It seems incredible, but there are some power supplies on the market carrying fake 80 Plus badges. Because we review lots of power supplies, we were already able to spot a few power supplies with fake 80 Plus claims, all confirmed with our friends at Ecos Consulting (the company behind the 80 Plus certification).
So now you should not only check whether a power supply has an 80 Plus certification, but also verify if it is legit! You can check whether an 80 Plus certification is legit by seeing if a power supply is listed at the 80 Plus website.
The good news is that, thanks to this article, manufacturers removed the fake 80 Plus claims we exposed or really got their units certified, as you can see in the third page of this article. However, there are still a few power supplies on the market with fake 80 Plus claims, as we are exposing in the next page.
There are three reasons a company ends up giving a fake 80 Plus certification to their products.
As you may already know, most brands do not manufacture their own power supplies. They buy from a different company (called an OEM, Original Equipment Manufacturer). The agreement between the two companies can be done in several different ways. The most expensive way is to hire the OEM to manufacture an exclusive product, a power supply model that no other brand will have access to. The most inexpensive way is to get a stock power supply from the OEM and simply add a different label and box, and this power supply may be sold to other companies as well (and we end up with two or more identical power supplies being sold by different companies). Companies can also hire an OEM to make a power supply to be exclusive only for a certain period of time, say six months. So in the first six months, only that company will have access to the power supply model being negotiated, and after this period expires, the OEM can start offering it to other companies as well.
Usually, the OEM gets 80 Plus certification for their power supplies, and the company that will market the product using their own brand wrongly assumes that they can use the 80 Plus certification that the power supply already has. However, this cannot be done. Once a power supply is rebranded, it must go through the 80 Plus certification process to ensure that the rebranded unit can also pass the 80 Plus tests.
The second most common way for a manufacturer to end up with a fake 80 Plus badge is by adding the 80 Plus badge on its power supply box, label, and webpage before sending it to be tested. The company does internal tests, sees that the power supply will pass a given 80 Plus certification, and adds the 80 Plus badge on the power supply and on their website. The power supply eventually gets the certification, but there is a period of time when the product carries an unauthorized 80 Plus badge.
And the third most common reason a power supply carries a fake 80 Plus badge is by straight-face lying.
In the following pages, we will show you some examples of power supplies with fake 80 Plus badges and claims.