How to buy a desktop power supply

  • buy a weighty power supply. they are usually the more expensive power supplies. they are usually built with better parts.
  • if you can find a single-12V-rail power supply, do: there is less chance of there being a problem with a high end cvideo card. PC Power and Cooling used to be around and sell power supplies that were single-rail, and they had 7-year warranties, but I don't think they are available anymore. bought out by OCZ. OCZ offers 5-year and 3-year waranties. and their warranties are a little more interesting.
  • an 80 plus power supply is highly efficient (doesn't waste power as much as other power supplies). will save you money in power bills.
  • OCZ makes a gold and silver certified power supply that are 88% efficient that will save you even more money in power bills. they also come with an interesting 5 year warranty.
  • If you have a dell or hp after the year 2002, replacing your power supply may require a case modification to fit the power supply in using a nibbling tool. just search nextag.com for nibbling tool.
  • EPS12V is for xeon workstation/server motherboards or dual processor configurations, ATX12V is for regular desktop processors. some EPS12V power supplies have split connectors (read the mfr's web page) so that it can do dual 12V-4pin instead of only the single 12V 8-pin.
  • for stability, over-rate your power supply's recommended rating by 80W. meaning, take the maximum of the motherboard wattage and the recommended wattage of your video card and add 80W to it. There are system load calculators out there.
  • if you have an i7 processor, it is possible your minimum power supply wattage should be 550W.

desktop power supply changes

  • in 2000 came ATX12V, a 20-pin and an extra 4-pin that carried 12V and could do 443W. Plug compatible with newer motherboards, provided your PSU can supply the power needed.
  • over the last coupld of years came the ATX 2.x specification, using a 24-pin connector carring an extra 3.3V, 5V & something else + a 4-pin 12V connector. It is plug-compatible with older and newer standards, but for newer boards, make sure it can supply enough power. (make sure a capacitor or heat sink isn't blocking the path)
  • Now we have a 24-pin and a extra 8-pin 12V connector for dual-core and dual-processor motherboards whihch possibly came from the EPS specification, possibly with the name EPS12V. It is also plug-compatible with previous boards. (make sure a capacitor isn't blocking the path, and that the case has room for the longer length).

what a cheap power supply gets you

cheap power supplies are usually lightweight, are made with inferior parts, and don't last very long - no more than 3 months to 1 year. they have short warranties - so look at that before buying. and they generate a lot of heat (waste, very inefficient) compared to a more expensive PSU.

PC Power and Cooling PSUs
7-year warranty! this company has been around a long time making industrial PSUs and high quality PSUs for servers.
Antec EarthWatts
green series are bronze certified, meaning it will save on power bills. lower cost but high quality power supplies. 3 year warranty. 80 plus.
Antec Earthwatts 80 plus, available from newegg.com $40-90, nextag.com $44-150
Antec Earthwatts green 80 plus, available from newegg.com $50+5.64-$65, nextag.com $50-103
Antec TruePower
bronze certified, meaning it will save on power bills. $100 power supplies high quality power supplies. 3 year warranty, 80 plus. modular cable management.
TruePower New series 80 plus bronze certified, available from newegg.com $90-130, nextag.com $106-$160
TruePower Quattro series 80 plus bronze certified, available from newegg.com $140-$330+13, nextag.com $139-$251
OCZ silver/gold certified
active PFC, modular cable management, 5 year warranty, 80 plus.
80 Plus power supplies, especially these eries silver and gold, are very efficient and well made. 5 year warranty, and you will save money on power bills.
OCZ Z-Series Silver OCZZ550 550W ATX12V 2.2/ EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Active PFC Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i7 - Retail, available from nextag.com $93-125
3/26/2010. save money on your power bills. install a modern video card of your choice (check your bus type).
OCZ Z-Series Silver OCZZ650 650W ATX12V 2.2/ EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Active PFC Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i7 - Retail, available from nextag.com $85-135
3/26/2010. save money on your power bills. install a modern video card of your choice (check your bus type).
OCZ Z Series Gold OCZZ850 850W [one model is modular] ATX12V 2.3/ EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail, available from newegg.com $160-200, 850W nextag.com $190-229
3/26/2010. save money on your power bills. install a modern video card of your choice (check your bus type).
OCZ Z Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W ATX12V 2.3/ EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail , available from newegg.com $210, 1000W nextag.com $240-300
3/26/2010. save money on your power bills. install a modern video card of your choice (check your bus type).
OCZ ModXStream Pro
modular cable management, active PFC, 5 year warranty, 80 plus.
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail, available from newegg.com $69.99+$9.65-$25mailinrebate
4/8/2010. save money on your power bills. install a modern video card of your choice (check your bus type).
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail , available from newegg.com $74.99-$25mailinrebate, nextag.com $74.99
4/8/2010. save money on your power bills. install a modern video card of your choice (check your bus type).
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail , available from newegg.com $89.99-$25mailinrebate, nextag.com $86-90
4/8/2010. save money on your power bills. install a modern video card of your choice (check your bus type).
Laptop Power Supplies
8/17/2010. try removing your battery first. sometimes a dead battery can cause an extra high load on a power supply. if that solves the problem, replace your battery. if not, get a replacement power supply. when you do look for a laptop power supply, make sure you look up your model's replacement. laptop batteries and adapters are also available from cdw.
HP laptop power adapters, available from www.shopping.hp.com $50-$120
Dell laptop power adapters, available from accessories.us.dell.com $22-$120
Toshiba laptop power adapters, available from toshiba.com $40-$100 or cdw.om
Apple laptop power adapters, available from cdw.com $78-$90,$call
ASUS laptop power adapters, available from cdw.com
Lenovo laptop power adapters, available from cdw.com
laptop power adapters at cdw.com, available from cdw.com
Laptop Batteries
8/17/2010. try removing your battery first. sometimes a dead battery can cause an extra high load on a power supply. if that solves the problem, replace your battery. if not, get a replacement power supply. when you do look for a laptop power supply, make sure you look up your model's replacement. laptop batteries and adapters are also available from cdw
HP laptop batteries, available from www.shopping.hp.com $32-111 and cdw.com>
Dell laptop batteries, available from accessories.us.dell.com $22-$120 or cdw.com
Toshiba laptop batteries, available from toshiba.com $40-$100 or cdw.com
Apple laptop batteries, available from cdw.com $129-150
ASUS laptop batteries, available from cdw.com
Lenovo batteries at cdw.com, available from cdw.com
laptop batteries at cdw.com, available from cdw.com