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[PSU] Does Gold/Bronze/etc certification matter?

Last response: in Components
November 24, 2012 8:59:41 AM

I don't know much about buying PSUs but from a lot of builds I read, people seem happy with regular 80 Plus or Bronze certification? Does this really matter that much?

I'm also confused because I'm seeing for instance, the SeaSonic G Series ( is 550W and 80 PLUS GOLD cert for $70, yet the SeaSonic M12II 520 ( is 520W and 80 PLUS BRONZE but the same price?

I was thinking about going for the G Series to be safe since PCPARTPICKER estimates about 326W for my build (below), but I'm just wondering, why are they the same price???

My build
CPU: i5-3570K | CPU Cooler: CM Hyper 212 Evo | Mobo: Asus P8Z77-V PRO | RAM: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2x4GB) | Storage: WD Caviar Blue 1TB | GPU: Gigabyte GTX660
a b ) Power supply
November 24, 2012 9:14:13 AM

Whether the level of certification matters depends if you care about the energy being saved. The difference between Bronze and Gold is something like 5%, so most don't pay the premium to get the slightly better efficiency.

Pricings are probably not representative of actual values right now, still in the middle of Black Friday.
I suspect the G-Series is a lower binned (ie quality) unit than the MS12 series. So it costs less despite the better efficiency.

EDIT: You definitely want a unit that is atleast 80+ certified. As the certification covers more than just efficiency of converting AC to DC current. It also covers how strict the voltage control on the rails are, 80+ spec states that it has to be within 5% of its rated voltage. If it strays outside this it can lead to the degradation of components.
November 24, 2012 9:14:26 AM

The PSU certifications do matter if you are energy conscious. Anything 80plus certified is a GOOD product to start with.

Power drawn from the wall:

Platinum - 271.7 W
Gold - 277.8 W
Silver - 294.1 W
Bronze - 304.9 W
Basic - 312.5 W

So Basically :

GOLD - Very Energy Efficient
SILVER - Slightly Less than the GOLD
BRONZE - Less Energy Efficient

Find more info here

In a nutshell, anything certified 80plus is better than anything out there with no certification