Power supply buyers guide

Everything you need to know before buying a PSU!

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Summary

Looking for a new PSU? The most important things to consider:

  • PSU's supplied with a case are usually only sufficient for a basic system.
  • A bad PSU is very often the cause of stability problems in a PC.
  • The maximum wattage provided by manufacturer is not representative for the actual performance of the PSU.
  • Buy a PSU with a minimum of two 12V rails, three if you plan to use a SLI or Crossfire system.
  • The total amperage of a PSU is an indication of what you can use it for. 20A is sufficient for a basis system, 25A for a desktop system and 36A for a high-end gaming machine.
  • PSU's are a major contributor to a PC's noise level; expensive PSU's will be quieter than cheap ones and a PSU with 120mm fans will be a lot quieter then one with 80mm fans.
  • When building a Media Centre PC choose a passively cooled PSU.
  • If you like your case interior to be tidy or want the best possible airflow choose a PSU with cable management.

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