Inside your computer is a component that is the lifeblood of your hardware system. It is
responsible for your motherboard, your hard drives, your CD and DVD drives, and a half–
dozen other possible components. For many people, the only part they see of this
important component – the power supply – is the rear where they plug in the power cord
from the wall.
The power supplies job seems simple: to convert alternating current (A/C) to direct
current (D/C) which, like most electronic devices, is what your computer uses. Inside the
computer case, various wires and plugs are attached coming out of the power supply.
These are attached to the different components inside the computer. Some higher-end
power supplies from OCZ, CoolMax, and Ultra allow you to only attach the wires and
plugs you need. This can create less clutter inside the case and help to improve air flow
which keeps your computer running cooler. If you have any questions concerning where
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Sadly, many computer manufacturers include power supplies that are cheaply made and
have very minimal power capabilities. A power supply is measured primarily in terms of
watts. Finding out how many watts a power supply can generate is the first way to
determine if your computer system is risking being underpowered.
Even today, some systems are still shipping with 150 watt power supplies. This is hardly
acceptable. A basic system should have, at the least, 350 watts of power capability.
Many systems have 500 watts or more of power available, and some high-end gaming
systems are being fitted with 1000 watt power supplies.