Rating On A Power Supply

What Does The Rating On A Power Supply Mean, And What Rating Do I Need?

The importance of the Power Supply Unit(PSU) should never be undermined. Whenever you buy a power supply for your system, you might have noticed a certification of 80 plus mentioned on it. This thing can also be seen in the specifications of the power supply. Also, there is a badge of 80 plus with bronze, silver, gold, etc specs depending upon their efficiency in high-end PSUs. This efficiency rating of the power supply is defined as the wattage’s energy supplied to the PC components from the alternate current. This article will be all about rating on the power supply and all other questions that normal users have regarding PSUs in their minds. Let’s start:

What Does Rating On A Power Supply Mean?

In simple words, the power supply rating describes the energy efficiency of the PSU. The power supply takes AC voltage from the wall socket and converts it into DC voltage as all our PC components run on DC voltage. The power supply unit cannot transfer all the voltage received from the wall socket into DC voltage. So, the remaining voltage which remains unconverted is released by the power supply in the form of heat. Since there is energy loss in the conversion of the voltage, this is where the rating of the power supply gains significance. The rating of a specific PSU tells us how efficiently it converts the AC power into DC. Less the loss of power, more the efficiency of PSU, and higher the rating.

What Is 80 Plus Rating? Meaning.

80 Plus is a certification program that was launched in 2004 for efficient use of energy in the power supply of computers. This certification is achieved by those PSUs with more than 80% energy efficiency at 20%, 50%, and 100% of the load. Let me explain this with an example: Suppose you have a PSU with 500W output. Then power consumed by PSU from a wall socket is 625W. Here 625W AC is converted into 500W DC. The rest 125W is released in the form of heat. This power supply unit is converting 80% of power, so this PSU is certified as 80 Plus. This 80 PLUS rating is further raised with Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium levels concerning the maximum energy saved and less heat released, respectively.

Different Types Of Power Supply Ratings

There are six different types of Power supply labels/Levels classified according to their power efficiency. These are:

  1. 80 PLUS White
  2. 80 PLUS Bronze
  3. 80 PLUS Silver
  4. 80 PLUS Gold
  5. 80 PLUS Platinum
  6. 80 PLUS Titanium

The following table shows 6 different types of 80 PLUS certifications at “115V Internal” and “230V Internal” Redundant and Non-Redundant levels. While some nations have 115VAC and Some have 230VAC, You can use it as per compliance.

Power Supply Rating

Link For the Table

Now let us understand this table in detail.

Different 80 Plus labels are recognized by their colors, as shown in the table. The basic 80 Plus certification is represented by white color, whereas Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium are represented by their respective metal colors. The percentage of rated load in all levels except titanium is 20%, 50%, 100%. The entry of 80 Plus Titanium level introduced the fourth measurement standard at 10% rated load. In 80 PLUS Titanium certification, the least count of the power factor should be 0.95 at lower load levels. Lower the rated load in the power supply tougher gets the job of APFC(Active Power Factor Correction Converter) to maintain the power factor. This is the main reason why Titanium is considered as best of all the 80 PLUS levels.

Internal Redundant Power Supply  is mainly used for industrial purposes such as data centers where a huge amount of data is processed every day. Internal Redundant Power Supply can also be termed as Dual Power Supply or backup power supply. In case one PSU experiences failure, the other one comes into action.

Internal Non-Redundant Power Supply refers to a single physical power supply used in general desktops. In case the power supply failure, then the system has no other option.

It is very rare to find a basic 80 PLUS white power supply due to its low efficiency. However, Gold level PSUs are in high demand due to the high power factor.

What Power Supply Unit(PSU) Rating Do I Need?

If you are concerned about your PSU, then an 80 PLUS Gold-rated power supply will be the best choice for you. Let me justify this. Higher the efficiency, less the heat and lower the noise, also higher the price. One thing that should be noted here is that the lower the efficiency of a PSU higher will be the power consumption directly impacting your electricity bills.

However, if you are searching for PSU loaded with features such as better cable wraps, quality connectors and, long warranties, you can go for an 80 PLUS PPlatinum-rated PSU. A gold-rated Power supply will cost you between $100-$150, whereas a Platinum Rated power supply will cost you between $200-$250.

Benefits Of 80 PLUS Certification

Using an 80 PLUS power supply cuts your electricity usage and ensures that your PSU has more than 80% energy efficiency at specific load levels of 20%, 50%, and 100%. PSU with an 80 PLUS rating helps in noise reduction as fans don’t run too fast due to reduced heat output of your system and reduced heat levels ensure the long life span of your PC components.

If you are using an 80 PLUS certified PSU, you get PC reliability and lower maintenance cost of your system.

The Conclusion

This was all about rating on the power supply unit and what rating you should go for. Getting an 80 PLUS rated is a win-win situation unless and until you get a PSU with fake badging. Yes, You heard that right, Many fake efficiency labels in the market need to be identified, and 80 PLUS has also not met expectations in dealing with them. Always buy a PSU from a trusted manufacturer and seller. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends who are keen on system hardware.

About the author

Vishnu Dass

Vishnu Dass

A Technophile. Learning while writing. Will prefer tea over coffee.