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How a quasi-monopoly will increase the power supply prices in 2021 – Useless certificates for untested power supplies included | Investigative

Who doesn’t know the great 80-Plus logo on most power supplies? This label suggests a certain efficiency and contributes not insignificantly to image building. 80 Plus Platinum? This just has to be good! Or maybe not so really? A document that I received today shows how the money printing machine 80 Plus is ticking in such a way, i will tell you, that most of the power supplies manufactured and certified by the OEM are actually untested deceptive packages and how high the costs are if you want to use such a coveted label for marketing at all.

Alternatives? Existing, but the industry simply has to rethink its approach and not simply pass on the additional costs to the customer over and over again, just because the marketing department thinks the coloured labels are so hip. You actually pay a lot of money for nothing real, Sony’s Hi-Res Audio label sends its affectionate greetings. We have to separate two things, the real manufacturers or OEMs and the brands, buying  platform-based products from the OEMs, have them modified a bit and then selling them under their own company name (“re-branding”).

The costs for the first registration as a company, no matter whether as a real manufacturer or only as a brand with OEM goods, is almost harmless with 5,000 USD. A “real” manufacturer has it relatively easy afterwards, even if the certification costs have also risen immensely here. Companies such as CWT (Channel Well) manufacture the final products for brands such as Deepcool or Corsair and others, which are first of all based on an OEM-own platform that is certified as OEM. For this purpose, these manufacturers also send in one time two test samples, which are then tested by 80 Plus accordingly.  The prices are now an outrageous 6,000 USD instead of 2,000 USD, so they rise to 300% !

But now the brands that buy from the OEMs come into play. For each individual power supply model, after payment of the one-time registration fee of 5,000 USD as future licensee, a sum of 3,500 USD (formerly only 1,000 USD) must be paid (350%). For example, does a company like Deepcool 550, 650, 750, 850, 1000 and 1200 watts models of a power supply series are certified for e.g. 80 Plus Gold, then from January onwards $21,000 USD will be due in one fell swoop (or $26,000 USD for a new licensee), without a single power supply having been sold at all up to this point.

Moreover, the OEM customer only uses the platform’s label for his own, usually still individualised, product (‘re-brand’). However, these certified models will NOT be tested again with all modifications made, but will receive the label quasi for the genes of the already tested OEM platform. This means that other components or cables can be installed later on, which can significantly reduce efficiency, but are also much cheaper. Whether or not the OEM product purchased and relabelled meets the standard at all is no longer relevant and 80 Plus is of no interest. The main thing is that the fees are transferred punctually and in advance.

Here I have listed the document that I received as a copy, which proves the price increases and one can only be astonished about the fees.

Let us now turn to the alternatives. Sure, the 80 Plus label is well-known and automatically implies a certain quality of a purchased product. But we have learned that this impression is completely wrong when modified and “re-branded” power supplies from an OEM appear on the market that have never been tested for the advertised features. In contrast, there are projects and companies such as Cybenetics, who offer much better and more practical certificates at much better conditions, from efficiency to noise emission and who completely reject this kind of untested re-branding.

This is exactly where companies and customers should become active, because apart from the already tense delivery situation, this tripling of the licensing fees will certainly be passed on to the end customer. Then what is currently already scarce and expensive will become even more expensive. And nobody can really be interested in that, except of course 80 Plus. Nothing against market economy, but this monopoly should finally be abolished. Transparency down and costs up? No, thanks!

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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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