What Makes A Good Power Supply? Well the Republic of Gamers might not make PSUs, but we do recognize a good one keeps the rest of your PC happy while the high efficiency keeps the power bills down on that quad-GPU rig. If you’ve never really given them much thought though, Toms Hardware has a very useful foundation guide to start you off, explaining the differences in form factors, power rails, connectors and compatibility and even certifications to look for. Even if you’re not new to building PCs, but still want a kick ass 2012 gaming and overclocking rig, this guide can definitely help fill in a few gaps.
Although most enthusiasts who build their own systems understand its importance, the mainstream PC buyer generally does not. Some that do pay any mind seem concerned only with how many watts of power it is rated to put out (even though no practical way exists to verify those ratings), without regard to whether the power being produced is clean and stable or whether it is full of noise, spikes, and surges.
I have always placed great emphasis on selecting a power supply for my systems. I consider the power supply the foundation of the system and am willing to spend a little extra to get a more robust and reliable unit. The power supply is critical because it supplies electrical power to every other component in the system. In my experience, the power supply is also one of the most failure-prone components in any computer system. Over the years I have replaced more power supplies in PCs than any other part. A malfunctioning power supply not only can cause other components in the system to malfunction, but it also can damage the other components in your computer by delivering improper or erratic voltages. Because of its importance to proper and reliable system operation, you should understand both the function and limitations of a power supply, as well as its potential problems and their solutions.