Frequently Asked Questions
80 PLUS® Certification Explained
80 PLUS® is a voluntary certification organization intended to promote efficient energy usage in computer power supplies. Initiated in 2004 by Ecos Consulting, it has since earned its place as one of the major standards for power supply efficiency.
Before we begin to explain what those 80 PLUS® badges mean, we need to take a look at what efficiency means for a power supply. The efficiency of a computer power supply is its output power divided by its input power; the rest of the input power is lost as heat. Let’s take a simplified case for example, if your computer system requires 450 W, but pulls 500 W from the power main, then the Power Supply efficiency is 450 W / 500 W, or 90 % efficient.
The 80PLUS organization certifies Power Supplies Units according to their energy consumption. For example, when a Power Supply is certified as 80PLUS Gold, it entails that at the Unit is 87 %, 90 %, and 87 % efficient at 20 %, 50 %, and 100 % load.
Here is a full list of the current 80PLUS categories:
How much power do I need to operate my build?
Generally, the higher the number of components in your computer system, the more power you will need to power these components. Additionally, a higher performance component tends to require more power. Since graphics cards usually use a large percentage of your system’s overall power consumption, a good rule of thumb is to use the manufacturer’s recommendation found in the documentation of your graphics card to select which power supply to use in your build. If your system has multiple processors or several hard drives in a RAID array, you should also consider these added power requirements when selecting your power supply. If you are still unsure which choice to take, there are several online resources on the internet that you can use to make your calculations.
There is another factor that you might want to consider when selecting the power supply you would like to use, and that is its efficiency at continuous load. The components that consume the most power are the graphics cards and the CPU, so you should look up how much power these components would use. Usually, power supplies operate at their best efficiency at around 50 % of their labelled load. Because of this and to save on energy costs, some recommend aiming for this most efficient range by buying a power supply that has double the power rating that you are actually going to need for its continuous operation. This selection method will ensure long-term stability and will provide you with the option to expand or upgrade your system in the future by leaving a buffer zone for extra power.
What are the different connectors used for?
ATX Main Power Cable (24/20 Pins)
Important! Always consult your motherboard’s installation manual to locate all of its power connectors. Some motherboards may require multiple power cables.
The main 24-pin cable has a detachable 4-pin section that makes the connector usable for both 20-pin and 24-pin motherboards. By unclipping the last four pins, the cable can directly be connected to a 20-pin motherboard socket.
Warning! The detached 4-pin part of the 24-pin main connector should not to be used as a separate Peripheral 4-pin or an EPS/ATX +12 V connector.
EPS 12 V / ATX 12 V Cable (8/4 Pins)
If your motherboard has an 8-pin socket, connect the 8-pin cable directly to it. If your motherboard has a 4-pin socket, separate the 8-pin cable into two 4-pin connectors and connect one of them directly to your motherboard.
PCI-E Cable (8/6 Pins)
The 6+2-pin PCI-Express connector can be used for both 6-pin and 8-pin video cards. The most powerful video cards may use two PCI-Express power cables. If a high power consumption graphics card (above 225 watts) has two PCI-E slots, please use two separate PCI-E cables and only one of the connectors on each of these cables.
SATA Cable (15 Pins)
It connects the power to most types of SATA hard disk or optical drives.
Peripheral Cable (4 Pins)
Sometimes referred to as Molex connector, this cable is used to connect peripherals, such as hard disk drives, CD/DVD drives, ventilation fans, video cards, etc.
FDD Cable (4 Pins)
This connector is mostly used for connecting floppy disk drives or some high power video cards.
Do I need to connect both plugs on the Motherboard to the power supply?
In short – yes!
Where can I find information about cable lengths and connectors?
The product pages of the Cyonic website contain extended information on the cables and connectors. On the summary page of each specific model cable data can be displayed by clicking on the “Cables” tab. For an overview of our entire product line, please check here.
Why is there a pin missing on my 24-pin connector?
In the old days, this empty pin on your 24-pin connector used to be the place for a -5 V wire. This rail, however, has long been removed from the ATX specification requirements and therefore most power supply manufacturers leave this pin empty.
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My Machine doesn’t start up when I switch on the power button; is the power supply faulty?
To quickly check if your power supply works you can use a simple paper clip test. Disconnect everything from your power supply except for one single fan that you connect directly to one of the Molex connectors. Then, get a paper clip, small wire or other suitable object and short the green pin and a black pin on the 24-pin connector on the power supply. No worries of electric shock there; the voltage present at the connector is a very low, so called ‘signaling voltage’. If your power supply is functional, its fan should start spinning along with the fan you have connected to it. If this is not the case, your power supply may not be receiving the power on signal from your motherboard and you should also consider other causes of the problem you’re having.
My power supply doesn’t turn on
ATX power supplies turn on from a signal loop provided by the motherboard, as opposed to the older AT power supplies that get turned on by a mechanical switch. Regardless of the position of the ON/OFF switch on the power supply itself, the +3.3 V, +5 V, +12 V, -5 V and -12 V of the unit will not be live until the unit is “told” to turn on by the motherboard. The fans in the power supply will not spin and only the +5 VSB (typically a purple wire) will be live if the power supply is plugged in and in the “ON” position.
Power supply problems can sometimes be mistaken for problems with other system components, therefore it is important to rule out other possibilities before declaring that the power supply is faulty. Before contacting our customer support, please make sure you have checked if all components have been installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and all the cables have been correctly connected.
The power supply fan doesn’t work
In order to understand why the power supply fan might not be working at all times, it is important to understand the characteristics of the built-in fan control. Cyonic power supplies offer a unique fan control system, called Hybrid Silent Fan Control, which is part of the reason that these units are so quiet. The 120 mm cooling fan is enabled with three modes of operation. These modes are automated by the internal fan control circuitry and optimize both the thermal performance and fan lifespan, while minimizing audible noise.
Hybrid Silent Fan Control offers three different modes of operation; Fanless Mode, Quiet Mode, and Cooling Mode. Each of the three modes is optimized to provide the most intelligent level of fan performance for any given load.
Fanless Mode means just that; the fan blades are completely stationary. There is no audible power supply noise in Fanless Mode, which is active when the power supply output is below 20 % of the rated DC output load. This completely silent mode is feasible due to the extremely high efficiency rate of these power supplies.
Quiet Mode runs the cooling fan at very low RPM, which results in extremely low level audible noise. The noise level is <16 dBA, and is active when power supply output is between 20 % and 50 % of the rated DC output load.
In Cooling Mode, the fan speed and the associated airflow is adjusted to optimize thermal performance. This mode is based upon DC loading and ambient temperature conditions, resulting in the most effective and accurate cooling performance under heavier loading. Cooling Mode is active when the power supply output is above 50 % of the rated DC output load.
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Power Supply Installation Guide
Too much text to read? – Download our illustrated quick installation guide here!
- Do not connect your power supply’s AC power cable before installation.
- Follow the directions in your case manual and install the power supply with the original four screws provided in the power supply packaging box. Tighten the screws firmly but do not use excessive force.
- Continue by attaching the cables. When the power supply cables are cold and rigid, bending them into position may be difficult. Please use a warm air source, such as a hair dryer and carefully warm up the DC cables so they become more pliable.
- Connect the 24/20-pin (variable) power cable to the motherboard.
- If your motherboard has a 24-pin socket, you may connect the 24-pin mains power cable from the power supply directly to your motherboard.
- If your motherboard has a 20-pin socket, you need to detach the four-pin cable from the 24-pin connector, and then plug the 20-pin connector into your motherboard. The remaining 4-pin connector should not be used as a separate 4-pin peripheral connector.
- Connect the + 12 V (8/4 pin) connector to the motherboard.
- If your MB has an 8-pin socket, connect the 8 Pin cable directly to your motherboard.
- If your MB has a 4-pin socket, separate the 8 Pin cable into two parts and connect one of the 4-pin connectors directly to your motherboard.
- Connect the peripheral cables, PCI-Express cables, and SATA cables.
- Connect the peripherals cables to your hard drive and CD-ROM / DVD-ROM power sockets.
- Connect the SATA cables to your SATA SSD or optical hard drive’s power sockets.
- Connect the PCI-Express cables to the power sockets of your PCI-Express video cards if required.
- Connect the 4-pin peripheral cables to any components requiring a small 4-pin connector.
- Make sure all the cables are securely connected. Be sure to save any unused modular cables for future component additions.
Congratulations on completing the installation of your new Cyonic power supply! Your system is ready to go!
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