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# How much power does one CPU requires in term of amps?

Posted on 2006-05-22
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How much power does one CPU requires in term of amps?
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Question by:Aiysha

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Which CPU?
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Meaningless question.  Kind of like asking how much power, in terms of rpm does an engine make?

Power, in electronics, is usually measured in WATTS.  A WATT is defined as 1 VA where V = Volts and A = AMPERES.

Most modern CPUs require 50-100W (or more) during normal operation.  But the specifics may depend on many factors.  Consult  the manufacturers data sheet for specifics...
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http://www.goodwin.ee/sulo/Power2.htm
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If you are talking about a single desktop computer when you say CPU, then the figure varies depending on many factors.

A good way to tell for a specific installation is to look at the machine itself.  Somewhere, usually on the back of the power supply, will be the ratings of the supply.

A typical home pc uses a 450 watt power supply which is about 4 amps.  If you are using this information to size an electrical circuit, like for home building, you also need to include the monitor power usage.  On a standard 15 amp home circuit (USA) you can have 3 computers with no problem.
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450 Watt is the "MAX", not the effective consumption.  Including the monitor, a computer will consume between 150 and 200VA (120-150 Watt) in office/home.  This is what i use when planning departemental UPS deployment.
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The CPU (chip) itself uses from 15 (mobile) to 40 watts (volt-amps), but if you mean "computer"...

A typical computer uses 120 to 145 watts of power, that is the entire computer minus the monitor.

Please dont use "CPU" for the computer tower.  A CPU is a single chip that plugs into a motherboard.
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>450 Watt is the "MAX" ... a computer will consume between 150 and 200VA ...This is what i use when planning departemental UPS deployment.

Then your ups is subject to fail when you need it most.

If you are planning an electrical installation, you must make the calculations using the maximum power rating of the equipment.  Anything else is a dis-service to your customer or employer.
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Author Comment

arthurjb,

Can you tell me roughly how many amps a dedicated connection has in USA?

Thank you.
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That is a very variable question, since a dedicated connection is usually designed for the specific piece of equipment that it is dedicated for.

A standard home outlet is rated for a maximum of 15 amps, but there are often 3-4 connected to a single 20 circuit breaker.  They assume that you are going to be using several low amp devices.

Although most folks are only familiar with the standard 2 prong plug (3 with the ground) there are many different plugs, for example a clothes dryer is a common household item that uses a high current plug.  Here is a page that shows the ratings of various plugs;
http://www.twacomm.com/catalog/dept_id_963.htm
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Author Comment

Thank you.
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