The CPU is often referred to as the brain of the computer system. If that is a meaningful analogy then the heart of the system is undoubtedly the power supply. The PS has to provide stable power to all parts of the system, much as the heart has to provide blood to all parts of the body. When the power supply is not completely healthy parts of your system start failing. The Power Supply is also the component most likely to fail in systems, because its importance is often overlooked by the system builder.
The case has to house all the components, so there are specification concerns that the Power Supply and all components will actually fit. However, it is a much more personal choice than the PS. Once you determine everything will fit, personal ergonomics and appearance are the main reasons buyers choose a particular case. The case can also have a significant impact in cooling efficiency, however, and that should also be a concern in case selection.

Computer Component suppliers normally sell the case and power supply as a combined purchase. The prices often seem to be a good value, but our experience has been that it is often tough to determine the source and quality of the Power Supply used in the package. Combo cases are often the cheapest and thinnest metal you can possibly buy. These combo Case/PS may be great for a retailer building entry systems for resale, but they are rarely high enough in performance or durability to meet the needs of the Computer Enthusiast. They also may work fine initially, but the cheap kit power supplies are often the first things to go in a system.

For all these reasons we recommend the separate selection of a case and power supply for a new system build, or to replace the case you now have. The price and performance range among current cases and power supplies is huge, so we have zeroed in on some typical price points for knowledgeable shoppers looking for a new case or power supply.

Power Supplies
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  • afkrotch - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link


    Here's something to look at. Standard case fans. Mounted in all sorts of fashions. Upside down, right side up, sideways, etc. Why would you assume that the fan being upside down would bother the fan at all?

  • ghd nz - Monday, January 7, 2013 - link

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