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Thread: Efficiency, but at what price.

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    Default Efficiency, but at what price.

    If I have understood correctly, modern PC power supplies achieve efficiency but at the cost of reduced life times (correct me if I am wrong).

    If so, which series should I be looking at if reliability and longevity are more important to me than efficiency or voltage stability?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    If I have understood correctly, modern PC power supplies achieve efficiency but at the cost of reduced life times.
    How/where was that conclusion made?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Gerow View Post
    How/where was that conclusion made?

    You in the last few weeks; or am I imagining it... something about complexity affecting the life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    You in the last few weeks; or am I imagining it... something about complexity affecting the life.
    I said complexity impacts longevity. Not efficiency.

    But that's true of anything. Take a VW Rabbit compared to a Cadillac with a Northstar V8, for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Gerow View Post
    I said complexity impacts longevity. Not efficiency.
    Ah, I guess I supposed efficiency came at the cost of complexity.


    Then again I have one of the early VTEC-E engines, and it just keeps on running.

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    Temperature of key components affects longevity too. Simplicity is good, but running hot is bad. There's no simple answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis View Post
    Temperature of key components affects longevity too. Simplicity is good, but running hot is bad. There's no simple answer.
    I think I might rather have a more complex unit built with higher quality components, tolerances and manufactured with better quality control than a simpler unit of poor design built with shoddy components on a slap-dash assembly line with an inspector asleep at the wheel. But yeah - bells and whistles and "an attitude of constant improvement" have always made products previously perfected to suit a particular purpose arguably worse than a predecessor iteration of that same product.

    The real problem is that there is no consensus on what constitutes "the perfect product" for just about anything. Since this is a power supply forum, some people want longevity. Some people want efficiency. Some people want low cost or value ... so designs, attributes - qualities, get prioritized differently. Frustratingly, to get the best whatever attribute *you* most want in just about any product, you have to accept a lot of other "qualities" that you may not want which may negatively impact the experience or value for you personally. Case in point - suppose I want the most efficient ATX power supply on the market. Why? I'm just weird like that, but I don't want or need a 1600 watt power supply. So, I nevertheless end up having to buy a much more powerful PSU than I need just because I feel as though I MUST have the most efficient PSU on the market. No manufacturer is going to put its BEST efficiency design into anything but it's top-tier product. So, I must accept unnecessary added complexity just to get the efficiency that I want!

    Now, if power supply company A's big boss suddenly said "let's build the most efficient ATX-format power supply not only ever created but also at the very bleeding edge of applied physics and today's technology ... a real clean-sheet moonshot, a 10 year development cycle ..." but let's also put it in a cheap, flexible ABS plastic chassis, purposefully down-build the regulation and give it too few connectors. Then let's give it a ridiculous name and paint the whole thing pink. Once we're done, let's market it on a loss-leader margin to the entry level tier of the market as a revolution in power supply efficiency. That could probably be done but ... at what cost? For one thing, certainly his job.

    In the ye olde days, if you wanted arguably the best engineered, best built car in the world, you bought maybe a Mercedes. You didn't give a hoot about "luxury" but you wanted the best built, longest lasting car you could get. Unfortunately, nobody builds a car like that but with cheap seats and manual AC. So, you have to endure the ridicule of your "peers" (chosen for you not by you of course) for such "egregious excess and indulgence", and you have to pay for a lot of attributes you don't want or need and which are actually a liability for you. "I mean, wow Bob! A luxury car!??! I didn't know you were so vain!" and "I saw Bob's new $120,000 car having to be towed the other day! LOL!"

    So maybe the answer is ... "well, it depends." Complexity is in itself virtually never a favorable attribute from an engineering perspective unless your specific objective is complexity itself. Or, your customer is a soccer mom or bells and whistles geek.

    But we all knew all of this already. OK, back to lurking for another 12 months or so.
    Last edited by 99wjtx; 09-22-2020 at 09:16 PM.

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    Perhaps part of the problem is that some people feel that half the ripple is twice as good, but one can go on halfing indefinitely. So money may get spent on a feature that is actually of little utility.

    Concerning cars, I have a Honda Civic and I would argue it is efficient, reliable, long lasting, well engineered and not pricey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    Perhaps part of the problem is that some people feel that half the ripple is twice as good, but one can go on halfing indefinitely. So money may get spent on a feature that is actually of little utility.

    Concerning cars, I have a Honda Civic and I would argue it is efficient, reliable, long lasting, well engineered and not pricey.
    discussions of diminishing returns can go on forever.

    Skipped the NVME GEN 4 because there was no difference in performance yet (see SAMSUNG 980 PRO reviews out today)

    RE: Cars....Audi had a similar reputation for performance and high engineering.
    I have an A4 Quattro that has required its purchase price in maintenance over the last few years (only 100,000) miles.

    I wanted to get a used V8 Genesis for the same price. ( yeah, not great gas mileage and no high tech) Wife hated it....she wanted the A4.

    So, yeah...I told her the V8 Genesis would drive another 100,000 miles with nothing but oil changes...but instead I learned the cost of replacing failed Audi Turbo, Starter motor, oil burning engine issues, etc. etc.

    So...it is always a mixed bag.

    For you History buffs....Steam engines in the 1930-1950 were incredibly efficient.
    I doubt that that any diesel electric that exists TODAY can match their energy conversion efficiency.

    However, the maintenance cost, the capital cost and support cost is what ended the steam age....not superior technology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdk777 View Post
    For you History buffs....Steam engines in the 1930-1950 were incredibly efficient.
    I doubt that that any diesel electric that exists TODAY can match their energy conversion efficiency.

    However, the maintenance cost, the capital cost and support cost is what ended the steam age....not superior technology.

    I would question that claim.


    Physics Concepts and Connections 5th edition, Art Hobson P 140

    Efficiencies

    Steam locomotive

    • Best Possible 20%


    • Actual 10%


    Diesel auto/truck/locomotive

    • Best Possible 48%


    • Actual 30%

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