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What Is A Computer Power Supply?
A computer power supply unit (Computer PSU) is the component that supplies power to a computer. More specifically, a power supply is typically designed to convert 100-120 V (North America and Japan) or 220-240 V (Europe, Asia and Australia) AC power from the power mains to usable low-voltage DC power (DC power supply) for the internal components of the computer. Some power supplies have a switch to change between 230 V and 115 V. Other models have automatic sensors that switch input voltage automatically, or are able to accept any voltage between those limits. Manufacturers of Computer Power Supplies include: Corsair, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Ultra, and others.
The most common computer power supplies are built to conform with the ATX form factor, and laptop power supplies are also available. The most recent specification of the ATX standard is version 2.2, released in 2004. This enables different power supplies to be interchangeable with different components inside the computer. ATX power supplies also are designed to turn on and off using a signal from the motherboard, and provide support for modern functions such as the standby mode available in many computers. Computer power supplies typically come in different wattage sizes: less than 300W, 300W, 400W, 500W, 600W, 700W, 800W, 1000W. There are also SLI Certified PSUs. Laptops are a bit more specialized, and it is important to make sure that you purchase a laptop power supply compatible with your notebook computer.
How to Choose A Power Supply Unit
In this video we cover the basics on choosing a Power Supply Unit. We'll go over three distinct PSUs that would be perfect for three types of PC Builds - Basic to High Performance.