A Guide to Understanding Power Supplies
Power supplies have always been one of the most overlooked part when dealing with PC hardware issues, and unfortunately, people often tend to forget about them in their search of a solution to their hardware problems. A couple of years ago, I had a system which was extremely unstable, and before discovering that my power supply was responsible for this situation, I wasted a lot of hours swapping out most of the other parts in my machine. Just imagine my frustration when I finally discovered that I had a faulty PSU; I almost threw my system out of the window of my office!
In order to troubleshoot these kinds of problems, you really have to have a good understanding about how power supplies work. To help you in this task, Motherboards.org has posted a pretty good guide that should answer everything you ever wanted to know about PSUs but were afraid to ask.
Watts, amps, volts, rails, PFC, efficiency; there's a lot of buzzwords flying around there and hardly anyone seems to know what they all mean. Well, now's your chance to finally become a power supply guru. I am going to try to explain it all to you. Hopefully, in the end, your brain will not be a buzz of over-information. Rather, you'll be better informed and may learn that your power supply may not be sufficient... or the power supply you've been shopping for is overkill and a tremendous waste of money!
Read more (via Hard OCP)