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Reasons to use a regulator over a resistor1.Low voltage cutoff -> Self resume after voltage 'within tollerance' 2.Efficiency - more efficient for large current setups.3.Harmonics cancellation- I.E. Ripple rejection as mentioned here.4.Not limited to 1/4w and 1/2w - yes you can parallel but you might need banks of them.5. Other custom feature such a thermal cutoff.Reasons to use a resistor over a regulator1. Cost - Resistors are cheap.2. Low load(cost) - Somthing like 20ma 5v as an example3. Complex balanced circuit - by creating a resistor bridge one can measure the draw of things 'nearby'/'linked' in/around the circuit.4. Kustom - Its basically a non IC version of a regulator and costs more too.
Couple of points wrong.
Item 2. Since we are talking linear regulators. How can it be more efficient ? The same energy is dissipated in the two devices. Granted, in some low load, low drop applications, a linear reg can be surprisingly efficient, but the energy dissipated, once again, is the same.
Item 4. Not heard of a power resistor ?
TL:DR. A resistor is not a replacement for a regulator, when the voltage or current in a load must be controlled to a high precision.
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