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What to consider when choosing a PSU?

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  • What to consider when choosing a PSU?

    Hey guys, first time building a pc, super exciting. So my friend gave me a almost complete set up, its got a motherboard, ram, graphics card, cd drive and a hard drive. It looks like im only missing a psu, but have no idea if its "one fits all" or if you need a specific one depending on the existing hardware? Any help will be appreciated. Please ask for more info if needs be.

  • #2

    Typically, there are two main options: Standard ATX and SFX. There are PSUs both larger and smaller or different shapes. Usually, standard ATX is the safe route to go. Other things to consider are the following:

    Preferred certification: PSU certification is important because it describes their efficiency. 80 Plus Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum are some of the more common certifications to look at. The higher the efficiency, the higher the overall cost.

    Wattage: It would help to know what you are running to determine the recommended wattage. 500-850W are common PSUs purchased. Understanding what you plan on doing helps too.

    Case Clearance: Smaller cases may require you to look for an SFX PSU. Standard ATX are usually around 150 x 86 x 140mm. So if cases allow over that amount such as 200mm, then you are better off with the ATX.

    Modular: Non-modular and semi-modular PSUs are usually cheaper, however, cable management is a little tougher. Also, the cables you don't use remain intact with the PSU. Modular units are usually more in price, but cable management is generally easier.

    All that said, provide us with more information and we can try and help you out the best we can.