Originally Posted by Rockr69
I did not know that. Maybe that's why my OCs fail. Thanks Bri! +rep
Ok, this is why I asked yesterday about if anyone wanted to see the 80+ ratings write up I did, first, look on the side of your PSU, that will tell you what your max 12V is supposed to be, in Rockrs case, er, PSU, it's 504watts, the rest is 5V and some breathing room. His max peak power is 650watts, pretty good considering the type of PSU, they could have put a sticker on it that says it's a 650.
Here's what the 80+ ratings mean & this time I am going to bed:
80+ power ratings, what they mean
Oh, for your question about the 80+ ratings.
Bronze is only guaranteed to provide 80 > 85% of power at 50% of full draw on the components 80% at 100.
Silver is 80 > 88% at 50%, 82% at 100.
Gold is 87 > 90% at 50%, 87% at 100.
Platinum is only a 230V spec and is 90 >94% at 50%.
There is white label or plain Vanilla, whatever you call it, it's the junk that they give you for free when you buy a case. It's rated at 80%, that's it, so a 700W PSU gives you 560W that's it and it probably wont last too long
What's it mean? If you have a 115V PSU rated at 700W and your components are trying to pull a full 700W it's only going to do it for the time it takes to heat the PSU's parts, after that it drops to the levels as listed above. So, you get 700W only the time it takes to start up the drives and other components, a few seconds at most, then.......
So at 350W they will provide 85%, 88% and 90% as listed, the rest comes out as heat.
So even at full power a 700W PSU is only going to give you 560W Bronze, 574W at Silver and 609W at Gold levels, the rest is wasted in converting power from A.C. to D.C. and comes out the back as heat.
They also decline with age meaning that over the years the maximum clean power you get decreases and it usually has a curve that drops at 80%. So, if somone like Corsair gives you a 7 year warranty they're warranty says you'll get the above levels for 7 years for whatever your PSU is rated at. I haven't seen that warranty on any other PSU.
Companies don't usually come up with these standards of thier own good will. Like most other things this came about as goverments mandated power efficiency models. The 80+ standard was one of these mandates.
How can you hedge your bets and preserve the quality of your power and your components? There are a couple of ways, the first is an Uninteruptible Power Supply, aka a UPS or battery backup. The second is a line conditioner, which transforms the dips and surges in the power going to your plugs into a relatively even amount of voltage. Surge supressors do neither of these jobs. If you get the right one a UPS often also has a line conditioner built in.
Oh what fun!! Want to learn more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_PLUS#What_it_means
On this chart, check out Chieftec and Cooler Master, they're close, with the total being only 1 different which is why I can't say Cooler Master gets thier guts from Chieftec but if you hold the specs of 2 similar watted PSU's from each company they're really close and they even look a lot alike.
So, while ultimately what you buy may be the Bronze PSU from a company, you'll pay for it in the long run as wasted heat, wear on your components and definitly in the form of your power bill.
Just be carefull that you don't buy a 500W PSU to power an actual 500W worth of equipment.