Gold vs Platinum vs Titanium: Gains and Energy Losses

Stepping away from looking at just the Hydro Ti Pro, we also wanted to see how FSP's Titanium-rated power supply compared to the other efficiency tiers of their Hydro PSUs. Altogether, we have the 80Plus Titanium Hydro Ti Pro, the 80Plus Platinum Hydro PTM X Pro, and the 80Plus Gold Hydro G Pro, each boasting a 1000W power output. These units, all from the same OEM and generation, provide an excellent opportunity to compare PSUs with varying efficiency levels.

Starting with efficiency, a key differentiator among these models, the Hydro Ti Pro leads the pack as expected, given its 80Plus Titanium certification. However, the gap in efficiency between the Hydro Ti Pro and the Hydro PTM X Pro (80Plus Platinum) is narrower than one might assume.

The Hydro PTM X Pro, while trailing behind the Hydro Ti Pro, still maintains commendable efficiency levels, significantly outperforming the Hydro G Pro, particularly with a 115 VAC input. The efficiency disparity is most significant at loads below 20%, underlining the importance of considering low-load performance in efficiency evaluations.

From a pragmatic point of view, we can see that the absolute energy losses at 50% load are 16 Watts greater for the 80Plus Gold unit compared to the 80Plus Titanium one. Oversimplifying and assuming that the PSU will operate near or at 50% capacity across its lifetime, it would mean that the 80Plus Titanium unit consumes 0.016 kWh less per hour of use. Depending on how many hours the system is being used per annum and the local price of energy, it is easy to calculate the energy savings and determine whether they are significant or not - for most economies, the monetary savings will be $10 (or less) assuming an 8-hour daily use across the entire year.

Delving into thermal management, an intriguing observation emerges with the Hydro Ti Pro. Despite its high efficiency, it exhibits similar primary heatsink temperatures to the Hydro G Pro at lower loads. This similarity stems from the Hydro Ti Pro's fan, which remains inactive until a 40% load threshold is surpassed. This design choice infers that the Hydro Ti Pro can maintain comparable temperatures to a Gold-certified unit even without active cooling. However, once the fan activates, the Hydro Ti Pro's temperatures align closely with those of the Hydro PTM X Pro.

Guilelessness would instantly lead to the suggestion that the 80Plus Titanium model should be running cooler than the 80Plus Platinum model which, as we can see from the graphs, is not the case. The following graph however is illuminating - noise output presents a stark contrast, especially between the Hydro Ti Pro and the Hydro PTM X Pro. The Hydro Ti Pro is significantly quieter across all load levels, which could be a critical factor for users prioritizing a low-noise environment.

In terms of pricing, there is a notable gradient even in FSP own web store: $330 for the Hydro Ti Pro, $205 for the Hydro PTM X Pro, and $150 for the Hydro G Pro. This pricing reflects the premium placed on higher efficiency ratings, with the Titanium-certified unit costing over twice that of the Gold-certified model.

What builders get in return for the higher price tag is not insignificant. There's higher energy efficiency, of course, but those reduced conversion losses also result in cooler thermal performance, and ultimately, superior noise performance thanks to having to move around less heat. As well (and we'll see on the next page), the Titanium-certified model generally has the best energy regulation performance – though the Gold unit was no slouch in this department, either. So there are definitely operational and build quality benefits to going with a higher-rated power supply, which is what we'd expect to see given the costs and certification requirements.

Still, the data also makes it clear that we're entering the domain of diminishing returns when it comes to building a top-tier Titanium power supply. FSP's Titanium-certified unit exceeds all of their others, but not immensely so. Which means budget builders will likely look no further, though for buyers who can afford to spend a bit more on a power supply, there's plenty to consider here, particularly when it comes to how loud of a PSU you're willing to put up with.

Hot Test Results (~45°C Ambient Temperature) Power Supply Quality & Conclusion
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  • A5 - Wednesday, December 27, 2023 - link

    The Platinum model seems like a real winner based on the SPL graphs - 6dB quieter than the gold at full load and $130 cheaper than the Titanium.
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, January 12, 2024 - link

    I would say this gold unit has no reason to exist and the choice becomes value (platinum) and quiet (titanium).
  • Threska - Wednesday, December 27, 2023 - link

    Crème de la crème would be like the Zalman PSUs with their heat-pipe cooling.
  • Bobsy - Wednesday, December 27, 2023 - link

    Another great review from Fylladitakis! Thank you very much!
  • ballsystemlord - Thursday, December 28, 2023 - link

    I agree. It's great to see them complete the FSP review set.
  • plonk420 - Sunday, January 7, 2024 - link

    seconded @ review appreciation! really loving his PSU content with the absence of JonnyGuru 💚 and i actually saw something from the Hydro Ti/PTM line while i was bounced briefly to the Inbound side of my Amazon warehouse
  • skaurus - Wednesday, December 27, 2023 - link

    I'd bet parts of this article were written with help from some LLM tool, probably ChatGPT. For some reason I don't like that
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, December 27, 2023 - link

    You'd lose that bet, then.

    Let's get things straight here: it's the LLMs that are copying us. We don't need to copy LLMs when we were doing this first.
  • skaurus - Thursday, December 28, 2023 - link

    That's reassuring to hear!
  • ballsystemlord - Thursday, December 28, 2023 - link

    Having read so many of AT-s reviews over the years I can indeed reaffirm that this is a human written article.

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