Power consumption is a fairly important aspect to consider when you're buying a new laptop. Although laptops don't consume nearly as much power as other household appliances, their amperage is a way to compare different models' energy performance.
In this article, we'll be examining amp consumption, just one measurement of total electrical consumption for a laptop. In addition to volts, amps are an important way for your electrical company to chart your power consumption, affecting your total bill at the end of your energy cycle.
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What Is An Amp?
The ampere, shortened to "amp," is the standard unit measurement for electrical consumption in all electronic devices. Essentially, an ampere measures the electromagnetic force between at least two electrical conductors carrying an electric current.
The physics and mathematical calculations that go into measuring ampere levels are incredibly complicated. But, basically, all you need to know is that amps are what make electricity dangerous but also what allows it to power the modern tools that run our everyday lives.
What Is The Difference Between Amperage And Voltage?
While both amps and volts measure electricity consumption, they're both used to measure specific aspects of an electrical charge. Volts measure the pressure of an electron flow, meaning the speed and force at which the electricity is flowing from the source to the device.
Amps, on the other hand, measure the volume of an electron flow, meaning how many electrons are actually inside the current.
Although Hollywood and pop culture have equated the dangers of electricity with the number of volts, the truth is that amps are actually the aspect of electricity that can hurt you.
Luckily, though, your laptop doesn't have nearly enough amperage to seriously hurt you. However, a charge can give you a shock, but it won't be enough to kill you by any means.
Are Amps And Watts The Same Thing?
Amps and watts are not the same things, despite the fact that they both measure energy consumption. Watts measure the power of an electrical flow, while amps measure the volume.
However, the relationship between watts and amps is always fixed, no matter what sort of electronic device we're talking about. You can calculate the number of amps based on the number of watts and volts and vice versa.
What Is The Difference Between Input And Output Amps?
On your computer's specifications tab, you may have noticed that there are two different amperage measures: Input and Output. Input amps are what is the type of power supply required to power the computer.
This is provided by your electrical company, and it is determined by the amount of electricity capable of going out to any of your electrical devices.
Output amps, on the other hand, are how many amps your computer sends out. This is the main measure you want to look at in terms of energy consumption, as it determines the volume of electron flow that continuously exits your laptop and is then required again to charge it.
How Much Does A Single Amp Cost?
In all likelihood, your electric company does not charge you based on amperage. On your bill, you'll see kWh listed in the chart for your energy consumption for that cycle. These are the kilowatts per hour.
The amount your company charges per kWh will vary depending on where you live, but the average cost in the United States is around 0.12 cents/kWh.
If you know the number of watts and volts your laptop uses, then you can calculate the number of amps. If you want to check how much each amp costs, convert amps to watts and watts to kWh.
Check that number against what your electrical company charges, and you should have an idea of how much a single amp costs you each month.
How Do I Check How Many Amps My Laptop Uses?
Checking the amp draw for your laptop is fairly straightforward. There are three easy ways to do this.
On the underside of your laptop, there should be a sticker or engraved specifications list. Under "Input," you should see the number of amps that are drawn by the computer. Typically, this number is under 5 or 6. However, more powerful laptops may draw more than lower-end models.
The second way to check this is by taking a look at your charging block. The power cell of your laptop's charger should also have a specifications list on one side. There will be an Input and Output section as well, and it will have the number of amps listed next to the number of volts.
Every computer manufacturer should also have the specifications for your laptop model listed on their website. You can search your laptop's year and model, followed by "number of amps," and you should get a result in seconds.
If your laptop has a high-end processor or different internal parts than other versions, then search using those terms as well.
How Many Amps Does A Macbook Pro Use?
The number of amps a Macbook Pro uses depends on which model it is and also what sort of hardware is housed inside. The new M1 processor from Apple is known to draw a little more electricity than the Intel processors that were used previously.
One of the newer MacbookPro models from 2020 uses an average of around 3.1 amps to charge. There is no real difference in amperage between the 13-inch model and the 16-inch model, despite the difference in wattage.
How Many Amps Does A Windows PC Use?
Windows PCs are all across the board when it comes to energy consumption. This is because they're made by very different companies that have different goals when it comes to computer performance.
Essentially, the primary metric that will determine the number of amps your Windows PC uses is what sort of processor it uses and the size of the screen.
For example, the Dell XPS 15 2020, a new and popular Windows PC model, requires an Input source of 1.8 amps per hour, while having an output of 6.67 amps per hour. This is a fairly standard figure for any laptop.
However, yours might come in slightly more or less depending on the hardware and screen size. A good rule of thumb for PCs is that the bigger the screen, the more power it will use.
Ways To Reduce My Laptop's Amp Usage
Unless you want to drastically downgrade your computer's processing systems, like the CPU or graphics card, then there isn't a realistic way to reduce its amperage.
Since the charger is what determines the flow of electricity and the computer's hardware is what determines its rate of energy consumption, you can't change the number of amps your laptop consumes.
However, unless you have a massive supercomputer, the chances that your electric bill or carbon footprint are unmanageable due to your laptop's energy consumption are very low.
So, generally speaking, you won't ever really have to think about your laptop's amperage or how much it costs you per year.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What is the average amp usage for a laptop?
Laptops' amperage varies depending on the number of watts the charger draws and also how many volts it uses. However, the average number of amps laptops use is around 0.6 per hour, a relatively low number in the grand scheme of electrical consumption.
Does a high-end gaming laptop use more amps?
Because high-end gaming laptops have much better hardware than low-end laptops, they typically have a much higher amperage. While the number of watts they use will definitely affect your energy bill, the number of amps doesn't have the same impact. So even if your gaming laptop draws more amps, you might not be paying more to your energy company just based on that aspect alone.
Do laptops and desktops have the same amperage?
The short answer to this question is no, desktops and laptops do not use the same number of amps. In general, desktops use more amps than laptops do, mainly because of their size, hardware, and consistent energy draw. However, a low-end or much older desktop might have less amperage than a high-end, new laptop.
How many amps does a laptop USB port draw?
0.1 on a normal port with up to 0.5A if the settings are configured for a higher power draw.
At this point, you should have a better understanding of what amperage is and how it can affect your laptop's performance and your energy bill.
In summary, the number of amps a laptop consumes is pretty much negligible, especially when compared to the number of volts it uses to charge.
However, if you're invested in reducing your carbon footprint as much as possible, then monitoring your laptop's amp usage is a good way to wrap your head around cutting your energy consumption where you can.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.