Chapter 16. Power Supplies and Power Protection

It's easy to forget that computers depend on a reliable, steady source of electric power. Power isn't sexy. PC enthusiasts talk for hours about the latest processor or video card, but seldom give a thought to such boring issues as power supplies and power protection. Experts, on the other hand, recognize that reliable power is the foundation of a reliable computer. If you take a peek at experts' computer rooms, you'll find that all of their systems have top-notch, high-capacity power supplies, backed up by industrial-strength power protection. If your computer and data are important to you, you would do well to emulate them.

Power Supplies

Power supplies lack glamour, so nearly everyone takes them for granted. That's a big mistake, because the power supply performs two critical functions: it provides regulated power to every system component, and it cools the computer. Many people who complain that Windows crashes frequently understandably blame Microsoft. But, without apologizing for Microsoft, the truth is that many such crashes are caused by low-quality or overloaded power supplies.

If you want a reliable, crash-proof system, use a high-quality power supply. In fact, we have found that using a high-quality power supply allows even marginal motherboards, processors, and memory to operate with reasonable stability, whereas using a cheap power supply makes even ...

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