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Old 06-22-2009, 10:21 AM   #1
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Default Understanding the 80 Plus Certification

There has been a new article posted.

Title: Understanding the 80 Plus Certification
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/742

Here is a snippet:
"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 P..."

Comments on this article are welcome.

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Old 12-10-2009, 06:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardware Secrets Team View Post
"Efficiency is traditionally an overlooked power supply specification. ..."
... but not so any more! Nowadays it's rather overrated...

Quote:
... it is recommended that you buy a power supply with double the power you are actually going to pull.
Here I'd replace "actually" with "typically", to reflect that depending on for what and how the computer is used the typical power draw can differ from the average as well as maximum draw. The most power is saved by optimising for the typical power draw since that's where the computer will spend most of its on-time.

I have a hunch that most computers' typical load is close to "idle" (<100W), with occasional bursts of higher consumption. For these the optimum PSU has a rating equal to the maximum power drawn.

At the other end we have those that run distributed computing with CPU and GPU at a near constant 100% load, who's PSU should be rated twice the maximum power drawn.

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Old 04-24-2010, 08:17 AM   #3
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Default Tool to Measure Typical PC Power Consumption

Hello. Been wondering if there's a way for a regular user to have a more or less accurate way of measuring the PCs typical consumption? I've been hearing about eXtreme Power Supply Calculator.

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kabugaw View Post
Hello. Been wondering if there's a way for a regular user to have a more or less accurate way of measuring the PCs typical consumption? I've been hearing about eXtreme Power Supply Calculator
The calculator provides pretty much a theoretical maximum consumption, a value just about impossible to ever reach since all parts of the computer are never at full load at once.

A pretty cheap (~$20?) but not so accurate way of getting the typical consumption is to use a "Kill-A-Watt" meter to measure the power feed to the computer.
The two main problems here are:
1) The Kill-A-Watt is known to have problems providing correct numbers with many switched PSUs, reason unknown.
2) You have to deduct the unknown power inefficiency of the PSU to get the PSU output. One could make an educated guess of the applicable efficiency based on the PSU used and the current input wattage.

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Old 11-04-2010, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olle P View Post
....I have a hunch that most computers' typical load is close to "idle" (<100W), with occasional bursts of higher consumption. For these the optimum PSU has a rating equal to the maximum power drawn.

At the other end we have those that run distributed computing with CPU and GPU at a near constant 100% load, who's PSU should be rated twice the maximum power drawn.....
I was just going to make this exact same point. Many builders already have exaggerated ideas of what their system's PSU requirements are. For example, I regularly see otherwise knowledgeable people posting in tech forums, who are actually convinced their GTX 400 series card pulls 50a from the 12v rail. And there seems to be under-recognition that most people's systems are consuming power at idle [or close to idle] levels ~90% of the time. PSU buyers should understand what realistic "typical" loads are for their systems, and many don't.

I run folding@home 24/7 on multiple rigs that really do pull ≥1000w AC. But I recognize that this is not ... "typical".

Another note: I don't agree that the 80 Plus testing temperature is unrealistic. I would guess that the majority of PSU buyers who read articles at sites like HardwareSecrets, are using cases with bottom-mounted PSUs that take in air that is closer to room ambient temps than it is to system ambient temps. Obviously this is not true for all people buying PSUs. Ideally I'd love to see HardwareSecrets test PSUs at both ambient and "hot box" temps.

Last edited by TIGR; 11-04-2010 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Hey Gabe, what editing has recently been done to the article?
It really helps having a short "version history" at the very start of each article that's been changed, like they do at SPCR. (Good example)

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Old 11-05-2010, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olle P View Post
....It really helps having a short "version history" at the very start of each article that's been changed....
Agreed. I didn't realize the age of the article when I commented on it. Should have noted the dates of posts in this thread. At any rate, because information in the tech industry does tend to lose its validity over time, that version history is a good idea.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestion, your idea is terrific, especially because we update our tutorials from time to time. I usually post in the comment thread what changes were made, but I completely forgot to do that yesterday.

The main changes I made in this revision was in page 3, where I added a second table for redundant 230 V power supplies, and added the new Platinum level for 115 V non-redundant power supplies.

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Old 12-06-2010, 10:11 AM   #9
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I wish they'd test all PSU's on 230V as not everyone in the world uses 115V and I'd like to know what the efficiency for my PSU would be here in NZ which uses 230~240V I'm picking it's prolly a little bit more efficient than on 115V
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athlonite View Post
I wish they'd test all PSU's on 230V as not everyone in the world uses 115V and I'd like to know what the efficiency for my PSU would be here in NZ which uses 230~240V I'm picking it's prolly a little bit more efficient than on 115V
I don't agree with testing at 230 V, because at 230 V efficiency is higher. Keep in mind that the goal of the 80 Plus certification is not telling you the EXACT efficiency of a power supply unit, but the MINIMUM efficiency a PSU can present.

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