When someone asks how much power/watts a motherboard consumes, it’s when there are no other components, such as CPU, GPU, RAM, etc., connected to it.
According to our research, most current-era regular, low-tier to mid-tier motherboards consume about 25 to 40 watts of power. However, power consumption increases in high-end motherboards. These high-tech, high-end boards consume about 45 to 80 watts of power.
NOTE: These power statistics are for most current-era basics to high-end motherboards. But there may be a 50+ watts requirement restricted to high-end motherboards.
How Much Power Does A Motherboard Use?
As we have told you earlier, the power consumption of most current-era motherboards starts from 25 watts for basic mobos and goes all the way up to 80 watts or even more for high-end motherboards. That said, here is the summary for your query!
What Factors Affect Motherboard Power Consumption?
Several factors can influence the power consumption of a motherboard, both intrinsic to the board itself and stemming from its interaction with other components. For now, since we are talking about motherboard power consumption itself, here are intrinsic factors:
Size is the first factor to consider. Larger motherboards like E-ATX generally have more onboard components and complex circuitry, leading to higher power draw than smaller mini-ITX boards.
The chipset plays a vital role in managing power across different components on the motherboard. Modern chipsets, such as 600-series and 500-series, typically integrate power-efficient technology, while older or high-performance chipsets might consume more.
Voltage regulator module (VRM)
The VRM regulates the voltage supply to the CPU, impacting power needs. High-end motherboards often boast robust VRMs with more power phases (such as 12+1 or even more), capable of handling overclocking but drawing more power.
Additional features like onboard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, multiple USB ports, SATA connectors, RGB lighting, and high-speed data connectors all contribute to increased power consumption compared to bare-bones models.
BIOS power-saving features
Some motherboards offer BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) settings for power management, allowing you to disable unused features or activate power-saving modes, minimizing unnecessary power draw.
A Few Facts To Remember About Motherboard Power Consumption
Motherboards Are Provided With A Lot Of Power
While motherboards can consume power anywhere between 25 to 80 watts, it is provided with a lot more. The 24-pin motherboard power cable can provide up to 300 Watts of power but don’t worry, your motherboard won’t use all of it.
If you have an expansion card connected to the motherboard, and it’s getting power from the motherboard (not directly from the power supply through a cable), that power comes from the PCIe slot and, in the end, from the ATX Power connector.
Motherboard Usually Don’t Use Very Much Power
The motherboard itself doesn’t use much power because it acts like the backbone of your PC, connecting different components such as CPU, GPU, RAM, etc. It doesn’t have much processing power on its own, so they don’t use very much power by itself.
High-end motherboards use more power, around 50-80 watts, due to features like RGB lighting, extra fans, and improvements to Voltage Regulation Modules (VRMs).
Chipset Usually Draw The Most Power
Certain built-in components on the motherboard usually draw the most power. These components are outfitted with heat pipes, heatsinks, and active cooling, such as fans, to keep them cool.
The motherboard chipset is one of these components. It draws more power, especially if you use many NVMe SSDs and SATA storage connected through PCIe lanes.
Overclocking CPU Increase Power Consumption
If you overclock your CPU, the power draw can increase. However, even in high-power scenarios, it’s usually around 10 watts for a typical X570 chipset. VRMs (Voltage Regulation Modules) supply stable power to the CPU, especially during overclocking.
In high-end motherboards designed for CPU overclocking, VRMs have more power phases and larger heatsinks to handle the increased performance.
How To Estimate A Computer’s Power Consumption?
Estimating a computer’s power consumption starts with considering and summing the power consumption of each component that is connected to a motherboard.
The whole process goes like this: note down the power consumption of each component connected to the motherboard. For example, CPU, GPU, RAM, Storage, etc.
Don’t forget the additional components like optical drives, sound cards, and expansion cards. Their power consumption is often minimal.
Sum up the power requirements of each component to get an overall estimate. Include an allowance for additional peripherals like USB devices.
If you plan to overclock components or if your system has peak loads during heavy usage (e.g., gaming), factor in additional power requirements.
Know your motherboard’s power consumption as well; it can be anywhere from 25 to 80 watts or even more. Add the mobo’s power consumption to the final result.
NOTE: These are estimates, and actual power consumption can vary. So, we recommend having a power supply that provides more power than the estimated requirements to ensure stability and allow for future upgrades.
How Much More Wattage Should PSU Have Than PC Parts?
According to most industry experts and our team members, have a PSU that comes with at least 10-15% headroom than your computer’s maximum wattage. So, in case you overclock your CPU, GPU, or memory, your system can drain enough power to work efficiently.
First of all, there is no single answer to how much power a motherboard consumes. It all depends on the motherboard type, its size, chipset, VRM design, and its integrated features.
If we talk about the current era motherboards, low-tier ones consume around 25 to 40 watts of power. However, mid-tier motherboards use 40 to 60 watts while the high-end one falls between 6- to 80 watts. Although very rare, a few may even cross the 80-watt limit.
So, we calculate the power consumption of your whole system, don’t forget to consider the motherboard’s power usage; the easiest way to know this value is to see your board’s specification. Have a PSU that can provide 10-15% more power than what your system needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Power Does A PC Use?
It depends on what type of PC you’re using and the components connected with it. A basic PC can consume around 300 Watts, while gaming or professional PCs can take over 600-900 Watts. Although very rare, a few top-tier ones can even cross the 1000-watt mark.
What Components Use The Most Watts In a PC?
The components typically use the most power in a PC are the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and the CPU (Central Processing Unit).
High-end GPUs, especially when overclocked, can exceed 400 Watts, and top-tier CPUs may reach up to 400 Watts during heavy use. Other components like storage drives and RAM usually have lower power consumption, often below 10 Watts.
What Is The Lowest Power-Consuming Gaming Motherboard?
Some examples of low-power-consuming gaming motherboards on the market include the MSI B350M Bazooka with 35 watts of power consumption and the ASUS ROG Strix B350-F Gaming with 40 watts of power consumption.
How many watts does RAM use?
The power consumption of RAM depends on its type and speed. On average, DDR4 RAM modules use around 1.2-1.4 watts per module. While RAM’s power usage is relatively low compared to other components, still consider it when estimating the overall power consumption of a PC.