Why you need an electronic kit to start with
With so much technology available to the consumer, the next step in a computer is getting one to work.
That means buying an external power supply that can handle your power, the speed of your internet connection, and how much storage you have available.
We’ve rounded up the best of the best to get you started with a step-by-step guide to choosing the right power supply.1.
External power supply2.
Power supply options3.
What’s included in the kit?
A good choice for most users is a 120mm power supply with an integrated AC adapter that plugs into the power port on the top of your computer.
This allows you to plug in your laptop’s USB-C port and USB-A port, as well as any external USB-H ports you may have, to the computer’s USB ports.
You’ll also want a power strip for your laptop to plug into the wall and power up your computer automatically.
For the most part, you’ll want a 100-240V AC adapter to plug directly into your computer, so you don’t need a power adapter to connect your computer to the wall.
You also might want to get an external USB hub, because you may want to connect the power strip to your laptop and the laptop to your power strip, or use it as a USB hub.
For the most power, you should get an 80 Plus Platinum or higher power supply, which is rated for 80 percent of your power requirements.
For best performance, you can always use a 120-240-V adapter, which provides up to 90 percent of the power you need.
The 80 Plus Bronze and Silver power supplies offer the same level of power, but are rated for 60 to 70 percent of capacity.2.
External storage optionsThe next step you’ll need is to choose the right external storage device.
If you have a laptop with a built-in hard drive, or an external SSD, it will be much easier to get the most out of your storage.
For most users, this means an SSD or a solid-state drive, which will provide better performance.
For smaller devices, you might need an external hard drive and SSD, but a small amount of storage is okay.
If your laptop can only store about 1TB of data, it might be better to stick with an SSD, or even a USB-HDD drive.
If you can fit two of these types of storage devices on the same power supply and have enough space for both, you’re good to go.
If not, you need to find the right adapter for the size of your laptop.
Most USB-E ports on laptops can accommodate up to 128GB of storage, and the best external hard drives will support up to 10TB of storage.
If a hard drive isn’t available, try a USB 3.1 Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 port, which can support up 1TB per port.3.
USB-HCI supportIf you have an external Thunderbolt-to-USB 3.0 cable, you won’t need to worry about the onboard USB-B connectors.
But you’ll still need to add an Ethernet cable to the power cable that plugs in to the port on your motherboard.
You can buy USB-AC adapter cables for $10 each, which works well for most laptops.
The Ethernet cable can also be plugged directly into the motherboard, which gives you a fast and simple connection.
You might want the Ethernet cable for an external display port, or for more external connections, like a headset jack.4.
Power managementYou might not need a full-size power supply to manage your laptop, but you should consider getting a high-efficiency power supply for the most demanding tasks.
A large power supply will make your laptop run cooler and faster, which in turn will improve your battery life and reduce the chance of overheating.
The most efficient power supply we’ve seen for the MacBook Pro is the H100i, which offers up to 60W at full load.
The PowerColor H100 is the same, but the Intel i5-7500U delivers up to 150W.5.
USB 2.0 portIf you’re not sure whether or not your laptop will support USB 2 (and 3) port, you may be able to find a USB 2 port in a USB 1 port adapter.
But we don’t recommend this because USB 2 ports don’t have a built in cooling fan, and will likely run hotter than USB 3 ports.
Instead, we suggest getting a USB Hub, which we recommend getting in the form of a hub that can connect to your desktop’s USB port, and then use that hub to plug a USB cable into your laptop for charging.
For more details, read our guide on how to get a USB charging cable.6.
CPU coolingThe heat you generate from your laptop could be a problem if your CPU is overheating or overheating in other ways.
For this reason, you want to look for a fan, heat sink, or liquid cooling system