How to select a power supply
Choosing a computer power supply is easy, provided
that you are not making the mistakes that other people are making. One of the
most common mistakes people made when building their own computer is to neglect
the importance of computer power supply. They tend to cut down their budget on
computer power supply and get the cheapest one around. If you really care about
your computer system, you have to put in some serious effort to choose the best
The computer power supply is the energy source for the whole computer system.
Imagine that you are not eating well for every meal, do you think you can still
function well for all your daily tasks?
While people are discussing about the gigabytes of storage, 64
bit processing capabilities and the heavy-duty 3D graphics card,
the only thing that required the most attention, but is
discussed least is the computer power supply. What they have not
realized is that the more powerful a computer become, the more
power it needs. If you are building a high-end gaming computer,
chances are you may need a 600 - 650W power supply.
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)
This refers to the lifespan of the power supply. It represents
the average hours the power supply can perform before it fails.
Most power supplies will have MTBF ratings of 100,000 hours or
more, but be aware that these figures were not collected from
actual real-time testing. Most ratings are based upon the
comparative failure rates of the power supply's individual
Short Circuit Protection
When choosing a computer power supply, make sure that it is
equipped with a short circuit protection feature. This is to
prevent the computer parts from drawing excessive currents which
might cause its internal chips to be burned.
The main reason for a power supply to be noisy is because of its
inability to dissipate heat fast. The fan has to work extra hard
to maintain the required temperature. When choosing a computer
power supply, make sure that it comes with a big powerful 140mm
fan or two 80mm fans to effectively dissipate the heat away.
Load Current (Maximum and Minimum values)
Each computer part requires different voltage and current to
function. It is important that the power supply can support the
various voltage levels and the current supplied.
Maximum load current - The maximum current that the
computer part can accept for a particular voltage level.
Minimum load current - The minimum current the computer
part needs to be functional.
If the part is not getting the minimum load current from the
power supply, chances are the power supply is spoiled.
Most of the power supplies in the market are of the ATX form
factor. However if you are using a micro ATX computer case, you
have to get a micro ATX power supply, else it won't be able to
fit inside the case.
Power supply is definitely a computer part that you must pay
attention to. When choosing a computer power supply, always get
a power supply that has a higher power rating than what your
system needs. In addition, unless you are willing to risk your
computer to system jeopardizing power spikes and surges, do not
ever scrimp on the power supply.
About the author:
Damien Oh is an expert in building computer. His website
http://www.build-gaming-computer-guide.com contains a lot of
useful information and resources on building gaming computer,
cheap computer, getting refurbished computer, building game
server and many more.