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Powering Your PC: Truths and Misconceptions
A Guide To Power Supplies

Date Published: May 18, 2005
Author: Jason Rabel

PC Power Supply Guide


Many enthusiasts invest hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, into building a state-of-the-art custom PC. They buy the fastest processors, biggest hard drives, top of the line video cards, but then skimp when it comes to choosing a power supply to bring their behemoth to life. Spending $2,000 on your dream PC and $40 on a generic power supply is not only bad judgment, it could be potentially damaging to the PC components if the PSU is unable to deliver clean current and stable voltages.

A good quality and properly sized power supply is essential for maintaining overall system stability and component longevity. The precise voltage and current demands of today's high-end hardware will only continue to increase. It is worthwhile to plan for excess power capacity now, so that future component upgrades will not require a surprise (and potentially costly) power supply upgrade too.

Some people don't fully understand all that is involved in designing a power supply, or even the power conversion process. This article was written to help shed some light on power supplies and related topics.


Before diving into this guide, I will let you know I do not claim to know everything there is about power supplies and electricity. I am not an electrical engineer, nor do I care to become one. This guide is meant as an in-depth educational document that the layman can (hopefully) understand, not a technical whitepaper for designing or building power supplies. Certain omissions have been made for simplicity and to try and keep this guide focused on PC specific power supplies. Please feel free to contact me with any incorrect or additional information, as I hope to continually update and expand this guide.


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