The Computer Power Supply

power supply

A computer power supply is exactly what the name states.  It will convert the AC current into the DC current that a computer needs.  It will supply a very stable power going into your computer.

If you plan on running two video cards, more than three drives, or overclocking look at buying an aftermarket power supply with a capacity of 650W or more.  If not, you should be completely fine with the power supply that came with your computer case.  If you want something that is solid, get a 650W power supply or greater that has good reviews and you can't go wrong.

If you're not sure what wattage you need error to the side or bigger rather than smaller.  A larger wattage power supply will run more efficiently, using less power, and will also supply a more stable power than a power supply that is working close to it's full potential.  Recently I observed the results when swapping out a 450W power supply with a 650W power supply.  The final consumption on my battery backup was actually about 20-30 watts less.

This used to be an area I was never concerned about, but lately, as we have devices that use more power, and require more stable power a cheap power supply can really be the crutch in an otherwise well built computer with high quality parts.


TIP! The best part of connecting the power supply is that all the connectors have different shapes, so if it fits, you have the right location.

There are four screws on the back of you computer case that hold the power supply in place.  Just put the power supply in place and put the screws in.

Connect Power to the Motherboard

  • Step 1 - Find the motherboard power wires from your power supply.
motherboard power connectors
  • Step 2 - Locate the main power connectors on the motherboard, and plug the power wires into them.  In this case the bottom 2 connectors in the picture above snap together, then are plugged into the main power supply connector on the motherboard.
motherboard with atx power connected

TIP! Every connection on the motherboard needs to have power supplied to it.  The picture below is incorrect.

motherboard with missing power connectorMotherboard with a missing power connector.
  • Step 3 - Look for any other power connections on the motherboard.
secondary motherboard power connector
  • Step 4 - Connect power to secondary power connectors on the motherboard.
motherboard secondary power

To connect power to the rest of the components you can click the links below.
Click here to go from Computer Power Supply to Computer Parts.
Click here to go back to the Home Page.