Low consumption computer Are they an alternative to the traditional PC?

The low consumption computer will be the protagonist of this article. Something that perhaps many are rethinking in these moments that we live. Well, here you can see if it is a good idea and can be an alternative to traditional PCs or not.

Index of contents

  • A little introduction
  • What is the power consumption of a computer?
  • low consumption computer
    • Advantages of a low consumption computer
    • Disadvantages
  • possible applications
  • Alternative to low power computers
  • Tips to save energy

A little introduction

Climate change is becoming more evident by the day and experts do not expect the situation to change any time soon. The number of politicians talking about climate change has increased, but their actions have not lived up to their words.

For this reason, many individuals have begun to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt green and sustainable practices to reverse the effects of global warming.

All this has been further damaged by the war in Russia and Ukraine , as prices, which were already very high, have now skyrocketed. Many families will not be able to face the coming winter and others will have a really hard time paying the electricity bills that will come.

If you, too, are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save on your energy bill, consider switching to a low-power computer brand .

What is the power consumption of a computer?

Neon pink light, background photo. Free public domain CC0 image.

The power consumption of a computer is measured in watts. An average computer consumes between 100 and 120 watts of power . The processing units and the monitor are among the devices that consume the most electricity.

Most computer manufacturers now provide information on their power consumption, so it’s easy to find out how green a computer is without doing a lot of research.

However, these figures belong to an average team, but if we talk about gaming computers or workstations , consumption can shoot up to 3 or more times those figures. This implies that a piece of equipment could consume large amounts of energy and be reflected in a very notable way in the electricity bill. Even more so considering that they are used for several hours a day.

For this reason, the consumption of these equipments should not be taken as a joke . In addition, for many people it is not an alternative, they need computers every day to work, study, or perform other tasks.

low consumption computer

Times are changing fast. And, while some strive to create increasingly energy efficient units , other components are shooting up their consumption, as is the case with high-end graphics cards, which have reached really high limits.

The way we use our computer at home and at work has also changed, and we now spend many more hours in front of the screen. For this reason, the impact on the electricity bill is considerable. And that must be added to the number of millions of people who are using one of these devices every day around the world, leaving an impact on global energy consumption that is also not negligible.

For this reason, some components have emerged that will allow you to create low-power computers and brands that already sell these complete low-power computers so you can buy them. Equipment that is becoming more and more relevant and that you should consider if you are concerned about all these issues of the climate and energy crisis.

Advantages of a low consumption computer

Low power computers have their advantages and disadvantages. Among the first, it can be highlighted that:

  • Lower energy consumption: of course, the main advantage of this type of equipment is that its consumption is much lower than conventional equipment, in some cases reaching consumption of up to half that of a normal computer (60-70W). Therefore, this will be noted on the electricity bill at the end of the month, and you will also have reduced the carbon footprint related to the way in which the energy you are using is produced (burning gas, fossil fuels, coal,… ).
  • Less heat dissipation: A low power computer does not get as hot as a high power computer. This means your computer won’t be as hot to the touch no matter what tasks you’re running.
  • Quieter: as they do not need such powerful cooling systems, many of these devices are quiet or quieter than conventional ones. Especially if they are fanless, then you will have a device that does not emit noise.
  • Greater longevity: Low power computers last longer than high power ones. Therefore, you will be able to use your computer for a longer time. This is because they use chips with lower clock rates and, being cooler, don’t suffer as much from degenerative issues like electromigration.
  • Lower maintenance costs: Low power computers are less likely to break down than high power ones. This means that you will have to spend less money on repairs and maintenance, since the parts are usually much more modest and with lower prices.


Of course, these types of low-power computers also have their drawbacks :

  • Less to choose from:as it is not conventional, you will be able to find fewer brands and models to choose from. However, you can always think about building your own ITX or similar low-power form factors.
  • Less powerful:Of course, if you are looking for performance, then a low power computer is not your thing, since they are not designed for that. And this also implies that certain software or video games will not meet the minimum requirements on these computers, so you will be able to use them.

possible applications

A low consumption computer not only serves as a desktop computer for various tasks , it can also be used for applications in which consumption can be critical. For example, for equipment intended to be always on, which means a huge difference in the electricity bill compared to one with higher consumption.

I am referring to servers . If you are going to set up a server in your office or at home, it must be connected 24/7, non-stop, so that the service you are providing is always available to customers. In this case, a low power computer can make a big difference.

Alternative to low power computers

If what you are looking for are alternatives to a low power computer, then you could choose a laptop , especially ultrabooks, nettops, convertibles and 2 in 1 tend to have the lowest consumption. Another way to save energy compared to a desktop PC.

Of course, some tablets with a keyboard can also be a good option to have a low consumption computer equipment.

Tips to save energy

Regardless of the make and model of computer you buy, there are a few tricks you can use to save energy:

  • Make sure your computer is not in a place that gets too hot. Computers work best in rooms that are at a temperature of around 21ºC. If the room is too hot, the computer will consume more power than usual for its cooling system.
  • You can also reduce your computer’s power consumption by keeping it unplugged when you’re not using it. This is especially important if you won’t be using it for long periods of time. And better off than using modes like sleep or hibernation.
  • Remember that the standby also consumes, so it completely turns off the equipment to avoid unnecessary consumption.
  • It is important that if you have an AIO or a laptop with a power adapter, you always unplug it. Do not leave it plugged in, even if it is not connected to the other end it will continue to consume.
  • Look for the lightest apps. This will make the computer more efficient to do the same task with fewer hardware resources.
  • Please adjust the brightness of your monitor appropriately as IPS panels are quite power consuming due to backlighting.
  • When you buy components, check that they have low consumption certificates such as Energy Star and the like. This will help make them more energy efficient.
  • Use the modes of the operating system appropriate to your needs at all times. That is, if you do not require great power, put it in economy or intermediate mode, but do not use the high performance mode.

We recommend that you take a look at our section on pc configurations . You will learn a lot and know our equipment recommendations!

Now you know what low consumption computers are, their possible applications, and the alternatives you have. Which one do you prefer? Conventional or low consumption?


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