While the power supply (PSU) for a PC is typically an afterthought, it is actually one of the more important components of a gaming build.
After all, it will supply the power to each and every one of your PC components.
As a result, you want to be sure to get yourself a solid power supply that will not only provide sufficient power to your specific components but also one that is not going to put your expensive CPU and graphics card at risk.
Having a power supply that is cheaply made and/or underpowered can really cause your PC to run inefficiently and it can even harm your components in certain instances.
Thus, you want to find one that is made up using the highest quality components to not only provide you with the best performance, but also the greatest efficiency.
Below, we will be going over some of the most important things to look for when you are shopping for a power supply for your PC gaming build.
Things to Look for When Shopping for a Gaming PSU:
1. Modular or Not
The first thing that you should decide on is whether or not you are willing to invest more money into your power supply (PSU) for increased flexibility with the cabling.
A modular power supply simply offers you the ability to change out the cords that you have plugged into your PSU at all times.
Therefore, you will be able to get rid of the excess cords that might not necessarily be needed for your specific build. As a result, it can be beneficial for better cable management.
Because it allows for better and more efficient cable management, it is likely to result in enhanced quality of airflow throughout your case which can have benefits of improving cooling for otherwise crammed cases.
2. Form Factor
Another important factor that you have to consider going into the selection process would be the form factor of the PSU. This is ultimately going to depend on what case you are using for your build. You want to identify a PSU that fits your case.
This is only really going to come into play if you are dealing with a mini-ITX build. For builds using the smallest cases, you are typically going to want to opt for an SFX (small form factor) designed PSU.
That way, you will be able to find a power supply that will allow you to have more room to operate within your small case and it can improve your airflow as a result of allowing for more room within the case.
3. Capacity and Efficiency Rating
The most important performance factors that you want to look for when you are shopping for a power supply are both the capacity and the efficiency rating.
It is important to consider both features when you are weighing your options because they are equally important. The capacity or wattage that the PSU advertises is important to understand because you need to find a PSU that is capable of providing enough power for your respective components.
Two of the most important components that you should factor into your build are the CPU and the GPU’s power requirements. There are some GPU’s that require a lot of power and some that might be much more efficient.
Typically, Nvidia GPUs are much more efficient than AMD GPUs. You should be looking to see what your power requirements are for both PC components and factor in everything else to find the wattage necessary.
However, you can’t simply look at the wattage advertised and be done with it. Instead, you need to factor in the efficiency rating along with it because a PSU that offers under an 80+ efficiency rating is unlikely to supply the kind of power you require unless you purchase a PSU with significant more wattage than you require.
Instead, you should give yourself some room in terms of wattage by buying one that supplies more energy but at least with an 80+ rating.
That way, you know that it is going to be able to reliably provide the power your build requires.
The Best Power Supplies On The Market:
1. Best In Class Power and Quality
If you are looking for an absolute tank of a PSU, you can’t find a better option on the market than the Corsair AX1000.
This PSU might be expensive, but it is easily the most reliable on the market. Not only does it offer 1kW of power, but it is fully modular and offers the highest build quality on the market.
It comes with 80+ Titanium efficiency which means the PSU delivers extremely consistent and reliable power which can keep your components healthy.
2. Best In Class Small Form Factor
If you need a high quality and reliable PSU for a small form factor PC build, there is no better option on the market than the corsair SF750.
Not only does it offer 750 watts of power which makes it the strongest SFX style PSU you can find on the market, but it also offers great efficiency and modularity making it a great value.
The biggest downside is the cost. You will end up paying up significantly for this PSU due to it being a small form factor PSU along with a high wattage PSU.
However, if you have a powerful small form factor gaming PC with a GTX 1080 TI or more, it will be well worth investing in.
3. Best Budget PSU
If you are on a strict budget, your best option is likely to be the Bitfenix BF450G.
Not only does this PSU offer high efficiency for a low cost, but it also offers extremely quiet operation for those that value low noise operation and it offers some of the best build quality that you will find south of some of the more expensive PSUs on the market.
The biggest downside to this PSU is the fact that it is not fully modular and it maxes out at 450W. Therefore, it is primarily targeted for those with mid-tier gaming builds.
Choosing the right PSU doesn’t have to be too difficult. It is best to stick with a reliable PSU manufacturer that stands behind their products.
That way, you can take advantage of their warranty and customer support if you do happen to run into issues with it.
By choosing the right PSU in terms of power, efficiency, form factor, and build quality, you should be able to purchase a PSU and completely forget it’s there.
A good PSU is something that you truly rarely every notice because it means that it is doing it’s job properly.
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