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The choice of the most suitable control strategy for wave energy converters (WECs) is often evaluated with reference to the sinusoidal assumption for incident waves. Under this hypothesis, linear techniques for the control of the extracted power, as passive loading and optimum control, are well known and widely analyzed. It can be shown, however, how their performances are fundamentally different when irregular waves are considered and the theoretical superiority of optimum control is questionable under real wave conditions. Moreover, the global optimization of WECs implies a rational design of the power electronics equipment. This requires the analysis of the instantaneous extracted power in addition to the average one. In this paper, the impact of irregular waves on the power extraction when using different control techniques is analyzed in the case of a point absorber in heave. It is also shown how a convenient tradeoff between high average power extraction and limited power electronics overrating can be obtained by applying simple power saturation techniques. Moreover, the impact of power conversion efficiency on the control strategy is analyzed.