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What Is A Computer Power Supply?

A computer power supply unit, or PSU, is the component that supplies power to a computer. A power supply is designed to convert 100-AC power from the power mains to usable low-voltage DC power for the internal components of the computer. Some power supplies have a switch to change voltage, while others have automatic sensors.

The most common computer power supplies are built to conform with the ATX form factor. Specifications of the ATX standard enables different PSUs to be interchangeable with different components inside a PC. 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. For laptops, see Laptop Batteries to find a compatible product.

How to Choose A PSU

Most desktop power supplies are the same size and fit in most cases, excluding some small form factor cases. Your total components will dictate the amount of wattage you need for your power supply, although having extra doesn’t hurt and allows for later expansion if needed.

There are four different types of power supplies. Modular, Non-Modular, Semi-Modular and Fully Modular.

Modular: These cables are detached from the power supply and are plugged in. The advantage of Modular power supplies is that you have better control over your cables.

Non-Modular: These cables are built into the power supply and they are static and cannot be moved. The benefit is they are generally cheaper than most modular PSUs of the same quality.

Semi-Modular: Some cables are built in with others being detachable. For some brands you can buy the cables to meet the size requirements you need for the cables, much like full-modular.

Fully-Modular: All cables are detachable.

Recent Customer Reviews

Love this PSU
"For an 80 plat 860 watt power supply i've literally never had a problem with it, its run like a beast for quite some time now and i love the availability in upgrades it leaves me with. It was easy to install and the braided cables and sleeving it came with were of the best quality, taking it out of the box alone was a pleasure and it gave me goosebumps lol. Great product if you're looking to get this PSU, don't think about it just do it, you won't regret it."
Corsair AX860 860W Power Supply
-Anon., May 13,2015
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