Types Of Computer Power Supply

What are the types of computer power supply? Power supply is a very useful component in any computer system. All components in a computer system can only function when there is power. A good power supply must be cost effective putting in mind the cost of operation. It must not dissipate power as this will only result to not only waste of electricity but also destruction of its components.

There has been a drastic change in the both the size of power supply due to reduced component sizes such as the capacitors, inductors and regulators. Broadly, different computer power supply can classified depending on the types of components they are made of. There can be capacitive power supply or inductive power supply depending on whether it’s has capacitors of inductors.

Various types of computer power supplies can be placed in the computer system like the case of most desktop computers or outside the computer system for the case of laptops.

A computer cannot system cannot withstand the supply voltages from the mains and thus need to rectify the ac supply by use of diodes in the power supply. Moreover, computer systems consist of various components which require different magnitudes of voltages. For instance, the processor, DVD-ROM, USB ports etc. require different magnitudes of voltages and this is the work of different types of computer power supply.

The number of power supplies in a computer system will depend on the size of the computer stems which also depends on the amount of work the system does. Most power supplies produce the following magnitude of voltages to be used in the computer system: +5 volts, -5 volts, +12 volts and -12 volts all being dc voltages.

There are two types of computer power supply based on the advancement in technology. These are:

AT type

These types of computer power supply ware used with the first generation of computers which had an AT compatible motherboards. They have since become extinct as the new generation of power supplies were introduced in 1997. In fact most computers which were manufactured after 1997 no longer uses these types of computer power supply. Computers with AT power supply we to be switched off manually besides having four ground (0 volts), four +5 volts wires and one -5 volts, +12 volts and -12 volts for each.

These types of computer power supply have 8 output terminals connected to the computer mother board with as signal terminal which provided communication between the mother board and the power supply.

ATX type

These are the commonly used types of computer power supply. Although they are more complex in design, ATX power supplies is more efficient and can be controlled by the use of various computer software. For example it can be put in a sleep mode, standby mode or switched off just by the use of computer software.

These types of computer power supply have between 20 -24 output terminals to the ATX compatible computer motherboards. It can also support quite a number of voltages setting with the following terminals: three + 3.3 volts, eight 0 volts, five +5 volts, one -5 volts, two +12 volts, one -12 volts and four wire signals.

The four signals indicate whether the power is good, power is on, +5 volts terminal for standby mode and + 3.3 volts sense.

The two types of computer power supply are totally different and therefore one cannot be replaced by the other as the computer motherboard must also be cantabile with the type of power supply used.