Do You Have the Power?
Better yet, does your computer or small server have the power?
Were you aware of the fact that studies completed by both IBM and the Strategic Research Corporation show that 28% of all failures and downtime are caused by power related problems! Amazing isn’t it, that the most overlooked part of most computer systems, the power supply, is responsible for nearly a third of all system failures and resultant downtime.
Although we will experience the greatest expansion in history of processor, motherboard and memory technologies during the 1999-2001 period, little has been done to focus user attention on the one component that insures that everything else will work as it should. That little box inside your computer with all the wires attached to it! Without it, nothing else works. Do you know that many of the low-end computers being manufactured today rely on power supplies that were developed for 486 computers? Recent releases of AMD and Intel processors have shown that some power supplies in use over the last 2-3 years are barely adequate, and some are completely inadequate. Today’s new processors, motherboards, memory and video components demand adequate, clean and closely regulated power.
Windows Blue Screen!
Many experienced technicians have blamed their Windows blue screen experiences on cheap RAM, unstable drivers, or Windows itself, when in fact the problem was really the power supply. Shortly after the Athlon-based systems began arriving on the scene their were a multitude of problems, most of which were attributed to everything but the real culprit, the inability of the power supply to deliver ample wattage. By the way, if you’re worried that running a powerful power supply will increase your electricity bills, worry no more! A properly manufactured switching power supply will only consume the actual power that it needs based upon the instant demands of your computer. As an example, if you have a 300 watt power supply and your computer only requires 200 watts, the power supply will only consume 200 watts. Actually, with a little planning you can actually reduce your electrical costs as well as make your computer a little healthier and more efficient.
Here’s some guidelines.
- Make sure that you only use seventy (70%) to eighty (80%) percent of the total capacity of your power supply. Doing so will cause the unit to run cooler and more efficiently than one being pushed to its limits.
- Power regulation is critical to your computer and its components. The better the power regulation, the closer the power supply comes to its optimum voltage. As an example, power regulation in a better power supply should be at one (1%) percent on all output lines, however cheaper power supplies generally range from five (5%) percent to seven (7%) percent.
- The power supply you choose should have a capacity of approximately 20% to 30% greater than the total wattage requirements of all components inside. Yes, more is better! Need some help with the calculations? Click here for our power supply wattage calculator.
- Regardless of which power supply you purchase, make certain that it has built-in line conditioning and power regulation. This type of units won’t skip a beat when the line voltage sags (brown-outs). Their input ranges are a wide 85-135V (170-270V Euro) and their heavy duty input components will help protect your computer and its data from sags, surges and spikes. Power regulation provided by cheap power supplies range between 5% and 7%, when 2% is barely acceptable and 1% is optimum.
- The power supply you choose should utilize a dual-stage output filter that ensures that sensitive computer chips receive pure, low-ripple power. This type of stability also improves drive reliability during critical read/write periods. The power supplies that we provide do this and allot more!
- Make sure that the power supply provides enough output lines for the devices that are, or will be, installed in your computer. Try not to use “Y” power connectors, as this reduces the power to the devices being connected and places an unnecessary demand on your power supply. Place fans and floppy drives together on their own line, away from those lines providing power to hard drives etc.
Remember! Even though you may purchase one of our recommended power supplies, they do not protect your expensive computer components against massive line surges that result from lightening strikes and utility company problems. To protect yourself against these problems, at the very least you should have your computer plugged into a surge protector, and ultimately you should use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). A UPS will guard against damage from lightening strikes and massive line voltage sags and spikes caused by utility company problems, and even give you a few minutes to save your work and shut down when the lights go out!
We carry power supplies manufactured by PC Power and Cooling and KPI, (Key Power, Inc.) and surge protectors manufactured by APC (American Power Conversion) and Tripp Lite.
This picture illustrates the difference between a great power supply and an ordinary substitute.
As you can see, there’s a world of difference in construction, which is readily seen in performance!
Just use the menu to the left to find the power components right for you.