How to Replace a Computer Power Supply - Do It Yourself and Save Your Hard Earned Cash!
How to Replace and Install a Computer Power Supply
Did you know a computer's power supply is one of the most commonly replaced failing items in a PC right behind hard drives and RAM memory modules?
An overloaded or failing power supply can cause an unstable computer and a variety of symptoms from freezing, random reboots, crashing and more. When looking at all of the wires coming from your PC's power supply, changing one yourself might seem a bit intimidating if you are a computer novice.
Have no fear because the process of swapping out a power supply on your computer is actually very simple. This lens will even hold your hand and walk you through the entire process. From helping you troubleshoot your old power supply and helping you remove it to helping you choose the right new power supply and wiring it up, this lens will take you through the entire process! I even take the time to tell you where you can find an affordable and high quality replacement power supply.
Here's a photo of a typical ATX style power supply.
The Basics: What is a Power Supply and What Does it Do?
What is a Power Supply and What Does it Do?
The power supply unit in your computer, as the name implies, supplies power to the components of your computer. While the name conjures images of a rather simplistic scenario, it's actually much more complex. There is much more going on than simply supplying power. A power supply needs to convert the voltage supplied from a typical wall outlet and convert it down to lower usable voltages for your PC.
A power supply unit (also know as a PSU) takes 110V or 220V Alternating Current from a standard wall outlet and converts it into various Direct Current (or DC) voltages. The power supply then regulates and supplies this power to the different components of your computer.
Take a moment and think about how many hours your computer runs in a day. How about in a week? How many hours does it slave away in a month or even a year! When you take a moment to think how many hours you use your computer, it should be no surprise the power supply unit can go bad.
When a power supply begins to fail it can wreak all kinds of havoc on a computer system and even damage other components if it isn't properly addressed. The next section describes how to tell if your power supply is bad or on its way to electronics heaven.
Diagnosing a Bad Power Supply
How to Tell if a Computer Power Supply is Defective
Unfortunately this isn't always easy to determine. If your computer is experiencing symptoms like freezing or randomly shutting down and refusing to boot up right away, or randomly crashing and rebooting then it could be your power supply being overloaded or simply dying. Unfortunately those symptoms could also be things like a failing hard drive, bad RAM, or viruses and malware.
Sometimes your power supply will go out in a mini blaze of glory and give you clues via sight, sound and smell. Smoke, sparks, sizzling, arcing, grinding, screeching or smelly burnt plastic aromas being emitted from the rear of your computer are all obvious signs something isn't right. Fortunately things aren't usually so dramatic. Unfortunately this makes confirming a bad power supply a little more difficult.
Generally speaking, you have three methods to troubleshoot and confirm a bad power supply:
1. Test the power supply with a power supply tester designed specifically for the purpose.
2. Test the power supply with a typical electrical mutimeter tester (requires a little more work and some know how, but still not difficult).
3. Confirm a bad supply by replacing the suspected bad supply with a known good supply. (Buy or borrow a replacement)
Testing a power supply isn't difficult, but it usually requires equipment an average home or office computer owner doesn't have on hand. A power supply tester or basic multimeter can be used to test a power supply. A basic version of either tool can be purchased for around $20-$30.00.
Computer technicians and repair shops typically have high quality and dedicated power supply testers to test power supplies automatically and quickly. These devices are handy because you simply disconnect your disconnect your power supply from your computer and plug your power supply directly into the connectors of the power supply tester. Although a basic power supply tester can be purchased for less than $30.00, they usually have to be ordered. The additional downtime waiting for a power supply tester to arrive may not fit into everyone's schedule.
If you remove your power supply and take it to a local computer repair shop some may be willing to test it for little or no money. This may solve the time and cost issues for you!
A power supply can also be tested under load with a normal multimeter if proper procedures are followed. A multimeter tester for testing electrical wiring and circuits can be purchased for as little as $20.00 to $30.00 at many common retail stores selling basic hand tools and electrical supplies. Walmart, Target, and Kmart are just a few examples. Although not difficult, testing a power supply this way requires a little more work. Not everyone is confident or willing to go through the additional steps necessary to properly test a power supply this way. In addition, a novice user may not be well informed enough to properly interpret the results they obtain.
Since all three methods typically require the old power supply to be disconnected and removed, they all take about the same amount of time to conduct. For the novice computer user who needs to get back to work or play quickly, some basic trouble shooting steps or just simply trying a new power supply are usually the easiest, fastest and most affordable ways to confirm a bad power supply. You'll have to decide which method works best for you and your situation.
Looking to Buy an Affordable Power Supply Tester?
Affordable Power Supply Testers on eBay
Want to test your power supply before investing in a new one? Try an economical basic power supply tester from ebay sellers.
Power Supply Testers on Amazon
Amazon is another great source for affordable digital power supply testers. See some of the current power supply testers listed on Amazon right now below.
Bad or Just Overloaded?
Is Your PC'S Power Supply Bad or Just Overloaded?
The power supply is one of the first and most common suspects with most computer repair technicians. When troubleshooting a problem the power supply is one of the first areas a technician may look to. Due to temperatures and demands placed on them, they are one of the first and most likely computer components to fail. They have a finite life span and don't last forever.
Once you've isolated the power supply as your problem, the next step would be to ask yourself whether the power supply is truly bad or if its just being overloaded. When removed from your system and tested with a power supply tester or multimeter your power supply may test out fine. The problem could simply be your power supply is being overloaded. If you've upgraded your system or if you have a failing component it can simply be demanding more power than your power supply can continually supply.
Now some may argue a power supply that has been continually overloaded is going to be predisposed to fail at some point in the future anyway. While there is a degree of truth to that line of thinking, the power supply may also have years of additional useful life left in a different system. Let me give you an example from my own personal experience.
The Power Supply That Just Keeps on Going!
A couple of years ago I had an older PC that I had upgraded from stock with an additional DVD burner, a second 500 GB hard drive, and additional memory. The PC was already installed in a hot working environment so I had to modify the case with an additional large cooling fan and a small fan to cool the hard drives. Of course I used an LED fan because it was actually the cheapest of the large fans and I admit, it looks cool too!
These additional components all placed extra demands on the power supply. Considering this computer also had to power other USB devices like HD webcams etc, the power demands at peak usage were just too much on the power supply and I began to experience shut downs. I'd also get the occasional freezing PC, crashes, and messages like "Windows has recovered from a serious error" on reboot. I knew it was time to bite the bullet and upgrade to a new power supply that could supply more power to meet my increased power demands.
As my parent's unfortunate luck would have it, their home computer began to experience random shutdowns at around this same time as well. My dad asked me to take a look at it for him. After cleaning some viruses and malware the PC was still shutting down randomly and refusing to boot at times. I opened up the case and with things plugged in and running I could actually hear the power supply issues. It almost sounded like a grinding noise or a bearing going bad. Thinking the power supply fan might be going bad and getting noisy I stopped it from spinning when the power supply was running. The noise continued. I suspected the power supply might be arcing over or otherwise shorting out internally and I decided to replace it. Luckily this happened at the same time I was upgrading the power supply on my own workhorse of a PC.
I purchased and installed a new and more powerful power supply in my PC. Confident my old power supply was simply being asked to supply too much power I suspected it had plenty of life left in a less demanding system. I checked it with a multimeter and sure enough, it checked out fine. I then compared the specification labels on my father's bad power supply and my old power supply. The wattage on my old power supply was over 100 watts more than my father's dead one. It would be more than adequate to power his system and was actually a bit of an upgrade. I installed my old power supply in my parent's PC and it's been running fine for nearly two years now. This is a power supply that had many years of heavy usage and has a history of being run for 12 hours or more a day! It wasn't bad, it was just being asked to supply more power than it was physically capable of doing.
As you can clearly see, overloading a power supply and asking it to supply more power than it was designed to is asking for problems. If your computer is basically stock and the same as the day you first brought it into your home or office then overloading may not be an issue. However, if you've added items off like those listed below you may be overloading your power supply:
- New or different DVD/CD/ drives
- Additional hard drives
- Additional memory,
- New video/sound cards
- New fans, cathodes, lights etc
- New USB devices
- Other bells and whistles
Every power supply has a power rating, in watts, which is the maximum amount of power it can supply. Exceed that number and the power supply will usually just shut down or fail.
Any computer you purchase, especially an older PC or economical computer, will have an original power supply that is designed to just adequately power the devices installed and equipped with your original system. There is typically little concern or planning for any major upgrades you might make to the PC later. If you add a bunch of devices later the power supply may not be able to cope when dealing with demands during peak demand times. When this happens the power supply will typically just shut down rather than overheating or frying itself. While this is good for the power supply and your PC, it can be bad news for you. You get no warnings, no opportunity to save your work or progress. The computer just shuts down. The only solutions in this situation are to remove the additional components or upgrade to a more powerful power supply.
Even if you haven't overloaded your power supply with too many additional bells and whistles, overloading could still be a culprit. How you ask? Well the issue could be a failing component overloading your power supply.
In some cases a failing device like a DVD drive, card reader or other component will effectively short out and place a larger than normal demand on your otherwise fine power supply. Although it's not extremely common, it does happen. One way to troubleshoot this issue is by disconnecting all peripheral drives and items one by one and seeing if your syptoms disappear. Alternatively you could also disconnecting everything but the essentials like your motherboard and then reconnect everything one by one until your issues reappear. In this scenario you'd need to replace the defective device and not the power supply. Unless the power supply has been overloaded so frequently or seriously that it has actually been damaged as a result of course.
Another photo of a typical desktop computer power supply. Don't let all those wires intimidate you!
Purchasing a Replacement Power Supply
What should I buy? How many Watts? New or Used?
What to Know When Purchasing a New Computer Power Supply
Calculate Power Requirements and Ensure you Order the Correct Type of Power Supply for Your Computer
If you need to replace a defective original power supply on a stock computer you have a couple of options. You can take a great deal of time purchasing an exact replacement from the manufacturer or other source, or you can simply purchase an aftermarket upgrade. Whichever option you choose, make sure the power supply you purchase has the correct connections, is a suitable size, and supplies adequate power for your needs.
Purchasing the exact OEM replacement part is usually the most expensive and most time consuming solution. This typically requires purchasing from a manufacturer's website or aftermarket dealer online. This is usually more expensive than it needs to be and requires more down time while waiting for the item to be shipped.
Purchasing an aftermarket upgrade power supply from a retail store is usually faster and more economical. Most aftermarket and upgrade power supplies sold today take a universal one size fits all approach and they'll work with a wide variety of computers. They typically use a 20+4 connector for the main connection on the mother board. This simply means these power supplies are backward compatible and will plug into mother boards with both older 20 pin ATX and newer 24 pin ATX-2 connections.
Likewise most replacement power supplies also have both SATA and ATX 4 Pin Molex peripheral power connectors. In other words most new replacement power supplies will typically include all of the popular power connector formats you will need to connect it to your drives and other components whether they are are IDE or SATA.
If you are purchasing a power supply make sure the connections match the connections you need. As I've pointed out, the typical upgrade power supply makes this pretty easy. Ensuring your replacement power supply has an adequate power rating is just as easy.
To determine how much power your PC needs we basically need to add up all of the power needs of your individual components. We'll then plan a worst case scenario and assume you'll be placing that total demand on your power supply constantly. We can then take whatever the listed max wattage is for a power supply and assume it is 75% efficient. In other words if a power supply is rated at 400 watts we'll assume it can reasonably supply 75% of that, or 300 watts on a continuous basis. Now the math might sound a little confusing, but its very simple and basic. The problem is this can all be extremely time consuming if you don't go about it the right way.
You could take the effort to research and determine the peak power demand of each and every component of your computer, painstakingly add up all those wattages, and then make your calculations. You could do all of that work, or you could just let a website make the calculations for you using some estimates and a few clicks of the mouse. Many free power supply requirement calculators are available on the web.
If you have upgraded your computer, are building your own computer, or just want to make sure you aren't overloading a power supply I recommend one of these power supply power requirement calculator websites.
Many sites offer these free calculators and they range from basic to very specific sites that ask you input the manufacturer and model number of your various components. Basically these calculators ask you how to input how many hard disk drives, CD/DVD/Blu-ray drives, LED fans, fans, lights, and other devices your have installed on your computer. The calculator has assigned a typical wattage for each device listed and then it calculates your total power requirements based on the information you provide. Of course this is just a general idea and there are some differences between the power requirement calculations and the real world. These are still valuable tools to save you time while giving you a great general idea of your power requirements.
I've listed some popular power supply calculators below. I personally use the first two (which are actually pretty much the same calculator). While I don't want to recommend any specific one over all the others I thought I'd offer links to allow you to use and compare several different ones.
Although I don't want to confuse anyone, please keep in mind the power wattage rating is only one aspect of power we need to be concerned with. It's a rather simple approach to a complex situation. Focusing mainly on wattage is usually sufficient in a computer that requires an entry to mid level power supply. However if you have a large and powerful computer rig with demanding processors and multiple or high level graphics cards you also need to consider how many amps the 12 volt rail(s) can supply.
Power Supply Power Requirement Calculators - Estimate how much power you need with one of these handy calculators!
Below you'll find a list of several power supply calculators. I like the first two but try them all and compare. Please note that many people criticize these calculators for over estimating power requirements. I won't weigh in on the argument here, but a little overestimating is probably a good idea. Remember buying a power supply slightly larger than the one you need isn't really going to hurt you. It leaves room to make upgrades later on and you only pay for the power you use anyway!
- The Thermaltake Power Supply Calculator
This is a very handy free power supply calculator from Thermaltake.
- eXtreme Power Supply Calculator v2.5
eXtreme Power Supply Calculator - Calculate Wattage and Amperage for your PSU. Includes a free and paid Pro version. Don't worry the PRO version is only $1.99!
- RaptoxX PSU Watts And Rails Calculator
The RaptoxX PSU calculator can calculate both the wattage and individual voltage rail amps (3.3V, 5V, 12V, and 5VSB) required to run your computer system.
- The Makeuseof.com Power Supply Calculator
Here's another free power supply calculator. I'm not too fond of this one because it is limited in what information it uses to make its calculations. It does not take into account any external devices, PCI Cards, USB and Firewire devices, Cooling fan
- Journey Systems Power Supply Calculator
Here's another basic free power supply calculator.
Should I Buy a New or Used Power Supply?
I typically don't recommend buying used unless you know its history.
Generally speaking a new power supply makes the best choice. Unless you've built an impressive huge gaming machine, a video editing and transcoding rig or massively upgraded your PC, you probably don't have huge power needs. Since this lens is aimed at the computer repair novice I think it's safe to assume the readers here won't need very expensive power supplies.
Most entry level to mid-level replacement aftermarket power supplies today can be purchased for $40-$100. While that's not pocket change, it's also not very expensive when it comes to computer repair. For most visitors here I feel the cost of a brand new power supply isn't really that much more than what you'd pay used. The peace of mind provided by a brand new product with a warranty is well worth the cost.
If you need a bigger power supply costing hundreds of dollars, (again this probably doesn't apply to most of the readers visiting this site) the decision between used and new becomes much more difficult to make.
I typically only recommend a used power supply if you can answer yes to 2 or more of the following three questions:
1. Will you save a significant amount of money by buying used?
2. Do you KNOW (with certainty) the history of the power supply? Do you know how old it is, what sort of computer setup it was used in and how well things were cared for?
3. Is there any sort of warranty or guarantee?
While you may be able to answer yes to 2 or 3 of those questions in some cases, it's not very often. Typically I recommend buying a NEW power supply since they are for all intents and purposes a component we expect to be disposable. Buying a used power supply from an unknown third party can often be a waste of your time and money.
How to Remove a Power Supply
What Tools Do I Need to Remove/Replace my Power Supply?
No fancy tools required!
Typically you won't need much in the way of tools when it comes to removing and replacing a computer power supply. Normally a small Phillips or straight blade screwdriver will be all the tools that are required. You may also need a pair of small pliers to help grip and gently remove any stubborn molex connectors or other wiring connectors, but that is typically as elaborate as your tool needs will be.
More on this later, but when installing your replacement power supply you might also want some small plastic/nylon wire ties to help manage cables and keep your install neat and tidy. I also recommend a pair of wire snips or scissors to cut off the excess wire tire once you've pulled the ties tight.
Where is the Power Supply Located?
Before we can remove it we need to find it!
Before we can remove a power supply we need to know where it is. So let's quickly discuss where the power supply is located on your PC. On a normal size desktop computer the power supply will typically be located at the back of the computer case at the top, or sometimes bottom. The easiest way to locate it is to locate your computer's power cord. Simply look for the area where the power cord attaches to your PC case. Find that area and you've found your power supply. The power cord typically inserts into a hole with three prongs at the back of your PC. That's your power supply!
How to Remove a Power Supply
Now that you know what tools you need and where your power supply is located, let's get down to business!
The first step is to unplug your computer from the wall, power outlet, surge protector, or other power source. I also recommend completely removing the power cord from the back of the PC case. Simply find where your computer's power cable connects to the rear of your PC and carefully pull it straight out. The area where the power cord attaches to your computer is actually your power supply. Of course it's on the inside of your PC so we'll need to open your computer case to actually remove it.
Next ,we need to open the side of your computer case. Unfortunately I can't help with specific instructions here because how you'll open your computer tower case will depend on the make and model of your computer. Fortunately it's typically very easy. In most cases one side of the computer case will slide off from the front to the back. Many times there are two thumb screws that attach the side of the case to the rear of the tower. Simpy unscrew those and slide the side panel off. Other computer manufacturers use variations which include handles or buttons that must be pressed in, or clips that must be unfastened. Simply consult your computer's owner's manual or check the manufacturer's website if you need help.
Once you have your case open take a moment or two to familiarize yourself with where things are and how cables are run. Take note of where the power supply is located and how it is mounted. Typically the power supply is a medium to large rectangular metal box. Again simply look for the area where the three pronged power cable attaches to the back of your PC. Behind this area on the inside of the PC will be a medium to large rectangular shaped metal box with a large number of wires coming from it. That's your power supply!
A large rectangular hole is cut into the rear of your computer case where the power supply attaches to your your PC case. Typically the power supply mounts to the case with four screws near the four corners of the power supply. I've also seen power supplies in some computer manufacturers cases mounted with nothing but a plastic clip holding them in. Now that we are familiar with how the power supply mounts lets disconnect all the wires and cables coming from the supply before we actually being removing any mounting screws.
Before we go poking around inside your computer take a second to ensure you protect components and parts of your computer from potentially damaging electrostatic discharge. Touch the metal frame of your PC's case or some other metal object to discharge any built up static charge on your body before handling or touching any internal components.
Now take a look at the bundle of cables coming off of the rear of the power supply. While all those wires may be intimidating if you've never done this before, the task is actually ridiculously easy. Those cables supply power to your computer's motherboard, hard drives, CD/DVD drives, card readers, fans, lights, USB ports and more. Essentially each component receives it's own power cable from the power supply just like your PC's power supply has a power cord that plugs into it to provide power.
Things become even less stressful when you realize that for the most part the connections are coded by the shaped and size of the connector on the cables. This makes plugging things in incorrectly very difficult. If a square peg won't fit in a round hole...find the right peg! Quite a few of the cables you disconnect will likely look identical. That's because they basically are. Typically it doesn't even matter which connector goes where when you reconnect things as long as the cable will reach its destination and the shape, size, and pins of the cable connector match the connection on the rear of your hard drive, DVD drive etc.
If you are worried about reconnecting things properly you can always mark things as you go and then compare cable orientation with your new power supply. You'll soon see the process is actually quite simple. The most difficult part is usually getting the power supply cables disconnected from the back of your drives and other components. Sometimes you'll need to press a clip and other times you'll need to pull and gently wiggle connectors to get them to pull free. I've seen some stubborn connectors in my day so sometimes a pair of small pliers helps to grip and gently remove connectors. Whether you use your fingers or a tool, always remember to pull on the connector itself and NOT the wires. Fail to heed this valuable advice and you'll soon find you've ripped wires right out of the cable end! Take your time and be gentle and all will be fine.
Once you are sure you have the power supply completely disconnected from the PC you can unmount it and remove it from the PC. Typically this involves removing screws near the four corners of the power supply. In the photo above I've circled the four holes where mounting screws fastened a power supply with a rear mounted fan. Some other power supplies are mounted with additional brackets or simply a clip. Once you've found the power supply figuring out how it is mounted is usually very easy. Once the power supply is loose removing it is as simple as pulling the power supply free toward the front of the computer case. Take care to avoid knocking around any internal components as you remove the power supply.
Depending on your setup you might not have quite enough room to work your power supply free. In many cases you'll need to simply slide a DVD burner or CD rom out of the way. This can be done quite easily by removing any faceplates or bezels from the front of your PC case, unsecuring the drive which is usually done by sliding a green tab or bracket, or simply removing a screw or two. Any drive or reader that is in the way will typically rest inside a metal sleeve. Simply undo anything holding it secure to the sleeve and slide the drive toward the front of your PC until you have enough room to remove the power supply.
Most standard power supplies are approximately the same size but to be safe you might want to measure the dimensions and make a note of them. On the side of your computer's power supply there should also be a label. You'll want to make a note of the power rating, usually supplied in wattage. We'll need to use this power rating as an idea for the bare minimum when we purchase a new power supply.
How To Install a New Replacement Power Supply
How to Install a Replacement Power Supply in Your PC
Once you know how to remove a power supply, installing one is just as easy. Mainly you'll be reversing the steps you used to remove the power supply.
First mount the power supply securely in place. Typically this will mean sliding the power supply into place and securing it with the four screws we mentioned earlier. In some unusual cases if you have an older computer case you might need to trim a little metal from the opening for the power supply in order for the replacement to fit properly and completely flush.
Next plan where to run your cables. A replacement power supply is usually going to have more connectors and cables than you need.Separate wires and securely fasten cables and connections you won't need up and out of your way. Since the additional bulk of cables will require a little more space you need to take care you aren't blocking air flow to or from any fan or cooling device. Take care to leave any vents or fans open and unobstructed.
Once you've determined how you need to run cables, reconnect all your devices. I like to take a few moments and use plastic/nylon wire tires to keep everything neat and tidy. These wire tires, commonly referred to as "zip ties" are available at any hardware store or big box retail store that sells electrical supplies. Make sure you run wires to avoid pinch points. Use the wire tires to keep everything neat and tidy. Remember thick bundles of wires resting on components locks in heat just like a blanket. Keep things out of the way to ensure proper airflow and cooling.
Once you've connected everything and double checked your connections, fire up your pc and admire your handy work. If everything is running fine close up your PC case and congratulate yourself on a job well done!
How to Replace Power Supply Videos on You Tube
YouTube is a great place to find how-to videos to help with computer power supply replacement. Check out some examples below! These videos will walk you through the basic process of replacing a computer power supply on your own.
Where Can I Buy an Affordable New Power Supply?
Where Can I Buy an Affordable Power Supply?
When purchasing a new power supply you have a couple of options. If you are in a hurry to get your machine up and running you can spend a little more and buy a power supply from a local retail store. Radio Shack and Best Buy are two examples. The selection will be limited compared to what's available online. You'll also pay a little more for the convenience of not having to wait for your power supply to be shipped.
If you can wait a few days for your new power supply to be shipped you can save some money and choose from a wider selection by purchasing online. I've taken a great deal of time to locate and highlight some purchase options for you to explore below. I took great care to find high quality and affordable entry to mid level power supplies. I'm confident you'll find a great power supply at a fantastic deal!
Affordable High Quality Power Supplies at Best Buy
Best Buy is probably one of the most well known local sources for Power Supplies and other computer components. They have a limited selection of power supplies available in your local store and many more online. They have plenty of affordable power supplies in the $30 to $70.00 range. I've highlighted some of the favorites available on their site now. Don't forget you can even select in store pickup and order your item online and then pick it up in person at your local Best Buy store! I've taken the time to make things easy on you. Click any image below to go directly to the BestBuy.com product page and learn more about any of the power supplies listed in this section.
The Cooler Master Elite Power 350 or 400 Watt ATX/EPS CPU Power Supply:
~$29.99 - $34.99
This affordable little guy is currently priced at just $29.99 at BestBuy. It provides dual +12V outputs to help handle high power requirements. It also features short-circuit, over-power, over-voltage and over-current protection to maintain safety and ensure efficiency.
Like this power supply but need a little more power? Get the Cooler Master Elite 400-Watt ATX CPU Power Supply, priced at the time of this writing for just $34.99!
Dynex 400 Watt ATX Power Supply: ~$49.99
The Dynex 400 Watt ATX Power Supply is another affordable option. As I write this, it's currently priced at BestBuy.com for just $49.99. This affordable power supply features:
-ATX 12V v2.2 compliance
- Compatibility with IntelÂ® and AMD multicore processors
- 4.7 inch fan with fan speed control function
- Low power consumption on standby
- Short-circuit, overvoltage and overcurrent protection
- 20/24-pin main connector, PCI Express connector and SATA connector
Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500-Watt ATX Power Supply: ~$49.99
The Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500 Watt ATX Power Supply provides 500 watts of reliable power for your computer needs. This affordable power supply, priced at just $49.99 is ATX 12V compliant. It features numerous connections for wide ranging compatibility. It boasts a 24-pin ATX motherboard connector, 4 Serial ATA connectors and five 4-pin LP4 connectors.
The reliable design incorporates over-voltage, over-power, over-current and short circuit protection and the unit has a 2 year warranty.
Thermaltake 500 Watt TR2 ATX Power Supply: ~$69.99
This Thermaltake power supply provides up to 500 watts of clean stable power to your PC. It's also compatible with most IntelÂ® and AMD processors for wide-ranging compatibility. The built in 120mm fan is large but quiet and offers great cooling for the vital components of this power supply.
Check Out More Power Supplies at BestBuy.com!
I've outlined the most affordable Power Supply Units available on the Best Buy website, but there are many more to choose from. Click the image below to go to the Best Buy website!
Get an Affordable Power Supply from the Nerds!
When it comes to finding the right power supply at an affordable price you need to ask the nerds. The nerds at TheNerds.net that is! This site literally has hundreds of affordable power supplies to choose from. They also have a bunch of other computer components and other general consumer electronics at good deals.
I've listed some of the best affordable power supplies they offer below. Once again I've made it all as easy as possible for you. Simply click any image of a power supply and you'll be transferred right to that product page on TheNerds.net to get more information. Also click on the TheNerds.net banner above or below and you'll be instantly taken to search results showing all of the power supplies available on their site.
Coolmax 400 Watt ATX Power Supply: ~$26.99
This affordable ATX power supply features specially selected components & a high performance heat sink to cool down vital internal components. It is also Serial ATA 150 ready. The cable-tube on main power cables allows for better cable routing and a neat install. The universal motherboard connector fits most branded motherboards.
Atehnatech 450 Watt ATX 2.01 Power Supply: ~$34.99
This power supply from Athenatech supplies 450 watts of power and 2 cooling fans. ATX 2.01 compatible.
Coolmax 500 Watt ATX 12V Power Supply: ~$31.99
The Coolmax V-500 ATX12V Power Supply is perfect for casual, everyday computer users who need an affordable and efficient power supply that can deliver the power needed without all the additional features. This power supply provides over voltage protection and a one year limited warranty.
Ultra Lifetime Series 500@ ATX and EPS 12V Power Supply: ~$49.99
How does 500 watts of reliable power with tons of built in protection features and a lifetime warranty sound? How about all of that and more for around $50? Sounds too good to be true right? Well it's all possible with Lifetime Series power supplies from Ultra! This particular model supplies up to 500 watts and features built in short circuit protection, in-rush current protection and thermal overload cutoff protection. It features much more connection options than your typical power supply and supports all Intel and AMD platforms, SATA devices and PCI Express graphics cards. Team that up with a lifetime warranty and you have yourself one outstanding deal!
TheNerds.net have a huge selection of power supplies and some pretty amazing prices. Click the image below to go directly to selection of power supplies available at their site.
Buy Affordable High Quality Power Supplies on Amazon
What Does It Look Like in There?
Ever wonder what a power supply looks like on the inside? Here is a photo of a power supply with the top plate removed.
Opening a power supply may be hazardous to your health!
Opening a power supply can be dangerous or potentially fatal. Even when unplugged and disconnected, the capacitors and circuitry of your power supply store an electrical charge that can be large enough to shock, injure, or even kill you. Unless you are properly trained and qualified to safely discharge stored charges in the capacitors and other components of your power supply, DO NOT open one and begin poking around.
What's YOUR Opinion?
Have You Ever Replaced a Power Supply?
Poll: Are You Prepared to Change Your Own Power Supply?
Now that you've read through my lens, how prepared are you to tackle the job yourself? Share your answer in the poll below.
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Now that you've read this lens, are you prepared to change your own power supply?
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