Power Supply FAQs
  • How power supplies are rated:

    • What is the "wattage" number actually telling me?

    • When you see the wattage rating of a power supply, you’re seeing the total maximum output capability of that particular power supply, but a computer has multiple voltage needs, and newer computers require more of the power supply’s capability to be on the +12V DC output rail. CPU’s and GPU’s regulate their power off of the +12V DC rail. Also, all of the computer’s motors run off of +12V DC: hard drive and optical drive motors, fan motors, pumps for water-cooling, etc. It wasn't too long ago that graphics cards did not require auxiliary +12V power and CPU's use to regulate their voltage from the +5V rail. An older power supply may have a lower percentage of it's power on the +12V than a more current unit.

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