Hot PSUs Run Cool, Save Energy

Driven by the Energy Star 5.0 requirements as set down by the EPA, in consultation with the industry and PC Magazine, Corsair has reached the 80 PLUS standard with a new series of PC power supplies.

80 PLUS specifies at least 80 efficiency all the way from low (20%) load to high (100%) load.

This is a major improvement and a most welcome one- many power supplies (or PSUs) are near 70% or less efficient, so they generate more heat and waste more electricity (the more efficient power supplies generate less heat and keep more of the energy in the form of electricity that is used by the computer).

With all of the advances in Europe regarding clean and efficient technology, it is nice to see the US EPA making tougher requirements and driving the industry! EnergyStar 5.0 will require 85% efficiency!

I happen to have the HX620W, one of the qualifying 80 PLUS PSUs, in the desktop machine I’m working on now, and I chose it after searching the web for PSU efficiency ratings.

read more | digg story

© James K. Bashkin, 2008

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  1. It really is great to see the EPA driving the industry with tougher standards. Eventually, consumers will get smart and drive the industry this way themselves, realizing that the gain in efficiency is a saving on energy bills. Speaking of efficiency, I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the long-life light bulbs. As I understand it, the current technology is only achievable using materials that are toxic to dispose of. Is there any alternative in sight that’s both efficient and less polluting?

  2. Rachel, thanks for the feedback and great question.

    I’m not aware of any technology currently on the shelf that avoids significantly-toxic ingredients for energy-efficient lighting except for LED-based lights. LEDs are great when they work for your application, but they won’t always work. This article compares incandescent, CFL and LED lights in terms of cost, lifetime, light output and suitability.

    However, from what I have read on the Environmental Defense website I’m trying to link to here, the amount of mercury in the CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) is far less than we are led to believe by some, much less than in an old home thermostat or thermometer. That doesn’t mean that we should dispose of them improperly. See, for example,’s professional response about handing broken CFLs.

    However, solar cells and computer chips aren’t made out of materials you want to eat, either, and neither are automobile tires, but they wouldn’t work at all, or at all well, without these toxic substances. I don’t think that there is any free lunch here. We have to deal with some toxic substances on a commercial level , and recycle them properly, to overcome a lot of our energy-related environmental problems. I just don’t think there is any way around it. Most of the toxic things I am talking about, with the exception of the tire additives, are relatively naturally-occurring, in that the naturally-occurring elements making up the substance are themselves toxic, like mercury and arsenic and gallium (which is also used in medical imaging).

    Please let me know if this answers your question. Thanks again for reading and commenting, and for the great blog!

  3. Thanks, this was a great answer, and I’m looking forward to delving into the articles you linked to. I think your point about there being no free lunch and hence the need for recycling technology to develop in parallel with these products is right on.

  4. Rachel: Thanks for the supportive comments! I’m glad the material looks helpful. Best wishes, Jim

  5. Roo

    Nice choice of machine Jim, I’m looking into buying a Greener PC when I next upgrade. Being in the UK it’s likely to be a machine from VeryPC as they do seem to be combining all the green tech into there extensive range of PC’s right down to energy efficient Hard Drives as well as PSU’s and processors.

  6. Thanks Roo. Sounds like a great approach. I sort of locked myself into a basic architecture for a while with a purchase that could have been wiser, and have been swapping out components when I can, in order to fix energy and noise issues. Live and hope to learn,…

    I appreciate your comments and feedback! Best wishes, Jim

  1. 1

    Corsair Achieves 80 PLUS Cert for Power Supplies…

    Corsair has a family of PSUs (power supply units) for PCs that are on the way to meeting the stringent new EnergyStar 5.0 requirements worked out between the EPA and the hardware industry. EnergyStar 5.0 will require 85% efficiency at idle and load. …

  2. 2 Gas Saving Additives

    Gas Saving Additives…

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting….

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