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Thread: Low wattage 80+ options..

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    Default Low wattage 80+ options..

    Evening.

    I'm building a HTPC/NAS style system but not simply specialised to those uses, probably an i3 2100(t) when they eventually hit retail, anyway..
    If it's not on 24/7 it won't be far off. So have been spec'ing it up with wattage friendly parts in mind.
    Have calculated that the absoluate max the system is ever going to hit is 200w, and that's rarely.

    Have been looking for 80+ gold or silver PSUs on the ecos website.
    http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/80P...px?id=0&type=2

    There doesn't seem to be many or any consumer available PSU's to fill this market.
    If you want 1000w+ PSU's you have dozens of options.
    With processors becoming more effiecient I hope some manafuctures are working on this empty void in the PSU markey.

    The few PSU's I found in the 200/250w bracket on the ecos site I couldn't find anywhere that actually sells them to consumers.

    There are plenty of options going into higher wattage PSU's but then the 80+ certification becomes a little redundant for a system that's so low compared to the the PSU and where the efficiency ratings are set.

    I went into this thinking that it would actually be easier for them to produce the lower wattage PSUs within the 80+ specifications. I realise that at higher wattage the percentage difference in efficiency is more meaningful but for a system with a high amount of online time even a 2% saving adds up over a year.

    Was hoping that at such a low wattage I could find something fanless/passively cooled.

    The PSU manafacturers are a little slow to catch up with the component makers? .. or just hoping that people always go with the "bigger number must be better" theory of purchasing?
    Or is it more simply that I'm just looking in the wrong places?

    Has anyone else found this?
    Any suggestions?

    (PS: I have also been spec'ing up a high end system and read many reviews off the site, they are really well done. )

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    The reality is, at a certain point it doesn't cost any less in component cost to make a good 200W power supply than it does to make a good 400W power supply. So why bother when a 400W power supply can do the job of a 200W power supply for the same amount of money.

    So I would give up on getting "just enough power for my system" and just go with "plenty of power and then some" and move on.

    Another alternative is a good power brick and a PicoPSU, but it's not easy to find a combination of the two that's any more efficient than the most efficient 400W+ power supplies and the sum of those parts will cost you a lot more money.

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    Hmm.

    My thinking was this;
    Going on the 80+ standard setting the efficiency at a minimum of 20%.. on a 400w power supply it's at 80w when the standards kick in.
    There's a good chance that a system could spend a lot of time below 80w if most of the components were just idle, just buffering a song to another device every few minutes for example.
    But on a 200w supply, with the rating being set at 40w, the system should spend more time within the 80+ standard.

    I read in a review on this site that manufacturers often have to sacrafice efficiency below the 20% margin to reach the extra efficiency above it.

    So going on that it could be better to get a non 80+ supply if the system was expected to run under the 20% margin of a "plenty of power and then some" PSU?
    Or are the margins at such a low wattage to unimportant to consider? -> No point working out a "spends X amount of time under 20% + Y amount of time over 20%" for the 2 options.

    I have been behind the times (travelling) for a while but reading an unhealthy amount about all computer components the last few days to catch up. My brain could well be spilling over and making little sense..

    On a side not I was wondering if a very high end system would be better off with a PSU rated for double the needed voltage to get the most of the 80+ certification.

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    I know what you're saying and do agree that if 80 Plus doesn't test below 20% that there's no way of knowing how efficient it is at <20%, but if you can find reviews of the lower wattage units that test at lower wattages and you find that they're just as efficient, then you're good to go.

    I can't think of any off the top of my head and I can't do the research for you right now because I'm traveling, but as you're looking into it, keep in mind that the difference between 70% efficient at a particular load and 80% efficient is only going to amount to pennies per year.

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    If you have a system that draws 50W from the PSU, the difference between an 80% efficient PSU and a 90% efficient PSU is about 7W. That translates to about 61 kWh of energy consumed every year. Assuming your power rate is around 8 cents per kWh, that comes out to less than 5 dollars per year. For that amount of difference, it isn't worth worrying about the difference between an 80Plus standard PSU and an 80Plus Gold PSU at that kind of load.
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    Well I started with the idea of trying to design the system with the least possible wattage for my needs.

    As you say shaving 7w off of a PSU is not a lot, it's certainly a low percentage.
    Not to disagree with you Zero82z but to explain my position; it's not "I can only save 7w, it's not worth it" it's "where else can I save 7w."
    7w from the PSU is just the start. More saved from chosing a more efficient motherboard and RAM. Masses amount saved from the processor. It all adds up to the point where you're not just saving 61kWh a year you're saving hundreds. We also pay more that that per kWh in the UK.

    It's also not as simple as a straight 50w power draw. It will frequently draw more so the extra efficiency is more valued.

    Obviously just looking at the PSU as with your quick calculations buying a more expensive 80+ gold PSU over a cheaper model could mean that it could take several years to offset the increased cost. Possibly longer than the life of the system but hopefully not longer than the life of the PSU in it's next system.

    More efficient systems seems to be the 'big thing' that manufacturers are moving towards, CPU's with their ever decreasing core size, RAM's with the shrinking voltages. PSU manufacturers with their 80+ standards.

    Intel will have their even smaller core Ivy Bridge CPUs soon. The push for even lower voltage RAM can't be far behind.

    Surely there's an increasing market for lower wattage PSUs? Does jonnyGURU know only of larger supplies to be coming off the production line in the future?


    Anyway.
    It only took me a few minutes to find the fanless (quiet being my secondary priority) Seasonic x-400. There doesn't seem to be any other Gold rated fanless PSUs near that wattage, fortunately the choice of one seems ample as it's reviewed highly.
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...Story&reid=200

    It has a nice efficiency at 10% load according to your review so should do nicely.
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...tory2&reid=200
    A bit more expensive than I was looking to pay but paying for quality right?
    I wouldn't be suprised to be moving this PSU across to a gaming rig in a few years down the line with how things are progressing.



    Is it possibly to purchase PSUs form links that support the site?

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    Power supplies with based on resonant topology (LLC Half-bridge resonant for example) can be efficient down to a minimum (10%) load because its switching loss is minimal, whereas a forward design is less efficient under light load due to its switching loss. So if high efficiency under light load is desired, with a forward design the optimal wattage should be no higher than 300W, while with a resonant design up to 500W is still acceptable.
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    In other words, X-400, or some low wattage variant of Super Flower Golden Green platform would be fine.

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    Maybe even an FSP Aurum or one of the low-wattage platinum offerings yet to appear on the market...
    Careful what you wish for... You just might get it.

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    Like I said... a nice FSP power brick and a PicoPSU if you don't think you'll overwhelm it. That's about as efficient as I've seen for low loads.

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