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Epox EP-8KHA+ with Socket 462 Mainboard

The Power Supply Unit also known as (P.S.U) is a crucial element in any personal computer since its the only element that provides the electrical juice neccessary for a PC to function. Just like a car has an engine to motor around, the PC has a PSU to control the power of its internal engines.

The PSU can be easily identified in a computer system. Take a look at the back of your computer and you should see a medium sized silver or gray box with an opening containing a the PSU fan and electrical circuitry, as well as an electrical voltage switch and a 1 or more openings for ventillation purposes.

Its main job is to supply power to all devices within the system through the use of connectors. The power supply must be, of course, attached to some electrical outlet usually located in the wall.

The PSU has a central fan that circulates air through a system to prevent peripheral devices from over heating. The fan is dependant on a good supply of air to operate efficiently because the fan pulls air through the power supply through the vent at the front and back sides of a case, and it circulates this air throughout the entire system and then sends air back out through the main supply fan vent.

Computer power supplies are rated by wattage, or the amount of power they can produced. Typical power supplies come in 220 watt configurations, but some may go as high as 500 watts.

The older Baby AT style power supplies were the most common type of power supply suitable for powering AT boards only. They lacked support for ATX motherboards and as a result were quickly phased out by the newer, better ATX technology.

The ATX motherboard requires a special ATX power supply connector which contains special circuitry that allows software to control the power signal of the supply.

The pages contained within this section will provide a fundamental understanding of how the power supply works as well as explain the main characterisitics that seperate the good power supplies from the bad.

 
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Epox EP-8KHA+ with Socket 462 Mainboard

Introduction

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

Power Supply Voltage And Frequency Levels

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:

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
Memory Chips 3 or 5 volts
CD-Rom Drive 10-30 watts
Power Voltages of Various Devices in the Personal Computer

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:

Pin Wire Color Signal
1 Yellow + 12 V
2 Black Ground
3 Black Ground
4 Red +5 V
Types and Wattage Of Wire Cables in a Power Supply Connector

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.

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:
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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