The PSU is a massively understated component in PC building. It pushes voltage to the most delicate and intricate systems, who can be turned into expensive paperweights by even the slightest surge of power.
Knowing your 80+ Titanium PSU from your unbranded ebay knock-off can save you money on your electricity bills in the long run, and prevent complete system meltdown and disaster.
- PSU: Power supply unit.
- Rails: 12V, 5V, 5VSB, 3.3V - the connections that deliver power to components in your system.
- Ripple: Small, unwanted, residual periodic variation of the DC output of a power supply, derived from an AC source.
- Modular: All cables can be removed and attached as required, providing easier cable-tidying and increased airflow.
- Semi-modular: Cables that are always required in regular setups are attached permanently, only non-essential cables can be removed and reattached.
- Non-modular: All cables available are connected at all times, most often found on budget PSUs.
- Wattage: Total power draw of your system must be within the maximum wattage of your PSU. Use a power draw calculator if need be to find out. More wattage will be required for overclocking, and higher quality PSUs will also deliver more stable wattage for overclocking too.
- 80+ Efficiency ratings: Products with 80+ rating can achieve 80% energy efficiency at 20%, 50% and 100% rated load. Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium improve on efficiency from 80% up to 94%
- Form Factor: ATX, SFX, TFX
- Fan type: Fluid dynamic bearing, hydro dynamic bearing, sleeve bearing (most common), double ball bearing.
- Fanless 0db mode: Fan won't start spinning until a certain load or temperature is reached. Reduces noise and fan use.
- Passive: A power supply that uses larger heatsinks to displace the heat instead of using fans, making it essentially silent. And hot.