Platinum Vs Gold Diet – Which One Is Best For You?
The power supply is the lifeblood of any version of PC. It provides and regulates network power to all your hardware parts. Having the right power supply will give you peace of mind knowing that your system will always have enough capacity to operate safely and stably.
When it comes to buying a power supply, the most common question is which one is the best? Power supplies are not created equal and all feature different wattages and efficiency ratings. This guide will help you make the most informed choice as to which PSU is best for you, because the answer isn’t as simple as getting the most expensive model available.
It’s widely accepted that Gold PSUs offer the best value for money, but that might not be the case for you.
What do PSU ratings mean?
A power supply can be rated for one of two things: energy efficiency and maximum power output. These two ratings determine how well a given PSU model will perform in effectively powering your other PC components.
- Energetic efficiency: This means what percentage of the energy or voltage from the wall is usable by the PSU and your PC system. The energy efficiency of the PSU comes in levels of bronze, silver, gold, platinum and titanium.
- Powerful : Wattage is a simple metric that gives you the maximum amount of output power a given PSU can transfer to your components.
In other words, a PSU rated at 80% efficiency will have less total power than a PSU rated at 90% efficiency, provided they both have the same power parameters. So if both PSUs are rated at 500 watts max, the one at 90% might actually draw less power than the 80% to give the same power.
PSU ratings are also related to the quality of their internal components. Higher quality power supplies typically have more quality capacitors, materials, and components that increase their efficiency and longevity. It’s not a topic that’s much discussed, but to achieve the highest efficiency ratings (platinum or titanium), manufacturers can only use the best components available.
Build quality also tends to be better. Yet, in the end, it all comes down to how the specific manufacturer handles their quality control before shipping their product to global markets.
What is a Gold and Platinum power supply?
A gold rated power supply is a power supply designed to operate with at least 87% efficiency under 100% electrical load. Gold power supplies come with a yellow color certification on their sides as well as on the packaging.
A platinum rated power supply is a power supply designed to operate with at least 89% efficiency under 100% electrical load. Platinum power supplies come with a light gray color certification on their sides as well as on the packaging.
Gold and a Platinum-rated power supply are incredible quality PC parts that will give you years of reliability and a stable power supply, improving the longevity of your other hardware parts and preventing overloads and power surges. Compared to power supplies with no rating or white rating, Gold and Platinum power supplies have a head start in quality and performance.
The only consistent difference is that the Platinum PSU is slightly more efficient than a Gold PSU. Please note that while Platinum PSUs are objectively superior in performance, quality and reliability depend on the manufacturer.
You can never tell which parts the manufacturer is using; you can only check user reviews for a given PSU and judge its overall performance and quality in real life.
Benefits of a gold-rated power supply
Here are some of the benefits of a gold-rated power supply:
- Best price/performance ratio: This is the main reason why gold power supplies are most recommended. For the average user, investing in a PSU with a Gold rating means they can future-proof their system, especially with the extra power headroom that a Gold PSU offers through compared to lower odds.
- Increased availability: Gold power packs have a higher market share and hence manufacturers are prioritizing their production. Gold-rated power supplies are much more likely to be in stock at stores and online stores.
- More than enough for most mid-range to high-end PCs: Even if you have the best-in-class GPU, CPU, RAM, motherboard, and other components, a gold-rated PSU is more than enough (given its wattage covers the additional power consumption) to power your system reliably.
- Entry point for fully modular power supplies: At the gold rating, you can expect manufacturers to offer fully modular and customizable power cables and options. Most low-end power supplies don’t allow you to swap different wires and come with just a non-detachable wire harness.
Benefits of a Platinum Rated PSU
Here are some of the benefits of a platinum-rated power supply:
- Best warranty options: Platinum-rated PSUs usually have more extensive warranty options because they also charge a premium for their extra performance.
- Superior efficiency: This is the most obvious benefit of a Platinum PSU. Suppose your system is using more than 500 watts under load. In this case, even a difference of a few percent will result in significantly higher efficiency.
- Generally, more reliable: Platinum PSUs will deliver more consistent power consumption at different levels whether your CPU/GPU is idle or near full load. It will also reduce wear and tear on your hardware components and extend their lifespan.
- Reduces annual electricity bills: Efficiency means less energy consumption for the same amount of energy. This is especially crucial if you run things like GPU mining rigs where electricity bills directly impact your profit margins. Say your PC is running for most of your day or you have a business with multiple PCs. In this case, energy efficiency and energy saving are elements to consider.
- Can work in colder temperatures: Colder temperatures mean less energy is lost as heat and internal components wear out more slowly than usual. It also depends a lot on the overall airflow of your PC case and the temperature of your environment.
- Better cable management: Usually they come with more modularity and cable features. When you pay a premium for a product, you can expect other areas to be upgraded from other lower rated products in the market. Platinum power supplies typically come with more cable configuration options, giving you better cable management capabilities.
- May offer additional features: Those added extras are things like built-in temperature displays, user interface displays for wattage and current draw, proprietary tuning software, and even RGB lighting.
How to calculate the power of your power supply?
Before you even start considering Gold vs Platinum, first determine your system’s maximum power draw at full load. There are plenty of power calculators online where you can enter your PC’s exact components and see how many total watts they require.
Then get a PSU certified as at least 80% efficient and give it at least 20% more power. So if your total power draw is 350, don’t go for a 400 watt PSU; instead, choose at least one that is 450-500.
What is the right diet note for you?
Platinum PSUs are for PC enthusiasts or power-efficient users who will only take high-end hardware components that require additional modularity, functionality, customization, and performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know when my power supply needs to be replaced?
A faulty power supply can mask many common PC errors and symptoms. We have a dedicated article here on troubleshooting and detecting a bad PSU.
Should I avoid any particular power supplies?
Some power supply lots have been known to explode, die, or malfunction. Always seek and check user reviews from mass sellers for stability and reported performance.
Suppose a product has a poor average user rating. In this case, it’s usually best to stay away unless you want to waste time returning and shipping a replacement or waiting for the bank to process a refund dispute.