Are You Spending $145 A Year Just To Leave Your PS3 On All The Time?

The NRDC has released some numbers about video game consoles and their power consumption. If you’re one of the 50% of gamers who leave their consoles on all the time — you’re wasting a lot of money.

The NRDC report suggests that video game console manufacturers update the consoles with a power saving mode that would kick in after a period of inactivity — but the quickest fix is for gamers to turn their consoles off (or use the console’s power saving features) when they’re not actively playing them. The NRDC says that consoles use about the same amount of power just sitting there as they do when you’re actually playing them.

How much could you save? At the high end, the NRDC says that PS3 owners who shut off their consoles could save as much as $145 a year. Wii users won’t save as much, because the Wii uses less power over all. The XBOX 360 is somewhere in between.

The good news is that the XBOX 360 and PS3 do have power saving features, but they’re disabled by default. Why not turn them on and save some cash?

Lowering the Cost of Play [NRDC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. WBrink says:

    I think I read this 6 months ago on Kotaku and nobody could come to a conclusion on whether or not they meant keeping the system “on,” turning the system “off,” or actually flipping the off switch on the back of the system.

    • ShikhaCadimillac says:

      @WBrink: Want to know for sure?

      Get a Kill
      A Watt at Amazon for about $20 and test this out for yourself if you are so inclined.

      Plug in your game console and turn it on and leave it turned on for a 48 hour period
      without playing any games and record its usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

      Plug in your game console and let it sit there for 48 hours without turning it on and
      record its usage.

      Simply multiply the Kilowatt-Hr usage by 182.5(days) and then multiply that by your average cost per Kilowatt hour (normally shown on your electricity bill) and you will
      have your cost per year for each case study.

      Compare those two usage figures and voila, you can know for sure. (You can also compare
      it to Zero which is the usage while unplugged from the wall.)

      More details here at MSN.

      • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

        @ShikhaCadimillac: Well I would have hoped an article about this exact subject matter would provide that information rather than us having to rerun their test to find out if they mean On as in game system running or On as in just plugged in an in standby mode

        • ShikhaCadimillac says:

          @Hooray4Zoidberg: You would think, but as ‘Consumerists,’ I think we all know that it is sometimes best to double check things ourselves. :)

        • TPIRman says:

          @Hooray4Zoidberg: I agree, and I’m baffled that they don’t make this information more clear. They do define their terms at the beginning of chapter 2, and they state that they consider a software power-down — i.e., standby mode — to be “off.” So you do not have to manually flick the power switch in the back or unplug the console in order to save power.

          I guess I can’t question the NRDC’s “50% leave it on all the time,” but I’ve never met anyone with any of the latest-gen consoles who doesn’t hold down the power button on their controller and turn the console off when they’re done playing. Seems like common sense.

          • juri squared says:

            @TPIRman: That sounds good to me. That thing is a pain to get at.

            However, I can’t imagine leaving it on on all the time. Don’t people know that 360s like to self-immolate?

  2. iaintgoingthere says:

    What do you mean by off?
    Off as in switch off?
    Off as in unplug cord off?

    • amuro98 says:


      I’m pretty sure the article is talking about standby mode vs. actively on (e.g. sitting at menu, no game/movie playing.)

      So, the PS3 costs about $15/year in electricity if just left in standby (red LED), whereas it’s $160/year if you leave it turned on (green LED).

      My question is…WHY!?! Yes, I’ve heard of folks who left their console on 24/7 for months on end because they didn’t have a memory card so they couldn’t save their progress. But the PS3 has a built-in hard drive, so this is no longer an issue.

      If I’m not going to get back to the system within 30 minutes, it gets shut off (standby). Heck, I even flip the switch on the back of PS3 (so it’s really OFF).

  3. DeleteThisAccount says:

    Ugh. I have everything except the furnace, alarm, and fridge on a master switch that gets turned off when I leave in the morning. Beyond saving money, it also helps me feel better about not accidentally leaving an appliance on and coming home to a piece of charcoal.

    • Alex7575 says:

      @AngrySicilian: How do you deal with the clocks in the house?

      BTW, I’ve been meaning to do something like that for a loooong time. But having 5 computers throughout the house kinda puts a dent on that idea.

      • nataku8_e30 says:

        @Alex7575: All of my clocks, except my alarm clock, are battery powered. I know a lot of people who use cell phones instead of alarm clocks

        • Alex7575 says:

          @nataku83: I’m pretty much in the same situation, but there are a few clocks around the house that are attached to appliances, like the microwave, the oven, etc. I don’t use them as clocks, but it sure bothers me when they’re either wrong or blinking.

          • The_IT_Crone says:

            @Alex7575: I fixed that with electrical tape. If I don’t see the blinking, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t need to “see” the numbers counting down on my videos or microwave.

            I have all of my electrical items on power strips. I turn off the ones that aren’t needed when they’re not being used. I think I saved $25 the first month I started doing this.

    • mariospants says:

      @AngrySicilian: Holy cow, this is the 21st freaking century. Electricity should be free by now.

      • tange1 says:

        @mariospants: The cost of everything energy related is up. Oil, natural gas, etc. Why if the fuels for all electricity creation are up in price would electricity be down or free?

        Renewables – they are great but they aren’t our country’s base load energy yet untill the tech catches up with our dreams.

      • Fist-o™ says:

        @mariospants: Sure, if you’re looking from the perspective of a “Buck Rogers” Sci-fi serial from the ’40’s!

        Where are you, Mr. Fusion???/

    • U-235 says:

      @AngrySicilian: I’ve got a minor man crush going on here. You do what everyone should do, and I applaud you for it!

      @mariospants: But if energy were free, who would pay my salary? No free energy for you!

    • DeleteThisAccount says:

      @AngrySicilian: I have a wind up alarm clock from Ikea for the bedrooms and nothing I own blinks 12:00 when the juice comes back on (thankfully). I got tired of replacing 9V batteries on the clock radio. I use my cell phone as an alarm clock (Unfortunately it does tall all 6 alarm settings to get me out of be.)

  4. MickeyMoo says:

    Off – like a powerstrip with a switch – not consuming electricity on “standby” mode

  5. Alex7575 says:

    “The NRDC says that consoles use about the same amount of power just sitting there as they do when you’re actually playing them.”

    The consoles have 100% CPU AND GPU usage when idle? I feel that this is almost like saying that you burn the same amount of calories if you’re either sitting on a couch or running a 5k.

    • crashedpc says:

      @Alex7575: What? No wonder sitting makes me so tired.

    • mariospants says:

      @Alex7575: I agree. I remember reading articles on this and the testers who came up with these figures either left games or the protein-folding software running. If your PS3 is just at the XMB doing nothing, I’ll bet that the consumption is close to half (the major sources of power draw: CPU/GPU + Power Supply) are hardly being overtaxed at that point.

      What irks me is that at this point, my 4 year old PC is taking FOREVER to boot up (too many fonts? too many applications? Symantec AntiVirus?). Whatever the reason, I leave it on 24×7 because I can’t be bothered to reboot the fucker.

      • Alex7575 says:

        @mariospants: LOL, 4yr old? That’s like 100 yrs in PC years. Nah, if you’re not playing games, that puter should still be gold to pull down some html from the internets. Seems that it needs some TLC (Trash, Litter, Compactor), HAHAhahehe, sorry.

        Have you tried getting rid of some start up items? An easy way of doing that is to

        -go to the Start button>Run
        -type “MSConfig” (not case sensitive), hit Enter.
        -go to the startup tab, and go to town. I’d uncheck pretty much everything there, just make sure to keep your antivirus, and the apps you want to run with the system started.

        Another thing you can do to speedup the boot process is to use Bootvis (Google). This app attaches itself to the boot process, and gathers boot information, and presents a graph when done. With the graph you can pinpoint which drivers or processes are “hanging” and messing up your boot time.

        And for the cherry on the top, I’d defragment the harddrives, after some cleaning up. Delete junk/unused files. If you’re not sure if you want to get rid of certain files. Just lump them together in a “temp” folder and copy them out of the drive (burn to DVD, copy to another drive, etc), and defragment it.

        And if all the above fails, do what you should have done long ago…Reinstall (sorry).

        Good luck!

      • johnarlington says:


        Have you tried standby?
        Both my new and old laptop take for freakin ever to boot. Since I rediscovered the standby quick key. I have saved at least 10 minutes each day.

        • eelmonger says:

          @johnarlington: Do you mean Standby or Hibernate? Stand by still draws power, but if you hibernate it’s like turning it off, only it comes back MUCH faster and it restores your computer to the exact state it was in when you hibernated.

      • U-235 says:

        @mariospants: Just backup your important stuff on an external HD or cd’s and format your hard drive. You should do this yearly anyways. Keeps things lubricated.

      • mac-phisto says:

        @mariospants: re: your old computer.
        1) download a program called ccleaner (read about it here: []). easy-to-use pc-decrapification (google entries in the startup section, such as “igfxpers”, to decide what you need & what you don’t need).
        2) symantec is DEFINITELY slowing down your startup. their suites are some of the most bloated software on the market today (although adobe certainly gives them a run for the money). consider a more lightweight competitor – perhaps AVG basic [] . HOWEVER, if you decide to switch from symantec, make sure it is completely gone from your system before you install a new anti-virus (you may need this: [])
        3) make sure your windows is up-to-date. windows update checker uses A LOT of resources on startup – you can eliminate this by going to windows update & ensuring that you have the latest security patches.

        contrary to what Alex7575 recommends, DON’T just uncheck everything in msconfig – you could lose a lot of functionality with programs, attached devices, etc. sometimes it’s better to let a program startup (especially if it’s a program you always use).

        a few tweaks & you should be back up to speed.

        • theblackdog says:

          @mac-phisto: Will someone please buy Flash back from Adobe so they stop making it into a piece of crapware? I think I might have to downgrade to a previous version because it likes to make my EEE hang when it’s loading an app up.

      • cerbie says:

        @mariospants: try sleep modes. Almost all computers made since about ’01 reliably go to a video-off standby (keeping mouse, keyboard, CPU, etc. running), which often saves 50+W (less w/ integrated video, but it can still be 30W or so), and you’ve got a fair chance of deep S3 working, where everything but RAM is all but turned off, which can bring your wall-power down to under 10W, and it should all come back up in 1-5 seconds.

        In general, it annoys me how many appliances don’t have a good standby mode, consuming only a few watts. It also annoys me when they get measured for a news item, because they always assume people that don’t care, who aren’t going to bother turning their crap off after they read this stuff, anyway. Speaking of which, I keep reloading my desktop before I get suspend-to-RAM working…I’m guilty! :)

        Even common DVD players are getting long boot-up times these days. I’d rather have true power measurements on the box than turn everything off all of the time. A 30W/4W DVD player v. turning the power strip off and waiting every time I want to do something? I’ll take 4W. But, when I go to buy it, it could take 30W in standby for all I know.

    • says:

      @Alex7575: Seems strange but that looks to be the case…

    • narq says:

      @Alex7575: I have a killowatt just for this reason. I have a lot of electronics plugged in all the time and everything you read says they use “tons of electricity when off/standby”. Yeah, they don’t. At most they use 5watts. The 360 and Wii both use about 2watts in standby, which adds up to pennies a month. Leaving your computer on all the time, I know for a fact, when idle a typical computer uses around 100watts, which is around $10-15 a month if it’s on 24/7. Mine actually goes below 100 on idle.

      The only things in your house that use up electricity, the things that account for 85% of your bill are your water heater and HVAC. Everything else is marginal. I did the math on everything I can plug in to a socket, those things are minimal in comparison. You want to save money, get a more efficient water heater and HVAC. Everything else is incredibly energy efficient.

    • noodleman says:

      @Alex7575: A person burns 450 calories per hour just sitting. Running in place burns 690 per hour. Running a 6-minute mile in a race burns app. 1400 calories per hour.

    • megsuma says:

      @Alex7575: Do consoles not pull a constant amount of power when On, as in not off and not in standby?

  6. morganlh85 says:

    And once again, the Wii beats them all…

  7. ironchef says:

    My refrigerator uses $63 per year.

  8. Alex7575 says:

    I think I know the answer to this already, but here it goes: If you have a plug (the fat ones with the transformer built in) and this plug is just plugged to the power, w/o the gadget connected to it. Does it drain considerable amount of power?

    I know it does drain power, because they get warm whether or not they’re “in use”, but how much power is drained?

    • concordia says:

      @Alex7575: Get yourself one of these and find out:


    • mewyn dyner says:


      I’ve tested several. I’m not convinced that they take up any significant amount of power when no load is on the other end. Every one I’ve tested didn’t even register one Watt.

      Sure, they are taking up some power, but not a significant amount. Even if they are taking up just one watt of power, that translates into (based on a national average of $0.11/kWH) $0.95/year. I do try to disconnect these little buggers when I’m not using them, but I’ve got some in some really inconvenient places, those I’ll just suck up the $1/year. ;)

    • Orv says:

      @Alex7575: They don’t use much. If they’re getting warm, they’re using *some*. A lot of newer ones use switching designs and don’t even use enough power to get warm. My cell phone charger is like that.

    • dangermike says:

      @Alex7575: No, not a considerable amount. Unless you have some pretty good electronics tools, it’s probably not even a measurable amount (and by pretty good, I mean to disclude those little digital “power” meters which are actually pretty handy little devices.)

  9. calquist says:

    I’ve been guilty of leaving mine on if I wasn’t a point I could save or something, but I usually try to unplug all of my electronics/appliances if they are not in use. Seriously, my electric bill has gone from about $45 to $25 once I started doing this.

  10. mewyn dyner says:

    From this graph and looking at the paper, their “off” listed is the standby mode, where the GPU is off, hard disk and most other elements are off, and the CPU is in a low-power state. I just love it how the PS3 costs more to leave off than the Wii does to run all the time.

    I don’t see why people don’t turn stuff off once they are done with it. With most electronics leaving it on causes more wear than turning it off when done, and it uses more power which translates into more money and more CO2 into the atmosphere.

  11. idip says:

    Best solution: Sell that xbox!

    I miss mine terribly.

  12. CupcakeKarate says:

    Ugh- thank you, Husband! He is anal about turning off and unplugging our Xbox after every use.

    Also, the Xbox is somewhat noisy when it’s turned on- it would bother me to have it running all the time.

  13. yungjerry703 says:

    leave my xbox360 on???? i’m scared shit less of another red ring of death. I am guilty of leaving by ps3 on for long periods of time, so sue me i’m trying to cure cancer (folding@home).

    • Phydeaux says:

      @yungjerry703: yup, this. I’ve netted well over a thousand folded proteins since I started using it. The PS3 is great at it.

      That is a lot of money to power it, though. I’m sure my computer takes more power from being left on all the time but alas.

      LittleBigPlanet is the first game in nearly two years that I’ve bought for it. It folds a lot of proteins.

      • zlionsfan says:

        @Phydeaux: Same with mine – I bought it mostly as a Blu-Ray player, not that I watch a lot of movies, and partly as a game console. I have two games for it (Hot Shots Golf and Ratchet and Clank) and play infrequently at best, so it does a lot of folding.

        I have no problems with spending $100 or so a year for something like that.

  14. Ben_Q2 says:

    I turn off my computer at night, saves me around $40 a month (from 8/10pm to 4/5am).

    • Decaye says:

      @Ben_Q2: Haha, what do you use, an R900? A midrange dual processor server only costs $200/year to have on all year, yet you’re saving $500 by turning off your one consumer desktop for 1/3 of the day? Are you sure you don’t accidentally surf the web on a full rack of servers?

  15. rbuchberger says:

    Any numbers on how much it costs to leave a computer on all the time?

    PC gaming ftw :D

    • B says:

      @rbuchberger: It depends on the computer, but for a modern PC, one that can play the latest game, you’ll looking at numbers somewhere between the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

    • narq says:

      @rbuchberger: I have a gaming system with a 550watt power supply and SLI board. It uses around 300watts at full load but under 100watts when idle. I have another system that uses 100-150 watts on idle. It depends on your motherboard, but I did the math once and keeping my computer on 24/7 would cost under $20 a month.

  16. plj says:

    $40 a month for your computer to run 7 hours a day. How much is electricity at your place?

  17. Gaambit says:

    Even after reading the responses, I’m still unclear as to whether they mean shut them down (like any sane person would) or physically remove their link to a power source. If it’s the latter, wouldn’t that cause the internal memory to be reset every time (in regards to time, preferences, etc.?) I know my DVD/VCR would. Isn’t that a bit impratical?

    • HFC says:

      @Gaambit: Reading the paper, it appears they are referring to ON (game system is active on) and OFF (game system is in standby mode).

      ” Many video game consoles are left on for extended periods of time in Idle mode. Some users simply forget
      to turn the video game console off when they turn off their television. Other users leave the consoles on because
      some games do not allow them to save their progress any other way, requiring them to leave the console on until
      they resume playing hours or days later. In addition, some game designs may also prevent the proper function of
      power management for those video game consoles that support auto power-down.”

      “The next generation of game consoles should be shipped with an auto power down feature that would go into
      effect after one to three hours of inactivity. These settings should be the default when shipped and should not
      require the user to ‘opt in’ as is currently required.”

      • HFC says:

        @HFC: Maybe I should have added this:
        “Active/On: The device is on, a disc is loaded in the console, and the user is actively playing a game. Power
        measurements in this mode were averaged over three to five minutes.
        Idle: The device is on, a disc is loaded in the console, but the user is not touching the controller. This can
        happen either when the game is paused or when it is playing, as long as the user is not interacting with the
        game. Power measurements in this mode were averaged over one to six minutes.
        Standby/Off: Either the user has powered down the console manually through the switch on the console, or
        the console has powered down automatically through its power management feature. Power measurements in
        this mode were averaged over one to three minutes. Some prefer to call this ‘sleep’ mode.”

        • Gaambit says:

          @HFC: Ok…I should RTFA next time ;-j
          Seriously, though, if these brains can’t remember to turn off the system when they are done, as they are turning off the TV anyway, they deserve the charge. Call it an idiot tax.
          It’s not like we’re talking about the NES days, where you FINALLY got past the dam level in TMNT but had to go eat dinner. THEN you leave the game on!

    • kiadtisn says:

      @Gaambit: I unplug my 360 when I’m not using it, and it keeps the proper time and such.

  18. Traveshamockery says:

    This is obviously one of those “worst case scenario” situations. There’s no way a PS3 on standby uses almost $150 in electricity in a year. Just the heat output tells you that when it’s on it uses way more power. You almost can’t touch the thing when it’s running…on standby it’s cool.

    • Alex7575 says:

      @InfiniTrent: I have a feeling that this was measured with the consoles “idling” inside a game, I can’t figure out how they came up with this information, which I find highly misleading.

      Energy conservation should be a priority, at least until we can figure out how to produce it cleanly. Once we get it clean and cheap, I’m buying a fridge + TV + Heater + AC in every room in the house, including bathrooms.

  19. Anonymous says:

    One of the authors of this paper just posted it over on the Penny Arcade forums, where it is being quite rightfully eviscerated.

    A whole lot of the material in it is inaccurate, misleading, or just plain *wrong*. For example, early in the paper, (page 9) the authors claim that an external Blu-ray drive is available for the XBox 360, which is completely untrue. Then just a few pages later, when performing their stress tests of the systems, they explain that since the XBox 360 can’t play Blu-ray discs, they had to use the HD-DVD version of King Kong instead. Wait, what? Make up your minds, please.

    The most glaring issue, though, is this:

    “While we are unaware of any user data revealing the percentage of users who turn off their consoles after use, we have found anecdotally that many users leave their consoles on all the time. Some turn off their televisions at the end of a session and but to turn off peripherals like the console, while others keep their consoles on in order not to lose progress in a game.”

    They’re using _anecdotal evidence_ to prove their wild claim that 50% of all console users leave their consoles on all the time? No, you can’t do that in a paper that is pretending very hard to be scientific. Also, the motivations they ascribe to people who don’t turn off their consoles are dated and inaccurate. I can’t think of a single current-generation game that doesn’t have either frequent autosave points, or user-selectable save slots.

    The paper had some great points, absolutely: energy-saving features are great things to have, we should all do our part to conserve electricity, and manufacturers should be encouraged to improve their auto-shutoff functionality and add sleep/suspend modes. But it’s awfully hard to take a paper seriously when it’s riddled with factual errors, grammatical errors, wild speculation, and incorrect assumptions.

  20. heltoupee says:

    I have been thinking about routing everything in my entertainment center through a master switch, so that I can kill the power when it’s not in use to stop parasitic power draw from all the different components (I’ll bet, with everything I’ve got there, I still draw 50W or so when everything is in standby). I’d have one power strip connected straight to the socket (for cable box and HTPC), and the other for anything else. The ‘anything else’ one will be connected through a switch with an IR receiver that will allow me to switch it on as part of the start-up sequence on my Logitech Harmony remote. I’ll still be able to sit down and push [Watch TV] with only a bit of added delay before everything kicks on.

  21. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I spent my entire life getting up to turn the system on/off and then having a seat only to need to get up and reset it sometimes. This current generation of power-button-on-the-controller is spoiling me and I ain’t ever going back.

  22. blackmage439 says:

    “…you’re wasting a lot of [your parent’s] money.”

    There, I fixed it for 90% of owners.

    I have always been observant of my power usage; always leaving consoles and computers off when not in use. My habits became even more conservative when I started renting my own apartment, where I pay my own electric bill. Now, my router, modem, and computers are off when not in use, by way of the switch on a surge protector (everyone should do this anyway as protection against hackers and WiFi thieves). Lights go off as soon as I leave a room. I’ve even replaced a few bulbs with CFL’s; I’m hoping in the long run they’ll last awhile and add up to savings.

    • Decaye says:

      @blackmage439: The majority of gamers are 19-33. You lose. router and modem use less than a negligible amount of power, and a decent wpa password isn’t worth cracking to access a random network. There will almost always be unprotected ones within range.

  23. says:

    xbox costs $14 just sitting there “off” huh…

  24. feerlessleadr says:

    i would love to know how much it is costing me to leave my desktop and my gf’s laptop on 24/7

  25. bagumpity says:

    I should buy a power strip and just flip the switch on everything in my home video/audio/theatre entertainment megaplex. But frankly, I am afraid that it would fight back. I have suspected for years that my children are “demon seeds” spawned by that one HDMI cable that I could never figure out where to plug the other end. The power hungry collosus that could very well be their true father might take the presence of a master cut-off as a threat to its very existence and send a wireless terminate-all-humans command to “my” children. This is a risk I cannot take. Surely a few hundred dollars in electricty bills is well worth the cost if it protects me from a entertainment super computer with a penchant for world domination and sweet sweet digital-rights-managed loving

    Plus, as soon as I buy a power strip there’s going to be a Consumerist story about how power strips consume oodles of power when just sitting there. You really just can’t win.

  26. cswinter says:

    How do you turn on the power saving features on Xbox 360?

    • John Gardner says:



      System settings, “Auto-off”. its been there since the first dashboard update. I’m not sure why it defaults to not turn off. you should have to go out of your way to leave it on all the time.

  27. jipn says:

    I love the new Auto Off feature. It shuts down in an hour. I always feel bad about leaving it on. I be sitting in bed ready to sleep and I would have to get up to turn it off.

    The only bad thing is watching a movie you have to hit a button to prevent it from turning off or it will turn off the movie while watching it. They should fix this.

  28. jipn says:

    I wish my comcast box had an auto off feature, but then how would it record shows.

    • Etoiles says:

      @jipn: Our Comcast DVR *does* do a power-down if left alone for a certain period of time, but somehow it still records programming. I am not sure how this works and suspect that Comcast is employing dark sorcery.

      Of course, in the other room we have a standard cable box and a TiVo, and those *do* need to stay on in order to work. When we go on vacation I’ll unplug the TVs and the consoles but what’s the point of having a DVR if it can’t record stuff when you’re not home?

      • lordargent says:

        @EtoilePB: in the other room we have a standard cable box and a TiVo, and those *do* need to stay on in order to work.

        The tivo is ALWAYS recording (live TV).

        /And the cable box is just a dumb terminal.

        /bets the cable box consumes more power, mine (when I had one) gave off more heat than any other device in my cabinet, which is surprising considering it doesn’t contain hard drives.

  29. MercuryPDX says:

    I leave my PS3 running. When I’m not playing it’s running “Folding@home”. At least it’s doing something useful during the idle cycles. I’m in the top 35 Contributors for Team Kotaku.

    • Decaye says:

      @MercuryPDX: That’s what I usually do. Set to auto-off after 4 hours, so I don’t waste insane amounts of money, but still can help out. Same with my desktop, running the GPU and SMP clients.

  30. William C Bonner says:

    I’d love to know how much power a PS3 draws in idle, compared to how much it draws when running one of those “Folding at home” clients. Anyone got a kill-o-watt to get some basic numbers?


    • satoru says:

      @William C Bonner:


      For the PS3 there isn’t much difference between idle and running a game.

    • Garbanzo says:

      @William C Bonner: If I recall correctly from my Kill-a-Watt experiment, Folding@home takes about the same power as playing a game. The number I remember, actually, is that we would wind up paying $250/year to run Folding. That’s more than the $150 in the original post – maybe because we’re in California where electricity costs more than national average. Also our electricity rate is tiered, and this extra power consumption would be in a more expensive tier. The day we plugged our PS3 into the Kill-a-Watt was the last day we ever contributed to Folding@home.

  31. ealexand says:

    I have an Xbox and I’m safe. If you leave the xbox on all day you will RROD in a week. Now that’s a great power saving feature

  32. gokieks says:

    If they consider standby mode to be “off”, I’m very interested in figuring out how they came up with the 50% number for people who don’t put the PS3 on standby. The only people I know who actually leaves it running all the time are those who’re running the Folding@Home client, and I’m pretty damn sure that wouldn’t cover 50% of the PS3 owner base.

    • satoru says:

      @gokieks: Indeed I read over the full paper and while they throw this random statistic out, they provide no provenance or reference for it. This smells of a totally made up statistic.

      The appendix is even worse in that they basically just assume that most users leave their consoles on for the entire day.

      To me this is a gigantic assumption if you’re going to base your cost savings on the fact that 50% of the users are leaving their consoles on.

      I think the study has some merit in that there should be a power saving option that is enabled by default for most consoles. But considering that people are already bitching about ‘vampire appliances’ when they’re turned off, it seems like a lose-lose for manufacturers either way.

  33. critiquer says:

    “The good news is that the XBOX 360 and PS3 do have power saving features, but they’re disabled by default”

    Why are they disabled by default? Do Microsoft & Sony have shares in the Electric Companies?? :oP

  34. captainpicard says:

    i actually unplug my wii when it is not in use (cue the jokes) because my cd-rom drive went bad and was making a hella loud sound when it would run. it was still under warrenty so I sent it to nintendo (they paid for shipping) and they fixed it. a cool thing is that they have you inventory everything your sending them but I forgot about the sd card I left in the system. the contractors who fixed the system actually sent it back in a hard case instead of just pocketing it.

  35. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    I’m investing that money to medical research.

  36. saffyre9 says:

    I keep my PS3 & Wii on a separate power strip from the rest of my electronics. When they’re not in use, I turn the whole power strip off so they use 0W.

  37. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    I knew I was using Wiisdom in purchasing the Wii. I used my Wiidom of choice afforded me by our constitution to keep my Wii running all the time. The Wii kicks butt with the interface and being a “green” machine makes it even more awesome.

    Am I environmentally reckless? No. Anyone who uses the Wii is automatically exchanging carbon (C) in to Wii (Wi) which is not a greenhouse gas. Wi is # 143 on the periodic table, highly stable, does not produce any Microsoft (Ms, #666 on the periodic table is highly radioactive and can produce “Blue screens of death” or “Red lights of death” if mixed with entertainment), and cannot combine with Oxygen to rob our planet of natural life giving substances or pollute our waterways or airways. It’s the only Wiise choice as evidenced by this report!

  38. Demonbird says:

    The only thing that is on all the time in my home is my PC.

    Everything else is off most the day, even the monitor =/

  39. tgpt says:

    A good rule of thumb for leaving things on all the time: for every 1 watt of power, it costs you $1 per year.

    So leaving a 60-watt light on all the time costs about $60/year.

    Doesn’t sound like much, but if you actually buy one of those Kill-a-Watt meters you’d be surprised at some of the results. I had a clock radio that drew 28 watts just sitting there with the radio off – replacing that with one that uses a single AA battery (which lasts about 6 months) easily paid for the meter.

  40. Spaceboy says:

    The Wii in “WiiConnect24” mode (when the yellow light is on) eats an enormous amount of power. I’ve read it on some interblog before. Perhaps this study was with WiiConnect24 off?

    Also, does it amaze anyone else when you unplug a system to take it to a friend’s or into another room and it still has the date and time correct (even without an internet connection). How does it do that? Small battery inside dedicated to the clock?

    • lordargent says:

      @Spaceboy: Also, does it amaze anyone else when you unplug a system to take it to a friend’s or into another room and it still has the date and time correct (even without an internet connection).

      Um, no

      How does it do that? Small battery inside dedicated to the clock?


      realtime clock []

  41. PDX909 says:

    But… but..I use the PS3 to keep my house warm.

  42. You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

    I’m actually really glad to hear/see this. My dad tends to use my Wii as a scapegoat for increased energy costs in our home. He has me keep it unplugged, so I’m never aware of updates or letters from friends unless I remember to plug it in and manually check. I think I’ll let him know that if he wants, I’ll pay him the quarter a month it costs to keep it plugged in. =P

  43. Bog says:

    UGH – My new cable box use from Comca$t use about 90 watts no matter if it is on or off.