Those who have ever bought a PC PSU know about the 80+ rating system. Every PSU worth checking out gets an 80+ (80 Plus) rating, but what if this system has significant flaws? Cybenetics plans to introduce a new rating as its ETA (energy efficiency) and LAMBDA (power supply noise) standards will encourage manufacturers to create better power supplies.
While the 80+ standard has prompted manufacturers to create more efficient PSUs, in recent years companies have begun to trick themselves into achieving higher levels of efficiency under certain workloads. By adjusting their PSUs for certification tests, manufacturers can achieve higher efficiencies than in actual operation, which is why Cybenetics believes changes are needed.
Instead of testing 3 or 4 given loads as the 80+ standard suggests, Cybenetics ETA requires power supplies to be tested across the full power range. With over 1,450 individual load combinations, Cybenetics can provide an overall performance rating using the average of all measurements. This alone will not allow manufacturers to “cheat the system”.
Cybenetics has adjusted its PSU performance rating system to match the 80+ system naming scheme, suggesting performance levels in the same “metal” principle. Cybenetics Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium standards are similar to the 80+ standards of the same name, but taking into account additional parameters in addition to the efficiency itself: voltage fluctuations, noise, temperature, power factor, 5 V standby line efficiency and standby power consumption. The last three parameters are not taken into account at all in the 80+ standard.
No one needs a power supply that sounds like a hair dryer at rated power. Today’s PC owners want quiet systems, and Cybenetics’ lambda rating is designed to tell users how noisy the PSU they are purchasing should be. With this rating system, consumers will be able to know which PSUs are louder and which are quieter under load. This will encourage power supply manufacturers to reduce noise levels.
With the new standards, Cybenetics wants to incentivize PSU manufacturers to build higher quality PSUs and stop building solutions that exploit weaknesses in the current 80+ certification process. Over time, Cybenetics standards can replace today’s 80+ ratings, setting a higher minimum bar for quality and performance for future PSUs.
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