Picking The Right Power Supply: What You Should Know

Don't Get Burned: Safely Before Stinginess

Chinese Firecrackers

While this description may sound a little whimsical, there’s a serious implication to consider. Often, what seems like a bargain can turn out to be a potentially flammable firecracker that can take out your whole system when it makes its grand exit.

The Most Important Protective Circuits In Modern PSUs

Knowing is half the battle, so says the G.I. Joe PSA, and that’s why we want to present this info. Below you’ll find a table with the most important abbreviations for protective mechanisms found in modern power supplies. If you make sure these features are included with your PSU of choice, you can prevent your hardware from falling prey to an unnecessary failure.

Abbreviation Protection
Over-Voltage Protection (primary and secondary)
UVP Under-Voltage Protection (primary and secondary)
NLO No-Load Operation
Short-Circuit Protection
OCP Over-Current Protection
OLP (OPP) Overload Protection
  OTP Overheating Protection

A decent PSU should contain a digital protection chip. Sadly, there are still some companies that sell super-cheap models with a conventional fuse and varistor as “equipped with short-circuit protection and over-temperature protection.” While this may be true by the letter of the law, a combination like that is a recipe for disaster.

When Buying Cheap Can Be Really Expensive

Here we have two perfect examples of what can happen when a company cuts corners; things can get really hot. We think these pictures speak for themselves. Do yourself a favour and get a decent power supply.

And with these educational images, we’ve come to the end of our primer on switching power supplies. Now that we’ve gone over the theory, it’s time to apply what we learned to the real world. To that end, let’s look at some of the components in a computer and how much power they consume.