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

Power Supply Specifications and Certifications

This section provides a detailed look at the various specifications that accompany power supplies. While the specifications of any PC or PC component can tend towards the cryptic, power supply specifications are particularly bad in this regard. Many of the specifications are related to the electrical characteristics of the supply, and since most people aren't electrical engineers, they don't understand what they are reading. So most just skip them and figure they can't be that important. I think that learning power supply specifications takes some time and effort, but is well worth it if you want to understand what you are buying. After reading this section, you can be the judge.

The specifications are sorted into groups to make them "easier to digest". You'll find similar groupings on many manufacturers' specification sheets (but some just provide a long laundry list of specs). Although not every maufacturer will include every specification we cover here in their published specification files, they should be able to provide the information if you request it. Beware any manufacturer   that can't, or won't, provide operational specifications for their power supplies. That's a good hint right there that you may not be dealing with the best of companies--or equipment.

Each specification, where appropriate, includes links to the appropriate section discussing that characteristic.

Next: Physical Specifications

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