August 5, 2010

Worth It to replace poorly made ATX computer power supplies for Desktop computers?

Yes, it can be worth it to replace cheap poorly made ATX power supplies for your computer. I replaced two of my cheaper power supplies in my store bought computers with mid-end Power Supplies made by Sparkle and Cooler Master, and my computer have not had any power related failures and have been super reliable. A poorly made power supply can fry other computer parts like motherboard, CPU, memory which are easily damage by power spikes, and surges caused by a power supply. A good ATX power supply only cost 33 dollars and up, or less if you get it on sale. If your PC does not use ATX power supplies then you are pretty much out of luck, and have to keep using your current power supplies until it breaks taking the rest of your computer parts with it or hope it is well-made and can keep running well. A dieing power supply can also cause random freezes, restarts, and crashes.

But, most regular size tower computers use ATX style power supplies since ATX is the most popular form factor for most tower desktop computer. To find out if your computer is using the ATX form factor, you can see if your power supply has the word "ATX" on it or if your case has the word ATX on it. Also, there are two types of ATX power supplies one uses 20 pin plug to plug into the motherboard, and the other uses 20 pin to plug into the motherboard. The 24 pin ATX power supply is mostly used on newer computers with PCI-Express video cards or a motherboard capable of accepting a PCI-Express card.

Replacing a power supply is very simple, there are plenty of computer repair books, videos, and websites which teaches you how to install a power supply on your computer.

You might see the word PSU a lot on the internet and in books. PSU stands for "power supply unit".

For a typical computer user who does not plan on adding a lot of RAM, high-end video card, many hard drives, and not planing to over clock a computer. a 400W-500W power supply should be good enough for most of your power needs and future upgrades like a faster video card.

If your using an older Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon XP computer then a 300W-350W power supply should be enough.

If you are a heavy power user, get the best power supply you can afford since you spent thousands of dollars on your computer, so there is no point in breaking it because you were too cheap to buy a good power supply.

You won't save more on your power bill by buying a lower wattage power supply since power supplies only uses as much power your computer needs to keep it up and running. A 500W 80 % plus efficient power supply uses less electricity then a 300W power supply which is 50% power efficient. 80 Plus power supplies generate less heat, so more electricity can be used to power your PC instead of being wasted as heat.

Reasons why 30+ dollar power supplies are better then most 10 dollar power supplies

Usually better power supplies are also more energy efficient and run cooler, and saving you more money in electricity cost. They also has better cooling so your computer is less likely to overheat.

Better power supplies also have quieter fans or smart fans which only spin faster when it is hot which make your computer less loud and power supply last longer. Yet, they push the same amount of air, or more air then poorly made power supplies.

In many cases, it is essential to upgrade your power supply before you can upgrade to more RAM, CPU, extra hard drive, video card, etc since many power supples which come with store bought computers can't handle the extra electrical draw of mid to high-end video cards made by Nvidia or ATI.

Many better designed power supplies also has protection sensors to protect against Over Power, Over Voltage, Short-Circuit, and Protection Reset which is a good insurance measure to keep your PC running well.

If you want to install a PCI-Express video card, or SATA hard drive without the need to buy 4 pin molex to SATA or PCI-express power adapters , most likely you need to buy a new power supply with SATA power plugs, and 6 pin PCI-Express power plugs built-in to the power supply.

Mid to High-end power supply also has better cable management which improve air flow since there is less clutter in your computer case. I also notice the cables are longer, and are less likely to get tangled, or bundled up into a mess of wires.

Good power supply companies are Thermaltake, Antec, Cooler Master, Sparkle, Fortron, Corsiar, OCZ, Seasonic, Silverstone.

No comments: