What ATX Power Supplies Should I Choose

What ATX Power Supplies Should I Choose

If you are trying to build your own gaming system or personal computer, you will need an ATX, or Advanced Technology eXtended, to supply the power to your machine.  Finding out exactly which one you need can be quite difficult, and will depend largely on the number of output and input you require.

What to Look for First when Choosing an ATX Power Supply?

First of all, you need to know if you are purchasing an ATX Power Supply as a replacement for your existing machine (in which case you can just replace like for like), or if you are looking for a brand new one. Power supply cross reference engine lists are available in a variety of places if you are replacing a power supply for common brands such as Compaq, Dell, Gateway or HP.

You then need to work out if your power supply is an ATX form factor. If you are looking to replace your existing one, you should be able to find this information in the manual or stamped on your machine. If you are looking for a new ATX power supply, you are advised to choose an ATX form factor, rather than a micro ATX or other form.

Which ATX Power Supply is Right for Me?

When choosing their ATX power supply, people generally go by measurements: how much space do you have available for your ATX power supply? When looking at a new ATX power supply, you should be able to find out the height, width and depth so you can check whether it will fit in your case or existing system.

Once you have the right ATX power supply for size, you need to think of the connectors. Different power supplies have different connectors, so the general advice is to choose one that has either universal connectors or a variety of connectors. Remember also that you do not need to use every connector that your ATX power supply offers, so it could potentially be better to choose one that has more connectors than you may need, which you could use later if need be. Also make sure that the right amount of pins is available on the connectors. You can have 20 pin connectors and 24 pin connectors, so ensure you have the right one.

One main thing to take into consideration is the amount of power you will need. Again, it is better to have too much power (the supply will step down according to your requirements), than not enough. Undersized power supplies can cause untold problems, including unexpected reboots in your machine.

It is advisable to do a lot of research on the matter before choosing your ATX Power Supply. Very often when dealing with these machines, more is better. However, more also generally means more expensive, so don’t go overboard. Make sure you discuss with someone who knows their business, for example store employees in specialised electrical goods stores.

Once you have chosen your APX power supply, it will be time to start thinking about the right computer case and installing a front USB adaptor!