Jun 27, 2022
The power supply is one of the least glamorous yet critical PC components. Of course, PCs require power to function, and electricity isn't delivered to every component in the PC's casing straight from the wall. Direct current (DC) is utilized instead of alternating current (AC) to get the needed voltage from the power company to the PC components.
To run your computer, you'll need a high-quality power supply. One of the many difficulties that might arise from a power source that does not deliver dependable or clean power is a dangerous operation that is difficult to pinpoint.
Choosing a power supply might be daunting, but determining one of the most crucial elements is surprisingly easy. This is true for all PC components. The amount of power you need doesn't need you to go through benchmarks or evaluations. The best way to figure out how much power you need is to use a power supply calculator like Newegg's. Each category has a drop-down menu from which you can choose your components.
You may, of course, wish to run various scenarios to ensure you can meet your long-term financial obligations. There's no difference in power consumption between an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU and an 8GB RAM. A 700-watt PSU is required if you want to update your graphics card in the future.
This is where things start to get interesting, I think. Don't only prepare for today's demands; think about what adjustments you might want to implement in the future. When purchasing a pre-built PC, you'll want to know what power supply it utilizes to make sure it can handle any additional components you might want to install or that it's straightforward enough to replace if necessary.
Some power supply manufacturers include built-in safeguards to protect your equipment from power-related concerns. These safeguards may increase the expense of a power source, but they can also provide an additional piece of mind. High output voltages can harm computer components connected to the power supply. Therefore this safeguard is essential.
A power supply's wattage is only one of several metrics that may be used to evaluate its performance. An efficiency rating may also be found, which measures how much DC power it transfers and what is wasted mostly through heat. Efficiency is critical since it directly impacts the amount of money you'll have to spend on maintaining your PC.
Consider a PC that consumes 300 watts of electricity as an illustration. Using an 85 percent efficient power supply, your PC will consume 353 watts of electricity from your utility provider. On the other hand, a power supply that is just 70% efficient will use 428 watts from the wall.
Several 80 PLUS-certified power supplies are on the market when you're looking for one. To ensure that their power supply fulfills particular efficiency standards, manufacturers may rely on the 80 Plus certification scheme. Independent labs grade power supplies to give the following efficiency ratings for consumer 115-volt power systems: 80 PLUS Basic, 80 PLUS Silver, 80 PLUS Gold, 80 PLUS Titanium, and 80 PLUS Platinum. At Newegg, you have the option of narrowing your search for a power supply by 80 PLUS certification level.
It's not just the wattage that tells you whether or not a power supply can handle all of your components; there are other indicators as well. If you have a CPU or PCIe video card that takes a lot of juice from a +12V rail, you need to pay attention to these rails since they supply power to the most demanding components.
Once you've decided on a form factor, you'll need to ensure it's compatible with your case. Because of this, there are established standards for power supply, just like there are for cases and motherboards. The following general overview describes the most common types of power supply units.
A power supply is useless if it can't connect to and power all your PC's components. That necessitates the presence of all the necessary connectors. The primary power connection for the motherboard should be considered first. The 20-pin and 24-pin versions of this connection are available. These are becoming more and more common, so your power supply may provide both. Take a moment to double-check. There are 4-pin and 8-pin variations of the CPU power connection.
Choosing a power supply is a big deal when building a new PC since there are a lot of factors to consider. Spending only a few minutes to ensure your PC's power supply is dependable, consistent, and safe will save you a lot of time in the long run and make your PC a more efficient and better computer.