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Introduction

What's On Board? How It Works PSU Wires
Connectors Illustrated Replacement Procedures Upgrade Procedures PSU Voltage And Frequency Levels
   

Introduction To The Power Supply Unit

The power supply essentially consists of six mechanisms:

Graphical representation of a standard Baby AT Power Supply. This type of power supply is normally not seen in any newer style personal computers but can still have a practical use in Pentium II or higher equipped machines.1. The Power switch can be used to manually power on and off a computer system. This is useful if you are troubleshooting or diagnosing a PC or if you are building a system entirely from scratch. You can also use this power switch in case a mishap occurs, and your system requires immediate shutdown due to a hardware failure.

2. The Voltage Selector Switch is used to control the amount of wattage running through the system. It's important to set this standard at an appropriate level based on the electrical system in your home as setting this switch to an imcompatible value may cause system failures or may cause the PSU to fail completely.

3.The Air Vents or standard and neccessary components in any power supply as these elements help a continuosly supply of air flow through the power supply and the rest of a system. Without air vents the power supply can become overheated and affect the rest of the peripherals in the machine. Air vents are to peripheral devices like oxygen is to human beings. Without an efficient airflow system and a method for disapating heat in a system, components are likely to malfunction after only a short period of time. Air vents are also the most predominat way dust gets into a system so it is highly recommended to check that these elements remain dust free every few months. Cleaning these elements can be done with a can of compressed air.

4. The Fan Exhaust element of a power supply is always used to keep the core temperature of the power supply unit to a bare minimum. It also provides cooling to other peripherals in a system.

5. The Power Inlet (Female) connector can normally be used to power an additional peripheral device such as a monitor or other device that uses an appropriate cable or connector.

6. The Power Inlet (Male) connector is where the actual power cable plugs in. The other end of the cable plugs in directly to an electrical wall outlet.

Power Voltage

A power supply's usage is measured in voltages, wattages, and frequencies. This reflects the actual amount of power that the PSU directs to each component in the PC. The table below summarizes the most common peripheral devices and the required power wattages each element requires to function properly: The connectors on a power supply remain generic except in terms of size. The following table explains the types, sizes, and voltages of power connectors:

Component PowerVoltage Required
CPU 3.5 - 6 volts
Motherboard 15-20 watts
Hard Drive 5-50 watts
Floppy Drive 3-20 watts
Expansion Card 5-10 watts
CPU Fan x
Memory Chips 3 or 5 volts
CD-Rom Drive 10-30 watts
Power Voltages of Various Devices in the Personal Computer
As you can see from the table listed above, not all devices use the same number of watts or voltage levels so it is important for you to make sure all connectors are in there proper places. Typically, most power connectors will fit into only one place within a system, but there may be a slim possibility that you can plug in connector to the wrong device or in the wrong direction. This is particularly crucial with memory chips. If you set the voltage level for memory chip to high, there is a possibility high possibility the chips could be damaged.

 

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