How to Check PC Power Supply Wattage

Upgradability is one of the most appealing aspects of PC gaming, as gamers enjoy experiencing their rigs evolve and become more powerful as they replace old components with newer ones. However, before replacing old components with new ones, it is important to ensure that your power supply can handle the extra wattage that often comes with more powerful components. To do this, you need to know what power supply your PC has.

If you bought a pre-built PC, finding out what power supply your PC uses would be easy. You just have to go to the manufacturer’s website and track down the specs for that particular build. On the other hand, if you own a custom PC and weren’t the one who built it, there is simply no reliable way to check which PSU is powering your rig other than opening the case and looking this up manually.

If your power supply is made with built-in intelligent hubs, you’ll be able to see the name of your PSU model and monitor the fans and other internal components. However, these are very much the exception and not the rule. In all likelihood, you’re going to have to open up your computer case.

Many cases come with separate PSU shrouds that help eliminate cable clutter and improve the overall aesthetic, especially with transparent cases. However, PSU shrouds are great for making the inside of your PC look neater but they completely hide the power supply which we need to physically inspect. This means that you’re either going to have to remove the shroud or completely remove the PSU. We recommend removing the PSU since most units have the large sticker with all of the specs on the bottom of the PSU anyway.

It is a good idea to either take a picture of the spec sticker or write the important bits down somewhere so that you don’t have to go through this process ever again. All this work is done mostly so that you’ll know what the maximum power capacity of your power supply is. This is a piece of information that you’ll have to constantly keep in mind when upgrading your hardware.

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, we suggest you use a PSU calculator. There are many online PC calculators that’ll let you know exactly how much power you need to keep all of your hardware components in check. Once the time comes to upgrade, replace the old component with the new one in the online PSU calculator and you’ll find out whether your power supply can handle the extra wattage or not.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to max out your PSU capacity. Power supplies like to take it easy so they run on maximum efficiency when the power draw is between 50 and 80 percent of their total output. Maxing out your PSU is one of the quickest ways to prematurely end its life.

In any case, we hope you found this article helpful. If you want to know even more about power supplies, there’s a link to an in-depth video where we go over all of the PSU specs down in the description.