8 ways to keep California from banning your desktop PC

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Yes, we know, California hasn’t banned your desktop gaming PC just yet, but we can tell you that one way to keep government regulators from climbing on your back is to be proactive about it.

Today, for example, there are no regulations in place over DIY computers’ power efficiency. The gaming desktop PC is still at risk of being be painted as an environmental villain, however, by groups looking to regulate anything that sucks a lot of power.

That’s why we think the easiest way to keep the target off the DIY desktop PC is to be proactive about it. Here are eight things you can already do to keep the government out of your PC—for now, anyway.

thor Asus

The Asus Thor PSU has a built-in OLED that displays the wattage being consumed.

1. Buy a PSU with a watt meter in it

One of the first rules of fixing a problem is to admit you have one. If you’re like 98 percent of PC gamers or DIYers, you have zero idea how much electricity your PC consumes. 

One easy way to see that is to buy a power supply with a built-in watt meter. The Asus ROG Thor 850 ($215 on Amazon), for example, features an OLED in its side that displays the power consumption of the system in real time. There’s no software to load, no poorly coded utility to sap performance. If you want to know how much your system is drinking while playing games, you can just look at the PSU and find out. 

Some people people still want to see it in a neat graph within Windows.  Corsair’s “i” series of PSUs as well as NZXT’s “e” series (the E850 is $180 from NZXT and currently $239 on backorder at Amazon) do just that by letting you graph power consumption at the wall, as well as power consumption by the components inside the PC within Windows.

watt meter Amazon

P3’s Kill A Watt has long been a popular watt meter that let’s you monitor the power consumption of AC items.

2. Buy a watt meter

Obviously, buying a new power supply just to monitor your PC’s electricity consumption is both extravagant and e-wasteful. A more practical alternative is to buy a watt meter. These easy-to-use devices let you monitor the power consumption of any AC device plugged into it. Even better, if you want to know how much your PC and monitor consumes—you can plug both into it using a power

strip (just be careful not to exceed the power rating of the watt meter). One of the most popular watt meters is the P3 Kill A Watt, about $32 on Amazon.

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