Not many people would stop and think about the most important component that is currently in their computer. If they had to stop and think about it, some would say the processor (CPU), memory, the video card, or even the hard drive. Depending on what they use their computer for, everyone would have a different idea of what is the most important component.
Most people, probably wouldn’t say that the power supply unit (PSU) is the most important component. To me, it is the most important component, and is one that you shouldn’t go cheap on purchasing. I outline my reasons for thinking this way in this post.
Why the Power Supply Unit is So Important.
I recently read a post on Info Carnivor titled Computer Terms Glossary: Advice for Computer Shoppers where the author mentions that the processor is most important part of a computer. I do disagree with him on that point (it’s great that he allows people to disagree with him in the comments on his blog). While we each are entitled to our opinion, I provide my reasoning of why the power supply unit is more important.
Every component in the computer needs power to run. The video card, hard drive, processor, motherboard, and fans all require power or your computer is just one expensive paper weight.
Now if there was a sudden power surge, or drop in power, there is a chance that any one, or all, of the components in your computer could be damaged. You could potentially lose all your data on your hard drive if it crashed and became damaged.
A good power supply, such as those made by Corsair for example, will usually provide good power to all of your components. A cheaper PSU could have the potential of power spikes or drops, which could lead to damaging your computer components.
Many PSUs are also modular, which means that the power cables can be connected and disconnected from the unit. This helps reduce the clutter in the case as you only need to connect the cables that you will be using. Less clutter helps with keeping the inside of your case cool (more airflow).
If you experience your computer freezing when performing graphics intensive operations, such as games, then chances are your PSU isn’t providing enough power to your computer because of the extra drain from your video card. You should upgrade your PSU or you may eventually cause damage to some of your components.
Also, if you are into gaming, you should pay attention to the the number of amps supplied by the 12V rail as that number can determine if the PSU has enough power to run your graphics card. You would obviously need to know the amount of amps required by your card.
While the processor, memory, and hard drive space are usually the most common features listed on an advertisement for a computer, you may also want to look at the PSU to ensure it is a fairly decent brand to avoid any issues in the future.