[Eurogamer] Here's how much power your consoles use, and how much that costs in the UK

Topher

Gold Member
Do you know how much money you're spending powering your consoles? As we head into a winter of unprecedented energy prices in the UK, it's a question that couldn't be more relevant.

To find out, we collaborated with hardware experts Digital Foundry to run a series of tests to determine how much energy each console uses, per hour, doing a range of different things: in standby mode, idling on the menu, playing a game, and so on. Digital Foundry's Tom Morgan then recorded the numbers in a table for this article.

There are a few things worth noting about the numbers. The electricity price we used to calculate costs is 34 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh), because that's the current cap for a unit of electricity in the UK.

We haven't included gaming PCs in our roundup because there are too many variables involved when testing them, and we haven't included TV or AVR equipment power use for similar reasons, though it's absolutely worth considering them when at home.

It's also worth noting that the PlayStation 5 used in our tests is a launch model, but there have been two hardware revisions since then. And when the newest model was tested by the reputable Austin Evans, it was recorded as drawing 20-30W less while gaming, which is significant. There haven't, as far as we're aware, been any such revisions to Xbox Series S or X hardware.

Here are the numbers, then, which we'll discuss section by section below.

One Hour Use
(Cost in Pence)
PlayStation 5
(1000 model)
Xbox Series XXbox Series SNintendo Switch
Off0.1W
0.005 pence
0.2W
0.01 pence
0.2W
0.01 pence
0.1 - 3.5W (charging)
0.01 - 0.12 pence
Rest mode3.3W
0.12 pence

£9.83 per year (left in this state)
7.4W
0.25 pence

£22.04 per year
7.6W
0.26 pence

£22.6 per year
3.5W
0.12 pence
£10.4 per year
Rest mode + background download44.3W
1.51 pence
28.7W
0.98 pence
21.7W
0.74 pence
5.9W
0.20 pence
Main menu (idle)57.4W (or 47W after 10 mins)
1.95 pence (1.60 pence)
41.8W (or 45W after 10 mins)
1.42 pence (1.53 pence)
28.3W
0.96 pence
7.8W
0.27 pence
Netflix streaming80.0W
2.72 pence
44.8W
1.52 pence
44.5W
1.51 pence
NA
Overwatch 2190-220W
7.31 pence
150-170W
5.60 pence
65-77W
2.51 pence
12-19W
0.57 pence
Cyberpunk 2077
(Performance mode)
215-230W
7.54 pence
170-190W
6.12 pence
80-84W
2.78 pence
NA

Off

Even when told to turn off completely, your consoles still draw power, though it's a negligibly small amount. EU regulations state that electronic devices like these cannot draw more than 0.5W while in a specified 'off' mode.

Incidentally, were a device to draw 0.5W all year, it would cost you £1.49.

Rest modes

These are the most eye-opening results, because we know we use power to play games, but do we know we're spending as much as £22.70 a year to keep some machines in standby mode?

The Xbox figures stand out, then, but it's worth pointing out the Sleep mode pulling that power was Standby mode, which used to be called Instant-On. As of March this year, Xbox Series S and X offer two Sleep modes, the other one being "Energy saver".

Energy saver effectively turns the Xboxes off, putting them into their off power state, where they draw 0.2W. It then wakes the consoles up once a day to check for updates and then download them if necessary. Exactly when Xboxes wake up and do this was a detail we didn't previously know - once every 24 hours and possibly during a maintenance window was the most specific detail Microsoft had given.

I put this to Microsoft, looking for clarification, and I got it. "In energy saving mode, the console wakes up once a day during typical inactive hours (2-6 AM in the consoles local time), to check for system and game and app updates," a Microsoft spokesperson told me. It's an important detail because energy prices can be cheaper - depending on your tariff - during those off-peak times.

By spending the bulk of their time off, Xboxes will draw up to 20 times less power in this mode than in Standby mode, but it will also take up to 45 seconds to turn your Xbox on when you do want to use it [edit: this has been significantly reduced. We tested it this afternoon and recorded boot-up times of 15 seconds. Thank you all of the people who pointed this out below].

Energy saver is the Sleep mode Microsoft wants you to use on Xbox Series S/X, and it's the default mode those Xboxes are now set to.

There are options for Rest mode on PS5, too. You can choose how long to - or whether to - supply power through the USB ports, and whether to connect to the Internet. We tested Rest mode with these options turned on.

Rest mode + background download

Naturally, when your console needs to install things, or do things, it begins drawing more electricity to power them. So the logic follows that the more games you have installed to update, the more often you'll need to do it.

Remember that your machine will only be in a heightened state of rest while downloading, which means the faster your connection, the less time this will be.

Main menu (idle)

I'm sure I'm not the only person who leaves a console idling while I do something else. But even though the consoles have idle modes, they don't draw much less power. There's a curious jump in power on the Xbox machines after 10 minutes because that's when Achievement pop-ups start appearing, trying to tempt you back in.

Both PS5 and Xbox have customisable off timers, which cover playing games, watching media or consoles left idling.

Netflix streaming

I only recently upgraded to a television with streaming apps built in. Before that, I used consoles to stream video. There are benefits to it. I found the apps quicker and more responsive, and as Tom Morgan tells me, consoles have better audio-out options for things like 5.1 support.

However, they do use a chunk of energy, particularly on PS5, especially when you consider a Chromecast uses about 2W at peak load.

Oh, and we're not testing other streaming services because they're a side note, and Netflix can happily represent them all.

Overwatch 2

It's a gift to find a new game that's available natively on all four consoles. It's also lovely to be able to watch the same in-game replay in all versions of the game, making for very controlled testing conditions.

Overwatch 2's power-draw varies depending on what you see in the game, hence the variable range in the figures. Overall, the Overwatch 2 results are fairly typical of a mid-range power-draw game.

Cyberpunk 2077

We got our figures here by playing the opening hour of the game on the three different consoles, and in the demanding Performance mode. The power-draw remained high no matter what we did.

The biggest takeaway, then, is to be aware of what your consoles are doing when you're not using them. If you have an Xbox, check which Sleep mode it's using, and consider switching to Energy saver. And if you have a PS5, know that you can customise which Rest mode functions you want turned on. Also, check your off timers.

It's also worth reminding you that gaming on desktop PCs uses significantly more power than consoles - sometimes double or more. We talked about PC power use in our environmental study published last year. As a gauge, Scan computers recently worked out that playing one of its high-end PCs for eight hours a week would cost £87 in electricity a year. There are some PC standby comparison figures in that article too, compared with PS5, and they're higher but still negligible over the course of a year. And PCs benefit from not having built-in 'I'm not really asleep' rest modes.

We hope this better informs you about what you're spending this autumn, and beyond, on powering your gaming. If you have any questions, we'll try to answer them in the comments below


Here's the TL;DR

 
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Bogroll

Likes moldy games
What about streaming does that use less? (I presume it does) I stream a few indie games and large download games that I just want to check out on Gamepass before I download them just in case I'm not keen.
 

Alexios

Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
LOL @ Switch
Huh? Seems pretty good to me? Especially since OW2 is probably of the more taxing games for it. Sucks they didn't try portable mode draw though, I guess the info is there if someone does the math, like the draw to charge, how long it takes to go to 100% and then how long it lasts in OW2?
 
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RyRy93

Member
Still fairly cheap unless you're gaming heavily which I haven't for years, if you play CP2077 on performance mode about 10 hours a week it costs roughly £7 more per year to run a PS5 than a Series X.
 

gradient

Resident Cheap Arse
Not going to lie, with prices what they are I'm loving the Switch costs.

BUT - this doesn't take into account the TV and sound system that you're using, so depending upon your setup don't take these costs as absolute in terms of guidance. Reality is that the actual per hour costs could be far higher.
 

DenchDeckard

Gold Member
Holy shit all that talk about how good the ps5 is in rest mode completely goes out the window as soon as you use the thing....guess if you buy a ps5 and just leave it in standby, you're laughing...just don't download anything in standby or play any ganes or stream on it. Lolol

I turn all my consoles off now, no rest mode. The xbox loads in like 2 seconds anyway.
 
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reksveks

Member
Costing seems weird.

Power is listed in Watts... so surely the cost should be based on Watts over a period of time...?

Energy prices are always quoted in currency per Watt x hours, $/kWh.

The electricity price we used to calculate costs is 34 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh), because that's the current cap for a unit of electricity in the UK.

From the article

So it's 0.34 * 1 (cause they have done per hour) * energy usage in Watts.

Ignore me: clearly got home too late from a work do.
 
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Banjo64

cumsessed
Not going to lie, with prices what they are I'm loving the Switch costs.

BUT - this doesn't take into account the TV and sound system that you're using, so depending upon your setup don't take these costs as absolute in terms of guidance. Reality is that the actual per hour costs could be far higher.
I’m using an ex2510 monitor which is much more energy efficient than a TV. Greta would be proud.

Most of us in the UK will be playing chess by candle light by christmas going by the doom sayers anyway..

No one else likes chess in my household, so i'm fucked.
I’m just going to start wearing womens underwear for days and then selling it online with fake profile pics.
 
This is not how you estimate a yearly power consumption. You need to make an average of power consumption during rest mode for like 95% time + 5% game consumption. In that case PS5 actually consumes less yearly than XSX according to others analysis I have read.

And nice timing to publish his article just before the 6nm model is widely available in western countries.
 
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PaintTinJr

Member
Pretty sure none of the DF team even have a O-level/GCSE in physics based on the SI units repeated mistake in the info. Which in general shows the correct relative info, but where they are doing the comparison of a download in rest mode, the unit of time, and total power used makes a difference, rather than an instantaneous power draw measurement in watts.
 

Kupfer

Member
That's why I only play on Switch. On portable.

210Wh using a PS5 with Cyberpunk but don't forget another 150/180W for the TV in HDR. Almost 400Wh, more espensive than a fridge or a oven. 400W x 0.5cents/KW x 5h/week x 54 week = 54€/y Vs 1.8€/y playing on Switch.

Switch is eco sustainable.

For my PS5 and LG OLED CX 48 setup it's like double the playtime for that money :

((0,21kW [PS5] + 0,122kW [TV] ) * 2 [hours a day] * 270 [days a year] * 32cents [per kWh] ) / 100 = 57,37€

57,37€ for 540h of gaming - that's 0,1€ per hour of gaming. That's okay compared to other activities I guess.

When I'm on the road with my motorcycle, it costs me 100 times (for real) more per hour, just in fuel.


EDIT:

With a Steam Deck, I would come to 4,32€ per year in the worst case, in other words with a 25W power consumption.
That's pretty impressive and cheap for a small gaming computer / handheld. The cost of a connected screen, if the Deck is used docked, is on top of that.

So a mix of PS5 and Deck would offer >1000h of playtime for less than 65€ in my case.

Only problem is - I have the money, but where to get those 1000h ?
Sad Happy Hour GIF
 
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acm2000

Member
its also important to add their update:

"The Xbox figures stand out, then, but it's worth pointing out the Sleep mode pulling that power was Standby mode, which used to be called Instant-On. As of March this year, Xbox Series S and X offer two Sleep modes, the other one being "Energy saver".

Energy saver effectively turns the Xboxes off, putting them into their off power state, where they draw 0.2W. It then wakes the consoles up once a day to check for updates and then download them if necessary. Exactly when Xboxes wake up and do this was a detail we didn't previously know - once every 24 hours and possibly during a maintenance window was the most specific detail Microsoft had given.

I put this to Microsoft, looking for clarification, and I got it. "In energy saving mode, the console wakes up once a day during typical inactive hours (2-6 AM in the consoles local time), to check for system and game and app updates," a Microsoft spokesperson told me. It's an important detail because energy prices can be cheaper - depending on your tariff - during those off-peak times."
 

UnNamed

18+ Member
For my PS5 and LG OLED CX 48 setup it's like double the playtime for that money :

((0,21kW [PS5] + 0,122kW [TV] ) * 2 [hours a day] * 270 [days a year] * 32cents [per kWh] ) / 100 = 57,37€

57,37€ for 540h of gaming - that's 0,1€ per hour of gaming. That's okay compared to other activities I guess.

When I'm on the road with my motorcycle, it costs me 100 times (for real) more per hour, just in fuel.

Compared to how much I've spent this year in electricity, playing with a PS5 would impact a lot.

55€ for PS5/TV is 4.8% (estimate)

I've spent 1122€ this year:
137€ for the old fridge
56€ for the oven
70€ for the dishwasher
69€ for all the other tv combined (less than 40inch)
89€ for 3months of air conditioner
54€ for all the lights combined

The rest has less impact: 2 laptops, switch, tablet, smartphones, other lights, vacuum cleaner, microwaves, hair dryer, etc.
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
They don't have access to the new models?


Never mind, I didn't know this was a parody article.
Just because he highlighted the new PS5s had stripped out copper and could run hotter doesn’t make him unreliable (y) never know so much wailing over a fair video.
 

gela94

Member
Do I really wanna know, just got a letter from the electricity company informing me from next year on it 59cent per kWh :messenger_loudly_crying::messenger_loudly_crying:
 

Filben

Member
Did a quick calculation for my electricity supplier and apparently keeping the PS5 standby with 44W 24/7 over a period of a year (365 days) cost as much as 89EUR/annual.

Given it's only 44W when it downloads and installs stuff, this is an highly unlikely scenario. Assuming it downloads twice a weak for 2h, this 44W cost as much as 2,10 EUR/annual, with 3.3W for the rest of the time it's 6,50 EUR/annual, so 7,50EUR/annual in total.

This is roughly 60ct per month for excellent convenience (quick boot, auto downloads).
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
Mr Moose Mr Moose he is just a typical tech YouTuber with cringeworthy thumbnails targeted at kids. He seems more knowledgable than the average person when it comes to tech but his videos are focused on a wide range of topics (PC builds, ordering shitty tech from Wish then stripping it down etc). Reputation wise I’d say there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the guy.
 

rofif

Member
Is standby mode the console turned off?
Maybe turning off power to usb ports limits power usage? It says 0.5w in off but then over 20 euro in standby. So I guess it’s rest

Anyway. 220w is not much.
Gpu nowadays rarely uses only 200w. 3080 is 350. Of course 4090 is at least 450w but it’s outlier.

The surprising fact for me is that cpus now all of sudden also use as much power as gpu?! Since when. CPUs were always 65-100w. So whole pc power draw can be 700w easily
 
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DenchDeckard

Gold Member
This is not how you estimate a yearly power consumption. You need to make an average of power consumption during rest mode for like 95% time + 5% game consumption. In that case PS5 actually consumes less yearly than XSX according to others analysis I have read.

And nice timing to publish his article just before the 6nm model is widely available in western countries.

What happens if I don't use rest mode and everything is hard switched off?
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
So they used the 1000 model for the PS5 (fair enough its what I have) but as we know the 1200 model uses the smaller chip size and produces less heat (and therefore it can be assumed less power) I wonder how that model fairs.
 
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