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Does a high-end graphics card spend more energy outside of gaming?

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Buying a new powerful video card is very expensive. Many people can save up for quite a long time for such a purchase. It would be a shame to get a huge electricity bill. But is it true that high-end graphics cards consume a lot of electricity during their lifetime?

It depends on the load. Of course, the consumption is much lower if you are sitting in a spreadsheet or watching videos on the internet. However, could this be critical for you?

Is power consumption high during low loads for high-end graphics cards?

That week the new Nvidia 4000 graphics cards series was announced. Many users have already started calculating their finances and determining if they have enough money for such an expensive upgrade. As usual, Nvidia announced that the new graphics cards would be even more powerful, and many would have to change their power supplies to work with them. People have a legitimate question: won’t the electricity bill make you bankrupt after buying such a video card?

If you use your PC mainly for everyday office work or not demanding entertainment, then you will not make much difference in what video card is installed on your PC. This is not only about performance but also electricity consumption. So more powerful graphics cards do not consume much more power in idle mode.

If we take GTX 1060 and RTX 3080 as an example, the first consumes only 5W in idle mode while the second, much more powerful graphics card consumes only 15W. This is a minimal difference. So even with current electricity prices, you will save about half a dollar a month using a cheaper graphics card.

How much does power consumption increase under load?

If you’re an avid gamer and your choice is from the high-end video cards you want to load the maximum, then the case is slightly different. Power consumption, in this case, of course, will be much higher than in a simple video card.

If you take GTX 1060 and RTX 3080 as an example again, the former will consume 125 W of power at high loads, for example, when playing demanding games or rendering videos. By contrast, the more powerful RTX 3080 consumes 345W. As you can see, the difference will be noticeable.

However, whether it will be able to hit your wallet hard if you take the price of 12 cents per kWh as an example, it turns out that the RTX 3080 only consumes $4.97 more per month. Agreed, the amount doesn’t look that impressive anymore. So it is safe to say that buying an expensive graphics card will not condemn you to substantial electricity bills compared to cheaper models.

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