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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Monitors | Monitor Construction and Operation ]

Power Supply

The monitor is the only component of a regular PC that uses its own power supply, built into the monitor itself. Older monitors often used a special plug that connected to a receptacle at the back of the PC's power supply. This receptacle is just a pass-through from the power cord that the PC uses--these monitors do not get power from the PC's internal power supply. The chief advantage of this connection is that the power to the monitor is turned off when the PC is turned off. This type of plug has fallen out of favor in recent years, although you can buy cheap adapters that will convert a standard electrical cord to the type that connects to the back of the PC.

Many monitors have a switch to select between 110 volt and 220 volt power. Obviously, it's important to select the correct voltage depending on where you live. Also, many monitors have a fuse in the back that will blow if the monitor takes a voltage surge or there is another electrical problem. Make sure to check it if your monitor appears dead at some point.

Note: If you are using a UPS to provide backup power to your PC in the event of a power outage, you will probably want to also plug in the monitor, and ensure that the UPS is powerful enough to power it. Without the monitor, it will be hard to shut down your applications and operating system cleanly if the power goes out. See here for more on power.

Next: Interface and Cabling

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