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$160 electric bill, is this possible?

post #1 of 31
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Having recently moved home after graduating from college I've been home for the past 8 weeks looking for a job. Since being home my parents say the electric bill has raised from ~$40 to $160 last month, and the most recent bill just came in at $135. My general question is, is it really possible that a single computer could really raise the bill this much. I understand my computer is a power hog with two overclocked gtx480s but that bill seems ridiculously high.

I have the computer running about 12 hours a day, but nearly half the time its just idling/surfing the web/job hunting and documents. I watch video streams about 3-4 hours a day, and game maybe two hours a day. Even with the high use I dont see how this could add up to this much. I never watch tv, and really the only power im drawing from is my computer.

While in school, I probably had my computer on for 6-8 hours a day. Streams ran maybe 2-3 hours, and gamed about an hour a day. With this same computer, and living with a roommate, my electric bill was only about $50-60 a month.

So, does this seem strange to anyone else? I just dont think its possible a single computer could draw so much power. I recently switched my overclocks and voltages on my gpus back to default hoping that might help. I suppose I could stop the OC on my cpu as well, but will this really make a difference. I still think something else is contributing to the problem, but currently im taking all the blame for it and I do feel bad if this is really all from me.
post #2 of 31
Invest $30 in one of these for your rig and see just how must juice you are using http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=82-715-005
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post #3 of 31
I kind of have the same issue when I come home from school. But there are other things to think of also.

You say your job hunting so I guess its safe to assume you are home for most the day. In general your electrical use probably went up just from being in the house as aposed to just your parents who are probably out of the house most of the day.

Other solution might be to get a 80 Plus power supply.

Edit: See you already have a 80 Plus power supply so I guess thats not the issue.

I ran a simular rig with 660ti SLI and 2500k but my bill usually only goes up $30 and thats just with me being home most the day.
Edited by Wicked x Josh - 2/11/13 at 10:23pm
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post #4 of 31
interesting...,
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfire View Post

Invest $30 in one of these for your rig and see just how must juice you are using http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=82-715-005

I agree, although I would pick up the standard version for $10 less, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=82-715-001
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked x Josh View Post

I kind of have the same issue when I come home from school. But there are other things to think of also.

You say your job hunting so I guess its safe to assume you are home for most the day. In general your electrical use probably went up just from being in the house as aposed to just your parents who are probably out of the house most of the day.

Other solution might be to get a 80 Plus power supply.
Compared to a bronze vs a silver rated power supply the difference at best yearly is only a few bucks. A better assumption would be someone's stealing his power.
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post #7 of 31
Power rates vary geographically, but not that much. If that $50-60 is accurate, then the bill at your parents house should be similar. but I'd like to know what other electronics are running in the new location, also some utilities will be electric one place, and gas another.

An example of a computer's power draw:
An overclocked i5 (Ivy bridge) vs. an overclocked FX8350, the AMD chip will cost you something like $20.00 more PER YEAR, running both rigs 24/7. Without actually calculating KwH and getting all James May on you, I can tell you that the i5's power draw is going from 77w stock to approximately 95w OC'd (if that). the AMD chip is going from 125w to probably like 150w or so. Thus the extra 50w difference between the chips 24/7 is what makes up that $20.00

Now, a 480 GTX is drawing 250w stock. SLI'd they are going to cost you $200.00 per year in electricity, however that's if they are at full load 24/7. They aren't. I don't believe you are causing the bill to go up this way.

I come from a poor family and I can tell you that I've had to move back home once as an adult briefly. Everyone had to make sacrifices, that's just life, and as such I would recommend that you make a gesture to show that you care, like running only one card, and explaining to your parents that just saved everybody $100 right there! also I suspect that perhaps the waterheater or some other utility is electric instead of gas, and the extra person in the house is causing the bill to go up that way. also make sure that all your powersaving features are on in BIOS and at the driver level for the GPU(s). just a friendly suggestion or two. good luck, and I hope you find a job quick.

Edit:
Also, If you have a couple extra bucks, a killawatt meter would be a great way to know for sure.
Edited by zer0entropy - 2/11/13 at 10:30pm
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post #8 of 31
>_> that's a cheap light bill, in my area your lucky to not brake $300 a month.
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post #9 of 31
It is easily possible, especially given your location.

Here in Cali your power bills are generally billed on a sliding scale.

For the first say 100KWH you are billed the normal rate, say $0.15 ($15.00)
For 100-130% of that you are billed at 1.5 times the normal rate (the next 30 KWH cost $6.75, total $21.75)
For 130-200% you are billed 2 times the normal rate (the next 70 KWH cost $21.00, total $42.75)
And everything after that is something like 3 times the normal rate (say you use another 100KWH, costing $45.00, bringing your total to $87.75).

The first line of that is based on average usage in your area. 100KWH is just for demonstration. Your utility may charge a different base rate, but I have personally seen $300 power bills since hundreds of KWH were billed at the 3x rate. Five college dudes living in a house leaving 5 computers, PS3, and gameserver running 24/7.

EDIT Meaning it is the addition of a third person pushing your billing into new brackets causing such a dramatic increase
Edited by avesdude - 2/11/13 at 10:31pm
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post #10 of 31
my bill has been 130$ a month for the last 3 months with no computers running
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