80 PLUS Gold PSUs are worth it if your system’s power requirement is high and you want to cut down on your electricity bill.
But for systems with modest power requirements, it might be an overkill. The energy savings may not justify the higher upfront cost of the PSU.
Having said that, the superior build quality and warranties do make them a better option for future-proofing though.
Gold Power Supplies Reduce Electricity Bills
Gold-rated power supplies offer an impressive 90% efficiency at 50% load and 87% efficiency at 20% and 100% load.
This helps them minimize power wastage drastically compared to lower-grade counterparts like Bronze and Silver.
|Monthly expenses (on 12 hours daily usage)
|*electricity rate is $0.30 kW/h
As you can see, the Gold PSU wastes only 55 watts as heat while the Bronze one wastes 88 watts.
The minimal power wastage not only reduces heat generation but is also better for the environment. On top of that, it’ll cut down your long-term expenses.
In the example above, you’ll save around $50 in a year with an 80 PLUS Gold PSU. This can easily outweigh its initial spending.
So Gold PSUs are generally preferred if:
- Your system’s power demand is high.
- You use your PC for extended hours.
- You own mining rigs or a server farm.
- The per-unit electricity cost is high too.
Extended Warranties and Better Customer Support
People often deny this fact, but manufacturers do integrate high-quality electronic components in Gold power supplies compared to Silver or Bronze.
Otherwise, the 90% efficiency wouldn’t have been possible.
Gold PSUs also come with an extended warranty period and better exchange/refund policies.
Although it depends on the PSU brand, you are more likely to get better customer support if anything goes wrong.
Essentially, go for Gold if you want to build a fail-safe system with some future-proofing.
When Are Gold PSUs Overkill
The 80 PLUS Gold PSU may not be worthwhile if you are just into normal computing.
In such cases, the power consumption is not high enough to make a significant difference in your electricity bill.
It’ll probably take you ages before the energy savings can compensate for the upfront cost of the PSU.
You could invest the money in other components instead of paying extra for higher efficiency.
Should You Get A Gold PSU?
Gold-rated PSUs are costlier because of two things—a few years of extra warranty and a slightly higher power supply efficiency.
Regarding the build quality, the Gold-rated PSUs are certainly the better ones. But higher efficiency does not always mean higher quality.
There are a lot of Bronze and Silver PSUs that can outperform the Gold too.
So, as long as your power supply has 80 PLUS certification and is from a trustworthy brand, there should not be an issue. If you think the Gold ones create value, just go for it. The choice is all yours.