It’s no secret that computers, especially high-powered gaming PCs and production workstations, put out a lot of heat. Despite significant advancements in power efficiency in the past decade, many still jokingly compare their PC to a dedicated space heater. Never ones to ignore curiosity, the folks over at boutique PC-builder Puget Systems decided to put this humorous comparison to the test, with surprising results.
Puget first built a high-end gaming PC, featuring a six-core Intel Ivy Bridge-E CPU, three NVIDIA GTX Titan GPUs, and a 1050 watt Seasonic power supply and set up a test to compare it to a variable 1000/1500 watt space heater. Both consumed 900 watts while in use, with the space heater set to its “low” mode and the gaming PC maxed out while running GPU stress test Furmark.
Each device was placed in a closed room with about 940 cubic feet of space and measurements were taken over the course of about two hours. Surprisingly, both the gaming PC and the space heater were able to raise the ambient temperature of the room by about the same amount (12 degrees Fahrenheit) with the gaming PC even getting the room warmer slightly faster.
Even with these slight variations, the results are close enough for us to confirm that for all intents and purposes a PC and space heater will output the same amount of heat when drawing the same amount of wattage from a wall outlet.
Even though both devices use roughly the same amount of power to run and produce the same heat output, Puget is quick to point out that the total cost is significantly higher for the PC, of course, with a price in the thousands of dollars compared to a $25 space heater. But if your house gets cold this winter and you’re faced with a choice between high-end PC gaming or using a space heater, feel comforted knowing that both will raise the temperature, but one will be a lot more entertaining.