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How To Choose The Proper PC Power Supply?

Are you going to purchase a PC power supply soon, but you don’t know what criteria to consider for such a purchase? In this article, you will know the elements to consider before choosing! So you will surely get the most suitable power supply for your computer!

What Is The Role Of A PC Power Supply?

The primary role of the PC power supply, also called the “Power Supply Unit” (PSU), is to provide direct current to all the components and various elements of the CPU (Central Unit) of a computer. A PC is like a car without an engine without a power supply. It simply cannot work! Despite its importance, it is a component often underestimated when setting up a configuration for multimedia or office use.

Criteria For Choosing A PC Power Supply

Power In Watt

Before purchasing a PC power supply, you must first determine its power. To do this, you must check the energy your machine requires when running at full speed. The power supply must be able to deliver the current your PC needs when it is at its maximum load. Remember to take into account the maximum consumption of computer components. You should know that the graphics card and the processor are the elements that consume the most energy. There are also other components, such as fans, but their consumption is lower.

Make sure the power supply can exceed the power required by your machine by at least 100 W. Be aware that there are online calculators that help you know precisely how much energy your machine needs. So, don’t hesitate to use it! Note that an underpowered computer will not be able to function optimally or even not function at all.  

  1. For a PC mainly used for office automation or internet browsing (i.e., essential use), a power supply between 300 W and 500 W will do the trick.
  2. If you are a video game enthusiast, it is recommended to have a power supply with a power ranging between 500 W and 700 W
  3. For machines integrating a state-of-the-art graphics card, it is wise to take a power supply of 700 W to 1000 W.

Energy Efficiency Certifications

Another criterion not to be overlooked when choosing a PC power supply concerns energy efficiency certifications. To this end, it is wise to focus on a power supply that ensures energy efficiency exceeding 80%. So check that the brand offers 80 Plus certification. This way, you can save energy.

Which Format Should You Choose?

The PC power supply has three main formats: ATX, TFX, and SFX. The ATX format has a length of 150 mm and a height of 86 mm. For the second format, the dimensions are L146 mm x W83 mm x H64 mm. And for the last one we have the dimensions: L125 x W63.5 x H100 mm. Note that the ATX format is the most widespread among the three formats. This is mainly due to its compatibility with most desktop computers. SFX formats are for mini PCs!

Ventilation

When we talk about a computer, the power supply is undoubtedly one of the first elements likely to heat up. Hence, the importance of cooling! There are three types of ventilation: active, passive, and semi-passive. As its name suggests, the specificity of active ventilation is that it runs constantly. 

It is effective, but the disadvantage is that it is often noisy. Passive ventilation uses materials that allow heat transfer while using natural ventilation. Finally, semi-passive ventilation is only triggered when a specific temperature is reached. Its main advantage is that it offers an excellent compromise between noise reduction and optimized cooling.

The Connectors

Make sure your PC power supply can have all the required connectors! Depending on the processor and graphics card, you have various connection options. Most motherboards use a 20-pin or 24-pin connector. Regarding graphics cards, they need a combination of 6-pin or 8-pin connectors. Regarding connectivity, the best way to avoid mistakes is to draw up an inventory of the components and t, the necessary connectors.

Avoid Unknown Brands

On the market, several brands compete, and it is sometimes difficult for consumers to sort them out! There is only one way to avoid unpleasant surprises: trust the big names in the sector. Indeed, if the product has been poorly designed, accidents can occur. To help you, here are some brands that are considered references in this area: Corsair, EVGA, BeQuiet, Cooler Master, and Antec. Do your research and avoid unknown brands if possible!

The Guarantee Offered

To be sure you have a good PC power supply, turn to brands that offer long-term warranties! Therefore, choosing a power supply guaranteed for ten years is an excellent idea. A five-year warranty is not appropriate if you own a high-end PC.

Bet On Modular Power Supplies!

Since the cables on modular power supplies are not fixed, you can change them whenever you want. If you are unconvinced, there are also semi-modular power supplies, meaning that part of the cables are modular while the other part is fixed. However, by choosing modular power supplies, you are already anticipating the evolution of your computer. Be careful in case you opt for a large case! 

The Price

Do you have a limited budget, and are you planning to purchase an entry-level power supply? You can find what you’re looking for for less than 100 euros. But be aware that most of these power supplies are non-modular models, so it is impossible to replace the cables. For mid-range power supplies, you should be prepared to pay between 100 euros to 200 euros. Their advantage is that they are more modular! 

Finally, if your budget allows it, high-end power supplies are available for 200 euros. The latter are both less noisy and less energy-consuming. Choosing a PC power supply should not be made lightly. Since it is an essential item, it is recommended to consider several criteria before acquiring it. Otherwise, you risk frequently changing your power supply, not to mention the damage this could cause to your PC!

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