How Computers Work – Part 1 – The Power Supply [Mega Series]

How the Power Supply Works

The computer needs a type of adapter that will convert this current from AC to direct current (DC) – a feasible type of electrical supply for the motherboard and components attached to it. Here comes the power supply to the rescue. This simple box converts the evil AC to good, holy and pure DC, which is then distributed to each individual component on the computer that requires it. Although the motherboard gets a nice fat slice of the juice, smaller cables from the power supply also lead to the hard drives, certain expansion cards, and your tongue, if you have the ambition for that.

Each component receives a certain voltage from its dedicated cable. You see, the motherboard can’t provide power to all the components connected to it through the big fat cable it gets from the PSU. Certain components, such as the hard drives and CD DVD burners, need a certain amount of dedicated amperage and voltage that cannot be shared with anything else. In fact, most of the cables on your computer that look like colorful intestines are dedicated power cables for storage components, peripheral drives, and expansion cards.