Which power supply is right for my computer?

In the Power Supply category of the Essential IT Solutions online computer shop you’ll find power supplies ranging from 350W up to the 1200W High Current Pro gaming PSU. Prices range from only R199 up to more than R3 000.

The question is: Which power supply is the right one for your computer? Do you take the minimum wattage requirement or go all out for the highest wattage? Actually, the answer is more complicated. 

Antec HCP-1200 PSU

The Antec High Current Pro 1200W continuous power – king of the power hill. Price: R3 169.
NVIDIA SLI-Ready certified, ATI CrossFire certified, 80 PLUS Gold certified.

The law on electronic equipment

Before we get to the answers, please note that all electrical appliances and all electronic equipment such as computers, computer peripherals, photocopying equipment, etc. need to be SABS approved to be used in South Africa. That is the law. And it is a good law because that means that SABS approved goods have been tested to operate in our harsh environment.

If you do not use an SABS approved PSU, the warranty on all of your computer components or peripherals falls away. Use only SABS approved power supplies!

L&C 450W ATX PSU

The LC 450W PSU costs only R199 and is good for a standard home PC used in normal conditions.

Which power supply is right for my computer?

We are talking about using your computer in a standard electricity environment where you will use the 20/24-pin ATX power connector into an input Voltage current of between 115Vac/10Amax and 230Vac/6Amax with an input frequency of between 47 and 63Hz, as you would find in most buildings in South Africa.

When choosing a PSU for your PC, consider your location, the requirements and your budget:

1. Location

Choosing the right PSU (Power Supply Unit) entails more than just your computer and the peripherals it drives. It also depends on the location where you will be using your computer. Power supplies can be damaged by power surges, overheating or corrosion. Here are things to consider:

a. Currency fluctuations in your area;

b. Temperature;

c. Humidity.

Answer: Look at the specifications of the different power supplies to find the right solution for your location. The packaging – or accompanying brochure – of the PSU will state the voltage requirements (from low to high) and the recommended operating and storage temperatures.

If you use your computer in a region with hot summers, you’ll obviously should choose a PSU with a bigger fan which has a faster spin rate.

If your computer is in an office such as in an engineering shop that is surrounded by equipment that generates a lot of heat, you’ll need a PSU with high standard capacitors and any or all these safety approvals: TÜV, CE, GOST, cTUVus, CE, CB, FCC Class B, , CCC, C-tick. (For more information about these safety standards, simply google them.)

Corsair VS550W PSU

Corsair VS550W PSU. 200~240VAV. Over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current and short circuit protection. cTUVus, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TÜV, CCC and C-tick safety approved. Price: R659.

2. Requirements

Each components or peripheral will clearly state on the packaging and/or the specifications sheet what the minimum power requirement for it is. Read it carefully and comply with the requirements.

But here is where you should take care:

i. the power requirement for your motherboard might be different (lower or higher) than that of, for instance, that new graphics card you bought.

ii. your power supply may have met the requirements when you purchased your PC but you later added more hard drives, PCI cards, a big graphics card or suchlike. Again, double check that you have enough power to run all the components seamlessly.

Answer: Ensure that you comply with the highest power requirement – and also make sure that it meets with the requirements as per your location, as mentioned in point 1.

Antec High Current Pro 1200W PSU

Antec HCP-1200: High Current Pro 1200W continuous power gaming PSU. Price: R3 169

3. Price

Yes, the king of the power hill, the Antec HCP-1200, will meet all the power requirements of all components and peripherals. It is an impressive PSU – read about it on the Antec site and purchase it here. It features a special heavy-gauge 16 AWG High Current cable and 2 x 8-pin CPU connectors for dual-CPU to reduce conducted resistance in gaming and server applications. It provides 1200 watts of continuous power, is 80 PLUS™ Gold certified, NVIDIA® SLI®-Ready certified and ATI CrossFire™ certified. But does it meet your budget?

Have a look at the power requirements of your components again. Do you really need an Antect HCP-1200? How about any of the other Antec PSUs? Or the 1000W Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold? Or one of the Cougars, Corsairs or Thermaltakes? Perhaps you’ll need a lower-powered energy-saving PSU.

Well, that is the point we’d like to make about power supplies. Look at your location, look at the computer component power requirements, look at your budget. Then head over to the Power Supply category and get the right power supply for your computer.

More info

Need more information on computer power supplies? Do not hesitate to call us on 021 853 4790.

Date: 11 Sep 2013