ATX Power Supplies Components

ATX Power Supplies Components

Advanced Technology eXtended (or ATX) is a form factor that that specifies the key components and dimensions of motherboards, typically for computer or processor use. Developed by Intel in the mid 90s, ATX represents an improvement over the previously used AT or Advanced Technology form favour.

The key purpose of the ATX form factor is to define the power and connector interfaces, the mechanical dimensions, and the input / output panel, all of which affect how the motherboard, power supply and computer case connect with each other.

ATX power supplies are basically a series of components which allow you to plug your computer into conventional electrical mains. They typically include fuses, cables and specific connectors which vary depending on the specifications of the computer and the motherboard itself.

Typical components and types for ATX Power Supplies

As mentioned, the type of power supply required for your ATX depends on a number of different characteristics, including the physical dimensions of the computer, the input/output panel and mounting board position. Depending on these specifications, a number of different pin-out connector configurations are possible. These may include:

  • The 20 pin ATX connector. This is one of the most common configurations—check to see if your motherboard has a 20 pin connector slot—if so, this is the appropriate type for your power supplies unit.
  • The 24 pin ATX connector. This configuration is most commonly available for use with a 430 watt or 500 watt power supply.
  • The P4 ATX connector. This is a 4 pin type connector most typically used for motherboards that make use of an Intel Pentium 4 processor. These processors require specific power supply units matched with the P4 connector.
  • The Molex ATX connector. This is commonly used for power supplies for a computer’s CD/DVD ROM drives and hard drives.

Self-repair and replacement of ATX Power Supplies

With many businesses providing the different components needed to replace or upgrade your power supply, it is possible to order specific parts and do repair work yourself. However, it is important to keep in mind a few key safety considerations before attempting any repair work yourself.

To begin with, always ensure that before attempting to replace any components of your power supply, the power cable is unplugged from the PC. Not only do you stand the risk of incurring electrical shock, it’s also possible to inadvertently fry your motherboard with excess current or a surge.

It’s also important to remember that it is possible for ATX power supply units to carry a residual charge after they have first been disconnected from the electrical mains. As such, always ensure that you ground any cables or power supply components before attempting any work.

Finally, if you are uncertain about the appropriate components for you power supplies or if you are uncomfortable with any of the repair work, don’t hesitate to speak with representatives at any of the stores where you are likely to purchase the power supplies. Just be sure to have the physical dimensions for the unit, the type of connector slots in your computer case, and the processor type being used.