What's An 80+ Rating, Anyway?
80+ Gold vs. 80+ Platinum: What's the Difference?
Is an 80+ Platinum Rating Overkill?
What’s An 80+ Rating, Anyway?
We have a whole article explaining exactly what an 80+ rating is, and how it slowly but surely took up importance in the power supply space. In summary, it’s a voluntary certification that power supply makers can use for their products in order to give buyers assurance that the power supply they’re buying is as efficient as the manufacturer says it is — in other words, that the power supply is wasting as little of the energy it draws from your wall as possible.
Recently, an 80+ rating has become very important. A PSU with a good rating is wasting little electricity, that’s true. But to achieve that, it also needs to use really good-quality components. As such, a good 80+ rating is also an assurance of sorts that a power supply is high-quality and, more importantly, reliable — it’s also why it’s common to see the most expensive power supplies coming with not only good 80+ ratings, but also with warranties going up to 10 years from the purchase date, or even 12 years with some manufacturers.
It’s not the only factor to consider as far as reliability goes — for one, the brand and its reputation play a big factor. But it’s a good indicator that you’re buying something that will last you a lifetime.
RELATED: What Is "80 Plus" Certification on a PSU?
80+ Gold vs. 80+ Platinum: What’s the Difference?
Basically, an 80+ Gold power supply is 87% efficient at a 100% power load, while an 80+ Platinum power supply is 89% efficient at a 100% power load. To put this into numbers, for a 700W power supply to provide 700W of power to components inside of your PC, it would be drawing 791W of power from the wall if it were 80+ Gold rated. By comparison, an 80+ Platinum power supply would draw 777W. The excess +10% of the power goes to waste, while the rest of it goes to your PC.
It’s not an exact science. The rating means that a power supply is at least that efficient, but it could perfectly be a bit more efficient than that. But ultimately, there’s a 2% difference in minimum efficiency between Gold and Platinum-rated power supplies. In the long run, it could make a difference in your power bill. Not a huge one, but a difference nonetheless.
There are also other advantages. An 80+ Gold power supply might get up to five years of warranty, while an 80+ Platinum could get up to ten years of warranty.
Is an 80+ Platinum Rating Overkill?
We’ve always argued that there’s no such thing as overspending on a power supply. When we’re talking about power supplies, you should look for the best-quality PSU that fits within your budget. It’s not only efficiency you should worry about, after all, but rather, keeping your components running well. If a PSU dies, it could be catastrophic for your PC’s components, and it could perfectly kill your whole computer.
That being said, if you have the chance to get an 80+ Platinum-rated power supply, you should do it. If it’s from a reputable brand, and it has a warranty lasting several years, in addition to that 80+ rating, it’s a good sign that it’s a power supply that’s reliable and safe to use. If you can only afford an 80+ Gold one, it’s also fine as long as it comes from a reputable brand like Seasonic, but the 80+ Platinum is given out to some of the most reliable power supplies on the market. It’s a premium worth spending.
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