Enermax Revolution 85+ 1050W Power Supply Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     July 15, 2009

What is the 80Plus Program and Does it Matter?

The Enermax Revolution 1050W has an 80Plus Silver rating.

If you have been out of the power supply scene for the last year, you would be forgiven for not knowing what 80 Plus refers to or how it can affect your buying decisions when it comes to power supplies. The official designation has only been around in the industry since 2007 as part of the Energy Star initiative but it has since become extremely popular.

Before we go on, letís give a quick, simple rundown about efficiency and what it means to you.

Efficiency numbers are based on the power loss that occurs when a power supply transforms the AC input power it draws from your household outlet into DC power. This DC power (12V, 3.3V etc.) is used by your components but the transformation process naturally causes some power loss. Higher quality power supply components will decrease this loss but only to a certain extent.

To put this into simple terms, a power supply which looses 30% of the input power through conversion has an efficiency of 70% and a power supply that looses only 15% has an efficiency of 85%. If we refine this down to the actual wattage consumption, if a system demands 600W of a power supply that has an efficiency of 80%, it will draw 720W from the mains. Indeed, you can begin to see how a mere 10% bump in efficiency can have a huge impact on the overall consumption of your system as well as your electricity bills.

In its most basic guise, the 80 Plus program provides manufacturers a way of certifying their power supplies for use above 80% efficiency. However, it isnít the last word in efficiency measuring since manufacturers arenít required to submit their power supplies to 80 Plus for certification. As such, there are plenty of power supplies on the market that exhibit amazing efficiency numbers but are not 80 Plus certified. It should also be noted that the 80 Plus certification does not guarantee you a quality power supply since it is possible that a highly efficient power supply could fall flat in other areas.

There are three certifications which are handed out by the 80 Plus organization for desktop power supplies. All of these certifications refer to the efficiency achieved by the power supply at 20%, 50% and 100% of its rated load.

At least 80% efficiency @ all stated loads & a PFC of .90 at 100% load

At least 82% @ 20% and 100% loads, at least 85% @ 50% load & a PFC of .90 at 50% load

At least 85% @ 20% and 100% loads, at least 88% @ 50% load & a PFC of .90 at 50% load

At least 87% @ 20% and 100% loads, at least 90% @ 50% load & a PFC of .90 at 50% load

So what does the 80 Plus designation really mean to you? More and more consumers these days are looking for ways to save money while being environmentally conscious and normally this is a tall order of business. The 80 Plus certification allows people to quickly glance at the specifications of a power supply to easily determine what kind of pre-tested efficiency values that particular unit has. In this way they can know which products will be healthier for their electricity bill and the environment.

Without a doubt, this certification provides a great quick-reference point for the masses but as we already stated, it is not a requirement for manufacturers to have their PSU 80 Plus certified. This means that there are plenty of efficient units out there without the little 80 Plus sticker so make sure you do your research before making a decision on which power supply is right for you.

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