Selecting a power supply should be fairly easy for you. Choose from among the brands listed on our site and don’t stray too far from these brands. There are others that we don’t have listed, but none of them compare in terms of reliability to what we list. The biggest players in the power supply market are Antec, Thermaltake, Corsair, Silverstone, Enermax, Cooler Master, and OCZ. I prefer Silverstone because of modular cabling, reliability, efficiency, and warranty policy.
Modular cabling is huge. In a nutshell, modular cabling is the simple invention which permits wire jobs to be done with a great deal of craft. Modular cabling allows the manufacturer to select only the cables which are necessary for a build instead of a big lump of wires, which is huge. Post purchase, the customer has the option to add or remove modules himself, which is nice.
Reliability is perhaps the most important thing to consider when selecting a power supply. This is why StealthMachines recommends you stick only to the power supplies we currently have listed on our site. The power supply is the only line of defense, short of a surge protector (read: you MUST have an adequate surge protector on your computer at all times!), between your home’s potentially dirty power and your StealthMachine’s sensitive electronic components. For this reason, you must have a reliable power supply. If the power supply fails, all of the parts fail. Do not mess around with a sub-par power supply.
Efficiency is something to consider when purchasing a power supply. Larger power supplies do have the potential of increasing your utility bill, so it is prudent to select a more efficient power supply. I recommend at least a bronze rated power supply, but silver or gold is always better if possible.
Like all parts, make sure that the power supply which you select has an adequate warranty policy. Don’t just take the manufacturer’s word for it… read real reviews or call StealthMachines toll-free 888-273-2440 to find out if that manufacturer remains true to their word when parts fail.
The most important thing to consider when purchasing a power supply is the wattage of the power supply. You need at least a 750W power supply for a single graphics card system. You need a 1000W power supply for a two graphics card system. For a three+ graphics card system, select at least a 1250W power supply. If you are only purchasing a system with one graphics card, consider strongly the possibility that you will one day wish to add a second graphics card or more hard drives down the road and over-plan your power supply’s rating. Also consider the fact that it is never a good idea to stress out your power supply. Although a power supply may be rated to handle the graphics card which you have selected, if it just barely can handle that card then the system will fail down the line. When a power supply fails, everything else can fail too so be careful. Call StealthMachines if you are unsure and we’ll be glad to help you out!
Again, the power supply is the computer’s last line of defense against dirty power. Dirty power exists in nearly every home, no matter how new or well built. Do your computer a favor and purchase, at minimum, a surge protector. Better yet, select a UPS (battery backup) to turn that dirty power into clean power.
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