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Next up is the processor power connector, which comes in 4-pin and 8-pin versions. As with the main power connector, many modern motherboards have switched to the larger format. Again, make sure your power supply is compatible. The most frequently used power connector is the 4-pin Molex connector. That means they require fans to stay cool and run efficiently. If your PC operates in a quiet space, then larger fans that spin more slowly to move the same amount of air will likely result in a quieter PC.
This is one area where in-depth reviews will be particularly helpful, as they tend to measure how loud a power supply is during various levels of operation and so offer some guidance as to how loud you can expect your PC to run. Finally, there are three basic types of power supply cabling. Hard-wired cabling means that every connector is directly connected to the power supply and so will be present whether needed or not. Modular cabling means that each connector can be added in as needed.
That makes it easier to keep your case clean and uncluttered, but it also introduces some additional complexity — and price — and some additional resistance thanks to extra physical connections. Hybrid systems have some cables, such as the main power connect, physically connected and the others being optional.
But spending a little time up-front to make sure your power supply provides your PC components with reliable, consistent, and safe power will save you huge amounts of time in the long term, and it will help make your PC a better and more efficient machine.
A good article on power supplies. I am facing this issue on a build of 6 years ago. I have a problem with boot up. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. All rights reserved. Close Search. Power output: How much do you need? Anticipate upgrades when buying a power supply Of course, you might want to run some scenarios to make sure you can handle your long-term needs. Protection Some power supply manufacturers will build in protections to help keep your components safe from power-related issues.
What is 80 PLUS certification? Form factor — Will your power supply fit? ATX Although there are still AT form factor power supplies available for purchase, AT form factor power supplies are undoubtedly legacy products, on the way out. ATX power supplies use a single pin connector as the main power connector. ATX power supplies support the soft-off feature, allowing software to turn off the power supply.
Cabling Finally, there are three basic types of power supply cabling. Tags: 80 plus certification pc build resources power supply psu Shopping Tools. Join the discussion 10 Comments. June 1, at am. March 6, at am. April 21, at am. Enzo says:. May 6, at am. Tony Stark says:. May 7, at am. Durp says:. May 7, at pm. Owen Mackey says:. July 8, at am. Thrump says:. July 13, at pm. Nikita Roy says:.
September 10, at am. Carlos Chang says:. Most power supplies hit their peak efficiency levels with loads in the range of 40 to 80 percent. In a high-end system loaded with components that may peak collectively at watts, a watt PSU would work well. Many modern gaming systems with a 6 or 8-core CPU and a midrange to high-end graphics card should get by with a W to W power supply, with W being a long-time sweet spot for gamers.
More powerful hardware requires higher wattages, especially if you plan on overclocking. On the subject of wattage, one common power supply myth holds that higher-wattage power supplies necessarily consume more power. A power supply with an efficiency rating of 80 percent provides 80 percent of its rated wattage as power to your system, while losing the other 20 percent as heat. Power supplies in the higher certification tiers tend to command very high prices, however.
Average users with average needs should probably stick to the simple 80 Plus or the 80 Plus Bronze level unless they find a particularly juicy deal on a Silver or Gold PSU. In a single-rail design, all of the power from the supply will be available to any component connected to the unit, regardless of the connector or cable used.
In the event of a failure, however, a single-rail power supply has the potential to shoot much more current into your components. On the other hand, that disadvantage becomes a major advantage if you ever encounter a catastrophic failure. The OCP mechanisms in a multi-rail power supply monitor each rail and will shut the whole unit down if they detect an overload on any of the rails.
The OCP on single-rail units kicks in only at much higher amperages, which could lead to a major melt-down if a serious overload occurs. So which is better type of power supply is better—single-rail or multi-rail? Neither, usually. From a performance standpoint, both work equally well; and in general both are very safe to use. Another consideration is cabling. Power supplies are available with hard-wired cabling, with partially modular cabling, or with fully modular cabling.
In modular power supplies, you can add or remove cabling from the PSU as needed to avoid case clutter. Whenever you introduce an additional connection between the PSU and your components—as happens with modular power supplies—you add more resistance and another potential point of failure into the line; and any increase in resistance translates into lost efficiency.
That said, the additional resistance is normally minimal and not a cause for concern for most users. Most people prefer modular PSUs, though they cost a bit more than nonmodular models. An affordable non-modular PSU.