Which Way To Mount PSU

Which Way To Mount PSU? Optimizing PSU Cooling

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When building or upgrading your PC, one often overlooked but crucial decision is the orientation of your power supply unit (PSU). The orientation of the PSU, particularly the direction of its fan, can significantly impact the performance, cooling, and overall lifespan of your PC. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve in which way to mount PSU orientation, explore the benefits of different choices, and help you make an informed decision that aligns with your PC’s needs.

Which Way to Mount PSU: Intake or Exhaust?

The first decision you’ll need to make is to mount your PSU with the fan facing up (intake) or down (exhaust). Whether to mount the PSU as an intake or exhaust depends on your case’s airflow and environment. If your case has good bottom ventilation and sits on a hard surface, intake mounting can draw in cool air efficiently, aiding PSU cooling. However, if your case has poor ventilation underneath or sits on the carpet, intake mounting may lead to dust buildup and hinder cooling.

Alternatively, exhaust mounting expels warm air from the case, potentially reducing overall system temperature. Consider factors like case design, airflow patterns, and environmental conditions to determine the most suitable mounting direction for optimal performance and longevity. Before we explore the nuances of how to mount your PSU, let’s understand the primary orientations and their implications.

Mounting PSU with Fan Facing Up (Intake)

Mounting your PSU with the fan facing up draws in cool air from inside your PC case. This orientation offers several advantages:

  • Improved Cooling: The intake orientation helps maintain lower temperatures within the PSU and throughout the PC. Lower temperatures can extend the life of your components.
  • Dust Prevention: Dust and debris are less likely to enter the PSU, helping to keep it clean and efficient.
  • Quiet Operation: An upward-facing fan often results in more silent operation, as it doesn’t need to work as hard to cool the units.

Benefits of Mounting PSU Intake

Mounting your PSU with the fan facing up draws in cool air from inside your case. This can help maintain lower temperatures, extending your PSU’s and other components’ life. It also helps prevent dust from entering the PSU.

Mounting PSU with Fan Facing Down (Exhaust)

When the PSU fan faces downward, it expels hot air from the unit, preventing it from recirculating within the PC case. This orientation is advantageous in specific scenarios:

  • Effective Heat Dissipation: The exhaust orientation helps remove hot air generated by the PSU, which is particularly useful in cases where other PC components produce significant heat.
  • Compatibility: It is a suitable choice for cases with a top-mounted PSU location or cases where the PSU resides in a separate compartment.
  • Stability: Mounting the PSU this way can lower the PC’s centre of gravity, potentially enhancing stability.

Benefits of Mounting PSU Exhaust

On the other hand, mounting your PSU with the fan facing down expels hot air from the case, preventing it from being recirculated and raising internal temperatures. This option is useful in cases where your PC generates a lot of heat.

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Factors to Consider When Mounting PSU

Several factors should influence your decision, including the type of case you have, the location of your PC, and its overall temperature. It’s essential to assess these variables before making a choice.

1. PC Case Design:

The layout of your PC case plays a crucial role. Some cases are designed with the intake orientation in mind, with bottom-mounted PSU bays and dust filters. Others, often older cases, are better suited for exhaust orientation.

2. Component Heat Generation:

Consider the heat generated by your PC components. High-performance graphics cards and processors produce more heat, making exhaust orientation a more logical choice.

3. Environment:

Your PC’s environment matters. If your PC is on the floor, an intake-oriented PSU might pull in more dust, necessitating regular cleaning. Exhaust orientation might be a safer bet for a cleaner environment or if your PC is elevated.

Step-by-Step Guide to Mounting PSU

Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you’re mounting your PSU correctly:

Now that you understand the pros and cons of both orientations, let’s walk through the process of mounting your PSU correctly.

1. Determine the Fan Orientation

Start by deciding whether you want to use intake or exhaust orientation based on the factors discussed earlier.

2. Check Your PC Case

Ensure that your chosen orientation aligns with your PC case design and layout. Some cases may restrict your options.

3. Safety First

Before you begin, unplug your PC from the power source and discharge any static electricity by touching a metal part of the PC case or using an anti-static wristband.

4. Install the PSU

Carefully slide your PSU into the designated bay, ensuring it’s properly aligned.

5. Connect Cables

Connect all the necessary power cables to your components, ensuring secure connections.

6. Test the PSU

Before securing everything, plug in your PC and ensure it powers on as expected. This allows you to spot and address any issues before finalizing the setup.

7. Secure the PSU

Once you’re confident everything is working correctly, secure the PSU in place, ensuring it’s not blocking airflow to critical components.

Safety Precautions

It’s crucial to follow safety precautions when working inside your PC. Always disconnect the power source and take anti-static measures to prevent damage to your components.

Turn Off and Unplug:

  • Before you begin, turn off your computer and disconnect it from the power source. This is crucial to avoid electrical shocks and ensure your safety.

Ground Yourself:

  • To prevent static discharge that can damage sensitive components, ground yourself by touching a metal part of your PC case or using an anti-static wristband.

Clean Work Area:

  • Make sure your work area is clean and free from any potential hazards. Clutter can lead to accidents or damage to your PC.

Read the Manual:

  • If you’re installing or replacing components, consult the manuals provided with your hardware. They contain specific instructions and safety information.

Avoid Liquid:

  • Keep liquids away from your PC. Spilling liquid on your computer can cause irreparable damage.

Use Proper Tools:

  • Use the appropriate tools for the job. Screwdrivers, pliers, and other tools should be in good condition to prevent accidents.

Disconnect Cables Carefully:

  • When removing or connecting cables, handle them gently. Pulling on cables forcefully can damage connectors or components.

Beware of Sharp Edges:

  • Some internal PC components, like the edges of metal cases, can be sharp. Be cautious to avoid cuts or injuries.

No Hot Swapping:

  • Do not attempt to remove or install components while your PC is running. Always shut down your computer and disconnect it from power before making any changes.

Proper Lighting:

  • Ensure your workspace is well-lit. Good lighting helps prevent mistakes and makes seeing what you’re doing easier.


  • Maintain proper posture and ergonomics while working. Prolonged periods of working in awkward positions can lead to discomfort or injury.

Backup Data:

  • Before making significant changes to your PC, it’s a good practice to back up your data. This ensures you don’t lose valuable information in case something goes wrong.

Be Mindful of Static Electricity:

  • Avoid working in environments with low humidity, as this can increase the risk of static electricity. Use anti-static precautions like wristbands or mats.

By following these safety precautions, you can reduce the risk of accidents and protect your PC and yourself while working inside your computer.

Common PSU Mounting Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Blocking ventilation: Ensure cables or other components don’t obstruct PSU intake and exhaust vents.
  2. Improper orientation: Mount PSU with the fan facing the correct direction for intake or exhaust based on case airflow.
  3. Placing on carpet: Avoid placing the case directly on the carpet, as it can restrict PSU airflow and cause overheating.
  4. Neglecting dust buildup: Regularly clean PSU filters and internals to prevent dust accumulation, which can impede airflow and lead to overheating.


In conclusion, determining whether to mount the PSU as an intake or exhaust requires careful consideration of case airflow, environmental conditions, and component layout. While intake mounting can promote efficient cooling by drawing in cool air, exhaust mounting may be preferable in certain setups to expel warm air. Ultimately, choosing the appropriate mounting direction is essential for maintaining optimal system temperature and maximizing component longevity.


1. Is it okay to use any PSU orientation?

  • No, the PSU orientation should be chosen based on your specific PC setup and the environment in which it operates.

2. Can I change the PSU orientation after installation?

  • It’s possible, but it’s recommended to decide on the orientation before installation to avoid potential issues.

3. How can I prevent dust from entering the PSU?

  • Mounting the PSU with the fan facing up (intake) can help prevent dust from entering the unit.

4. Should I always follow Google’s guidelines for content creation?

  • Following Google’s guidelines for creating informative content can improve the visibility and ranking of your content in search results.

5. Is it essential to follow safety precautions while working on a PC?

  • Yes, following safety precautions is crucial to avoid damage to components and ensure your safety during PC-related tasks.

Last Updated on 26 February 2024 by Ansa Imran


Ansa Imran, a writer, excels in creating insightful content about technology and gaming. Her articles, known for their clarity and depth, help demystify complex tech topics for a broad audience. Ansa’s work showcases her passion for the latest tech trends and her ability to engage readers with informative, well-researched pieces.

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