Power supply units (PSUs) are an essential component of any computer system. They convert the alternating current (AC) from the wall outlet to the direct current (DC) needed by the components of a computer. When it comes to buying a PSU, there are several factors to consider, such as wattage, efficiency, and certification. This article will focus on two types of certifications commonly used – the 80 Plus Gold and the 80 Plus Bronze. We’ll compare them to see which is better.
80 Plus Certification
Before we dive in, let’s first discuss the 80 Plus certification. It’s a voluntary certification program launched in 2004 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with several PSU manufacturers. The program tests and certifies PSUs that meet minimum performance standards for energy efficiency. The certification standards include Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium.
PSUs that have the 80 Plus certification are guaranteed to be more efficient than non-certified ones. They are tested at different load levels to see how much power they can draw from the wall and how much of that power they can convert to usable DC power for the components. The more efficient PSUs waste less energy, run cooler, and last longer.
80 Plus Gold
The 80 Plus Gold certification is the second highest 80 Plus certification level. It requires a PSU to have an efficiency rating of at least 87%, 90%, and 87% at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads, respectively. This means that the PSU will convert at least 87% of the power it draws from the wall into usable DC power for the components.
PSUs with 80 Plus Gold certification are more efficient than 80 Plus Bronze certified PSUs. They are ideal for high-end gaming PCs, workstations, and servers that require a lot of power. They generally cost more than 80 Plus Bronze certified PSUs but make up for that in energy savings over time.
Benefits of 80 Plus Gold PSU
Here are some of the benefits of using an 80 Plus Gold PSU:
1. Energy Efficiency: 80 Plus Gold PSUs are more energy-efficient than non-certified or lower-certified PSUs. They waste less energy, generate less heat, and reduce electricity bills.
2. Better for the Environment: Since 80 Plus Gold PSUs waste less energy, they also emit less CO2 into the environment. They are therefore better for the environment.
3. Lesser Heat Generation: 80 Plus Gold PSUs run cooler than their lower-certified counterparts, which reduces the need for extra cooling mechanisms, like fans. This means less noise and a more comfortable environment.
4. Longer Lifespan: 80 Plus Gold PSUs are more durable since they generate less heat and stress on the components. They usually last longer and require less maintenance.
80 Plus Bronze
The 80 Plus Bronze certification is the lowest certification level in the 80 Plus family. It requires a PSU to have an efficiency rating of at least 82%, 85%, and 82% at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads, respectively. This means that the PSU will convert at least 82% of the power it draws from the wall into usable DC power for the components.
PSUs with 80 Plus Bronze certification are still more efficient than non-certified PSUs. They are cost-effective and provide a reasonable level of efficiency for most gaming PCs, workstations or servers. However, they’re not as efficient as their 80 Plus Gold certified counterparts.
Benefits of 80 Plus Bronze PSU
Here are some benefits of using an 80 Plus Bronze PSU:
1. Affordable: 80 Plus Bronze PSUs cost less than their higher-certified counterparts, making them affordable for builders on a budget.
2. Decent Efficiency: 80 Plus Bronze PSUs are still more efficient than non-certified PSUs. They are ideal for low to mid-range gaming PCs or workstations.
3. Reliable: 80 Plus Bronze PSUs are reliable and durable. They provide a stable and consistent supply of power to the components, contributing to their longevity.
Comparison of 80 Plus Gold and 80 Plus Bronze
Let’s compare these two certifications based on their efficiency, cost, and suitability for different kinds of systems.
Efficiency: 80 Plus Gold PSUs are more efficient than 80 Plus Bronze PSUs. They have a minimum efficiency rating of 87%, 90%, and 87% at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads, respectively. 80 Plus Bronze PSUs have a minimum efficiency rating of 82%, 85%, and 82% at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads, respectively.
Cost: 80 Plus Gold PSUs cost more than 80 Plus Bronze PSUs. They provide high efficiency, better performance, and longer lifespan in return for the extra cost. 80 Plus Bronze PSUs are more affordable and cost-effective for budget builds.
Suitability: 80 Plus Gold PSU is ideal for high-end gaming PCs, workstations or servers that require a lot of power. They are more expensive and cater to high-performance systems. 80 Plus Bronze PSU, on the other hand, is suitable for low to mid-range gaming PCs or workstations. They are cost-effective and provide decent efficiency for computer systems that require less power.
1. Do I need an 80 Plus certified PSU? Ans. It’s not necessary to have an 80 Plus certified PSU, but it’s recommended. An 80 Plus certified PSU provides better efficiency and is better for the environment. You can save money on electricity bills in the long run, and it’s a responsible choice for energy conservation.
2. What’s the difference between 80 Plus Gold and 80 Plus Bronze? Ans. 80 Plus Gold and 80 Plus Bronze are two certifications of the 80 Plus family. 80 Plus Gold is more efficient, costs more, and caters to high-performance systems. 80 Plus Bronze is still efficient, more affordable, and suitable for low to mid-range systems.
3. Can an 80 Plus Bronze PSU handle a high-end gaming PC? Ans. Yes, an 80 Plus Bronze PSU can handle a high-end gaming PC, but it depends on the wattage and load capacity of the PSU. You’ll have to consider the recommended wattage of your components and the expected load of your system to choose an appropriate PSU. However, an 80 Plus Gold PSU is more suitable for high-performance systems.
Choosing between an 80 Plus Gold or an 80 Plus Bronze certified PSU depends on your budget and the requirements of your computer system. 80 Plus Gold PSUs are more expensive, more energy-efficient, and cater to high-performance systems. 80 Plus Bronze PSUs are more affordable, provide decent efficiency, and are suitable for low to mid-range systems. Both are reliable and durable, but if you want the best efficiency and performance, go for an 80 Plus Gold PSU.