What is the meaning of this label data on Power Supply Units?

1. Wattage
A Power supply can transform alternating current (AC) of the utility power into direct current (DC) required by your computer. Most power supplies provide the computer with +3.3V, +5V, +12V, -12V, -5V power, and we usually use the wattage (watts) to evaluate the power’s capability.

2. Capacitance
Capacitance plays a very important role in power supplies. A high-capacity filter capacitor can provide the computer with a better and purer input current, which is extremely important for the stability of the computer, If the input current is not pure this will lead to chaotic signals, interfering with the normal processing of signals by the computer and causing instability. Many cheap power supply manufacturers use low-capacity filter capacitors to cut costs, resulting in the computer’s performance falling short. There are even inferior quality power supplies that pose the risk of an exploding capacitor when the computer is struck by lightning or affected by any other unexpected impact.

3. Output
AC input stands for the input from the external power source (utility power), in Taiwan or USA 110V, and the specification is therefore 115V (+-10% margin). The 230V specification is for use in Europe, while amperage and frequency are relevant corresponding specifications. The voltages supplied by the power supply after transformation of AC current into DC current useable by the computer and most important to gamers, are 3.3V, +5V and +12V. +3.3 and +5 are usually required by processors, chipsets, display cards, and PCI and USB devices, while storage devices, CD-ROMs etc. need +12V. Users, and in particular gamers who often use the power management or Wake on Lan (WOL) function, must also pay attention to the +5Vsb (standby power) indication, because the WOL function, for example, requires a power of approximately 600mA. Therefore, if your platform consists of high voltage (HV) equipment such as a high-end high-speed processor with a high-end display card, choosing a high quality power supply is of crucial importance.

The data provided on labels of power supplies available on the market are not always identical. As each manufacturer may have “different ideas”, labeling often seems “ambiguously unclear”. There are manufacturers that indicate the maximum power of a continuous output, while other indicate the peak surge output. As long as there is no set norm, though the indicated specifications may be similar, some power supply brands will show no problem in case of overload, while others will stop working altogether after only 1 or 2 seconds of overload. Imagine if we were to compare the other detailed output specifications, short circuit protection data, etc. of power supplies and take into consideration factors such as power quality. Therefore, choosing a high quality power supply is extremely important!

4. Input Voltage Range
On the label, the indicated input voltage range can be full range 100-240 Vac, covering global commercial voltage levels. In Europe, a single range (230V only) power supply can be used.

5. Input Frequency
The commercial range for input voltage frequency is usually 50 or 60 Hz, while electrical specifications are usually 47-63Hz.

6. Efficiency
Efficiency = (output power) / (input power), the input-output surplus becomes energy.

7. Turn-on delay time
The time that it takes for the output voltage to reach a stable voltage range after the system is powered on.

8. Hold up time
The time during which the output can be maintained after the system is powered off.

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