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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Power | The Power Supply ]

Power Supply Functions and Signals

The power supply's main function is simple: take the power input to it from the power system of your home or office, and turn it into a form that the PC can use. However, the PC power supply's job isn't as simple as that of a standard power converter, such as the kind you might plug into your car's lighter socket to let you run a TV off your car battery. The PC power supply must provide several different voltages, at different strengths, and must also manage some additional signals that the motherboard uses.

This section takes a look at what the power supply does and the voltages and secondary signals it generates. In addition to the topics covered here, power supply output and ratings are covered in this section. Power signal quality issues are covered in the section on power supply electrical specifications.

Next: AC-DC Voltage Conversion

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