History of Computer Power Supplies





Power supplies are often an easily-forgotten component of a computer build, but they’ve actually changed quite a bit over the years.

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49 thoughts on “History of Computer Power Supplies

  • I remember when the 4pin intel EPS (CPU 12volt) & flat AMD plugs alot people forgot to pluged those in forceing all of the power to go threw the traces sometimes burning up the PCB

  • 1:52 "There wasn't even one uniform standard"…..there still isn't, at least with power supplies. Cables from one manufacturer aren't interchangeable with cables from another manufacturer. Mixing them can fry everything. And even within a manufacturer, different generations of PSU's can vary with their pinouts. This is one industry in computer building that REALLY needs to standardize across the board, so mistakes like that can't happen anymore.

  • I remember changing some of those old at and pre at power supplies. Sometimes you could wind up way down a rabbit hole depending on some of the craps soldered onto the bleeding thing.

  • Now I use an Intel NUC computer that is a third the size of an ATX power supply and it runs from a wall wart that looks like about a 30W power supply. I would look but I would have to unplug it, reboot, find this web site again. You know the drill. The bigger NUCs with more cores use a 65W power brick. Mine is the thinner one and is not even as big as the early 5" hard drives. It is so small I have to use an external gigabit USB router which is almost as big as the entire computer to get all the USB ports I want. I guess this it getting close to the end of the road for the TL494 chip they used in all the previous PC power supplies.

  • I bought a EVGA psu for my Ryzen rig back in late 2017 and I was planning on keeping a case that I had been using for a few years but I ended up buying a new case because the psu was too wide for the case.

  • I overdid it with my PSU. I ebay – sourced an unused open-box 750 Watt 80+ Platinum for my home server, plugged it up, and was very pleased by the noise level. Then I hooked up the system to the UPS and queried the UPS and the UPS said "ya, you're drawin' 47 Watts at the wall dude". Well… at least its efficient.

  • I worked in broadcasting. In the early 80's we had a Chyron 4 character generator. It's power supply took up about 12" of rack spare. It had a huge transformer and filtering choke. It must have weighed 60 to 70 lbs. It's primary output was 5v at 65 amps. for a grand total of 325 watts.

  • I was parting together two PC's. I opened a Dell optiplex 9020 thinking an i7-4770 would be nice and was horrified to find an 8pin proprietary power connector. I have an Asus board on the way.

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  • One thing to be weary of is the modular cables on ATX power supplies are not the same across some manufacturers. I fried a perfectly good hard drive but using another manufacturers hard drive cables on a new Corsair power supply. Just a brain fart on my behalf but in my 20 odd years of building PCs I had never had that issue before and had gotten away with it. Well since modular PSUs were a thing.

    So if you have change your PSU don't be lazy like me … Change all the cables as well. You will save yourself some years.

  • I remember trying to convince my boss not to buy cheap PSU (I believe they were youngyear/logysis). My point was simple. If even the cheapest models from brand name OEMs use good PSUs, they probably have a darn good reason.
    You can buy the cheapest brand desktop from a store, and the PSU is gonna be better than the "el cheapo" models.
    I remember servicing a custom system where the guy used a top end mobo with an el cheapo. He clearly could have gotten a cheaper model and used the extra 10 bucks to get an FSP.
    This just proves that most custom builders are ignorant.

  • can i get some help advice here pls?. i got a used gtx 1080 and worked fine but it rebooted my pc when stressd gaming for example, like 4-6 times happened before it "burned" my power supply (bronze 650w), the last time the pc rebooted but was loopstuck not powering up. i got aseasonic focus gold + 1000w to replace it and it appear to work everything fine, no reboots for a while, BUT when it powered down it was worse. didnt turn on or rebooted by it self. i thought my entire pc died, the brand new psu smelt abit burnt and had to return the gpu, seller says it died. well the thing is my computer appears to work perfeclty fine now, buti am scared the psu got damaged and may burn my my new gpu if i buy one. (dont want to risk burning a 800$ card..) should i get the psu replaced? reviewd?, buy another one?. what could had gonne wrong in first place?

  • What is this?
    Most of time i saw led plated pins, ok i sometimes stainless steel. But now rare is silver or gold plated pins from psu and mainboards. Imagine what is oxidation can do for you

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