Friday, September 28, 2007

Pick a New Power Supply Unit

Pick a New Power Supply Unit to save Electricity

Power-supply units (PSUs) have not traditionally been power savers. According to a 2006 white paper by two Google data-center designers, redesigning industry-standard PSUs could yield potentially huge energy savings. For instance, the white paper says that installing redesigned power supplies in 100 million desktop PCs that run eight hours a day would save 40 billion kilowatt-hours over three years. That's more than $5 billion at California's energy rates.

While Google's efficiency effort is theoretical, an initiative launched by utility companies and energy-efficiency organizations has resulted in real-world energy-saving PSUs. The voluntary certification program, known as the 80 Plus program, aims to make power supplies at least 80 percent energy-efficient. And because these energy-efficient PSUs aren't overindulging on heat-generating energy, they can also eliminate the need for a fan, resulting in a quieter, more-reliable PC. Approximately 70 designs from almost 20 manufacturers now bear the 80 Plus label. A typical 80 Plus-certified option is the EarthWatts PSU from Antec, which is available in three models: 380-watt, 430-watt, and 500-watt. It features a universal input (which accepts line voltages from 100 to 240 volts AC), Serial ATA and PCI Express power connectors, and compliance with the ATX 12V standard. The built-in 80mm cooling fan is rated for low-noise operation.