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Computer power supply

In this article we will talk about one of the most important parts of a computer – the power supply, you will find out what important role it plays in a personal computer. The main function of the power supply unit is to convert the AC voltage in the household power supply network (220 V) to DC, with a nominal value of 12 (twelve), 5 (five) and 3.3 (three) Volts, which various components of our computer consume.

The computer’s power supply is responsible for the uninterrupted power supply of the entire system unit. The failure of this node completely de-energizes the computer and it stops turning on. Or it starts to “glitch” in the most unpredictable way, which is also not kosher 🙂 A malfunctioning computer power supply can cause various “freezes”, errors of the operating system and other programs, in short – unstable and unpredictable behavior of the system as a whole. Below are some photos of different power supplies:

The computer power supply shown in the photo above is good because it has a large 12-centimeter cooler (fan) located at the bottom. At the same productivity, it rotates more slowly than standard 8-centimeter fans located on the rear wall of the unit’s protective casing, which leads to less noise (at the same air flow power).

Since when the power supply unit is installed inside the system unit, its fan is located directly above the processor and works by blowing, there is an additional heat removal from the central processor area and hot air is discharged outside the computer case through round openings on the back wall of the unit. The durability of such fans (12 cm) is also greater precisely due to lower revolutions and less bearing wear.

On the back wall there is also a button to turn off the power supply (when buying, choose just that). Firstly, it is convenient: it is not necessary to disconnect the 220V cord to disconnect power. Secondly, it excludes spontaneous turning on of the computer during voltage fluctuations in the power supply network (agree, it will be unpleasant if the computer turns on itself and at that time you relax at sea! 🙂

The photo above is also a good unit for powering the computer. Look at his stock of connectors (how many different devices can be powered at the same time). There is also a button to completely turn off the power, but an 8-centimeter fan is already located on the back of the device.

High-quality power supplies have various schemes and protection modes. We list the most popular of them:

UVP – (Under Voltage Protection); Triggered when a 20-25% drop is reached.
OVP – (Over Voltage Protection) The same 25% on any channel, but to a different side.
SCP – (Short Circuit Protection) Often it’s just a fuse, but there are more serious solutions based on digital protection circuits.
OPP or OLP – (Over Power Protection – Overload protection) Exceeding the total load on all channels.
OCP – (Over Current Protection – protection against power surges and surges in the network, overvoltage) Emergency shuts down the power supply
OTP – (Over Temperature Protection) The maximum temperature inside the power supply must not exceed 50 degrees Celsius.
AFC – (Automatic Control Fan) – A separate chip that is often attached to one of the radiators
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) For quality products, it is over 100,000 hours
And this is what an ordinary cheap Chinese power supply unit looks like without an upper protective cover:

Remember: one of the signs of a quality block is its … weight! After all, this is logical: the heavier the computer’s power supply, the more components inside it. The manufacturer did not save on the number of filtering capacitors, on chokes, resistors, field effect transistors and did not replace most of them with jumpers. Again, the wall thickness of the product, the number and variety of connectors, perhaps the presence of additional adapters in the package.

A quality computer power supply is very important! I will give an example: in our IT department there are six computers (in one room). Two new ones with branded blocks, the rest – so-so and one completely outdated (for a set of documents). And so, during episodic power surges in the electric network (when the light, as they say, “blinks”), we observe the same picture: the oldest computer instantly reboots, the ones that are newer in 50% of cases, and two new ones almost never.

What is the secret? Exclusively in a good power supply! The fact is that high-quality products (with a short-term voltage drop in the power supply network) can support the operation of the entire system for several tenths of a millisecond by discharging the capacitor banks located in them.

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