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25th February 2022 News

When it comes to supplying computer products, it’s always handy to know about the vital components. As far as computer features are concerned, the power supply is perhaps the most crucial component, as it powers every internal module. Despite this importance, it’s not always abundantly clear what power supply is used to power a machine. As a result, you may be searching how to find out what power supply I have so that you’re able to provide consumers with an informed service. So, what steps need to be taken to check a computer's power supply?

Why You Need to Know About Your Power Supply

You must be able to inform consumers about what power supply a PC contains so that they have the option of adding or upgrading a graphics card or any other power components. This is because added components require more of your power supply, which could result in slow function and eventually burnout. Furthermore, if your power supply incurs damage, this could result in harm being caused to your internal components.

Another reason a consumer may wish to know about the power supply is if they intend to upgrade it. Therefore, they will need you to tell them about the power supply’s current capabilities to know what product they’re looking for.

How to Find Out About Your Power Supply

Since a power supply’s only function is to power multiple components, it doesn’t have any communication interface with the motherboard. As a result, there isn’t any hardware detection software that will be able to determine the power supply specification. Therefore, a PC must be physically deconstructed to determine the power supply specification.

Opening the PC Case

The PC case will need to be opened via the side panel to locate the power supply. Once this is open, a label or sticker will need to be located, as this label details important information regarding the power supply. Typically speaking, the name, model number, wattage/power, voltage, and current details will be listed. This information can be found on any power supply and usually placed at the top or on the sides. Upon locating the power supply information, it may not always be the simplest to comprehend, which is why we have detailed how to interpret this below.

Reading the Power Supply Label

As previously mentioned, the power supply label will list the power supply's brand, name, and model number. On top of this, it will detail the total wattage recorded in large fonts, alongside an 80 Plus Certification Rating.

As well as this, the AC voltage at which the PSU operates will be recorded. Typically, this will sit between 110V and 127V for UK machines. Despite this, some power supplies will reach up to 240V, whilst others may be equipped with a physical switch that allows you to adjust the voltage to suit your area of operation.

In addition to the AC voltage, the DC output of the power supply will also be detailed on the label. A standard ATX power supply will usually provide outputs of +3.3V, +5.5V, +12V, and +5VSB. These might otherwise be described as Rails, such as 3.3V Rail, 5V Rail, and 12V Rail. Depending on the power supply model, there might also be multiple 12V Rails like Dual or Quad 12V Rail.

Under every Rail or voltage level, there will be a maximum amount of current that each Rail can deliver. It’s also worth noting that this will be measured in Amperes. However, the maximum combined power for singular or multiple Rails will be measured in Watts. If it’s not stated, the total power can be determined by adding the power of all the Rails together.

Finding Out About Connectors and Cables

Since the PC case is open, this can be taken as an opportunity to check the types and number of cables and connectors in the power supply. Typically, a CPU 4+4 Pin, Motherboard 20+4 Pin, SATA Cable, Floppy4 Pin, PCI-e 6 Pin, and Peripheral 4 Pin will be found.

Once you’re familiar with the model number and name of the power supply, the manufacturer’s website will be able to provide you with more information. This information can be found via a downloadable specs sheet or manual.

Purchase Power Supplies from Ideal Power

Here at Ideal Power, we stock all manner of power supplies so that you can manufacture some of the best machines on the market. Browse our collection of internal and external power supply units to find the products for you. Otherwise, contact us, and a member of our expert team will be in touch with helpful advice and guidance regarding our services and product range.


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