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How to Select the Right Wattage Power Supply

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How to Select the Right Wattage Power Supply



Power supplies are computer components that builders pay little or no attention in comparison to alluring components like CPUs, motherboards, graphic cards and SSDs.  The majority of people tend to purchase more power than they really need, or they will purchase a low cost PSU, not meeting power requirements.




There are several tricks to pick the ideal power supply


1.  Reliable Brand


Choose a power supply from a reputable manufacturer and read its reviews through some major computer online stores such as Newegg.com, Amazon.com and Tigerdirect.com.




2.  Wattage Calculation


On PSU specs,

    Continuous power is True Wattage which means PSU delivers real power stably and continuously.

    Peak power means PSU delivers real power for short period of time and outputs around 90% amount of power instead.


PSU advised load is 60% ~ 70% of its capacity which will deliver maximum efficiency, extend PSU life and leave space for future expansion.


System’s components determine how much power it consumes from the outlet.  PSU wattage only indicates the maximum power a system’s components can consume.  For example: A 500 watt power supply will consume the same power as a 1000 watt power supply in the same spec system.     


Use Detailed PSU wattage calculator from Outervision.com to calculate major power consumption like CPU, GPU and other components such as even determine overclocking power usage.




3.  Efficiency


Below is the advantages and disadvantages table of efficiency





80 Plus Certification


“80 Plus†certification is a efficiency standard that requires a PSU model to achieve at least 80 percent efficiency and allowed to show 80 Plus logo on the product. 


Below are the efficiency ratings from different 80 Plus levels



For a 80 Plus PSU at 100% load, there is 100% power pulls out of wall outlet, but only outputs 80% power to the system.  Therefore, the higher 80 Plus certification can save you more on electricity bill.







4.  Modular or Non-modular PSU?





Connect necessary cables and keep the interior of case clean and organize.

Minimize cables equal better air flow throughout chassis



Loose efficiency between cables connections.

Cost a bit more than non-modular models.





Deliver more stable and efficient power with no breaks in the lines.

Affordable price for general users.



Fill up the space of case with superfluous cables






A good quality PSU is the foundation stone of a stable and good quality PC system.  A system that runs games smoothly is better than a system that presents blue screens of death or shuts down intermittently.  Power consumption below 30% of actual PSU watts means you waste money; other than that you are in a good shape. 


The simplest way to select an ideal PSU is to purchase from a reliable manufacturer, with higher wattage, better 80 plus certification, and with reputable warranty service within your budget. 


Hopefully the information above will arm you with knowledge to select your next PSU.

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