Have you ever wondered exactly how much it's costing you to leave your PC on? In the not too distant past, home users didn't think much about power consumption, but as the power requirements of modern PC hardware have skyrocketed, so too has interest in efficiency and cost. This short piece at Coding Horror explains how to calculate the cost of leaving a PC on and also gives some suggestion son how to save a few bucks.
"The first thing you need to know is how much power your computer draws. The best way is to measure the actual power consumption. You'll need a $30 device like the Kill-a-Watt or Seasonic PowerAngel to do this accurately. Once you get one, you'll inevitably go through a phase where you run around your home, measuring the power draw of everything you can plug into a wall socket. For example, I learned this weekend that our 42" plasma television draws between 90 watts (totally black screen) and 270 watts (totally white screen). Based on a little ad-hoc channel surfing with an eye on the Kill-a-Watt's LCD display, the average appears to be around 150 watts for a typical television show or movie."
Be sure to check out the comments at the end of the article, and don't get too bent out of shape with the author recommends using a low-end video card. He's a coder. Just chill. Take a deep breath.