When it is time to choose a power supply for your PC, it is important that you consider some purchase criteria. To make the election process more bearable, we have selected the most important ones. We have done so in order to put at your disposal a complete guide with which to adjust the maximum value for money.
Power Supply Format
The most common format of power supplies is the ATX since it is the one that is usually used in most towers. Normally, they have a height and width of 150 x 86 mm, varying in length between 140 mm and 220 mm. However, for small boxes, the most common format is the SFX.
The power of a power supply, measured in watts, is one of its main features and, therefore, one of the most important purchase criteria that you have to take into account. You have to choose a source that meets the needs of the entire team.
As an orientation, you can consider a power of 400 W for an office computer. For a multimedia computer, however, you need around 600 W. For a workstation of the order of 750 W; and for one gaming, at least 900 W, although this value can be much higher depending on its configuration.
In general, the components that consume the most energy and, therefore, that demand the most power, are the graphics, the processor and the hard drives.
In addition to the total power that the source is capable of delivering, you must also take into account the distribution of that power for each of the different voltage rails: +3.3 V, +5 V, and +12 V, etc. Thus, it is essential that you know the amperage of each of these rails.
In particular, the rail on which you should focus your attention the most is +12 V. That is the rail used by graphics cards, since they are the component that has the highest energy consumption. Logically, the higher the power required by the graph, the greater the amperage you will need in it.
As important or more than the power that the power supply can supply is the quality of the electrical flow it supplies, as well as how optimized the conversion of alternating current into the direct current is.
To measure the energy efficiency of this conversion uses the 80+ certification. The sources that have the 80+ certification guarantee that, at a minimum, they are capable of converting 80% of the electrical energy they consume.
In addition, depending on the conversion of worse or better quality, it is classified into the following categories: Standard, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium.
Some PC power supplies have a series of filters responsible for absorbing and reducing fluctuations in electrical flow. In this way, they protect the different components of the equipment against possible current peaks.
These filters are called PFC (Power Factor Correction) and can be active or passive. In general, active filters are much more efficient and therefore more recommended. Typically, if the power supply has active filters, the manufacturer must show it in a visible way in the advertising of the product. Otherwise, it only has passive filters.