In the face of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, you may be weighing your spending against things you once took for granted. The cost of playing video games might fit that bill for you, and so in our two previous cost comparison articles – how much does it cost to run a PS5? and how much does it cost to run an Xbox Series X? – we’ve been thinking about the price of launching our favorite games on our favorite consoles. Doing the same for PC players is more difficult simply because the cost of running a gaming desktop depends on the parts each player has under the hood. Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t ways to help PC players save money.
This is reported by a PC seller and specialist British gaming computers, the average gaming desktop setup can use between £280 and £300 worth of electricity each year. When powering the most visually demanding games of the current era – such as Elden Ring, Call of Duty: Warzone, God of War and Halo: Infinite, to name a few – even the most efficient processors are rated at 450W. (against the 350W of the PS5 and the 315W of the Xbox Series X).
According to Sust-It’s’Electricity cost calculator‘, this means that running a top game on a gaming PC rated above for two hours a day would cost £3.28 a week under the current UK price cap (34 pence per kWh; from 1 October 2022). So, for the month of October, this in turn will cost PC players £14.57.
Again, this is likely to fluctuate a lot more for PC players given the variety of system specs at the fingertips of desktop enthusiasts. But there are some universal tips worth considering that can save PC players money. As described in detail by our friends at PC gamercan PC players save money in the following ways:
- Shut down your PC: Instead of leaving your desktop in sleep or standby mode, turn everything off completely.
- When using sleep mode (which only uses 3W per hour on average), lower your inactivity limit the same way you would with mobile devices – for example, set sleep mode to activate after 10 minutes instead of 30.
- Limit the use of unnecessary apps that run in the background – if you don’t use Discord regularly, it probably doesn’t need to be a launcher app in the same way as Steam, for example.
- Consider changing the Windows power settings from ‘high performance’ to ‘balanced’ – game performance should not be affected; your PC should automatically switch when a resource-hogging game starts up.
Again, while PC gaming platforms vary across the board in size and scale, the best gaming pc pre-builds are designed with energy efficiency in mind – which is not only good for the environment, but can also reduce the cost of playing your favorite games on the hardware of your choice.