Power supplies are often an overlooked element in buying a computer, but it is a very important consideration. When a computer fails, it is often a deficiency in the power supply that directly or indirectly leads to failure. When it comes to buying a Trading Computer, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is what size Power Supply to get. Power Supplies come in a variety of different wattages, and it’s important to choose one that will be able to handle the demands of your system.

Power supplies use a component called a “capacitor” to smooth out the DC current that goes to your computer’s motherboard and other components. Capacitors gradually degrade over time; they degrade faster with elevated temperatures and elevated workloads. Not all capacitors are created equal and finding a quality power supply involves looking at reviews and ordering one to check the brand of the capacitors. A good rule of thumb is the higher the wattage the higher rating for the capacitors, the higher the rating the longer they will last. For trading computers, 600 watts is the standard, but larger wattages are better. More powerful trading computers will have a 700 watt, or more, power supply.

After considering wattage comes the maximum current that the 12-volt circuit can supply. This is critical in distinguishing a good power supply from a low-quality power supply. 12-volt circuits are sometimes divided into multiple smaller amperage circuits called “rails.” At Trading Computers, we choose power supplies with no less than 38 amps for the 12-volt circuit and no less than 20 amps for each rail if there is more than one rail. It is preferred to have more than 45 amps total capacity on the 12-volt circuit because many of the better processors and video cards have a high instant starting current. This may trigger the overload safety device when you try to start your trading computer, preventing it from starting.