Power Supply efficiency is one of the most disputing topics among beginner PC builders when building their first PC.
In this article, we will cover this PSU efficiency topic in depth, so keep reading this article till the end.
When you decide to purchase a new PSU, you might be confused by noticing the 80 Plus labeling.
The term 80 Plus (+) indicates the power supply’s energy efficiency. Let’s understand what this 80 Plus efficiency means-
Usually, our Power Supply converts the AC power into DC, and during this process of converting the AC power into DC, the power supply loses some energy in the form of heat.
The PSU, with an 80+ mark, indicates that the PSU will take 100% from the wall socket as AC power, and only 80% will be converted into DC power; the other 20% will be lost as heat.
Let’s understand this by taking an example-
If you use a 500W (80 plus) PSU, then the PSU will draw 625W AC power from the wall socket.
Now, only 80% of the 625W (which means 500w) will be converted into DC power; the extra 125W energy will transfer in heat.
Let’s take another example-
If you use a 600W (80 plus) PSU, then the PSU will take 750W AC power from the wall socket.
The 80% of 750W (which means 600W) will be converted into DC power; the extra 150W will transfer as heat.
The 80+ PSUs are further categorized into different levels based on what percentage of energy will lose in heat.
Now, let’s explore how the efficiency of these PSUs is measured.
How Is PSU Efficiency Calculated?
The power Supply manufacturer tests the PSUs via a testing machine; they send input power to PSU and measure the output wattage.
They test the PSU under 20% load, 50% load, and 100% load. After measuring the output wattage, they give efficiency levels to the PSU.
All these PSU efficiencies are mentioned in the image-
You can see in the above image that PSU manufacturers give different efficiency levels like (80 Plus, 80 Plus Bronze, 80 Plus Silver, 80 Plus Gold, 80 Plus Platinum, and 80 Plus Titanium).
The higher the efficiency levels, the less energy will waste as heat, which will also minimize your electricity bills.
Now, we will look at these different PSU efficiencies and discuss them one by one.
Different Type Of PSU Efficiency
As I already explained that PSU efficiency ranges between 80 Plus White to 80Plus Titanium.
Here you will learn about these efficiency levels in depth, and by the end, you will get a conclusion on which PSU efficiency is right for you.
80 Plus White
80 Plus white is the basic efficiency level that most PC experts recommend. According to the PSU manufacturer, these PSUs will always be 80% efficient, no matter whether there is a 20% load, 50% load, or 100% load on PSU.
Let’s understand this by taking an example of a 500W PSU-
If you use a 500W (80 plus white) PSU on 100% load, then the PSU will draw 625W power input from the wall socket, and the extra 125W will be wasted as heat.
80 Plus Bronze
The 80-plus bronze PSUs are better than the 80-plus white PSUs when it comes to energy savings.
These PSUs are 82% efficient on 20% load, 85% efficient on 50% load, and 82% efficient on 100% load.
So, if you use a 500W (80 Plus bronze) PSU under 100% load, the PSU will take 610W power input from the wall socket, and an extra 110W will be wasted as heat.
80 Plus Silver
The 80 Plus silver PSUs are better than the 80 Plus bronze PSUs.
These 80 Plus silver PSUs are 85% efficient on 20% load, 88% efficient on 50% load, and 85% efficient on 100% load.
So, if you use a 500W (80 plus silver) PSU under 100% load, then the PSU will draw 589W power input from the wall socket, and the extra 89W will be wasted as heat.
80 Plus Gold
The 80 Plus gold PSUs are better than the 80-plus silver when it comes to efficiency.
These 80 Plus gold PSUs are 87% efficient on 20% load, 90 % efficient on 50% load, and 87% efficient on 100% load.
So, if you use a 500W (80 plus Gold) PSU under full load, then the PSU will draw 575W power input from the wall socket, and the extra 75W will be wasted as heat.
80 Plus Platinum
The 80 Plus platinum PSUs are more energy efficient than the 80 Plus gold PSUs.
These PSUs are 90% efficient on 20% load, 92% efficient on 50% load, and 89% efficient on 100% load.
So, if you use the 500W (80 plus platinum) PSU at 100% load, then the PSU will draw 562W power input from the wall socket, and only 62W power will be wasted.
80 Plus Titanium
The 80 Plus Titanium PSUs have the most energy efficiency compared to platinum and other efficiency ratings.
These PSUs are 92% efficient on 20% load, 94% efficient on 50% load, and 90% efficient on 100% load.
So, when you use a 500W (80 plus Titanium) PSU under 100% load, then the PSU will draw 555W power input from the wall socket, and only 55W will be wasted in heat.
Remember that you will rarely see a 500W PSU with platinum or Titanium efficiency ratings.
To explain these efficiency levels, here I take the example of a 500W PSU with platinum and Titanium efficiency.
If you are confused about which PSU brand to choose, read whether Corsair makes good PSUs or Not.
Comparing The Energy Wastage Of Different PSU Efficiency
Now, I will sum up everything regarding which PSU efficiency wastes and how many watts in th form of heat.
|Wattage|| PSU Efficiency|
|Efficiency Ratings||Power Input Taken From The Wall On 100% load||Power Wastage as Heat|
|500W PSU||80 Plus White||80%||625W||125W|
|500W PSU||80 Plus Bronze||82%||610W||110W|
|500W PSU||80 Plus Silver||85%||589W||89W|
|500W PSU||80 Plus Gold||87%||575W||75W|
|500W PSU||80 Plus Platinum||89%||562W||62W|
|500W PSU||80 Plus Titanium||90%||555W||55W|
This table will give you an exact idea to understand the importance of PSU efficiency levels.
The efficiency levels range between 80 Plus white to 80 plus titanium. The more efficient PSU you will buy, the less power the PSU will take from the wall socket and the less heat will be generated.
Which PSU Efficiency Levels Should You Buy?
As we already learn about different PSU efficiency levels, we will now discuss which one is the right choice for your system.
If you choose a PSU with higher efficiency levels, then it will reduce your electricity bills because higher-efficiency PSUs always draw less wattage from the wall socket.
But, choosing a high-efficiency PSU will also affect your overall budget for PC building because high-efficiency PSUs have high prices.
This is why you have to choose the PSU efficiency levels by considering your budget and requirement.
The 80-plus bronze, silver, and gold PSUs offer excellent performance within the budget range so you can opt for any of these efficiency levels.
The 80 Plus labeling on the PSU indicates the energy efficiency ratings, and the 80 Plus ratings PSU is further categorized into different levels: White, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium.
Higher-efficiency PSUs waste less energy, produce less heat, and have higher prices.
Therefore, it is always recommended to check your budget and requirement and then choose the appropriate PSU efficiency levels.
I hope this article may be helpful to you, and if you have any questions, then ask me in the comment box.