How much power would my computer/lan party need?

I’m a little curious as to how much power my computer takes up. For a larger picture, my friends and I are interested in hosting a lan party and we are curious as to how much power we would need. A medium sized lan I suppose, something like 40 computers. Any ideas?

The correct computer/party ratio at a lan party is 3 parts computer to one part party.

Someone will be along shortly to actually answer you.

I like a lot of parties in my get togethers. It makes things so much more lively than throwing doldrums into the mix. One thing I have heard is that parties like this require a lot of power. Have you considered that?

What type of facilities are these? I think that is the key. I have run two computer off of one outlet (with a power strip) in continuous use with no problems. We can’t no the solution unless we know what is available. Raw calculations won’t tell you much if the outlets are not convenient unless you want to rewire the place.

:smack: It should read POWER, not PARTY in my subject like. I’m such a loser :smiley:
I’m not sure what all is available. I’m just wondering, say in the average home, how many could I run off of one “fuse” or circuit breaker switch. I might not know enough about this topic to even form a proper question.

How many square feet? Stories?
Is the house built to the current revision of the national electric code (NEC) or is it a pre-war “company housing” kind of development with vintage wiring and 5 outlets total, all with ungrounded outlets? If you don’t know the answer, state the date of construction.
Are you in the US?
Do we assume your friends all have bad*** maxxed-out Alienware rigs with 500 watt power supplies?

Look at the fuses or circuit breakers in your electrical box – they will have ratings on them. Usually 15A or 20A is typical. This means 15 Ampere (1800 watts) or 20 Ampere (2400 watts).

Typical computers use about 100 watts when idling, and slightly more their full power supply rating when working at maximum. But depending on what you are doing at your computer/lan party, they may not be working at full capacity. Simple web access or emailing/iming each other is not real heavy-duty work for a computer. You can look at the power requirements on the plate on the back of each computer to get specific requirements for each computer. But estimating a typical computer at 300-400 watts would probably be realistic.

So that means you could probably have 4-6 computers on a 15A circuit, and 6-8 on a 20A circuit. But check that other loads (lights in the room, plugged in TV or stereo, etc.) are not on this same circuit. If so, you have to deduct those loads from the capacity of the circuit. To be on the safe side, you might want to run a heavy-duty extension cord from another circuit elsewhere in the house, that is not in use at the time. Like from the garage, or the basement.

pfft. pansies. I have 580W in stock.

Don’t forget to account for the power that the monitor will use.

Wikipedia says that you should allot 500-600 watts per person attending, so a minimum of 20,000 watts, or, going by t-bonham@scc.net’s calculations, at least 12 distinct 15A circuits (at least 9 distinct 20A circuits). If I interpreted him correctly.

More electricity than what’s available in a normal house, I fear.

You’re looking at close to 200 circuit amps just to run those 40 computers. (Twelve 15 amp circuits is 180 amps) I’m assuming you’d also like to have some lights on, plus a sound system or two. Don’t forget the air conditioning - all those computers will make the place rather warm otherwise.

If you can get everyone to bring a charged-up laptop, you’d avoid the power problems, but guess you’d only be able to play for an hour or two.

One of the bigger power hogs will be any CRT monitors, which would bump you up to the 600W per person. I assume this is for gaming, and that means most computers will be running close to full out, and gamers like to have pretty power hungry boxes to begin with.

What is your total electrical service into your house, look at the main breaker - is will usually be 100, 150, or 200 amps. What ever that is that’s all you are going to get. Another option that some may not like (due to ‘dirty power concerns’), is to use a generator for some of them.

Well laptops use conderably less power, soming along the lines of 60-90 watts per person plugged in.

As the others have said, this will overload a typical house (at least here in the U.K.). You’ll be far better off hiring a large conference room in a hotel. And you’ll be able to order nibbles that will be far better.

And stressing your electrics is dangerous: you can start fires this way.

Good heavens! I think I’m capped at 30 Amps.

30 Amps? That’s only two 15 Amp circuits. Most of the electrical panels in houses I’ve looked at have 12 or more circuits.

What’s in your kitchen, an Easy-Bake oven?

I don’t know why I didn’t ask The Surb he has a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. I had the guy who could answer all of my questions sitting 30 feet from me :D.

Thanks for your advice though guys. Its basically what he told me too.

Thanks guys!

No, can’t be. It takes that much just to run a stove or a clothes dryer.

The smallest supply I have ever seen in a house was a 60Amp service. And that was in my Grandma’s 1890’s house, with actual knob-and-tube wiring in parts of the house, and other places where the electric wires had been pulled thru previous gas lamp piping.

Even a 60Amp service would not be legal now. Back about the 1960’s the minimum was raised to 100 Amps in most places.

Check again – you’re reading something wrong.

Maybe he has 30 amps because he’s stingy.

You know, the miser-electric effect.

It can be. A little over a year ago, when I was shopping for a house, I saw and immediately rejected three houses in the San Francisco Bay Area that had two 15-amp fuses for their entire electrical service.

Granted, these houses weren’t huge, but they were free-standing houses that had gas heat/kitchens and no in-house laundry.

It’s 30 Amps @ 220/240 volts, so that’s the equivalent of 60 or so Amps (@ 110 volts) in the US.