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Power Supply Basics

1. How do I pick the right power supply unit (PSU) for my computer?
Many factors should be taken into account, including CPU type, graphics card requirements, and what exactly you will be using your PC for. To help users choose the most suitable PSU, Antec has created a website where users can calculate how much power they need for their individual system. Please visit

2. What is the easiest way to judge a PSU?

Its not always easy to tell whether a PSU is good or not, but here are a few tips: i. Check the label for Max Output Wattage. ii. If there is only a Peak Output number, that is a sign it may not be a quality PSU. iii. Do not assume that model number corresponds with wattage. Again, always check the Max Output Wattage. iv. Keep an eye out for safety certifications, 80 PLUS certification, NVIDIA SLI-Ready certification, and warranty information.

3. What is Universal Input?

Universal Input is another term for full range. A PSU with Universal Input can be used in any country around the world within 90-240VAC, without having to adjust the input power select switch.

4. What is Active PFC?

Active Power Factor Correction improves the power factor value of the PSU by altering the input current wave shape. PSUs with Active PFC can achieve a power factor of 0.99, while PSUs with Passive PFC can only achieve 0.70, and PSUs with no PFC achieve less than 0.60. A higher power factor reduces transmission losses and improves efficiency for power companies, making Active PFC an important feature for the environment.

5. What are the benefits of EMI filtering?

EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) filters are a required circuit for PSUs, and in a good PSU the EMI filter is well designed. An EMI filter prevents PSU noise from interfering with other electronic devices, and vice versa. With lower quality PSUs, it is common to experience noise from screens, TVs or radios when turning on your computer.

6. What is Advanced Hybrid Cable Management?

Todays PSUs currently feature three types of cable management: i. Traditional PSU: All cables are connected directly to the PSU, including extra cables. The advantage is minimal wire-transmission loss; the disadvantage is cable clutter and reduced airflow/cooling. ii. Modular PSU: All cables are connected to the PSU via connectors or plugs. The advantage is better cable management for airflow and cooling; the disadvantage is high wire-transmission loss. iii. Antecs Advanced Hybrid Cable Management PSU: Combines traditional PSU and modular PSU design; all necessary cables are permanently connected (including Molex and SATA connectors), while any extra cables are modular. This achieves low wire-transmission loss as well as better cable management for airflow. 1

F A Q 7. What is 80 PLUS?

Power Supply Basics

80 PLUS certification is the most widely recognized independent standard in power supply efficiency. An 80 PLUS certified PSU uses less energy and generates less heat to stay cooler, run quieter and last longer. 80 PLUS certification lowers your operating costs and helps protect the environment. There are four levels of certification based on efficiency at varying operating loads: Fraction of Rated Load 20% 80 PLUS 80 PLUS Bronze 80 PLUS Silver 80 PLUS Gold 80% 82% 85% 87% 50% 80% 85% 88% 90% 100% 80% 82% 85% 87%

8. Does temperature affect your PSUs output efficiency and lifespan?

Temperature greatly affects the lifespan of many components in your PSU, including your capacitors, resistors and fans. Generally speaking, when temperature decreases 10, your PSUs lifespan will increase by about double. For example, if your output capacitor normally has a 3,000-hour lifespan at 105, at 95 it will last 6,000 hours. However, for output efficiency, the same rule of thumb does not apply. Some PSU components achieve higher efficiency at lower temperatures, while others are the opposite.

9. Do capacitors affect the lifespan of a PSU?

Yes, capacitors are a major factor when it comes to the lifespan of your PSU. High-capacity, highvoltage, low-ESR capacitors can greatly improve your PSUs longevity. Also, Japanese capacitors tend to feature higher quality parts and build.

10. What is working temperature?

In general, a PSUs environmental temperature is around 25C. Inside a case, because of components like your CPU and video card, the working temperature of your PSU will usually be higher.

11. How does a PWM fan affect fan speed and quiet?
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology finely controls the speed of a power supplys fan. By using this method instead of traditional voltage-controlled fans, this type of PSU fan can run up to 50% quieter than standard fans. A PWM fan can run as slow as 10-15% of the fans rated top speed, whereas a voltage-regulated fan can only go as low as 40%.

12. What are the benefits of a double-layer PCB?

A double-layer PCB (printed circuit board) possesses several important benefits: i. Increased copper foil area and decreased loss of mass current flow. ii. Wiring is made easier and components are better organized. iii. Protection against solder cracks from heavy components. 2


Power Supply Basics

13. What are the benefits of Double Forward Converter circuitry?

Double Forward Converter circuitry possesses several key advantages compared to Half-Bridge circuitry: higher efficiency, lower failure rate and higher wattage.

14. What are the benefits of DC to DC circuitry?

DC to DC modules possess important benefits regarding the stability of your PSU: i. There is no minimum load for 12V, 5V and 3.3V. Since 5V and 3.3V are transferred from 12V, there is always indirect load to 12V from each. And because there is no minimum load, there will not be compatibility issues with other systems. ii. The working frequency of DC to DC circuitry is higher than magnetic amplifier circuitry. Therefore, a PSU with DC to DC circuitry can provide more stable voltage to motherboard chipsets and memory. iii. The DC to DC module uses low voltage MOSFET which has low on-state loss. When transferring 12V to 5V or 3.3V, Magnetic Amplifier circuitry has 70-80% efficiency, while DC to DC can reach 90%.

15. Will a DC to DC module at +3.3V and +5V stabilize the output voltage of +3.3V, +5V and +12V?
Yes, a DC to DC module can stabilize load regulation, and affects 3.3V and 5V more than 12V.

16. Are PSUs with multiple +12V outputs more reliable than PSUs with a single +12V output?
Yes, multiple +12V outputs are used to ensure safety protection; each output keeps the current within a safe range. PSUs with a single +12V output generally tend to be older designs and present greater risk because, in the event of a short in any component, there is no over current protection.

17. For a copper cables cross-sectional area of induction coil, is larger always better?
Generally speaking, yes. Induction coils are measured by inductance and, with equal inductance, it is better to use thicker, enameled wire. And, similarly, with equal wattage, it is better to use a larger adaptor, larger induction coil or larger copper wire.

18. Does synchronous rectification to +12V increase overall PSU efficiency?

Synchronous rectification uses low-voltage MOSFET and, compared to general rectifiers, possesses lower on-state resistance. Therefore, synchronous rectification results in less loss and improved efficiency.

19. Does a Dual-PCB layout have better airflow than a Single PCB?
Yes, a Dual-PCB layout features more internal space for components, creating a straight-through air tunnel with less air resistance.


Power Supply Basics

20. What are the benefits of low ripple and noise?

Low ripple and noise have the following benefits: Motherboard components are more stable; chip set and memory crashes are less frequent when interference of noise is lower. ii. Audio component output on your motherboard is purer when interference of ripple and noise is lower. iii. Moire and flicker effects on your display are minimal. iv. Disconnection and choke issues of WLAN/LAN are minimal. v. For overclocking, the purer power from low ripple and noise is vital. i.

21. Why is Antecs Signature Series more expensive than other PSUs on the market?
Antecs high-end Signature Series is designed according to server standards. All components are premium, and many innovative new designs are featured. At 50C and 24-hour full load, Antec guarantees at least a five year lifespan, giving it an excellent cost/performance ratio. The Signature Series includes the following features: Primary Filter Capacitors: Two Japanese RUBYCON 390UF/450V/105C capacitors provide high-voltage, high-temperature and a long lifespan. Standard capacitors in regular PSUs can only stand 400V and only feature one filter capacitor. Secondary Filter Capacitors: Capacitors manufactured in Japan ensure low-ESR / Hi Ripple current and a long lifespan.

Double Ball Bearing PWM Fan: Manufactured by well-known Japanese brand Nidec, this double ball bearing PWM fan is quieter, longer-lasting, and more stable.

DC to DC Module: Manufactured by renowned component provider Intersil, this server-level Direct-MOS is a high-stability SMD capacitor.

Efficient Cooling & Air-Flow Design Better arrangement of components lowers air resistance. The Dual-PCB design can average distribution of drag and, because of air pressure and temperature differences, airflow will travel mainly through high-temperature components. Therefore, cooling is even more efficient.


Power Supply Basics

22. How can I be sure that a PSU with an 80 PLUS logo really passed certification?
To avoid fraudulent certification, check the 80 PLUS official website to see if the product is listed: Sometimes, companies will change specs to pass certification. While it is difficult for users to identify these misleading PSUs, some ways to protect yourself are to always choose well-known brands, do comparisons and read reviews.

23. Antecs PSUs feature numerous safety certifications. What do they mean?
Antec designs PSUs with three principles in mind: true output wattage, safety and low EMI radiation. Because safety is such a high priority for Antec, we strive to earn multiple safety certifications in the U.S. and overseas, including: UL, CUL, CE, TUV, CTICK, CCC, FCC, CB and BSMI. Lower-quality PSUs on the market may not possess these safety certifications. Make sure to check the box for certifications when buying your PSU to ensure safety, reliability and a long lifespan.