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How do I Choose the Best Used Power Supply?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2016
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If you are upgrading your computer on a budget and are in need of a power supply that is new to you, consider purchasing one that is used. The first step to buying the best used power supply is to decide where to buy it from, as you have a choice between private sellers and well-known companies. Of course, the manufacturer of the item is also one detail to think about before you buy, as you can choose between a popular brand and a generic company. You should also make sure to purchase a used power supply that is appropriate for your computer, as you need the right wattage, pins, and size.

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You can look for power supplies that are offered by private sellers, whether online on auction sites, on local Internet forums, or from people near you, such as at garage sales. You can typically find a good deal from such sellers, but the downside is that you do not know how the power supply was treated during its years of use. Its cheap price could come from the fact that it now barely works, or the seller could just need to get rid of it to make room for new computer accessories. For this reason, it is often considered best to buy from people you know and trust, such as friends or family members, as they will likely only sell you a product that still works well. Additionally, you should consider purchasing refurbished computer parts from well-known companies, as these used parts have been fixed up, and usually come with a guarantee.

Many people assume that they can only replace their original power supply with one made by the same company, but in truth, you can actually save money by using a generic brand. If you go with a used power supply from a generic brand that is universal, or fits almost all computers, you will likely save the most money possible. Of course, since you are buying used, you may be able to afford to either replace the power supply with the same brand you had before, or upgrade to a brand that is rated even better. The choice should largely depend on your budget.

Saving money on a used power supply is only a good idea if you are able to get what you need for your computer. For example, you need to make sure that the one you choose has enough wattage for your system, especially if you play video games, or run other software requiring large calculations. If you have more fans, lights, and peripherals than the average computer user, you will need to purchase a used power supply that has high wattage, typically between 500 and 1000 watts. Be sure to find out if you need a 20 pin power supply or a 24 pin power supply before you purchase a new part. Finally, ensure that your case is large enough to accommodate the used power supply that you are considering, as some require a case that is bigger than average.

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