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By: Carl Nelson [02.21.07]


Power Usage in Games

First let's take a look at power consumption of all three consoles during video game play. I tried several games to find one that uses a good amount of power during play, but not excessively so. For the PS3, I used NBA Live 2K7. For XBOX 360, Gears of War was used. For Wii, it was The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and for the PC, PREY was used.

As I mentioned on the first page, games were loaded and played for at least 30 minutes, and the middle 30 minutes of data was used to determine the average, peak, and low wattage.

Without further ado:

Quite a few numbers stand out from these results. First of all, look at Wii! 18 Watts average when playing what is considered the console's prettiest game! Compare that to the PC, which hovers around 198 Watts steady, peaking around 209 Watts.

While the PS3 had a lower minimum (probably due to the loading screen in between quarters in the basketball game), its average was about 13W higher than the XBOX 360 playing its most advanced game, Gears of War. GoW truly squeezes every little bit that the 360 has to give, and this is probably as much power any game today will require from it.

Here is how the power consumption of the XBOX 360 and PS3 looked over time:

And to put the power usage of the Wii into perspective, here is the same graph with Wii added:

Of course, looking at the graphics of GoW and NBA Live 2K7 and comparing them to Zelda: TP, the differences are just as dramatic...

Next Page: (Power Consumption in Movies)