Three Ways to Find out What Power Supply You Have
The power supply unit is a key component of every PC. Without it, nothing will work.
You can determine the specs of your PSU to help you decide if it is the right configuration for your gaming or computing needs.
It is difficult to verify the specs of a PSU because of its nature.
This article will show you how to determine what PSU your computer has.
3 Ways to Find Your Power Supply (Three Methods)
1. Physically Check the PSU
You should be familiar with the specifications of your PSU if you have built your own PC.
However, if you’re using a pre-built computer, you might not be aware of the power supply.
Because power supplies are only meant to provide power to the components of the computer, they don’t communicate directly with them.
Your computer interface doesn’t allow you to see the PSU number.
Physical inspection is the best way to determine your power supply.
Depending on the manufacturer, every PC contains information about the PSU in the case at different locations.
Open the computer case’s side panel to locate the PSU. A label or sticker at the top or side of the PSU will list all information.
Depending on your model and manufacturer, the power supply might be located in an additional case within the computer. This case must be removed.
You will need to remove the PSU shrouding cover.
Here’s how it works:
Turn off your computer first. Then, unplug all wires including the power cord.
Depending on which manufacturer you are, either remove or unclip the side panel to open your case.
You will find the power supply easily, often near the port of your power cord.
To show the specs of power supplies, you must have the sticker. If it isn’t visible, it should be on the side of your PSU.
It’s not reliable if there is no label or sticker on the side. The Underwriters Laboratories requires that every manufacturer provide this information.
You may need to switch your power supply in order to prevent damage to your computer’s hard drive.
2. Online Search
This is especially useful if you already have a computer, but don’t want it to be opened.
You can visit the manufacturer’s site, enter your model number, and then look for the specifications for that PSU model.
Manufacturers may alter the specifications and features of PSUs in newer models. Therefore, it is a good idea to open the case and inspect it.
It is possible that you won’t find the information you need on certain manufacturers’ websites. Not all manufacturers provide this information.
You can also search for your PC’s model number and make a Google search to find the specs of the power supply on trusted sites.
You can find information on the internet from knowledgeable and dedicated members who will help you identify your PSU.
3. User Manual
Pre-built computers can be referred to for the correct power supply.
The manufacturer will list all specifications you need.
If it does not, you can find the model number and use it to search online for more details.
What Information is on the PSU Label?
No matter what method you use to open the case, the following information should be helpful:
1. Name and Model Number
The model number and name of the PSU are usually in bold, large letters above all other information.
Manufacturers may include the wattage of their PSU in the model number and name.
This name can be used to search for more information on the manufacturer by going to their website.
This is especially useful when the label doesn’t contain any other information than the name.
In most cases, the wattage of your PSU can be found next to its model number and name.
It’s written in bold fonts such as 200W or 500W.
The power supply’s power supply’s wattage is an indication of its output or ability provide power.
The higher the wattage, it provides more power and you can use more powerful components.
There are two types of voltage: input and output.
The input voltage indicates how much power the PSU must draw from the power outlet.
Because different countries have different voltage inputs, this input will vary based on where you live.
This is an example: 110V in North America and 200-240V in Europe.
Some power supplies can be set to accept a voltage range of 110-220V.
Through their built-in auto-switching mechanisms, they can adapt to the input.
This mechanism should not be included.
Another spec that you will see is the output voltage.
There are many standard output voltages, including +3.3V and 5.5V as well as 12V and 12V.
The standby voltage powers certain components, such as the keyboard, BIOS, memory and BIOS. It also supports Power-on features, when the computer is in standby mode.
Negative output voltages are also available, ranging between 12V and -5V, as well as zero.
These voltages could also be represented in Rails.
The output voltage is the voltage that goes into each of the components. This voltage can vary for each.
These voltage requirements are combined to determine the total power requirement of the system.
4. Maximum Power
Maximum power is the maximum power that a single rail can draw in watts.
It can be the combined power from two or more rails. Sometimes it is the product of voltage and current.
This maximum power allows you to determine how much power each component can draw.
This is especially important if you are building your computer. Make sure that each component has enough power.
5. Max Current
The maximum current (or in some PSUs the max load) is the maximum amount of current that a rail can provide.
It is shown below each rail and indicates that the maximum current it can supply different components is that limit.
Any higher and the PSU will fail or the computer will stop working.
6. Total Power
The total power of a PSU is measured in watts. It represents the combined power of all rails.
Because they are the same thing, it is the same number as the wattage.
If they are not identical, it means that the manufacturer has chosen the 12V rail to show the maximum rail’s total power.
It’s the most important rail in the PSU, and can power most of your main components.
7. 80 Plus Rating
PSU manufacturers are awarded an 80 Plus rating which shows their reliability.
These ratings include Titanium and Platinum, Gold, Platinum, Silver, Bronze, 80+, and 80+.
They are rated on their efficiency, stability and safety as well as the components they use.
A PSU that is more efficient will have a lower electricity consumption, and a higher output/input ratio.
A high stability rating means that high temperatures and loads won’t cause any performance issues for your PSU.
Low-stability PSUs could shut down or even burn in such situations.
A power supply unit that is not safe can also put other components, which get power from it, in danger.
It should include safety features such as an Over-Voltage Protector, (OVP), and a Under Voltage protector, (UVP).
The 80 Plus rating is a testament to the quality of the PSU’s components.
These components can affect the performance of your PSU and make it less reliable.
What Do You Need to Know About Your Power Supply?
The power supply is a critical component of your computer. It can impact its performance as well as the operation of each component.
It does this because it sends power according to their power requirements to all components.
It can also convert the AC voltage to a low voltage DC, which is compatible with computer parts.
You may not need to learn about the power supply features if your computer is working fine and you don’t plan to change it.
It is important to know what power supply you have if you wish to upgrade components or overclock your system.
Imagine you want your computer to be a gaming machine, and that you need a faster GPU.
You need to determine if the power supply is capable of giving the GPU sufficient power to operate efficiently and at maximum capacity.
You could cause damage to the components if you don’t have a proper PSU.
The PSU’s wattage is the most important.
All components of a PC should consume less power than the PSU’s total wattage.
If you do not, your computer may shut down or the PSU may fail.
You can choose the best components possible by knowing the limits of your PSU.
You can also search for power supplies that are compatible with new parts if you are looking for upgrades.
You will need to be able to determine the maximum load your power supply can support if you wish to upgrade.
But what about the components?
How can you ensure that the new components don’t overload the PSU or cause it to go out of control?
To ensure that every component gets enough power, you should add 150W to your total power requirement after you have calculated it.
It can be difficult to determine the right size power supply for you if you are looking to purchase one.
This number can be calculated using a variety of methods:
The following components are powered by your computer’s PSU:
- Optical drive
- Fans and peripherals (although many of them have their power cables or draw power via USB connections).
- You can also put anything inside the chassis.
It is important to know the combined voltages of these components.
Next, use the following equation for the required wattage of the PSU.
Power = Amps x V
This is a straightforward solution but it’s important to know the voltages and amps for all components.
The below process is simpler.
Power Supply Calculator
A wide variety of online tools are available that will help you decide how large a power supply is needed.
Simply enter the parts of your computer or the ones that you wish to purchase, and the program will calculate the power they need.
These tools can even tell you which components are compatible and which ones you should avoid.
Newegg and Cooler Masters Power Supply Calculator are just a few of the online tools that can accurately calculate your PSU Wattage.
How to Choose the Best PSU
You now know the size PSU that you require, but you also need to consider other characteristics that make a great PSU.
1. Standard vs. Custom PSUs
If you are looking for a power supply in your area, there may be two types of PSUs: standard and custom.
Cooler Master and Corsair make standard PSUs, which are gaming-specific units.
These power supplies are large and heavy with high-quality cables and components. They also have black exteriors.
Pre-built computers use custom power supplies. They are lighter and of lower quality, particularly aluminum exteriors.
Their fans can be found on the back of the PSU. This is in contrast to standard PSUs which have them on their top or bottom.
These PSUs are less expensive than standard PSUs, and they are made by lesser-respected brands such as Intex and Zebronics.
Standard PSUs come with many cables and sleeves. Standard PSUs, however, have fewer cables.
A standard power supply from a well-known brand will provide a powerful power supply for your gaming system.
Size is another important aspect to consider when purchasing a PSU.
Because of the different forms, not all PSUs can fit in your computer case.
Before you choose a power supply unit, consider its form factor.
To ensure that your PSU is compatible with the new unit, you can either take it to the store or measure the dimensions.
To make sure your system is perfect, measure the space where the PSU will be placed and then compare that to the clearance in the case.
You can attach cables to a modular PSU according to your system and needs.
This feature is not available on non-modular PSUs. Instead, cables are permanently attached.
Semi-modular PSUs can be equipped with either permanently attached or detachable cables.
Modular PSUs offer the greatest advantage: you can choose what connections to include or ignore.
You can also reduce clutter and increase airflow, especially for transparent cases.
If you are using a modular PSU, then you must use the supplied cables. You can also not use any aftermarket cables.
Even if the cables are from the same manufacturer they might not be compatible. Therefore, you should be aware of any new cables that you purchase for your modular PSU.
How to Make Sure Your PSU Is Working
Sometimes, you might need to replace your PSU because it is failing.
It can be difficult to diagnose a failing PSU because symptoms could be signs of other system problems.
However, there are some indicators that are more telling than others.
- Randomly, the computer crashes.
- Despite fans spinning, the system won’t turn on.
- Blue screen crashes can occur for no apparent reason, and they happen randomly.
- Different components of the PC seem to be failing repeatedly.
- The PC makes unusual, additional noises.
You must test the PSU to make sure that these symptoms are not indicative of another problem.
You can replace your PSU with a unit that is functioning properly to ensure it is not going to fail.
You should take safety precautions when performing this test. PSUs can produce dangerous amounts of electricity, which can cause catastrophic accidents if they are not handled properly.
Plug the PSU into the wall outlet by unplugging it from the GPU and motherboard.
If the computer turns on, it is likely that the PSU has failed.