Upgradeability is one of the most appealing prospects of PC gaming over console gaming. Sure, the potential reaches unformidable FPS count on maxed-out settings. In higher resolutions, it’s great. But very few people experience that. However, everyone can enjoy seeing their gaming rigs slowly evolving and getting more robust with time as they replace old ones with newer ones. Only that it’s not simple to bring a new CPU or GPU and slap it on a motherboard. Besides checking for compatibility, you also need to ensure that your power supply can support that extra voltage with more powerful components. And to do this, you need to know how to check the power supply that you have.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just opening your device manager and checking up your PSU (power supply unit) maker and model there. That is why in this guide, we will walk you through all of the steps to find what PSU you have.
How to check which PSU you have on your PC?
To find what your PC uses, you need to consider how you bought it. The assumption is that you did not build that perfect custom gaming PC. This means that you need to handpick PSU yourself. In this case, you would already know the answer to your question.
If you bought a pre-built PC, you might be able to avoid prior opening your power case to find a PSU check supplier. If you can find a serial number of your PC, you may be able to use that to identify your PSU supplier. This could work without a specific serial number if you know the maker and model of your PC. In either case, you need to go to the manufacturer’s website and track down specs for that particular build.
Unfortunately, if you don’t own a pre-built PC and you weren’t the one who built it, there is no reliable way to check your PSU specs, except for opening the case and taking a look by yourself manually. Some power suppliers are making it with the intelligent hub so that you don’t see only the name of your PSU model but also monitor and other components. There are given exceptions, so this is not the rule for every supplier.
So in a likelihood, you will need to open your computer case.
NOTE: Make sure that your PC is disconnected from the power source and the power supply is switched off.
The good news is that most cases come with separate PSU shrouds that help eliminate cable clutter and improve overall esthetics, especially with transparent cases. PSU shrouds are great for making the inside of a PC look neater, but they hide the power supply. This means you are either going to remove the shroud or the PSU altogether. We would recommend removing PSU because most units have a large sticker with all the specs attached to the bottom of the PSU. This will be easier if you have a fully modular or semi-modular PSU. Removing the shroud is most probably a more accessible option if you have a non-modular power supply. It is good to know what type of PSU you have since they come in various voltages from the same supplier. After checking information about your PSU, it’s good to take a picture or write down somewhere specs of the unit. That way, you won’t need to go through this whole procedure ever again.
Why it’s important to check which PSU you have?
Why checking this information is essential? Because you need to know the maximum power capacity of your power supply. An extensive upgrade can make higher voltages that your PSU might not be able to handle.
So that you don’t experience any unpleasant surprises, we suggest you use a PSU calculator.
If you want to replace the CPU, just after returning it, put information from the upgraded CPU in the calculator and immediately check if your PSU can support that high voltage.
You can check one of my favorite and most reliable calculators here:
You don’t want to max out your PSU capacity. They, as well, love to take it easy. The most optimal condition is when it’s used between 50-80% of their total output. Maxing out your PSU is the quickest way to end its lifetime way earlier than it is supposed to be.
Since you are checking what PSU you have, it’s always good to know what size is the best one for your device. If you are upgrading some components, like we mentioned before, you will need a new power supply unit. The bad news would be if that power unit can’t fit in your computer case. That’s why you have three main types.
- 1. ATX & ATX12v power supply
- 2. SFX-L power supply
- 3. SFX power supply
Most hardcore gaming PCs are using an ATX power supply. But if you are asking us for an opinion, the bigger, the better, but only if you can fit it.
It is important to compare them at least. Sometimes even the ones with the same specs are not performing equally. For further assistance, you can check Microsoft’s official page here.
We are hoping that this guide helped you to find what is your power supply. Let us know in the comment section below did you find this helpful guide. Now you can go and check your PSU and let us know which one you have and how that one is working for you.