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I unattached my monitors from my PCI-E video card and attached them to the onboard video card. I'm not using the PCI-E card anymore. Is it using any electricity? Should I uninstall it? Will I save money if I remove it from my system?

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IMO this hardware related question fits more to electronics.stackexchange.com, not here. At least people there can provide good professional answers. –  Al Kepp Jun 8 '12 at 14:20
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@AlKepp Considering that particular Stack exchange site (probably) didn't exist when this question was asked, it is on-topic for here, and it has accurate answers, then I'd say it's fine where it is. :) –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 8 '12 at 16:51
    
Yes, it is using electricity. But uninstalling it will not save much. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 10 '12 at 2:07
    
Try using a device like "kill-a-watt" to measure your power consumption. You plug your computer into kill-a-watt and plug kill-a-watt into the wall. It has a display that shows power consumption and can even estimate cost per minute, hour, week, month and year. (I realize this sounds like spam -- if I were aware of competing products, I'd list them, but this is what I use.) –  Brien Malone Jul 14 '13 at 11:25
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4 Answers 4

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Keep some basic math in mind when figuring out what it is costing you.

Power is billed in kilowatt hours used. At it's most expensive power costs about $0.40 per kilowatt hours. If your computer has a 700w power supply it uses up to .7 kilowatts per hour. That's 16.8 kilowatt hours per day. At $0.40 per hour that's $6.72 per day for the entire computer.

An inactive video card can't use any more than about 10 watts of power (assuming a 5 watt PCIx buss and a second 5 watt power connector). That's 240 watt hours per day, or just under 1 kilowatt hour per 4 days. This is $0.40 every four days or $3.10 per month.

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I vote -1 because of few flaws: 1. Computer isn't usually turned on 24/7, so it eats much less power per month. 2. GPU consumes 10 watt when running and displaying Windows desktop or so, but it can be much lower near to zero when it is turned off in driver. 3. A "700W power supply" means that its theoretical maximum output is 700W, but not real output. Most power supplies aren't able to deliver their maximum for longer time periods and no power supplies are used this way because a computer doesn't take the samw power whole month. So your calculations are nice but incorrect. –  Al Kepp Jun 8 '12 at 14:18
    
Yeah, the actual usage would be much lower -- all modern computers are designed to use minimal power when not actively computing. I'd be quite surprised if the card is costing more than 50 cents a month -- more likely a dime or so. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 10 '12 at 2:09
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Yes, the GPU and associated circuitry will draw an idle load and the fan will draw a small amount power, but this is unlikely to be significant. In any case, if the card is not being used, you should remove it from the computer.

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Yes, it does use electricity (if it were not, then it wouldn't be detected by whatever OS you are running). Have a look at this idle power consumption graph (similar figures here). Your numbers for the listed cards most likely will be smaller, as you do not even have a monitor plugged into the card - but power consumption will not be zero.

To convert Watts into $/year, you may want to read http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-power,2122-3.html

In the extreme case of a voltage spike all the electrically connected components of your PC are at risk of being damaged by that spike. Taking graphics card out will keep it safe (but do not forget that computer components are sensitive to static electricity).

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+1 but you miss one thing: There's no benefit to keeping it in, so take the card out! –  Brendan Long Nov 28 '09 at 22:22
    
The case will have marginally better airflow without unused PCI cards to :P –  Amicable Jul 11 '12 at 8:37
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They usually have a fan on them. That is using electricity, but probably not much. Even if it is using electricity, it wont be much. I would just leave it in there.

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