Power Supply FAQs
Power Supply Basics:
What is a "power supply"?
How do I know how big of a power supply I need?
Is there such a thing as "too much power"?
How power supplies are rated:
What is the "wattage" number actually telling me?
What is the difference between "continuous" and "peak" ratings?
How does the temperature inside of my case affect the performance of my power supply?
Is the MTBF temperature an indication of what temperature the power supply's output rating is measured at?
Questions about power supply efficiency:
What is "efficiency"?
Why is efficiency important?
Aren't higher wattage units less efficient at lower loads?
Questions about active power factor correction (PFC):
What is "power factor"?
So what if I have a poor power factor?
What is power factor correction?
Using a computer power supply around the world:
Different countries have different input voltages.
My power supply doesn't seem to support my country's voltage.
Different countries have different plug types
The different connectors of a computer power supply:
The 20+4, or 24-pin, main power connector.
The 4+4-pin, or 8-pin, CPU power connector.
The 6+2-pin, or 8-pin, PCIe power connector.
Power Supplies With Multiple +12V Rails
What are "multiple +12V rails"?
Why split up the +12V rail?
Is it true that some PSU's that claim to be multiple +12V rails don't have the +12V rail split at all?
In the past, I've been told that splitting the +12V rails provide "cleaner and more stable voltages".
Some people claim they can overclock better, etc. with a single +12V rail PSU.
Basic power supply troubleshooting:
My power supply doesn't turn on.
Voltage readings using the BIOS or software programs?
My -12V, -5V, etc. show voltages that are way out of specification .
Using a multi-meter to check voltages.
Using a multi-meter to determine voltage regulation.
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