For a long time now, many of us have bought power supplies based on the 80Plus certification standard, which rates PSUs on a bronze, silver, gold and platinum scale based on efficiency. Cybenetics thinks it can do things a little better, which is why it has formed a new efficiency and noise certification standard for PSUs, aiming for greater accuracy in testing while also providing consumers with information on PSU noise in addition to efficiency.
The Cybenetics test procedure has been in the works for years now, putting together years of experience in power supply testing to increase accuracy and reliability. The lab is equipped with ‘state of the art’ equipment, which is used to test load combinations using a custom application to account for efficiency results across thousands of different load combinations. This is a step above the current standard, which tests four common load points to rate overall efficiency.
This new proprietary process should allow for a more accurate overall efficiency rating, taking into account things like power factor, vampire power and +5VSB rail efficiency. All tested PSUs must be compliant with the ErP Lot 6 2010/2013 and ErP lot 3 2014 directives and also meet all requirements mentioned in the (EU) No 617/2013 regulation:
(a) 85% efficiency at 50% of rated output power;
(b) 82% efficiency at 20% and 100% of rated output power;
(c) Power Factor = 0.9 at 100% of rated output power.
Aside from efficiency testing, Cybenetics also wants to provide noise certifications. This is known as the ‘LAMBDA’ certification and is tested by using a sophisticated monitoring program to check noise readings throughout a PSUs entire operational range. Those readings are the converted in to sound pressure levels, averaged out and converted back to the decibel reading we are all used to seeing. This noise certification will eventually expand to other areas of PC hardware too.
The PSU efficiency rating is currently known as ‘ETA’ and has five levels: A+, A, B, C and D. LAMBDA noise certification on the other hand consists of seven levels: A++, A+, A, B, C, D, and E. Manufacturers can choose to either display their basic level badge, or a more comprehensive bade that shows exact efficiency and noise ratings.
KitGuru Says: Cybenetics’ new certification certainly sounds interesting and it would be nice to finally have a comprehensive noise level test for hardware before they hit the market. Perhaps over time we will see ETA certification become as recognised as 80Plus in the PSU space.