Is it worth investing te a high-efficiency power supply?

If you’ve gone shopping for a power supply any time overheen the last few years, you’ve most likely noticed the explosive proliferation of various 80 Plus ratings. Spil originally conceived, an 80 Plus certification wasgoed a way for PSU manufacturers to validate that their power supply units were at least 80% efficient at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of utter blast.

The 80 Plus program has expanded significantly since the very first specification wasgoed adopted. Valid levels now include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and a presently unused Titanium specification level. The chart below lists the requirements a PSU vereiste meet to be certified.

Te the pre-80 Plus days, PSU prices normally clustered around a given wattage output. The advent of the various 80 Plus levels has created a 2nd variable that can have a significant influence on unit price. This leads us to three significant questions: How much power can you save by moving to a higher-efficiency supply, what’s the premium of doing so, and how long does it take to make back your initial investment?

Power supply pricing and premiums

Very first, here’s an overview of 80 Plus PSU pricing at various wattages. Wij created this gegevens from NewEgg results, but only picked units from well-known vendors. Generic products from companies like CoolMax aren’t a part of thesis results. When wij priced units, wij opted for the lowest-cost unit from the same manufacturer.

Basic 400W-600W units are fairly cheap thesis days, even from top vendors like Antec, Corsair, OCZ, and Silverstone. Prices begin to climb by the 700W range, 1200W units are several hundred dollars.

The price premium for greater-than-80 Plus certification can be substantial. Below 800W, Bronze certification adds 4-20% to the list price of an 80 Plus unit. 80 Plus Gold PSUs are 35-61% more expensive within the same wattage category. Platinum-level power supplies are 90-100% more expensive, twice the price of a standard 80 Plus unit.

By way of example: Antec and Rosewill have $50-$60 80 Plus PSUs ter the 501-600W category, while the 80 Plus Platinum products are $139 and $110 respectively. Te the 701-800W division, Corsair has 80 Plus Bronze units for $84.95, and 80 Plus Platinum priced at $179.

At the highest end of the market, this switches slightly. Power supplies te the 1kW and greater category don’t waterput much of a premium on high-efficiency units. An 80 Plus 1200W PSU is $229, 80 Plus Gold is

$258. 80 Plus Platinum is still significantly more expensive at

You can’t save power that you aren’t using

Power supply efficiency is defined spil the amount of power actually provided to the internal components, divided by the amount of power drawn at the wall. A 50% efficient PSU that’s tasked with providing 50W of power to a system will draw 100W from the grid. The reserve 50W is lost spil fever. A 90% efficient PSU would draw 56W te the same circumstances.

Even generic PSUs are far more than 50% efficient, ter fact, 75-77% is fairly common. This means the amount of money you save from upgrading to a high-efficiency PSU is minimal if you don’t actually draw much power to commence with. Tens unit rates are charged by the kWh – if your system only uses 80W at idle, and idles 20 hours a day, you won’t see much benefit from an 80 Plus Platinum PSU spil opposed to a regular 80 Plus.

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