I'm currently testing to use a Pi to run as an IP camera and other stuffs, but I notice some very disturbing behaviour which seems to change if I'm using a 2100 mA or a 6600 mA charger (if I'm not wrong). The video's FPS in my terminal getting down until eventually it kills the stream.

Does this mean the Pi is using/needs more than 2100 mA?

  • Welcome Loki. What disturbing behaviour do you see? Can you give us some specifics? E.g. the Wattage the device pulls and how you established this measurement? Right now, as it stands, your question is too vague to get answered.
    – Phil B.
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 2:32
  • Hey Phil, thanks for the quick answer, I see the video's FPS in my terminal getting down until eventually it kills the stream. After testing different chargers I can clearly see a different behaviour. Right now I don't have anything to calculate how much wattage the device pulls. Thanks ! Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 2:44
  • I've edited the meaning of your question here to save some time because I think you have made an incorrect assumption about what is going on. Technically, chargers are not intended to provide power to a live device, and the difference may actually be the quality of one vs. the other in that context. I doubt the Pi is using 2A if it is just it and a camera -- if there is more drawing power through it than that you should say so and edit it into the question please. You also didn't bother indicating the model.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 13:06

2 Answers 2


how can I reduce the electrical consumption of my Pi

The easiest way is to buy a USB power meter on e-bay or similar shopping site, then make a measure:

enter image description here

The value in V field should remain close to 5. If it doesn't, there's a problem with your power supply.

The value in the A field reflects current consumption. Here's a list of typical values for different RPi models (it's in milliamps, so divide by 1000 to get A values):

enter image description here

  • Note that these values assume there are no other USB peripherals attached to the RPi - depending on your devices and what they are doing (e.g. HDD's spinning up) the power draw might be much higher.
    – Phil B.
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 11:01
  • Yep, and don't forget the Pi camera and whatever you connect to GPIO. Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 11:24

Not all power supplies are created equal in terms of output voltage stability. And the rating of the power supply (2100mA vs 6600mA) isn't what the power supply will output, it is the MAXIMUM it can output.

It is generally accepted that a naked Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 will use about 10W of electrical power.

  • A naked Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 uses less than 5W, and typical consumption is around 1.5 - 2W. Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 10:26

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