What is a Power Supply Unit (PSU)?

What is a Power Supply Unit (PSU)?

A power supply unit (PSU) is the component that supplies a computer with the right amount of electrical power.

PSUs are most commonly found in desktop computers and servers.

Modern PSUs commonly have multiple outputs with different DC voltages, allowing them to operate with various devices.

The components of a PSU are usually housed within an aluminum chassis for better heat dissipation.

Types of Power Supply Unit

We think of power supplies as a necessary evil in the computer world.

There are multiple types of PSUs, but they all do the same thing: convert AC to DC.

They’re like transistors—they help with efficiency and convenience, but they’re not essential.

We build computers that don’t need them. Humans can survive without them.

They’re just one more thing to buy and install, so you have an excuse to spend money on other things that you might not need in the first place.

However, there’s a difference between how much money you spend on your computer and how much it costs to run it.

If you have a good gaming PC, your PSU costs about as much as your monitor or RAM (if not more).

The reason is simple: Your PSU needs to be able to handle a load of everything else in your system at once without getting shut down by excessive heat from all those components drawing too much power from it at once.

It’s like having a lawnmower in charge of mowing down all the leaves and grass clippings around a tree trunk: no matter how big those pieces get, it’ll only cut them so fast before overheating itself and needing an extended break while it cools off.

A PSU job is similar: Being able to deliver enough power to everything in your system simultaneously while staying cool throughout its use.

if one component goes beyond what the PSU is designed for—like running at 100% CPU usage while itself drawing less than 20 watts—you’ll see brownout symptoms (your monitor turning black) or even worst-case scenario shutdowns until everything calms down again (you plugging back in after unplugging repeatedly).

Since every PSU has precisely that same job—cutting through power demands equally—there’s no reason why someone would buy a different model than their budget dictates.

Any card should be able to handle everything else you throw at it just fine with adequate.

AT and ATX standards

Advanced Technology Extended (ATX) is a motherboard and power supply configuration specification developed by Intel in 1995.

It was done to improve the issues with the older AT design standards.

The key features of the ATX standard are:

  • A 20-pin main power cable supplies power directly to the motherboard. This cable is divided into two rows of 10 pins.
  • A 24-pin main power cable also provides power directly to the motherboard, replacing older 20-pin cables. This cable is divided into three rows of eight pins, plus an extra row with four pins cut out.
  • A 4-pin +12V connector delivers more stable and reliable power for modern processors.
  • SATA connectors provide updated connections for newer storage devices such as hard drives, SSDs, or optical drives—replacing PATA (also known as IDE) connectors, which were much more significant and clunkier than SATA connectors.
  • 6-pin PCI Express (PCIe) connectors connect video cards like graphics cards and provide additional voltage stability and reliability when running powerful graphics operations like 3D rendering or mining cryptocurrency.

How Much Power Does Your Computer Need?

  • The video card, processor, motherboard, and RAM are the components that will consume the most power. The rest of the components won’t significantly impact the total consumption of your gaming PC.
  • A simple way to get an idea about how much power you need is to calculate around 15% more than the maximum power consumption of all your computer components. For example, if you plan to build a computer with a GTX 1080 graphics card and an Intel Core i7-6700K processor, you should calculate something like this: (250 + 150) * 1.15 = 537 Watts.

80+ Ratings in Computer PSU

For those new to the world of computers, a PSU is short for Power Supply Unit.

This device is responsible for providing power to your entire computer system. It supplies DC Current to your components and converts AC current from the wall outlet into usable DC current.

If you’re not familiar with computer components, it’s a boring device that people often consider an afterthought.

However, if you’re building a computer for gaming purposes or any other intensive use case, this component should be considered carefully before making a final purchase decision.

The 80 Plus program was introduced in 2004 by Ecos Consulting to differentiate more energy-efficient power supplies from ones that are less efficient at turning electricity into actual usable power for your system.

As part of this program, there are multiple levels of certification, including 80 Plus, 80 Plus Bronze, 80 Plus Silver, 80 Plus Gold, 80 Plus Platinum, and finally, 80 Plus Titanium which is the most efficient rating level currently possible.

Best Computer Power Supply Unit For Gaming PC

So you’ve built your gaming PC, and it looks fantastic, but do you know how much power is going into it?

Power supplies in computers are essential to keep a check on.

A gaming computer needs a high power supply to get the job done correctly.

You’ll need a reliable, stable, and efficient power source to run games at higher graphics settings.

The best PSU for gaming should be 700-800 Watts with an 80+ Gold or Platinum rating.

The 80+ Gold or Platinum rated PSUs are more efficient and will save you money through lower electricity costs and keep your room nice and cool.

Some of the best brands for PSU include Corsair, EVGA, Seasonic, Antec, Thermaltake, and Cooler Master.

PSU for Cryptocurrency Mining Rigs

For cryptocurrency mining rigs, you will need a lot of power.

If your rig is using a single graphics card, you only need to be able to provide enough power for that card and all the other components in your PC.

However, if you are using multiple graphics cards, or even just one powerful graphics card, you will need an extremely powerful PSU to handle the load.

The more graphics cards you have on your system, the more power it will draw!

If you don’t have enough power coming from your PSU for all of the components in your computer and GPU(s), then not only will the other parts of your computer malfunction (such as USB ports), but also the computer could shut down completely when it detects that it does not have enough power.

This can damage hardware if it happens regularly.

If possible, it is best to get a PSU with a wattage rating higher than what you think you’ll need so that there is room for expansion if you want to upgrade some components or add more GPUs later down the line.

Conclusion

That’s it!

Now you know what a PSU is and why it is essential. A PSU is one of the essential components in any desktop computer because it supplies power to all the components inside the computer.

It is like the heart of the computer. Your computer won’t work without the PSU no matter how good its other components are.

Further Reading