0PSU LogoThe perfect HTPC power supply 2020?

I recently got a new GPU for my HTPC which required a replace­ment power sup­ply as the old one was­n’t suit­able for power­ing a GPU with an 8 pin PCIe power cable. The HTPC is in use for an aver­age of around 6 hours per day and with elec­tri­city at 15p/kWh any reduc­tion in power at the wall works out at 33p a year per Watt. This isn’t a big sav­ing, but if con­sump­tion is reduced by sev­er­al watts the sav­ing can add up.


Reg­u­lar “80 plus” (aka 80 plus white) PSUs are typ­ic­ally avail­able for around £30 with the cheapest 80 plus gold PSUs start­ing at £50. Whilst the choice to go with a gold rated PSU isn’t exclus­ively fin­an­cial, the poten­tial sav­ing is worth con­sid­er­ing. It is also worth con­sid­er­ing that a gold PSU that is less waste­ful will gen­er­ate less heat which will mean less fan noise is needed which is also import­ant in a HTPC. There are high­er rat­ings avail­able (Titani­um and Plat­in­um) but those products are pro­hib­it­ively expens­ive, and also don’t tend to be avail­able on lower power units. A typ­ic­al HTPC does­n’t need any­thing like 800W+ and as the 80 plus rat­ings only allow lower effi­ciency at the extremes of the oper­at­ing range an 80plus plat­in­um 800W unit at 100W draw may actu­ally be less effi­cient than a 400W gold unit.

Assum­ing an aver­age power con­sump­tion of around 120W and a 400W power sup­ply at 230V a gold rated unit would have to achieve at least 90% effi­ciency, where­as an 80plus white unit would have to achieve 82%. At these val­ues the white-rated unit will con­sume just over 146W at the wall, whilst the gold unit will con­sume just over 133W, a sav­ing of 13W, or £4 per year. At this rate the gold-rated unit will pay for itself with­in 5 years. It will also pay for itself faster if the PC is used more often, or the PC pulls more power, or if elec­tri­city prices go up. Any PSU with a 5 year war­ranty would appear to be a good invest­ment on fin­an­cial grounds alone, and even more so when lower noise is taken into account.

In terms of find­ing a reas­on­ably price gold-rated unit, in the past I bought a 300W “HuntKey Jump­er” but this is no longer avail­able. Sev­er­al retail­ers do have the Season­ic 350w GT on sale for around £50. Whilst the spe­cific­a­tions don’t men­tion it the pic­tures clearly show a 6+2 pin PCIe power con­nect­or as well as a 4+4 pin CPU power con­nect­or which make it suit­able for all cur­rent hard­ware.

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