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POWER SOURCES | Function, characteristics and parts

Thepower sources they are a device that converts alternating current into direct current and that under volts for the proper functioning of the computer and its components.

Sure you are interested in knowing about others COMPUTER PARTS

What is a source of power?

A power supply also known as power supply, is an electronic component that is responsible for supplying electricity to the computer. In a strict sense, the most appropriate name is that of transformer, because it transforms the alternating current into direct current and lowers the voltage of the volts that is necessary for the computer and its components.

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Function of a power source

In general terms a power supply It is a component that is responsible for providing the power supply to each of the components that are part of the system. Due to its characteristics, it is a vital device, because it not only feeds the motherboard with electricity, but also generates energy for optical drives, USB devices, video boards, network card Y Audio To ensure a smooth operation.

Simply put, the operation of a power source It is that of a small transformer, since as part of the process in which it participates, it converts the alternating electric current into a direct current flow, which oscillates between 9 and 12 volts, which of course are those necessary for the power supply of the motherboard.

On the other hand, the power supply It is necessary to generate -5v and -12v being voltages that are almost not used. Now, these voltages that are negative are necessary because of the compatibility with modern systems. These voltages -5v and -12v are supplied to the motherboard by the power source. In relation to the -5v signal, it is routed to the ISA bus on pin 25 and will not be used in any way on or from the motherboard.

Types of power source

The types of power source They can be broadly classified into two main groups.

  • AT power source It is a device that is mounted on a computer cabinet and that transforms alternating current into direct current, which is the one used by the electronic and electrical elements of the equipment. It also has the function of providing the amount of current and voltage that the devices require.
  • ATX power sources They are a device that is mounted internally in the computer cabinet that transforms the alternative current into internal current for use by the electronic and electrical elements of the PC.

AT power sources


They are known as mechanical ignition source or analog source. It is a standard device that was released during the 80's. It is installed inside the computer cabinet, to create alternating current in direct current. It also controls the amount of voltage and energy required by a device to function.

Characteristics of AT power sources

  • It has a mechanical switch to turn on and off.
  • Now electricity to the maximum, you can press the button to cut the energy.
  • In some models, there is a female connector with three terminals, which are aimed at CRT monitor.
  • It can be used in old microprocessors and modern equipment.

Parts of the AT source

  • Mechanical switch
  • A fan.
  • Supply connector
  • Connection of 4 terminals MOLEZ and BERG.
  • AT connector.
  • Voltage selector.
  • Supply connector to other elements.

ATX power source


They are also known as digital source or push button sources. It is installed inside the cabinet of a computer, with the aim of modifying the alternating current in direct current. Control the amount of voltage and energy needed for the computer to function.

Features of the ATX power source

  • Through the software source shutdown can be controlled.
  • It does not have a push button to turn on, so its ignition is digital.
  • It can be installed in Intel Pentium MMX microprocessors or in modern microprocessors.
  • In some series they have a rear switch that works mechanically, in order to control electric power and avoid unnecessary consumption.

Parts of the ATX power supply

  • A fan.
  • Connector with 4 BERB and MOLEX terminals.
  • Power connector.
  • Security switch.
  • SATA connector
  • ATX connector
  • Voltage selector.

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Differences between the power source AT and ATX

  • The AT They have two power connectors that are 6 pins each. The ATX They have a 24-pin connector for motherboard power.
  • The AT it turns on with a key and the ATX with a push button.
  • The AT it does not turn off with software, but it is seen in the monitor screen. The ATX It shuts down with software, therefore it is automatic.
  • The AT does not incorporate a connector to power the microprocessor. The ATX It is newer as it incorporates the connector.
  • The AT it does not have a connector to power the zcalo PCI-EXPRESS, while the ATX It does.
  • The AT It has a connector for the FLOPPY or floppy drives, the ATX Being more modern, they do not have this element.
  • The AT they do not have a 220 VAC female connector to be plugged into an external device, the ATX They do.

Types of power sources according to their quality

  • Original Power Sources They are sources of the highest quality, which are integrated into the computer and have a warranty policy.
  • Sources of imitation power They are known to be standard or generic sources. They are not of very good quality and therefore for a limited time. They are not used regularly because they can damage the equipment.
  • Power sources with certification They are the ones that come with their packaging and in it a certification that guarantees the quality of the device. It is long lasting and does not damage the computer.

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Other types of power source

  • Digital source In this case, the direct current is sent to the entire computer system and shows the amount of the load by sending information through a small digital window, to indicate the regulations of the energy being sent.
  • Digital power source They have a button that when pressed starts with the process of transforming the alternating current into direct. Its shutdown can be programmed by means of software installed on the computer.
  • Button source They come integrated in the computers, which have a push button that turns on with the equipment. Therefore it breaks the entrance of electricity to the equipment as soon as the button is pressed.

Power Source: Stages of transformation of electricity for PC components

  • Transformation At this point the voltage of the domestic line will be reduced from 127 Volts to about 12 Volts or 5 V. For this purpose an electronic device known as reducing coil.
  • Rectification It is when the voltage of the alternating current is transformed into direct current voltage. It is achieved by allowing only the device wave values ??to continue through electronic elements known as diodes.
  • Filtered out It is the one that gives the quality to the direct current and that assumes the work of smoothing the voltage. Electronic elements with the name of capacitors.
  • Stabilization The voltage to be softened will be given a linear form, which is what the devices use. For this the Integrated circuit. It is the phase where the energy that the computer needs is delivered.

Recommended power source brands

Between the brands of recommended power sources It should be noted that although it depends on the budget, it is highly recommended that you do not try to save on the selection of the source, because it is a key element for the operation and care of the equipment.

Among the most recommended brands of power sources in the current market, there are cases such as: Thermaltake or Seasonic.

Below we will show you some examples with prices: