Gaming Computers Use a Truly Astonishing Amount of Energy

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Gaming is continuing to boom, especially computer gaming. By the end of 2016, sales of PC games are expected to overtake sales for console games, though both will remain massive markets, worth $29 billion and $28 billion, respectively. Unfortunately, the trend comes with a cost—gaming computers are tremendous energy hogs.

By Brian Merchant|MOTHERBOARD

A new study published in the journal Energy Efficiency finds that worldwide, gaming computers suck down $10 billion worth of electricity (or 75 terawatt hours) a year. Given that sales rates are projected to double by 2020, that figure is expected to do the same. The study finds that while gaming computers comprise just 2.5 percent of personal computers worldwide, they account for 20 percent of global computer energy use.

Evan Mills, a UC Berkeley energy researcher and the study’s co-author, calculates that “a typical gaming computer uses 1,400 kilowatt-hours per year, or six times more energy than a typical PC and 10 times more than a gaming console.”

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