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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 Wires

OStandard ATX Horizental Desktop Caseverview Of Standard Power Supply Wires TitleWire Colors, Pin Sizes, And Signal Frequencies

Molex Connector

Standard ATX Molex Connector

A power connector such as the one listed above is referred to as a Molex 4 Pin Connector and is typically used to power a hard disk drive or CD-ROM drive. The yellow wire supplies 12V of power, the black is a grounded wire, and the red supplies 5V of power.

Mini Plug Connector (Berg Connector)

Standard ATX Molex Connector
A power connector such as the one illustrated above is referred to as a Mini Plug connector normally used to power floppy disk drives and internal zip drives.
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

There are several connectors associated with power supplies. There are normally four color coded wires on a connector and each is explained in the following table:

Wire Color Purpose
Brown and Blue These wires are the feed wires from the 110V supply. They bring the full 110 volts to the power supply switch.
Black and White These wires carr the AC current from the switch to the power supply. These wires only heat up when the system is active because the switch actually closes the circuit.
Green These wires are used as a ground wires.
Red  
Common power supply wires and their associated purposes.

It is important to note that when connecting the brown and blue wire, you must make sure they are parallel and adjacent to each other. You place the black and white wires on the tabs that are angled and located next to each other. The black and brown wires must always be next to each other.

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