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Understanding the 80 Plus Certification E-mail
Written by HardwareSecrets   
Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Efficiency is traditionally an overlooked power supply specification. It says how much power is being wasted while you are using your PC. Problem is that you are paying for this wasted power. The 80 Plus certification was created to allow consumers to know which power supplies are the most efficient ones and, as the name implies, guarantees that the power supply is able to present efficiency of 80%. With more and more manufacturers trying to design power supplies with efficiency well above 80%, they decided to create three new certification categories: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Learn what they really mean.

First let's give you some background on efficiency. Efficiency, which is also represented by the Greek letter Eta (η), is given by dividing the power being delivered to the equipment (output power, i.e. DC power) by the power being consumed by the power supply (input power, i.e. AC power).

If you have a PC that consumes 250 W and a power supply with 75% efficiency, this means that you are pulling (and paying for) 333 W from the wall. If the same computer had a power supply with 85% efficiency, it would be pulling 294 W from the wall and you would be saving 39 W. Thus a power supply with higher efficiency will allow you to save money on your electricity bill. HardwareSecrets


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