Do you know your Computer power supply unit details? What is ENERGY STAR® compliant?

Do you know your Computer power supply unit details?  What is ENERGY STAR® compliant?


PC power supply unit (PSU) is the device that converts the input AC voltage to the DC voltages needed by the personal computer. Since the introduction of IBM PC there have been about a dozen of different PC standards (such as AT, Baby AT, LPX, ATX, SFX, PS3, WTX, TFX, LFX, CFX, EPS) that differ by their form factors, connectors and voltage/current ratings. Output rating of a typical modern DC power supply for a personal computer is ranging anywhere from 240 W to kilowatt. PSU over 600W are used mainly for Extreme Gaming & Media Entertainment PC, SLI support, servers or industrial PCs.

Today's typical desktop PC PSU produces the following DC outputs: +5V, +3.3V, +12V1, +12V2, -12V and standby 5V. Additional "point of load" DC-DC converters step down 12V to the CPU core voltage and other low voltages needed for motherboard components. To support 75 watt PCI Express requirements in the current systems the 2 x 10 main power connector has been replaced by a 2 x 12 connector. The 2 x 2 power connector is added for the second 12V rail that supports the processor.

Power supplies for computers utilize switching mode technology. Most of today's models are ENERGY STAR® compliant, which basically means they consume <10% of rated power in standby mode. However the efficiency of a typical cheap desktop PSU in active mode used to be 65-70%. Recently introduced an electric utility-funded incentive program called 80 PLUS® requires computer and server power supplies to demonstrate efficiency >80% at 20% to 100% of rated load and Power Factor >0.9 at rated load. The updated ENERGY STAR Computer Specification also requires the above efficiency levels for internal PSU.


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