When you are planning to upgrade your PC or assembling a new one have you ever encountered this question- What Power Supply Do I Have? Unlike your device’s CPU or GPU, your PSU doesn’t interact with the motherboard. So as you can see, it’s pretty hard to find quality information on the brand, wattage strength and efficiency rating of the PSU.
PSU, also known as the Power Supply Unit is responsible for powering the motherboard and your overall device. Moreover, you don’t have any program to report the information of the power supply unit on your device’s screen. So here are some ways with the help of which you can find out which power supply you have.
Significance of knowing about the Power Supply Unit
To be precise, the power supply along with the motherboard is the only components which connect directly to almost every other hardware unit in the device. Because of the unique position of the PSU, it is crucial that you know properly about it. Also, the PSU should have built-in surge protection to secure the other components of your PC.
Quite interestingly, the PSU is far down the list of vital hardware for someone who is assembling a PC. But as it plays a crucial role, the power supply unit is an integral component of your system’s hardware. In other words, the selection is just as vital as your graphics card or motherboard in the long run.
Also, note that selecting the quality of the hardware can be the deciding factor between a well-tuned device and a device which lags often. If you aren’t aware of the positioning of the PSU while assembling your PC, you would experience frequent crashes and boots. The power supply unit is often the unsung hero when your PC runs.
Without an ideal PSU, your PC wouldn’t run. Quite interestingly, deciding your system’s PSU usually depends on what purpose you are using the PC. For instance, a gaming PC requires more power than a normal PC. What’s more, monitors or even high-end computer peripherals like mouse and keyboard require substantially greater amount of power.
So it is important that you find the appropriate PSU to address your individual requirements. And in case you don’t know, the overall wattage is the deciding factor in how much power your system would require to operate. Opting for an oversized PSU is one of the most important steps in making your device future-proof.
In other words, if you plan to upgrade your PC later, it would be easier for the power supply unit to accommodate the surging power needs. It is also important to know about the power demand of each component while you are buying a PSU. If you have an average PC, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you want to execute specialized tasks with your PC, you would need a high-power PSU.
Ways to find out about the type of PSU installed on your PC
Well, you should be aware of the ways to find out about the type of PSU your system possesses. Also, note that all power supplies placed inside the PC have a sticker with power ratings on it. So here are some of the ways with the help of which you can find out the type of PSU installed on your device.
Physical Method- By Opening the Chassis of the CPU
This is one of the most preferred ways to find out the type of PSU installed on your PC. You should be on the lookout for a sticker or label on the side panel which would provide crucial information about the PSU. The type of information usually includes the name of the PSU, its model number, power and wattage along with the voltage.
In case you don’t know, this sticker is present in every PSU. It is present either on the sides or at the top. The position of placing the sticker depends upon the manufacturer. But opening the panel and finding the sticker wouldn’t help you unless you know properly about the technical information present in the label.
So with these things in mind, let’s take a glance at the technical specifications you would usually find on the label.
Name and Model of the PSU
On the label itself, you would find the brand and name of the PSU along with its model number. Furthermore, you would also find the total wattage of the PSU which is usually printed in clear fonts. What’s more, you would also find various certification ratings and quality compliance indicator right on the sticker.
The wattage is also written in the biggest font so that users can easily identify the PSU. The wattage provides you important information about the capabilities of the PSU.
Input voltage is usually measured in AC which operates the PSU. For most US and South American nations, the input voltage ranges from 110V to 127V. On the other hand, for countries in Europe and Asia, the operational input voltage is 110V to 240V.
It is interesting to note here that the PSUs available in Asia, Europe and the UK come equipped with the auto-switching mechanism to identify voltage and can switch on the basis of the requirement of the PC.
On the other hand, some of the advanced PSUs comprise a physical switch which permits you to select an appropriate voltage based on the voltage specifications in your locality.
Underneath each voltage spec, you can see the maximum amount of current that each rail will provide. For instance, if the 12V rail has 35A current listed, then it wouldn’t be able to provide more than 35A current even when the power demand rises. And when there is an increase of the power demand, this would overload the PSU resulting in its failure.
Output of the PSU
Always remember that the output of the PSU is in DC. DC output refers to the output voltage provided by the power supply unit. The standard output voltages provided by a PSU are also known as rails. Usually, you get 3.3V, 5.5V, 12V and 5VSB from the PSUs.
It is common to find PSUs with multiple 12V rails such as the 12V rail and the quad 12V rail. Note that the 5VSB always remains on as it powers the BIOS, keyboard, mouse, LAN ports, etc. It also provides a small amount of power to the motherboard and the BIOS when you switch off your device by leaving the mains on.
Maximum power refers to the total amount of power you get for a single rail or for a combination of rails. Quite interestingly, the power for 3.3V and 5V rail is calculated and combined in a collective manner. On the contrary, the power for 12V rail is always listed separately. It is also important to note here that the power is calculated in watts which are the product of the current and the voltage.
Under each table cell for voltage, you would find the label for the maximum current load. Note that this particular word is omitted a majority of times. But in a majority of PSUs, you would find it directly under the corresponding voltage. Always remember that if you overload the maximum load, it may lead to the complete shutdown of your device.
There are many PSU manufacturers out there who use the total combined power of 12V rail. This is because the 12V rail powers a majority of the components while the other calculates all the rails.
Learning about the PSU from the Brand’s Website
This method comes handy when you have a PC built by a single manufacturer. In other words, you are using a device which hasn’t been assembled with different hardware components. As you can see, there is no need to pry open the case and look for the PSU.
And if you are inexperienced, there are high chances that you can damage the PSU. You can also find a great deal of information about the PSU by going through the manual of the PC. However, finding the specs on the website of the manufacturer is a great option.
How to check the power supply if there is no physical sticker on the PSU?
In case you don’t, all PSUs are required by respective authorities to include a label with specs on it. So if you are not able to locate the physical sticker, the identification may be on the invisible side. If this is the case, you have to remove the power supply before being able to identify it.
But you should remove the PSU only when you are confident of removing it. However, after removing the PSU if you are still unable to find the label, you should buy a new PSU. A PSU without a label is dangerous to use. In many cases, it has caused extensive damage to the device of the users.
1. How do I check my PC wattage?
You should manually calculate the total amps of the components by total volts of the components. The result would be the total wattage of your PC.
2. Is 750w PSU enough?
Yes, it is enough even for a high-end gaming PC.
3. How do you troubleshoot a Power supply unit?
Most PSUs have a light on the back of the unit that glows when it is powered on. In case it doesn’t glow, there is something wrong with the unit.
4. What happens if PSU is too weak?
Your PC will freeze and users will experience lags.
So by now, you must be well-aware of what power supply you have and the various specifications of the PSU of a PC. So the next time the PSU of your PC experiences trouble, follow the above steps to find out the specs.