- PSU Abbreviations and Glossary
- Connectors used in a PC Power Supply
- PSU cables: Non-Modular, Modular and the middle-ground!
- Power Supply Labels
- Power Supply Form-Factor- ATX12V
- Power Supply Form-Factor- SFX12V
- Basic requirements of a power supply
- Facts about 80 Plus Certification
- Protection Circuits and Features
- List of Power Supplies, OEM and Review Links
- Common PC Power Supply Myths
- Resource Links and References
- View All
One of the most important points for a power supply is the form-factor. Most commonly used form-factors is the ATX design, but there are certain designs made for specific uses and form-factor systems like PICO-ATX.
The types of PC power supplies are as follows:
ATX is the form-factor that most people will use with their PCs. This was originally introduced by Intel along with changes for their motherboard in 1996. At first, the main motherboard power connector was 20-pin, and it came with two voltages- +3.3v and +5VSB. These two voltages enabled the systems to turn on the system without pressing the switch on the PC case (provided its enabled in your BIOS) by pressing the key on the keyboard or mouse. This function is called “Power-on Time”.
Over the years, there have been newer revisions of the ATX specification to meet the requirements of new-age hardware components that users require and desire. Over the revision, power supplies came with extra cabling for graphic cards, 24-pin motherboard connectors, SATA power connectors and so on. As of now, ATX12V 2.x revision is what we’re getting which introduced 24-pin connector and PCIe power connector.
ATX12V form factor has two types of venting design- Top Venting and a non- top venting form-factor.
Top venting is where you have a vent/fan at the base and fan/vent on the AC plug/switch area.
Older power supplies based on top-vent cooling used to have 80-92mm fans on the AC plug and keep a vent on the base. But with additional components and features added to meet higher quality standards, it needed equivalent cooling. The fans were installed on the base, and it enabled the manufacturers to install either 120 or 140mm fan. This is how ATX most power supplies are, but there are non- top vents too. This has become the commonly used design since power supplies are now usually mounted at the base of a PC Case.
In a case of non- top vents, There’s a fan installed towards the AC Plug area and the wire harness area is vented.
For such power supplies, there are certain areas of the casing where the vents are provided. However, the only restriction is such design is that you can only accommodate 80mm fan.