tends to eat through the battery regardless...

    I didn't test the undervolt settings to BSOD failure... I just stopped because I was approaching numbers others had used.

    The alternative to Intel XTU is ThrottleStop, but I was pressed for time, so I chose the easier solution.


    Desktop Route: I probably wouldn't build that super power efficient desktop the OP posted. It looks slow. I'd just: 7700K + undervolt, the best Nvidia Pascal GPU you can afford, avoid the outdated ddr4-2133 - that's stupid in 2017 on a desktop. You could also use a TN-panel monitor for power-savings, but that might be stupid considering your digital art hobby.

    I just don't think it's worthwhile to worry about desktop power consumption to this degree. There is a carbon footprint for almost everything, including manufacturing the hardware you currently own, and farting in your chair...

    If you want to minimize your carbon footprint:

    Invest in renewable energy, eat less meat (especially beef / lamb), insulate your home? , invest in more efficient air-conditioning / heating, recycle, purchase goods made from and packaged in recyclable / degradable materials, start composting, buy a more fuel-efficient car...

    If you just wanted to save $100/year: That would seem illogical unless you also wanted the laptop for mobility. - Saving $100/yr in electricity is not worth the sacrifice in performance and quality of experience, nor the added expense of a laptop! (vs equivalent desktop parts). This is why you're getting these responses...
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  38. 45454asasa

    45454asasa Limp Gawd

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    this thread got silly fast.

    Yes a laptop will consume less power and be more efficient than a similar spec'd desktop... Because it's clocked lower.

    An underclocked desktop should be just as efficient as a stock laptop.

    You're not going to recover your investment on power savings. My heavily overclocked system still only draws 500W under load. So if you game 2 hours a day, moderate usage 4 hours (say 300W) and idle for 4 hours (say 100W) you get 2.6kWh. That's only 65c a day at a very high estimate of 25c/kWh.

    Say you could cut that by 70%; you save $166/year

    Not worth it!
     
  39. sweets3450

    sweets3450 Limp Gawd

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    you would be better off building a cheap desktop with the same specs as your laptop, and you'll save more in the cost difference between the two systems than saving a few bucks in power a year...unless you're leaving it on 24/7 at full load .