How Many Watts Should a Gaming PC Have?

You’ve probably heard or seen by now that the average gaming PC is a powerhouse of a device, but that doesn’t mean that every PC will have the same power output. A gaming PC is a complex device that has to balance many things in order to perform well, and the power output is one of them. The power output for a gaming PC is a topic that is not well-documented, and that’s why we’re going to attempt to put it all into perspective.

We’ve all heard the horror stories: the computer that overheats, the hard drive that craps out, and the processor that’s just not fast enough to meet our every need. In this world of ultra-fast processors, high-end graphics cards, and massive SSDs, it’s easy to forget that not all processors are created equally.

So you’ve decided to buy a new gaming PC and plan to use it for Halo 5, Destiny, and whatever other games you want to play? Or perhaps you want to use it for your everyday tasks, like surfing the internet, streaming movies, or just playing around with your latest graphics card? Either way, you need to know how much power your new rig will use. Here’s a handy guide that breaks down the different components in a gaming PC to help you decide what power supply and other components you will need to run your new rig.. Read more about how many watts does a gaming pc use per hour and let us know what you think.

PC gamers aren’t the kind to scrimp on their gaming hardware, but understanding how many Watts your PC requires is crucial in selecting the right power supply.

It’s no fun to play a game when the visuals aren’t up to par and you’re dealing with delays and the possibility of a random shutdown.

Isn’t buying the highest powerful power supply unit on the market the obvious solution? Certainly not.

A gaming PC should have between 500 and 550 watts of power, although this will depend on how you want to use it. Rather than obtaining the greatest power available, it is preferable to get a power supply unit that is tailored to your requirements in order to reduce total expenses and increase efficiency. 

In this post, I’ll discuss how to figure out how much power gaming PCs need, how much energy they use, and how to choose the best power supply for your gaming setup. I’ll also discuss some of the issues that individuals face when they don’t have the proper power system. 

How Many Watts Should a Gaming PC Have?

What is the recommended wattage for a gaming PC?

The amount of Wattage required for a gaming PC is determined by a number of variables, including:

  • The overall setup type.
  • The games that are currently being played
  • The amount of time spent playing and the intensity with which it is done.
  • The processor, hard disk, and graphics processing that was utilized.
  • The computer’s mainboard.
  • The amount of people that are playing at the same time. 

Even with all of these considerations, most individuals are satisfied with power supply units ranging from 500 to 550 Watts.

Some severe gamers can get away with 450 watts, while others need 600 to 650 watts. However, it seems that 500 to 550 watts is the sweet spot for most serious gamers.

That should be enough to keep everything running smoothly without any crashes, stops, delays, or shutdowns caused by overheating.

There’s seldom a need to go beyond 850 watts, no matter what sort of intense multiplayer game someone is playing.

How much power does a gaming computer consume?

This question does not have a single answer. The answer is completely dependent on the PC’s general configuration, the amount of time people spend on it each day, the games they’re playing, and other factors. 

If you want to learn more about this subject, I’ve published another essay on it.

Fortunately, determining how much electricity their particular PCs use is not difficult. They need the appropriate instrument for the task, which is a home energy monitor. 

Small gadgets called home energy monitors let individuals keep track of how much energy they use in their houses. Some of them connect directly to the fuse box’s breakers and utilize that method to monitor power usage. 

Others connect to power outlets. They have plugs on their faces, which users may utilize to plug their computers (or any other electrical device) into. The energy meter keeps track of how many watts of power are used by each device.

The following are some examples of energy monitors:

Emporia Energy Monitored Smart Plug 

When it comes to home energy monitors, my favorite is the Emporia Smart Plug with Energy Monitor.

The Emporia is one of my favorites since it’s cheap, very simple to use, and it’s also a smart plug, not just a kilowatt reader. It connects to your phone or tablet through applications, and it’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa. 

With the same handy plug, users can set timers to turn off specific items when they aren’t in use, use Alexa to switch things on and off, and monitor how much energy their appliances and gadgets consume.  

The smart plug may be seen on Amazon here.

This video explains how this smart plug works in detail: 


Electricity Usage Monitor P3 Kill-a-Watt

The Kill-A-Watt Electricity Use Monitor is another excellent choice for energy usage monitoring. It’s a tried and tested use monitor that’s been around for years, despite the fact that it doesn’t link to applications or other fancy, up-to-date stuff like that.

With a 0.2–2.0 percent error margin, it can precisely monitor power, voltage, and amperage usage. 

Users may also manage their energy usage with these Kill-A-Watt monitors. On the displays, people can accomplish whatever they need to do.

The reading is also shown on the monitor’s screen, removing the need for consumers to download additional applications to their already overburdened phones. 

What happens if gaming PCs are underpowered?

There are a variety of indications and symptoms that suggest a video gaming system isn’t getting enough power, either due to a lack of power or because the player is relying too much on one circuit. 

Check out this video for a brief summary of some of the issues that may arise when PCs lack sufficient power sources: 


The computer will not turn on.

When PCs won’t start, it’s one of the most frustrating issues connected with a lack of power. This is especially aggravating since the player has no idea what’s going on.

Is it possible that the cooling fan overheated and fried the system? Is one of the connection cords malfunctioning? Is it possible that the PC isn’t receiving enough electricity to switch on?

Without some diagnostics and DIY troubleshooting, it’s difficult to say. If you find yourself in this situation, I’ve created a troubleshooting guide to assist you.

On rare occasions, users are fortunate enough to have their computer shut down while they are using it.

While this isn’t ideal in terms of the game’s or computer’s possible consequences, it is fortunate in that it may sometimes show the user the boot screen first, indicating that there may be a power supply issue. 

If the computer won’t turn on after a recent update, this may be an indicator of a power issue. Whether this occurs, customers may uninstall the upgrade and reinstall it to see if the PC works again.

If this is the case, the issue is very likely a shortage of power, unless the update is malfunctioning.

The death’s blue screen

Other signs of a PC’s lack of power include the blue screen of death and forced shutdowns. Some computers have enough power to come on and even function for a brief time, but then they blue screen or shut down since they can’t perform anything more. 

Graphics are terrible.

When a computer detects that it is not receiving enough power, it reduces non-essential operations, resulting in less power. As a result, they perform at a lower level than they should.

The graphics card is one of the earliest sources of power for PCs. Even if a person has a fantastic, top-of-the-line graphics card, visuals will suffer if the power supply is inadequate. 

An error message will usually display if the system begins to take power away from graphics, informing the user that there is a problem. 

Freezes occur often.

Many individuals believe that poor power supplies aren’t to blame for PCs freezing. They say that computers only shut down or fail to switch on when there is a problem with the power source.

This isn’t entirely accurate. Voltage spikes may occur when individuals don’t have enough power to operate their computers. 

Voltage spikes can accomplish all of the things I’ve previously described, including stopping the PC from coming on, forcefully shutting it down, and so on.

Small voltage spikes, on the other hand, are less noticeable. They cause computers to become unresponsive. Sometimes the computer recovers and resumes normal operation on its own, while other times these freezes need forced user shutdowns.

They’re inconvenient in any case, particularly if someone is in the midst of a game.

If you need more details, you can read my other post here, which can help you solve freezing in Windows 10.

a lot of lagging

Many individuals believe that excessive lagging cannot be caused by a defective power source. They’re both correct and incorrect in this regard.

Lagging may happen if a computer doesn’t have enough power, although it isn’t always caused by a lack of electricity. It has more to do with the graphics card failing. 

Anyone who has ever seen a computer with poor graphics has also seen the moment at when the graphics card completely fails and everything begins to pixelate and lag. This is sometimes accompanied by a broken robot voice. That, however, has nothing to do with the graphics card; it is the consequence of the whole system failing owing to a power shortage. 

Oddities should be displayed

Strange events on the display may potentially indicate that the power source is malfunctioning. Users who notice vertical or horizontal lines running across their displays, pixels changing colors without reason, or icons flashing when they should be still, for example, may be suffering power supply unit problems. 

It’s essential to note that none of these issues are caused only by a defective power source. Each of them may be caused by a variety of factors.

That’s why, before “diagnosing” a PC, it’s critical to do a thorough troubleshooting session to determine precisely what’s wrong. 

Why not invest in the most powerful model?

Inadequate power to a PC may cause a variety of issues, so the simple answer should be to get the most powerful power supply unit available and utilize it, right? No, not at all. 

While this would alleviate a gamer’s issues with inadequate power, it would also cause other problems, most often in the gamer’s financial account. The more the wattage a power supply unit can provide, the more it costs. 

Why squander all that extra cash on electricity that no one requires? That money would be far better spent on upgrades, games, or anything else! Linus Tech Tips’ video, “Why High Wattage Power Supplies Are Stupid,” pretty well covers it up. You may see it here:


Aside from the money spent, there are no significant drawbacks to purchasing a larger kilowatt power system.

It won’t break the computer or anything, but why spend money on something that isn’t required for a great gaming experience, particularly since someone can easily figure out how much power he’ll need to operate his setup?

How do you choose the best power supply unit?

The easiest method for any gamer to choose the appropriate power supply unit for his requirements is to calculate how much power his system will need while also factoring in future improvements.

Fortunately, the brilliant minds at Newegg Insider devised a Power Supply Calculator just for this reason. 

Newegg’s Power Supply Calculator asks a lot of questions regarding a gamer’s setup, such as: 

When a user inputs all of these details, the calculator will calculate how many watts he’ll need to run his gaming computer. 

To account for future improvements, users should double that amount by 50 to 100 Watts. Another approach is to put the specifications into the calculator as though he already has the upgrades planned. That should provide him with a more accurate picture than guessing. 

Another reason to purchase a little more powerful power supply than needed is the proportion of total load over long periods of time.

With some additional headroom in the power supply’s Wattage, the power supply will operate at a lower capacity and will be able to run your system smoothly.

This means less heat is generated within the power supply while it is in use, which means your power supply will last longer.

In any case, that’s all it takes to figure out what type of power supply unit he needs, and not having to purchase the huge 1,500-watt unit will save him a lot of money. 

Other considerations when purchasing a power supply unit

When deciding which power supply unit to buy, finding the right wattage is critical. Users must, however, consider additional factors while looking for the finest device for their requirements. 

The quantity of connections available

A power supply must be connected to more than just the CPU; it must also be connected to graphics processing units, motherboards, and other components.

A power supply device with an insufficient number of connections will be completely unusable.

This is a mistake that users should avoid since having adequate connections is critical to ensure that the PC functions properly. 

Some factors are less essential; if players make a poor choice in these areas, the system’s overall efficiency will not be harmed.

One of them is determining the proper number of connections. One thing users should strive to do right is this.

It is preferable to use a power modular supply. This means you just plug in the power cord that each component requires.

The power supply unit’s physical dimensions

Power supply units exist in various forms and sizes, and it’s not uncommon for a gamer to locate one he likes only to discover it won’t fit inside his case when he gets home.

It’s also important for gamers to remember that the power supply unit isn’t the only component that has to fit inside the casing. There will also include all of the connection cables. 

The way the interior of the case is packed may have a significant impact on how effectively the computer runs. For example, if the power supply unit fits but is somewhat too big to be comfortable, and all the wires are crammed into every available space, the ventilation within the case will be severely restricted. 

Restricted airflow may cause overheating and other issues, so it’s better to avoid it if you can.

The many kinds of cables

There are three different kinds of cables:

  • Cables that are modular.
  • Cables that are not modular.
  • Cables that are semi-modular.

This movie covers everything consumers need to know about modularity, and it does it much better than I could, therefore I recommend you watch it:


A gamer’s system’s cables will play a big role in deciding what kind of power supply he requires. As a result, it’s critical to understand the modularity of the wires up front.

Built-in security

This is another factor that consumers must take into account. Without proper security, a single lightning strike or power surge may wipe out a whole PC, resulting in a lot of money lost.

Although most high-quality power source units now have built-in protection, a few off-brands still do not. 

I can make this choice easier for consumers by recommending that they purchase a power supply unit with built-in protection. Period!

People spend far too much time and money constructing their gaming PCs just to have them destroyed due to a lack of security.

The power supply for a computer is centrally placed, and it links to every piece of hardware in the system. As a result, it’s the obvious option for safeguarding everything.

Users should seek for power supply devices that have over-voltage, short-circuit, and surge protection built in. 

Any power supply device that lacks these characteristics should be avoided by potential customers.

The evaluations

Gamers should look into the ratings of any power supply devices they’re thinking about purchasing. They must consider both good and negative evaluations, with the latter being more important.

They should read what others have to say about how well these devices worked after they were installed. 

Finally, some ideas

A gaming PC should have enough power to keep everything running properly and to accommodate any future system improvements. For the most part, this equates to between 500 and 550 kilowatts. It might be as few as 450 or as many as 600 for others. 

It’s also preferable if customers don’t purchase too strong power supply units since they’ll be a waste of money.

Before purchasing anything, users may use Newegg’s Power Supply Calculator to determine how much power they’ll need. That is the most effective method to guarantee that they get the power supply unit they need.

If you’re interested, I recommend reading my other post on how much energy a gaming machine consumes.

If you’re planning on getting a new computer, you’re probably asking yourself, how much power does a gaming PC really need? Well, the answer to this question is very subjective. Some gamers may be fine with a low-wattage PC while others may want a machine that can keep up with them. That said, you probably want to know what the bare minimum you can get away with is (without it being a complete waste of money) and this post will help you find out.. Read more about how many watts does a pc use and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many watts does a gaming PC need?

A gaming PC needs a minimum of 300 watts.

Is 1000 watts good for a gaming PC?

Yes, 1000 watts is a good amount of power for a gaming PC.

What is a good wattage for a gaming PC power supply?

A good wattage for a gaming PC power supply is generally between 600 and 1200 watts.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • how many watts does a gaming pc use
  • how many watts for a gaming pc
  • how many watts does a gaming computer use
  • how many watts does a gaming desktop use
  • wattage calculator pc