We make a lot of posts about building your own PC from scratch on this blog, and naturally a lot of them deal with graphics cards, processors and Ram. However, this doesn’t mean that these pieces of hardware should be exempt from deliberation about where to make certain price cuts. In fact, the one piece of hardware that we advise you never skimp out on, no matter the budget, is the power supply.
Now, the power supplies generally amongst the last pieces of the puzzle when building a PC for all, you have to decide on all the other pieces in order to know which PSU is right for that build, but strange as it may sound power isn’t the only thing to take into consideration when deciding on a power supply. That’s why in today’s post we’ll be going over all the points you’ll need to keep in mind when deciding on the right power supply for your belt. So with that, any further ado, let’s begin.
And of course we can talk about power supplies without first mentioning the wattage. Your par supply needs to meet the waters requirements of all of your PC components. The graphics card and the processor are the most power hungry components in any build, so they’ll account for the majority of the bots you’ll want to meet, but every component does add to this a little bit and underpowered PC may not work correctly, if at all.
So this is definitely the first step towards picking the right car supply. Thankfully, hardware manufacturers always provide rough estimates of how much power their products consume presented either as thermal design power or maximum park consumption. There are also a bunch of online PSU calculators that should tell you exactly how much power your PC will require. So make sure to check it out if you’re in the market for a new computer.
Now, ideally your PSU will not only meet but also exceed the power requirements of your PC. Why? Well, the power supplies work best when they’re left with a little bit of breathing room. If you’re aiming for maximum efficiency, you’ll want your power supply to run between 50 and 80% of its total output. This way, you’ll ensure that the PSU doesn’t heat up too much, which is hugely important since there’s nothing, power supplies hate more than heat, so if you want to make life really easy for your power supply, consider even buying one that can deliver twice the wattage you need. It’ll thank you by being quieter, lasting longer and leaving extra wiggle room for future expansions and overclocking.
80 Plus Power Supply Ratings and What They Mean
If you’ve already been eyeing some particular power supplies, then chances are you’ve noticed that many of them come with an 80 plus rating. This rating indicates how well a piece you converts power from your wall socket to the Laurel voltage required by your PC components. There’s always bound to be some wasted power, but power supplies that have this rating are guaranteed to waste no more than 20% of it, hence the name 80 plus.
There are of course, further subcategories that indicate quality. In fact, there are five of them, basic 80 plus also known as white bronze, gold, platinum, and titanium. Gold is an ideal middle ground for most users. We have to emphasize that for the purposes of gaming, there’s absolutely no need to even consider a platinum and titanium PSU. Those are best suited for systems that are under heavy load most of the time, like servers and workstations, but even a bronze or white rate of PSU is bound to be more efficient than one that’s not rated full disclosure.
The certification is voluntary, so theoretically there could be a power supply out there that isn’t even rated, but it’s more efficient than some titanium rated models. It certainly wouldn’t surprise us, but as homer Simpson would say it, a titanium rated PSU is a titanium rated PSU, but an unrated PSU could be anything. It could even be a titanium rate at PSU best not to take that chance though.
Voltage Rails – Power Supply 101: A Reference Of Specifications
Understanding rails can be a bit tricky if you don’t know your power supplies, especially since the SPEC sheet usually has them listed as something way more confusing like plus 12 the rails, but basically they determine how many rails feed power to all the different components in your computer. This begs the question, what is a rail? While a rail is a printed circuit board pathway through which the unit draws power.
Multiracial power supplies distribute power among the multiple rails, but single rail PSU is only have a single pathway. Single rail power supplies feed the full power of the unit from one rail to all the prides connected to it, which does ensure that every component has ample power to work with. However, this benefit of single rail PSUs mostly lies in the domain of theoretical thinking since it also cares the drawback of putting your hardware at a huge risk from power searches.
Multiracial PSUs on the other hand, can handle power surges thanks to an inbuilt over current and short current prevention system in each rail. Granted, the power is not distributed evenly across each rail, but this is just an inconvenience at most. All you have to do is make sure to connect the power hungry components like the GPU and the PSU to the appropriate ratios that have higher wattage thresholds. The power distribution among rails is depicted both on a PSU casing itself and in the user manual, so this really shouldn’t be an issue.
What are the connectors on a power supply?
The next step. You want to make sure that your PSU has all the necessary connectors. Power supplies generally come with one of three connectors, a six-man cable and eight pink cable or a six plus two print cable that connects to either a six or eight pin and put thanks to two detachable pins. For example, graphics cards need a combination of either six or eight pin connector or even one of each. It all depends on how power hungry the GPU and its cooling systems are. You also need to consider which connectors the motherboard needs. Most gaming motherboards utilize either a 20 or 24 pin connector, but they can’t have others as well. This is just one additional reason to pick the power supply once you’ve decided on all the other pieces of hardware, but once again and cannot stress this enough, don’t skimp out on the power supply because you’ve gone a bit overboard with the budget while picking out the other components. A bad PSU puts all of your expensive pieces of hardware in danger.
Full vs Semi vs Non Modular Power Supply: See the Differences
And lastly, we have to mention modularity. What does it mean when a PSU is modular? Well, it just means that all the connector cables can be attached and removed from the back of the unit. The main benefit of this is reducing cable clutter. Since non modular power supplies come with a bunch of cables popping out of them that you end up not using and are just stuck with less cable clutter doesn’t only imply a nicer looking case but can also lead to better air flow resulting in a cooler working environment for your hardware, both figuratively and literally. Modular power supplies are also more portable, but as you might’ve guessed, these conveniences are all reflected in the price in the end. Whether the benefits of modularity outweigh the price increase that comes with it will come down to you still. If you can’t afford a fully modular power supply but don’t want to be stuck with the non modular one, you can always opt for a semi modular unit. These pses will have certain non-removable cables sticking out of the back of the unit. However, these will only be the necessary ones, so you still won’t have a bunch of unused cables just lying around.
So let’s recap. When buying a power supply, you need to take into account the wattage efficiency, rails, connectors and modularity. Of course not all of these are essential. If you don’t want to put in the effort, you just need to make sure that the wattage checks out and that the PSU has all the connectors needed to work with your PC. But don’t forget that a bad power supply can literally do more harm than good.
So having a multiracial PUC with some assurances of quality behind it should be high on your list of priorities. One of the best ways not to mess this out, this simply to buy a power supply from a well known and reputable manufacturer. Seasonic, Coursera, Thermaltake and EVG a are all at the very forefront of this industry when it comes to price supplies. So most if not all units with their logo stapled onto them should be worthy cakes.