Power Supply

Topics: Alternating current, Personal computer, Desktop computer Pages: 2 (431 words) Published: March 15, 2013
Computer power supply
A computer power supply typically is designed to convert 120 V or 240 V AC power from the electrical company to usable power for the internal components of the computer. The most common computer power supply is built to conform with the ATX form factor. This enables different power supplies to be interchangeable with different components inside the computer. ATX power supplies also are designed to turn on and off using a signal from the motherboard (PS-ON wire), and provide support for modern functions such as the Standby mode of many computers. Computer power supplies are rated for certain wattages based on their maximum output power. Typical wattages range from 200 W to 500 W, although some new personal computers with high energy requirements may draw as much as 1000 W (1 kW).

Most computer power supplies have a large bundle of wires emerging from one end. One connector attached to the opposite end of some wires goes to the motherboard to provide power. The PS-ON wire is located in this connector. The connector for the motherboard is typically the largest of all the connectors. There are also other, smaller connectors, most of which have four wires: two black, one red, and one yellow. Unlike the standard electrical wire color-coding, each black wire is a Ground, the red wire is +5 V, and the yellow wire is +12 V. Inside the computer power supply is a complex arrangement of electrical components, ranging from diodes to capacitors to transformers. Also, many power supplies have metal heatsinks and fans to dissipate large amounts of heat produced. It is dangerous to open a power supply while it is connected to an electrical outlet as high voltages may be present even while the unit is switched off.

In desktop computers, the power supply is a small (PSU) box inside the computer; it is an important part of the computer because it provides electrical power in a form that is suitable for every other component inside or attached to the computer...
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