For companies, the costs incurred by the IT infrastructure are of great importance, as they are a decisive factor in profitability. A PC cost calculator helps you to break down the operating costs of PCs. Such a PC cost calculator takes into account all factors of running costs.

This article is about the operating costs of PCs and what to look out for.
You will also learn more about the total cost of ownership and the influence that economical hardware has on the running costs.

When is a PC cost calculator useful?

Using a PC cost calculator is not only worthwhile if you already have an IT infrastructure. It also makes sense if you are planning to purchase new systems.

An IT strategy has become an important part of a company’s orientation. However, many decision-makers make one major mistake: they only consider the acquisition costs. With a PC cost calculator, you can include all cost factors. This gives you a realistic picture of the costs of your future IT infrastructure.

This allows a real comparison of different offers and options. The goal is to get future-proof and reliable systems at the best possible price.

A precise PC cost calculator calculates the actual expenses for the computers in your system and shows you how much you can save by switching to more economical equipment.

What does a PC cost calculator calculate?

The PC cost calculator calculates the total cost of ownership (TCO). The calculation is done for one system at a time using data that is as realistic as possible. For multiple computers and servers, you can create individual calculations. In total, the calculator provides you with an overview of the real costs of your IT infrastructure. For the use of the calculator you need some key data of the systems.

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What is the total cost of ownership and how does a PC cost calculator help you calculate it?

Total cost of ownership refers to all costs incurred through acquisition and operation. This calculation is interesting to calculate the real costs of the IT infrastructure.

Many of the cost factors are hidden or indirect. They only arise over the years. That is why most companies focus solely on the acquisition costs of the hardware. However, in the end result, this represents only a fraction of the total costs. The running costs increase the total cost of ownership. In the long term, a more expensive system can actually save money and reduce costs.

What factors influence the total cost of ownership?

There are four factors that influence TCO. These are:

  • Acquisistion costs
  • Power consumption during operation
  • Failure rate
  • service costs

How do I determine the power consumption of my systems for the PC cost calculator?

There are several options to determine the power consumption of your computers and servers. Some of these methods are more precise, but more expensive.

You can get particularly accurate values by checking with an energy meter. It is available in specialized shops. The energy meter is inserted between the computer and the power plug. It measures the consumption of the entire system. If you use a multiple socket, you can also take the consumption of the monitor and other peripheral devices into account.

Power meters then display the current consumption in watts. Based on these values, it is possible to extrapolate the power consumption for a day or the entire year. If the meter shows a consumption of 125 watts, for example, this is equivalent to 0.125 kilowatts per hour.

Accordingly, a PC with this value consumes 1000 watts during an eight-hour workday, which is equivalent to one kilowatt hour. Assuming 260 working days per year, this means 260 kWh of electricity per year at this one workstation.

If you have several identical systems, simply multiply the value by the number of computers. With 15 PCs, the power consumption in this example would be 3900 kWh per year.

Alternatively, there is software that measures the power consumption. However, it does not always provide credible values. Another option is to research on the Internet. Well-known manufacturers of IT systems provide consumption values on their own websites. There are also IT communities on the Internet that regularly test the power consumption of components or systems. Using such information, a comparison with your computers is possible.

Vom Stromverbrauch zu den realen Kosten

From electricity consumption to real costs

With the determined electricity consumption values, it is possible to calculate the real costs of your IT infrastructure quite precisely. All you need is the electricity price you pay per kilowatt hour. Let’s assume this is 20.5 centimes per kWh. Then the electricity costs for 15 PCs with an annual electricity consumption of 260 kWh each would be EUR 799.50.

In the same way, you can roughly calculate the factor by which you can reduce your electricity costs with efficient PCs. If a system consumes only 15 watts instead of 125 watts, the difference becomes clear. In this case, 15 computers running for eight hours on 260 days a year will only generate electricity costs of 95.94 EUR.

This example clearly shows how important economical computers are when electricity prices are high.

A look into the future: Why is a PC cost calculator becoming increasingly important?

It is becoming increasingly important for companies to take care of their running costs. Rising energy and electricity prices have been a reality for years. This trend will most likely continue in the coming years.

High electricity costs are therefore an increasing burden on your company’s balance sheet. This is an economic factor. Those who use energy-efficient hardware reduce their running costs and gain a competitive edge.

Green IT und effizienter Betrieb gehen bei Windows Mini-Servern von Prime Computer Hand in Hand

This reduces the demands on the performance of your local systems. Instead, the focus in the future will be on reliable computers with low maintenance costs.

What affects the lifespan of your PCs and what impact does this have on TCO?

The useful life of computers depends on the reliability of the components. In commercial use, computer systems are often calculated to have a service life of around five years. Not all systems reach this point.

This affects the total cost of ownership of the IT infrastructure. Defective systems need to be replaced on an unscheduled basis. In some cases, repair is possible, which results in additional costs. The TCO calculator takes this into account accordingly.

The service life and reliability of computers can certainly be predicted. There are certain components that are particularly susceptible to failure. These are mainly mechanical components. They have moving parts. Over time, wear and tear inevitably occurs here. This increases the risk of failure.

Systems without mechanical components are more reliable. In the meantime, it is easily possible in the IT sector to assemble computers that do without them. Some examples of this are:

  • SSDs instead of conventional hard disks for data storage
  • passive cooling concept instead of fans
  • external, fanless power supply as replacement for internal power supplies with fans

These measures increase service life and reliability. This prevents failures and thus consequential costs.

Der Datenspeicher

System downtime and service costs – another factor for TCO

In many cases, it is possible to repair a defective system. However, repairs also incur direct and indirect costs. The PC cost calculator also takes these into account.

The defect of a PC is initially associated with a loss of production. In most cases, it is quickly possible to obtain a replacement. This applies, for example, to an employee’s workstation or a server.

Decisive for the further costs is the warranty of the manufacturer. The rule is that products in Switzerland have a warranty of two years. This warranty is required by law. Some providers extend the warranty to three years. If a system fails within the warranty period, the manufacturer is liable. Repair and replacement are then free of charge.

The situation is different if the defect occurs outside the warranty period. Then you have to decide whether a repair is worthwhile. Especially for smaller and cheaper components a repair is appropriate. This mainly includes the mechanical fans, but the hard disk can also be affected.

However, repairs also increase the TCO. Therefore, the PC cost calculator takes such failures into account and adds this to the operating costs of the PC.

Data from the field shows a failure rate for PCs of around four percent in the first five years. However, this only applies to computers with mechanical components such as fans or classic HDDs. Systems that consistently manage without mechanical components, on the other hand, have failure rates of 1.5 percent. Accordingly, the impact on TCO is less dramatic.

A practical example: TCO after five years of operation

PrimeMini 5 auf dem Schreibtisch

The example company has 35 workstation computers. The period of use is designed for five years. For the computers, the focus was on the lowest possible purchase price. Accordingly, 35 computers were procured for a unit price of EUR 800. The warranty period is two years.

The systems run eight hours a day for 260 days a year. The power consumption per system was found to be about 100 watts when measured. The complete acquisition cost for all 35 systems was therefore 28,000 EUR . The TCO calculator, on the other hand, puts the operating costs of the PCs at EUR 43,645 after five years of use.

The EUR 10,220 electricity costs are particularly significant. Service costs also account for a large proportion at EUR 4,725. Service costs account for over ten percent of the total operating costs. Service costs are calculated from the shorter warranty at the competitor.

With the PC cost calculator, it is now possible to compare how the TCO would have looked after five years with a different choice. With 35 Prime Mini, the acquisition costs would be higher at EUR 38,465. However, the TCO after five years would be lower at 40,838 EUR . The company would therefore have saved around EUR 2,800.

Most of the savings are due to the low electricity costs. These are over 80 percent lower at EUR 1,533. Accordingly, the TCO calculation with a longer runtime is even more positive for the economical yet powerful computers from Prime Computer. With the help of the PC cost calculator, you can precisely calculate the costs of your current systems yourself.

PrimeMini and PrimeServer – the solutions from Prime Computer

Prime Computer offers solutions that are optimized for low operating costs and long service life. You can find both servers and workstations for different requirement profiles at Prime Computer.

Neither the servers nor the mini PCs from Prime Computer have mechanical components or fans. The compact cases have a passive cooling concept. At the same time, the systems like the PrimeServer Pro are designed for continuous operation.

Instead of HDDs, SSDs are installed in Prime Computer’s systems. On the one hand, SSDs are more reliable because they have no mechanical components. On the other hand, they are also more economical in terms of energy consumption.

Prime Computer’s systems are designed for low energy consumption. Processors from Intel, which are designed for the mobile sector, are used. They consume significantly less power than desktop CPUs with the same performance. Find out more about Prime Computer products now if you want to minimize the operating costs of your PCs.

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