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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Power ]

External Power

The matter of power begins with a look at the power delivered to the case. The power that comes into your home is normally quite reliable, but it can be surprising how many quality problems it often has. Spikes, surges, blackouts, brownouts, line noise—all are common power problems that you don't generally notice (well, you notice a blackout :^) ). Usually, the electrical devices you use manage to deal with them (at least, most of them.) Your computer's power supply has some tolerance to these problems as well; the more expensive the system, the more the power supply can tolerate without failure. If your power supply is inexpensive, however (and too many of them these days are) then poor power can lead directly to system troubles that manifest themselves in ways that would never lead you to suspect power as the cause. Taking some steps to improve the quality of the power going into the system can help prevent problems no matter what PC you use.

Next: Electrical Power Basics

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