Switch Mode ATX Power Supplies

Switch Mode ATX Power Supplies

ATX, or Advanced Technology eXtended, is a motherboard developed by Intel in 1995.  This motherboard improved greatly on previous models and was the first major change of computer power supplies for many years.

What are Switch Mode ATX Power Supplies?

A switch mode is an electronic power supply that uses a switching regulator. This means that it is highly efficient in conversing electrical power. It transfers power from a source such as the electrical power grid to a load like a computer. At the same time, it converts voltage and current features. Usually, you would use a switch mode ATX power supply when the input voltage and the output voltage are not the same. It switches very quickly between on and off hence minimising wasted energy. It regulates the voltage by altering the ratio of on to off time. The efficiency this provides is the biggest benefit of using a switch mode power supply.

Where to Purchase Switch Mode ATX Power Supplies

You can purchase switch mode ATX power supplies from most electrical goods stores. It is advisable to go to a store that specialises in computers and computer supplies, so you can also get some really good advice on which switch mode ATX power supply best suits your needs. You can purchase a switch mode ATX power supply from store such as:

  • PC World
  • Farnell
  • Currys
  • EBuyer (online store only)
  • Eclipse Computer
  • BT Store and BT Business Direct
  • Softhands (online store only)

Estimated Cost of Switch Mode ATX Power Supplies

The cost of a Switch Mode ATX power supply will vary greatly depending on the exact specifications you require. You can expect to pay anything from around £20 for a PSU, COLOURS IT (6 outputs, 3.3V output voltage, 15A output current, 350W power rating, 230V supply voltage); to around £300 for an Asus Rampage III Extreme Socket 1366 8 Channel HD Audio ATX Motherboard.

A switch mode ATX power supply has many advantages over older systems. It is much more energy efficient and hence also cost effective. One of the disadvantages to switch mode ATX power supplies is that they are hard to test and you need to be very familiar and up to date with electronics in order to identify and repair any faults. This can be a problem as a switch mode ATX power supply is the power supply of choice for do it yourself computer builders, meaning that it can happen that those who build their own computers then have to go to a specialist if they encounter any problems with the switch mode ATX power supply. Another common problem is that self-built computers with a switch mode ATX power supply often get stuck in power save mode. This means that even if all the components are cleaned, removed and placed back or even if the computer is disconnected and later reconnected from the mains, you will be unable to switch it back on. Unfortunately, this is a very common fault.