[hardware question] - how insignificant/significant are voltage step-down transformers?

anyone involved in the hardware side of building/running LLMs?

question - how insignificant/significant are voltage step-down transformers? (i.e. can they easily be sidestepped, or replaced)

A step-down transformer most likely refers to a consumer voltage converter for taking appliances from low 100V-120V voltage mains power countries like the US or Japan to high-voltage 220V-240V countries like the UK.

Many computer power supplies are switch-mode and universal, so the only difference is the cord to plug into the wall socket. Other accessories like powered speakers may require different versions of the product made for different countries, and a transformer can make the imported version compatible.

Some major datacenters run their proprietary racks on low voltage like 12V-24V DC directly, so the power conversion is centralized and not thousands of power supplies waiting to go out in individual servers. That is not a "step down transformer, though.

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