Currently and although it has been shown to be more of a marketing strategy than anything else, the effectiveness of power supplies is measured with the 80 Plus certification, which is used to categorize them into different levels (i.e. is 80 Plus, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium for now) depending on their effectiveness. In any case, as we said, the highest category in this regard places the sources with more than 94% efficiency, but not more.
Will we see 100% efficient power supplies?
A power supply serves, as an ultimate goal, to give the components of the PC the electricity they need to function. However, there is a lot more going on inside to make it happen: we have input filters to eliminate electrical noise, we have voltage regulators, AC-DC converters, voltage converters to add values from 5V to the initial 12V. and 3.3V that the PC needs to operate, and much more.
Each component passed through by electricity performs its own process, and in each of the existing connections (of which there are many, both in welding and other types) there is a change in material, wiring section or density. This necessarily involves losses, usually in the form of heat, and for this reason most sources on the market need a fan to keep internal components at a good temperature.
Even assuming all of the source’s internal connections were perfect and all of its internal components were leak-free and 100% efficient, we still had to add the wiring. We plug the PC into the wall socket with a Schuko connector, then the cables that we connect inside the PC can be soldered on normal sources, or with MOLEX type connectors with more or less pins, but connectors. In these, there is also a certain loss of efficiency due to what we have explained previously: changes in matter, densities, etc.
Ultimately, this all means that with current technology it is literally impossible to achieve 100% efficiency in a power supply, and already reaching values above 94% as occurs in the 80 Plus Titanium sources is an incredible achievement when you take into account the number of different components that the electricity passes inside since we take it from the socket until it reaches the components.
The technology will continue to advance and the situation could arise that they would invent a voltage converter capable of converting AC current that reaches 220V directly to the three rails + 12V, + 5V and + 3.3V on which it operates. the PC, but really to achieve 100% efficiency, it would absolutely have to be that all the circuits are integrated so that nothing is wasted in the connections, and with everything and with that, it is very likely that part of the energy has been wasted as heat due to fluctuations.
It is likely that the power supplies will continue to increase their efficiency in the future and will eventually have to obtain a certification above the 80 Plus Titanium, but that moment is still far away and of course we will not be able to achieve 100% Efficiency.