It’s obvious that every electrical device needs power for it’s components to operate properly. The device responsible for providing that power is the power supply. There are two types of power supply designs: linear power supplies and switch mode power supplies. A switch mode power supply is a converter that transmits power from a source (e.g.a battery or the electrical power grid) to a load (e.g. a personal computer) with ideally zero loss. Its main function is to provide reliable output voltage often on many different levels than the input voltage. The quality of your power supply is essential, it’s often undervalued and it is one of the most common components in devices that causes failure.
There are multiple things to take into consideration when purchasing a switch mode power supply.
First, you need to determine the power that you need for your device to run smoothly. Measure the amount of power that your device will use. Always look ahead and plan into the future. Make sure the power supply is above the requirements of your device, as if you intend to upgrade your device, additional power will be necessary for it to run properly.
Research what type of connector you need. Different devices require different connectors. Newer power supplies will provide you 20-pin and 24-pin connectors, this is very important when it comes to connecting motherboards, in particular. For CPU connection, 4-pin and 8-pin connectors are the most commonly used ones. An 8-pin connector will provide more current to the CPU.
Durability is very important when looking to buy a new power supply. Keep in mind that an older power supplier won’t provide the same amount of energy as it did when it was first purchased. A switch mode power supply works with a rather high efficiency, meaning the series regulator is either on or off. Consequently, very little energy is converted to heat and therefore, high levels of efficiency are achieved. This also adds to the compactness of the power supplier, meaning, it is compatible with a wide range of devices.
There are also a few drawbacks of using a switch mode power supply. The most major ones are: noise and ripple coming from transient spikes that occur from the current switching action. This can become very problematic if not properly filtered. External components that come with the power supply are also an issue that adds to the cost and the space required.