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Thread: Why the lack of efficient, quality low wattage psu's?

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    Default Why the lack of efficient, quality low wattage psu's?

    I would like some quality brands to make lower power (about 200W) and efficient atx psu's. For a general use PC's that I have built for family and friends recently, I've been using the ivy i3 with integrated graphics, 4 or 8G of ram, an ssd and a dvd-rw. These pc's would struggle to peak at 100W draw at the wall and roughly sit at half that with the typical usage they get.

    Suppliers near me (I'm in Australia) basically have 450W supplies as the lowest wattage supply in stock. This minimum wattage has been creeping ever upwards over the years while the PC's themselves have been creeping lower.

    I am not talking about gaming machines, but a pc that is mostly idling along.

    This is a bit of a rant, because I'm in the thinkout stage of my own 'general' use pc and would love it if someone has some options. I understand that efficiency differences at 40W idling do not amount to much in $/year but if I can cut out any wasted heat I will.

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    Its because there are to many stupid people who think that more is better. So a good 200W would not sell easily. Also a 80PLUS Gold 200W PSU probably would cost more or maybe the same to make then the same one with 300W, so the manufacturer has less profit.
    Last edited by -The_Mask-; 10-23-2012 at 06:20 PM. Reason: typo

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    Because a 200W PSU won't be much cheaper than a 300W or, sometimes, even a 400W PSU. And the cost is a very important with low wattage units.

    So no one would really buy a 300W PSU for 60$.
    And to be honest: Those things doesn't really make any sense either! A good 350-450W unit is the better choice because you could also add a high end video card - with a 200W unit you can't...

    So in the end: there are more than enough high efficient 'low wattage' units on the market. Like the FSP Aurum based units (be quiet E9 Series, Efficient Power for example), Seasonic G-Series and some others too...

    At least here in Germany you can also buy those things...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Payne View Post
    Those things doesn't really make any sense either! A good 350-450W unit is the better choice because you could also add a high end video card - with a 200W unit you can't...
    You think that most people need a high-end graphics card?

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    Quote Originally Posted by -The_Mask- View Post
    You think that most people need a high-end graphics card?
    No I think that a (sub) 300W Gold unit doesn't make any sense as the potential savings of such a low wattage unit are negligible...

    If a unit is 80% efficient with 40W load or 85% makes a difference of just 3W. So a 300W Gold unit can't save as much as it costs more...
    Last edited by Stefan Payne; 10-23-2012 at 08:44 PM.

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    Well, there are actually some, like FSP250-60EGA. If they are available, where you live, which I honestly doubt.

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    The cost difference to manufacture the same performance/efficiency 350W vs. 400W vs. 450W vs. 500W is less than a dollar. It just doesn't make financial sense to the manufacturers to produce a low wattage unit that's going to retail for less than $5 than the cheapest unit they currently sell.

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    If you really want efficiency & low wattage, your best bet is to go for a Pico-PSU type solution.

    Might sound stupid to you, considering how much they cost in comparison to a normal PSU; but there's where your efficiency at low watts will come from. More so since some of the bricks hit 90% efficiency across most of the spectrum. So the efficiency is very high.

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I understand market forces are at work, and people like big numbers. I just wish there was some competition in the 200W area. I don't mind paying the same for a 200W as a 500W if the efficiency can be gold in the power range that's needed for such a common configuration. To me an extra few dollars is worth it for saving a few watts and heat. This pc which I want to be quietish and coolish will never have a high end graphics card and will probably never see 100W.
    FSP250-60EGA looked exciting, but you were right about it not available in the country let alone anywhere near me.
    I have considered the pico psu, but it is a rather inelegant solution with the brick and short wiring etc etc, and the total efficiency (even as per johnnyguru review) is less than you mentioned, a bit under 80% due to the supply itself.
    I guess I'll just get the smallest seasonic, probably the s12ii 430 if I can.

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    Intel has some ITX boards that plug directly into the power brick; no pico psu required.

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