Choosing the right power supply for your computer
ATXPowerSupplies.Com writes this article on "choosing the right power supply for your computer" to help you in your decision making process. Whether you are purchasing a power supply for your new computer or just replacing an old one we hope this will help in the selection process. If you're replacing a common power supply for Compaq, Dell, Gateway, HP, etc you might try our power supply cross reference engine first.
What does "ATX" stand for? ATX stands for Advanced Technology eXtended. In summary it defines a set of standards in measurements and forms that helps make things such as computer power supplies interchange with one another.
The first question to ask yourself is, "Is my power supply an ATX form factor?". If you have this information available then the selection process is much easier. The information is sometimes stamped somewhere on the power supply or may be contained in the manual for your existing computer. If you're looking for an ATX power supply make sure the power supply is an ATX form factor, not micro ATX or any other.
Perhaps the most common method to use in selecting a power supply is comparing the physical dimensions. Make sure your computer case can accommodate the the Height, Width, and Depth of the power supply. If you are replacing an existing power supply then take measurements of it before you discard it. Take a look at the graphic above to gain a better understanding of Height, Width, and Depth. If your power supply is considerably smaller than the typical dimensions of our atx power supplies then it could be possible that you have a micro atx power supplies. If you feel you might have a micro atx power supply then you could compare its dimensions with our 200W micro atx power supply or our 230W micro atx power supply.
After you have chosen your power supply based on physical dimensions you need to take a look at what connectors you need on your power supply. Different power supplies have different connectors so it's best to choose one with connectors that meet your every need. It's okay if you buy a power supply and not use some of the connectors. You can just leave them hanging unconnected. Below is pictures of some common connectors found on atx power supplies:
You need to know how much power you're going to need. It's okay to buy a power supply that is larger than necessary because the power supply will step down to your power requirements. Power supplies typically deliver only the amount of power demanded from them. On the other hand, buying a power supply that is too small for your requirements will be annoying. Many times people will complain of their computer rebooting for no reason at all. Nine times out of ten the reason for this is an undersized power supply. Many companies that sell computers will install an undersized power supply to save money and increase profit margins. Buyer beware!
Below is a sample specification chart that should be printed on the sticker on your power supply. Before you buy a power supply make sure the power specifications are equal to or greater than your need. This way you'll avoid trouble down the road.
Lastly, we provide you with a table of suggested power supply wattage based on computer system size. Please note that this table reflects our opinion only:
If you really want to buff your knowledge of power supplies check out Chapter 19 of UPGRADING AND REPAIRING PCs by Scott Mueller.
Be sure to see our articles on choosing the right computer case for your computer and how to install a front usb adapter.
Bookmark Choosing a Power Supply - Bookmark this article so you can find it easily next time you have questions about computer power supplies.
We hope you have found this article both informative and interesting. If you require additional information on choosing a power supply please email us.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes and reflects only the opinion of the author. Sole responsibility rests with the buyer when selecting a power supply for a computer.
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