• We've upgraded our forums. Please post any issues/requests in this thread.

How does PSU efficiency affect me and do I really need an 80 Plus Gold Power Supply?

Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
2,576
Likes
510
Processor Mysterious Engineering Prototype
Motherboard Intel 865
Cooling Custom block made in workshop
Memory Corsair XMS 2GB
Video Card(s) FireGL X3-256
Display(s) 1600x1200 SyncMaster x 2 = 3200x1200
Software Windows 2003
#51
But also inefficient at low loads (<15%). An 800W PSU driving an CPU idling at 50W will probably be only 50% efficient or worse.

Get a PSU to match your "idle" system, not just your "OC overload stresstest".

http://www.google.co.uk/images?hl=e...UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1040&bih=1060

Test your idle load. Whatever it is, take 5x this number for your PSU rating. If that isnt enough for your RAID and GPUs then obviously you will need a higher wattage PSU; but be aware that at idle you are horribly inefficient.

Let's do some numbers:

A mainboard and GPU idling at 60W

Take 5x 60W = 300W for your PSU.

Oh dear, that wont cover the SLI and RAID HDDs. OK, so we need a PSU at 700W. That's fine, but be aware that at idle you will probably be at 50% efficiency or worse.

Shame.

So for a gaming rig, you will be inefficient most of the time you arent gaming. But for a 24/7 server or NAS rig, make sure you do the numbers to ensure low heat, high efficiency, low power bills.
 

nesco1801

New Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Messages
53
Likes
4
#52
overkill yes, but PSU's are more efficient when they arent at max load

Thats what I've said. Its all about carbon footprint :wtf:

Anyway PSU's are less efficient on lower end of curve also.

I'll get better and stronger PSU just to ease my paranoia, and so I can SLI one day :eek:
 

Mussels

Moderprator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
46,094
Likes
13,520
Location
Australalalalalaia.
System Name Daddy Long Legs
Processor Ryzen R7 1700, 3.9GHz 1.375v
Motherboard MSI X370 Gaming PRO carbon
Cooling Fractal Celsius S24 (Silent fans, meh pump)
Memory 16GB 2133 generic @ 2800
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X (BIOS modded to Gaming Z - faster and solved black screen bugs!)
Storage 1TB Intel SSD Pro 6000p (60TB USB3 storage)
Display(s) Samsung 4K 40" HDTV (UA40KU6000WXXY) / 27" Qnix 2K 110Hz
Case Fractal Design R5. So much room, so quiet...
Audio Device(s) Pioneer VSX-519V + Yamaha YHT-270 / sennheiser HD595/518 + bob marley zion's
Power Supply Corsair HX 750i (Platinum, fan off til 300W)
Mouse Logitech G403 + KKmoon desk-sized mousepad
Keyboard Corsair K65 Rapidfire
Software Windows 10 pro x64 (all systems)
Benchmark Scores Laptops: i7-4510U + 840M 2GB (touchscreen) 275GB SSD + 16GB i7-2630QM + GT 540M + 8GB
#53
some of these users fold and crunch, so they dont idle - or the systems off when they arent gaming, thus load is more important than idle.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
2,576
Likes
510
Processor Mysterious Engineering Prototype
Motherboard Intel 865
Cooling Custom block made in workshop
Memory Corsair XMS 2GB
Video Card(s) FireGL X3-256
Display(s) 1600x1200 SyncMaster x 2 = 3200x1200
Software Windows 2003
#54
Agree. Depends on usage profile.

For workstations, gamers, crunchers, best to get a PSU that is 2x the average "loaded" profile, and hit that 50% "most efficient" line, as well as having scope for high load situations.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
24,274
Likes
10,357
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 4790K@4.6GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z97 Extreme6
Cooling Corsair H100i
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR3-1866 9-10-9-27
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX960 STRIX @ 1500/1900
Storage 480GB Crucial MX200 + 2TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive with 128GB OCZ Synapse SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Corsair 650D Black
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply Corsair HX850
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#55
But also inefficient at low loads (<15%). An 800W PSU driving an CPU idling at 50W will probably be only 50% efficient or worse.

Get a PSU to match your "idle" system, not just your "OC overload stresstest".

http://www.google.co.uk/images?hl=e...UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1040&bih=1060

Test your idle load. Whatever it is, take 5x this number for your PSU rating. If that isnt enough for your RAID and GPUs then obviously you will need a higher wattage PSU; but be aware that at idle you are horribly inefficient.

Let's do some numbers:

A mainboard and GPU idling at 60W

Take 5x 60W = 300W for your PSU.

Oh dear, that wont cover the SLI and RAID HDDs. OK, so we need a PSU at 700W. That's fine, but be aware that at idle you will probably be at 50% efficiency or worse.

Shame.

So for a gaming rig, you will be inefficient most of the time you arent gaming. But for a 24/7 server or NAS rig, make sure you do the numbers to ensure low heat, high efficiency, low power bills.
That isn't necessarily true. If you pick a number like 85w, which is not an unrealistic point for a high end computer to idle at, a lot of modern 80+ Gold/Silver/Bronze PSUs are still over the 80% efficiency mark.
 

Mussels

Moderprator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
46,094
Likes
13,520
Location
Australalalalalaia.
System Name Daddy Long Legs
Processor Ryzen R7 1700, 3.9GHz 1.375v
Motherboard MSI X370 Gaming PRO carbon
Cooling Fractal Celsius S24 (Silent fans, meh pump)
Memory 16GB 2133 generic @ 2800
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X (BIOS modded to Gaming Z - faster and solved black screen bugs!)
Storage 1TB Intel SSD Pro 6000p (60TB USB3 storage)
Display(s) Samsung 4K 40" HDTV (UA40KU6000WXXY) / 27" Qnix 2K 110Hz
Case Fractal Design R5. So much room, so quiet...
Audio Device(s) Pioneer VSX-519V + Yamaha YHT-270 / sennheiser HD595/518 + bob marley zion's
Power Supply Corsair HX 750i (Platinum, fan off til 300W)
Mouse Logitech G403 + KKmoon desk-sized mousepad
Keyboard Corsair K65 Rapidfire
Software Windows 10 pro x64 (all systems)
Benchmark Scores Laptops: i7-4510U + 840M 2GB (touchscreen) 275GB SSD + 16GB i7-2630QM + GT 540M + 8GB
#56
That isn't necessarily true. If you pick a number like 85w, which is not an unrealistic point for a high end computer to idle at, a lot of modern 80+ Gold/Silver/Bronze PSUs are still over the 80% efficiency mark.
85W is actually pretty low for an idle, even systems running on IGP's tend to idle at 70W+ - few gaming systems get below the 100W mark.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2011
Messages
8
Likes
2
#57
Also wanted to add that a good amount of Electric Providers also do their tiered billing, meaning their cost per kilowatt isn't a fixed, flat-rate but there is a premium added to people who use a lot of electricity. Like people who are using <100% of what is the allotted KW in a household will get like a lower $/KW compared to someone who is using 120% of what their allotted KW for a household. If I remember correctly, someone who is using 200% of the allotted KW per household is paying roughly 3x per KW compared to someone who used <100%. Instead of the bill going 2x the cost, they actually have to pay 6x more for using twice the amount. Last time I've checked, there were 5 different tiers being used by my Electric Provider (PG&E) in my area.

So I guess picking an 80 gold efficient power supply has its merits so people can save as much energy to keep them away from the higher tier of billing.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
39
Likes
19
Location
Washington State
#58
I read a review on the standards, it was pretty much like what you put up there. They then focused on the marketing side, the increase in cost for a higher rated supply and the chance of it even making the ratings they claim are suspect.
The only flip side is how many computers are used in the U.S.
While the single user numbers are very small the total world use is increasingly huge in wasted power. It is important.
This is the one side where it makes any sense but the high cost going from bronze to gold rating is crazy.
Oh, Don't be putting the loss on the transformers, they are very low resistance and don't waste very much power they just convert it to equal but different voltage and current levels. The power regulators and resistors and rectifying circuits that are the bad guys. The huge heat sinks aren't on them just for kicks,
It's the Converting to DC and regulation that eats up the main loss of power. DC is a very power unfriendly source of energy. That one light bulb guy wanted to use DC power stations but they couldn't run big enough power lines to power even a small city and he was shoved aside by Westinghouse and friends. Using AC is why power stations get away with being so far away though it still is a huge waste in the lines. They do use liquid cooled superconducting lines close to the major cities to help out the line losses. Too bad they haven't got the room temp. superconducting figured out. That would be as huge as Fusion power generators.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
7
Likes
1
Processor fx-8150 8-core
Motherboard crosshair V formula
Cooling ThermalTake nic c5
Memory 16gb patriot black mamba viper 1600mhz (2 x 8gb sticks)
Video Card(s) Asus hd 7850 2gb ddr5
Storage 1 x samsung hdd 1tb 7200 rpm, and 4 x WD caviar green 1tb
Display(s) LG flatron e2242 x 2
Case CM stormtrooper
Audio Device(s) SupremeFX X-Fi 2 (Onboard)
Power Supply Corsair ax860i 80+ platinum
Software Windows 7 64bit
#60
A few days ago I upgraded from an 80+ bronze Silver Power psu(Which I've got to say has been a great psu since i've had it), to a Corsair AX 860i 80+ Platinum. I'm not clued up on rails and other technical stuff like a lot of you on here, but I did enough research to realise that if I wanted to protect my other components in my case I should maybe invest in better psu. It has eaten away at a big chunk of my Christmas money but hopefully it will save me money eventually and also save me from a lot of stress that blown components can cause. :)
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
11,453
Likes
6,237
Location
Ohio
System Name Daily Driver
Processor 7900X 4.5GHz 10c/10t 1.15V.
Motherboard ASUS Prime X299 Deluxe
Cooling MCR320 + Kuplos Kryos NEXT CPU block
Memory GSkill Trident Z 4x8 GB DDR4 3600 MHz CL16
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 1080 FTW3
Storage 512GB Patriot Hellfire, 512GB OCZ RD400, 640GB Caviar Black, 2TB Caviar Green
Display(s) Yamakasi 27" 2560x1440 IPS
Case Thermaltake P5
Power Supply EVGA 750W Supernova G2
Benchmark Scores Faster than most of you! Bet on it! :)
#61
People need to do the math on how much you are saving from say silver to platinum. Unless you use a distributed platform, it really is MAYBE a couple/few dollars per year.

As far as what psu to get. Unless you are clocking an AMD fx octcore to the moon under water, a quality 550w psu will power ANY single gpu system while overclocking both cpu and gpu as well as easily being able to support custom water and fans.
 

Mussels

Moderprator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
46,094
Likes
13,520
Location
Australalalalalaia.
System Name Daddy Long Legs
Processor Ryzen R7 1700, 3.9GHz 1.375v
Motherboard MSI X370 Gaming PRO carbon
Cooling Fractal Celsius S24 (Silent fans, meh pump)
Memory 16GB 2133 generic @ 2800
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X (BIOS modded to Gaming Z - faster and solved black screen bugs!)
Storage 1TB Intel SSD Pro 6000p (60TB USB3 storage)
Display(s) Samsung 4K 40" HDTV (UA40KU6000WXXY) / 27" Qnix 2K 110Hz
Case Fractal Design R5. So much room, so quiet...
Audio Device(s) Pioneer VSX-519V + Yamaha YHT-270 / sennheiser HD595/518 + bob marley zion's
Power Supply Corsair HX 750i (Platinum, fan off til 300W)
Mouse Logitech G403 + KKmoon desk-sized mousepad
Keyboard Corsair K65 Rapidfire
Software Windows 10 pro x64 (all systems)
Benchmark Scores Laptops: i7-4510U + 840M 2GB (touchscreen) 275GB SSD + 16GB i7-2630QM + GT 540M + 8GB
#62
People need to do the math on how much you are saving from say silver to platinum. Unless you use a distributed platform, it really is MAYBE a couple/few dollars per year.

As far as what psu to get. Unless you are clocking an AMD fx octcore to the moon under water, a quality 550w pain will power ANY single gpu system while overclocking both cpu and gpu as well as easily being able to support custom water and fans.

the money savings are tiny, unless you're coming from a generic PSU with passive PFC. the real benefits are that the quality PSU;'s have lower ripple (longer hardware life), lower temps (longer hardware life), lower noise (more sanity for owner) and a fancier sticker (more money for the manuf.)
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
3,487
Likes
7,376
Location
St. Paul, MN
System Name LappyTop/ Bay2- Lowerbay/Opticon As of 6/21/17
Processor i5 1.7GHz/ i3 2120's/i5 2400
Motherboard ASUStek/ HP mini/Dell
Cooling Air/air/air
Memory 8GB Kingston HyperX 1600/ 2GB/ 4GB samsung
Video Card(s) intel HD4000/ HD2000's/ HD2000
Storage 256GB Crucial Mx100 SSD/ couple of spinners/500GB WD
Display(s) 1366x768/ one acer x223w between the rest
Case ALU, beauty!/ HP SFF/ Dell Mini
Audio Device(s) Sonic Master/ onboard's/ onboard
Power Supply ASUS brick, 17W i5/ 19.5 volt bricks/ Dell 265W
Mouse cheap GigaWire930, CMStorm Havoc and a Logitech M510 wireless
Keyboard eMachines serial and a Dynex usb
Software WIN8.1-64bit/ Mint 18 Sarah/Mint 18
Benchmark Scores 6.9 processes per second!/ cruncher's!!
#63
Awesome thread!!!!!!!!

I learned more here, on this thread, than, probably, a three credit course at college!

:lovetpu:
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
801
Likes
733
Location
Greece
Processor AMD FX-8350 4GHz@1.3V
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-970A UD3 Rev3.0
Cooling Zalman CNPS5X Performa
Memory 2*4GB Patriot Venom RED DDR3 1600MHz CL9
Video Card(s) Sapphire 7950 3GB
Storage Sandisk SSD 120GB, 2 Samsung F1 & F3 (1TB)
Display(s) LG IPS235
Case Zalman Neo Z9 Black
Audio Device(s) Via 7.1 onboard
Power Supply OCZ Z550
Mouse Zalman ZM-M401R
Keyboard Logitech K120
Software Win 7 sp1 64bit
Benchmark Scores CB R15 64bit: single core 95p, multicore 626p, OpenGL 91.61 WPrime 1.55 (8 cores): 9.0 secs
#64
If no one said it, I just want to add that when some PSUs say on their labels 500W max, this isn't the true wattage they can provide. They say another figure too about continouous power which is normally much lower. For example, my TR2 470W (which isn't mine for the last 2 years thankfully-terrible PSU) was 470 max and 310 continuous. This means that it provides only 310W and even this is not sure. It has 70% efficiency and gets hot when providing only 200W and produces coil whine at 250W. So, in cheap PSUs the max must be totally ignored. Only continuous is important and even this with a big reservation.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
24,274
Likes
10,357
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 4790K@4.6GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z97 Extreme6
Cooling Corsair H100i
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR3-1866 9-10-9-27
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX960 STRIX @ 1500/1900
Storage 480GB Crucial MX200 + 2TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive with 128GB OCZ Synapse SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Corsair 650D Black
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply Corsair HX850
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#65
That is generally something you see on cheap power supplies, the better supplies tend to advertise the continuous load capability. Honestly, Thermaltake hasn't really put out a good power supply in a few years, they've really gone down hill.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
141
Likes
26
Location
Sabah, Malaysia
System Name My White Theme Desktop PC
Processor 4770k / 4670k
Motherboard ASUS
Cooling CM 412 slim
Memory Kingston 8GB DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) GTX 770 / GTX 670
Storage Kingston SSD v300 120GB + 1TB Black + 1TB Green + 1TB Green + 1TB Blue
Display(s) 23" Philips IPS White Slim x 3 / Acer
Case Thermaltake Revo White Snow Edition / Cooler Master
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster 5.1
Power Supply AC 650w 80+ bronze x 2 White
#66
Great Info! Thanks!
I been here longer than my registration date, but this is the 1st time i read this articles.
Now i know exactly why i bought my 80+ bronze PSU ( normally i just buy without 80+ certified psu)
 

RCoon

Gaming Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
11,364
Likes
9,491
Location
Gypsyland, UK
System Name HP Omen 17
Processor i7 7700HQ
Memory 16GB 2400Mhz DDR4
Video Card(s) GTX 1060
Storage Samsung SM961 256GB + HGST 1TB
Display(s) 1080p IPS G-SYNC 75Hz
Audio Device(s) Bang & Olufsen
Power Supply 230W
Mouse Roccat Kone XTD+
Software Win 10 Pro
#67
Great Info! Thanks!
I been here longer than my registration date, but this is the 1st time i read this articles.
Now i know exactly why i bought my 80+ bronze PSU ( normally i just buy without 80+ certified psu)
Bit of a necro for this thread. Almost 4 years old :laugh:
 

Mussels

Moderprator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
46,094
Likes
13,520
Location
Australalalalalaia.
System Name Daddy Long Legs
Processor Ryzen R7 1700, 3.9GHz 1.375v
Motherboard MSI X370 Gaming PRO carbon
Cooling Fractal Celsius S24 (Silent fans, meh pump)
Memory 16GB 2133 generic @ 2800
Video Card(s) MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X (BIOS modded to Gaming Z - faster and solved black screen bugs!)
Storage 1TB Intel SSD Pro 6000p (60TB USB3 storage)
Display(s) Samsung 4K 40" HDTV (UA40KU6000WXXY) / 27" Qnix 2K 110Hz
Case Fractal Design R5. So much room, so quiet...
Audio Device(s) Pioneer VSX-519V + Yamaha YHT-270 / sennheiser HD595/518 + bob marley zion's
Power Supply Corsair HX 750i (Platinum, fan off til 300W)
Mouse Logitech G403 + KKmoon desk-sized mousepad
Keyboard Corsair K65 Rapidfire
Software Windows 10 pro x64 (all systems)
Benchmark Scores Laptops: i7-4510U + 840M 2GB (touchscreen) 275GB SSD + 16GB i7-2630QM + GT 540M + 8GB
#68
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
1,793
Likes
276
System Name Old Skool
Processor E6750 @ 3.6 ghz
Motherboard GA P35 DS3L
Cooling Xigmatek Dark Knight S1283v
Memory 4gb Kingston DDR2 @ 900mhz
Video Card(s) XFX 9800GT 512MB
Storage SAMSUNG 320gb
Display(s) VIEWSONIC vx2260wm
Case HAF 922
Audio Device(s) Realtek (on board) + Logitech x540
Power Supply CM 550w
Software W7 Ultimate 64
#69
Indeed, same old...
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
141
Likes
26
Location
Sabah, Malaysia
System Name My White Theme Desktop PC
Processor 4770k / 4670k
Motherboard ASUS
Cooling CM 412 slim
Memory Kingston 8GB DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) GTX 770 / GTX 670
Storage Kingston SSD v300 120GB + 1TB Black + 1TB Green + 1TB Green + 1TB Blue
Display(s) 23" Philips IPS White Slim x 3 / Acer
Case Thermaltake Revo White Snow Edition / Cooler Master
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster 5.1
Power Supply AC 650w 80+ bronze x 2 White
#70
4 years but old thread but still informative to a newbie like me :)
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
203
Likes
142
Location
San Jose, California
#71
Thank you for this article. :clap:

Since this article/thread was created in 2010, there's since entered a new rating in the 80 Plus program - Titanium. Not that it would really matter, but would it be possible to update this with the new 80 Plus level?
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
1,628
Likes
1,257
Location
Finland
System Name SER
Processor Intel Core i5-7600K @ 4.7GHz
Motherboard Asus Z170 Pro Gaming
Cooling Alphacool Eisbaer 240 w/ 4x Corsair ML120
Memory 24GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4
Video Card(s) Asus GeForce GTX 980 Strix @ 1500/2000MHz
Storage 6x SSD + 500GB HDD
Display(s) 23" 1080p + 22" 1080p
Case Phanteks Eclipse P400S
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster Z
Power Supply Super Flower Golden Green 500W
Mouse Logitech G400s
Keyboard Logitech G410
Software Windows 10 Pro
#72
Going fine with a bronze certified PSU, what matters to me is that the PSU is filled with Japanese caps. Well, polymers can be Chinese, but electrolytics can't when I'm recommending a PSU.