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There's a lot of talk with people advising laptop users that they gain only mobility and other advantages while they always lose on money.

But I noticed the monitor of an old desktop computer can go up to 200 watts and even newer ones have PSUs that go to 450 watts at an entry level.

A big laptop of 17+ inches is usually only up to 150 watts.

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closed as not a real question by Nifle, Diago Jan 17 '11 at 14:30

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it is unlikely that you will save money as parts for laptop are always more expensive compared to those for a desktop whether you are replacing damaged parts or upgrading so whaterver you save on electricity will not makeup for it –  Shakehar Jan 17 '11 at 10:11
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1 Answer

There's no way to answer your question correctly. What laptop are you looking at? What desktop are you looking at? How expensive is electricity in your region? How long do you plan to use the laptop?

I'm going to go and make a lot of assumptions and say no. For example my laptop with 17" screen has 90 W power supply. On the other hand, PCs usually use less than 200 W. The fact that there's a 400 W power supply means that it can provide up to 400 W for internal components at peak power consumption. It doesn't mean that the computer is using 400 W all the time. Also, 200 W for a monitor is really a lot, unless you compare laptop LCDs with CRTs.

Laptops are more expensive and their maintenance is more expansive and I do not believe that during its lifetime a laptop will be able to pay for itself.

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Also, you can get PSUs that lower the power they use when the PC is on standby or asleep. Also, on an energy efficient point of view, if you continually charge a laptop, the time the battery can run the laptop is reduced. So really, the laptop will spend less time plugged in to the mains at the beginning of its life, but towards the end it would barely spend more then 20 minutes away from a wall socket. This would mean then its not efficient, as energy is being wasted by charging a battery that won't hold a charge. –  mickburkejnr Jan 17 '11 at 10:53
    
If a laptop is plugged in, most of the power saving functions (esp. CPU throttling and display dimming) tend to be disabled anyway. I suspect laptops might actually have [i]worse[/i] power consumption in some cases, as they are often not to be designed for high-performance efficiency. –  Remy Jan 17 '11 at 12:21
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@mickburkejnr Actually, ALL modern PSU have to drastically reduce power consumption in stand-by/hibernate. I did some research on that for this. @Remy In comments, one * around word is italic and two are bold. –  AndrejaKo Jan 17 '11 at 12:28
    
Very interesting. I always thought the more expensive PSUs (like my Hiper) could only do this. But from reading your post, I can't understand why a PSU can only use a maximum of 2W when on standby and only 4W when its put to sleep? Wouldn't standby use more power? –  mickburkejnr Jan 17 '11 at 12:42
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@Remy: FYI, Andreja @'ed you above. FYI @Andreja - only the first @name you use in a comment is actually notified, so Remy did not recieve anything from your comment above. (obviously, you should get this because this is your answer). –  DMA57361 Jan 17 '11 at 12:45
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