Install A New Power Supply

3/28/2012 7:01:12 PM

Install A New Power Supply

A Step-By-Step Guide

Description: Cooler Master's GX-450W power supply offers a power efficiency of 85% and Is 80 Plus Bronze-certified.

Cooler Master's GX-450W power supply offers a power efficiency of 85% and Is 80 Plus Bronze-certified.

Description: Cooler Master CM 690II Advanced

The Cooler Master CM 690II Advanced computer case offers a variety of helpful features for routing power cables.

The power supply provides your computer with the energy necessary to operate. If the PSU (power supply unit) in your PC fails or new, power-hungry components make an upgrade necessary, its fairly simple to install a new one in your desktop computer. Here, we'll take you through the installation process and provide some tips for routing the cables to improve airflow and make hardware easier to access.

Power Supply Selection

One of the key specifications to consider when selecting a power supply is the amount of wattage it can provide. There are a number of online utilities, such as Cooler Master's Power Calculator (www.coolermaster.outervision. com), you can use to determine the number of watts your computer likely to use. It's a good idea to invest in a power supply that provides at least 100 more watts than your expected us age so you'll have headroom for heavy loads and minor upgrades.

Once you've selected a wattage, you can compare PSU options. Most modern power supplies offer enough connections for any basic build, but if your PC has multiples of a single component, such as hard drives or optical drives, ensure the power supply has enough compatible connections to support your needs. For the instructions in this article, we selected a Cooler Master GX-450W ($59.99; power sup ply, which provides us with five SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment; for modern hard drives, SSDs, and optical drives) connectors, three Molex (for legacy HDDs and internal fans) connectors, and one PCI-E (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express; for a graphics card) connector.

The Installation

Installing your power supply won't take long. Grab a Phillips-head screwdriver and follow these easy steps.

1.   Prepare your workspace. Touch the metal in your computer's case (to discharge static electricity) before working on the PC. Also, check that the power supply isn't plugged into an outlet.

2.   Remove the old power supply. If you are replacing a power supply, detach all cords from the components inside the computer, such as the motherboard, graphics card, and all drives. Remove the screws at the back of the case and slide the PSU free.

3.   Place the PSU inside the PC case. The power supply will need to be installed next to the rectangular opening at the rear bottom or rear top of the case. In our Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced ($99.99) case, the power supply cut out is located at the bottom, and there are vents in the bottom of the case, which allows the power supply's fan to pull fresh, cool outside air into the unit and exhaust it outside the case. Note that if your case doesn't offer a vent at the top or bottom, you'll want the power supply's fan to point towards the inside of the case (not butted against the flat metal chassis), so the fan will be able to move air across internal parts of the power supply.

4.   Attach the PSU with screws. Use the screws supplied with your power supply. Secure the screws firmly, but don't overdo it.

5.   Route the power cables. You're ready to route the cables to the hardware inside the case. If this is a new build, we suggest that you place the motherboard onto the case's motherboard tray to help you see where you'll need to run the cables, such as the main power 20+4-pin and 4+4- pin CPU cables. Many new cases, including Cooler Master's CM 690 II Advanced, feature holes with rubber grommets to let you easily conceal cables behind the motherboard tray. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, neatly routed cables help to maintain consistent airflow throughout the case and make the interior components easier to reach. For the devices in the front portion of the case, such as the hard drive, optical drive, memory card readers, and fans, it's best to route the cables behind the motherboard tray and bunch the cables behind the drive cages. This method will both conceal the cable and make it easy to connect when you add the components.

Description: Installation

Wrap Things Up

Once all of the power cables are connected to the computer's internal components, your case should be pretty tidy. Some users like to take a few minutes to bundle some cables using Velcro ties or zip ties, so everything will stay securely in place when you move the computer.

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