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Can We Trust the 80 Plus Certification? E-mail
Written by HardwareSecrets   
Thursday, 05 November 2009

Can We Trust the 80 Plus Certification?

The 80 Plus certification was an important step to change the scenario from the power supply industry: now the savvy consumer knows that he or she should buy a power supply with at least 80% efficiency. New certification levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) raised the bar even more. But maybe it is time for a change on the 80 Plus certification methodology. Let's see why.

For a background on efficiency and the 80 Plus certification, please read our tutorial Understanding the 80 Plus Certification.

The main flaw with the methodology used on the 80 Plus certification process is room temperature. Ecos Consulting, the company behind 80 Plus, tests power supplies at a room temperature of only 23º C (73.4º F).

We always wondered why they chose this value, because in engineering the standard room temperature for data collection is 25º C (77º F). Not that collecting data at 25º C instead of 23º C would make a big difference on the overall picture, but we always wonder why this value.

Our conspiracy minds keep thinking that this could be done to help manufacturers to achieve the 80 Plus certification on power supplies that wouldn't be able to get the certification if they set temperature at a higher value, because the lower the temperature, the higher efficiency is. So when they were trying to market the idea of the 80 Plus certification and getting customers, this lower temperature probably helped them to please their first customers.

The problem is that unless you have a very low-power PC, temperature inside the computer case is never that low, especially if you have a gaming-grade machine. HardwareSecrets


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