Originally Posted by Vengeance47
Generally speaking, a unit that is gold rated is better than a bronze rated. Its a simple fact
. The gold rated can only achieve gold certification because it is more efficient; in order to be more efficient it needs to have a better design and use higher quality components. Therefore, it is fair to assume that a gold rated unit is better than a silver/bronze/80+/non-certified.
Mate, I understand you just want to win your argument on the internets, but when you use the words "simple fact" and then go on to argue opinion based on only some incorrect assumptions then I have to react
What we're trying to explain is that efficiency and quality are not directly correlated, and it does not automatically follow that efficiency comes from "higher quality components" nor that a "better design" leads to better efficiency or quality or performance. There are so many variables, that the PSU design can only satisfy so many at a time. For example, in order to get a higher efficiency, the design engineer may have to choose components which are detrimental to the amount of ripple, or skews the voltage more under load, or slightly compromises the short-circuit protection.
Because the PSU companies know that consumers are looking for an easy way to identify which PSU is "better", this bronze/silver/gold certification became so valuable to the positive marketing aspects of a new product. So this 80PLUS certification starts to overrule other decisions. Furthermore, we can't make the judgement based on the results of the company who does the 80PLUS efficiency testing, because they don't look at anything else but efficiency. They just measure AC-in compared to DC-out over various levels of current. They don't even test under extreme conditions, just at room temperature, with a steady power source, and not even with any PC components connected.
Best to make a comparison of the automotive industry. Think of an "eco" car that does 100km to the gallon and at the same time must exhaust less than 100g/km of CO2. Will it also achieve these numbers when driven hard in real road conditions, as opposed to just on the rollers? Sure you can broadly say that the quality of the parts for such a car must be of a certain standard, and the design will have been more rigorous than otherwise. But think now if that car didn't have the "eco" restrictions, they could probably make a similar design which would have a higher top speed, better response, better handling and could have a reduced cost of maintenance.
So it's also true with power supplies. By buying into the idea that efficiency is the most important variable in PSU design, we are leaving other important aspects at the wayside.