Whether you’re a big business or a home user, running PCs for nine hours per day (or around the clock) can suck up the energy and the money from your pocket. Even though some laptops and desktop-class PCs have made great advances in terms of power management, they can still guzzle power. 

That gave us an idea. We at AVG are proud of our Tune Up and its ability to prolong battery life by turning off power-hogs and tweaking Windows power management. What if we used the Economy Mode on traditional desktop PCs, too? What would happen to energy bills? 

We first benchmarked energy consumption back in 2015 with our latest release. Our professional test tool, PC Mark 8, performed a series of tests that ran the battery dry on tasks such as video chat, web browsing, writing, photo editing, and casual gaming. The results on laptops were significant:

How does AVG Economy Mode achieve this?

Neither your PC nor your laptop are really set up to give you power efficiency. Even when you enable all power saving options, your hardware consumes more power than it should. This is where AVG Economy Mode comes in. It reduces processor power consumption, reduces device power consumption, and turns off unnecessary, energy sapping background processes. 

The question is: How does this affect the average overall power consumption on a traditional desktop? 

Power Consumption Tests

To calculate the annual power costs of a PC, first we need the number of kilowatt hours per year for a given PC. If a PC is left on 24 hours per day, that amount to 8,760 hours per year. To get the kilowatt hours, we use the following formula. 

X watts * (8,760 hours per year) / 1000 = Y (kilowatt-hours)
X stands for the average watt consumption of the PC; Y is the result in kilowatt-hours. 

Next, we need the price of a kilowatt-hour where the PC is being operated. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is around $0.14 on average in the US. To get the total cost, just multiple:

Y kilowatt-hours * 0.1428 = Z ($ cost per year) 

To get a sense of the power saving using AVG PC TuneUp’s Economy Mode, we put two desktop PCs to the test: a slightly older office PC and a newer gaming computer. 

Energy consumption on the older Medion office PC dropped from an average of 144 Watts to 114 Watts in Economy Mode. When using the calculation mentioned above, this is 1,261.44 kilowatt-hours if the PC is left on 24/7, which amounts to $176 per year. When power saving mode is enabled the cost goes down to $140. On the more powerful Alienware X51, energy costs drops from $185 to $123 per year.

That’s not too bad given you just have to click a single button.

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