Use this quick navigation bar since this is a long article:
Anyone who wishes to build a powerful and reliable computer should take into consideration the power supply. This could be an often-overlooked computer component that can turn out to be crucial for your computer’s performance and durability in the long run. While other computer parts have more factors to analyze, getting the hang of power supplies is actually fairly easy as you mostly just need to be aware of the wattage and efficiency. All power supplies come within a certain wattage range and have various efficiency levels. It’s a good idea to invest in units with reliable efficiency levels but it’s required to carefully consider the wattage range to be appropriate for your system. Most people, with the exception of hardcore gamers or various professionals, will probably not need power supplies with 750+ wattage so with this in mind, let’s see how should you go about picking the correct power supply. We’ll take a look at the most common ranges to see which would work best for your needs:
In this range, you will find a good portion of power supplies on the market and even though they’re considered entry-level, most users should be able to cover their needs with a power supply from this range. If the computer you’re building is not an extremely high-end machine, a 400-600W power supply is more than enough for meeting most systems’ energy requirements.
Those who would like to invest in a more powerful power supply for a more demanding system should orient towards the 600-800W range. A performant graphics card like Nvidia’s GTX 980 Ti for example, will need at least a 650W power supply to operate in a smooth manner.
This is pretty much the last level to reach for power supplies. It’s only recommended to get a power supply in the 800-1000W range if you’re planning on getting multiple GPUs, CPUs, or hard drives. Keep in mind that in this range you will need a bigger budget but it could be worth it if you want extreme performance and stability.
There are also power supplies with over 1000W but these are really exceptional options which go beyond the needs of the large majority of users. These three are the most important ladder steps for the wattage range, which you will need to consider according to the power needs of your system. Let’s take a look at a cost-effective selection of high-quality power supplies created by the best manufacturers in the industry. You might also be interested in our articles about the best liquid cpu coolers and the best laptop cooling pads.
Best Power Supply for Gaming
The EVGA 750 GQ appears to be one of the best choices for a power supply. It boasts great features at a decent price. The unit is 80 PLUS Gold certified with excellent efficiency and has many smart design tweaks for the most performant operation possible. Let’s see why it represents the top pick on this list.
One of the most interesting features of this unit is its ECO mode which guarantees a low noise level during times of low loads. This is great news for those who prefer a quiet working environment and only play demanding games or use other high-load applications occasionally. The fan won’t spin unless it’s necessary. The fan size of 135 mm is quite generous and combined with the ECO mode you can expect this power supply to last for a very long time offering optimal performance under any load conditions.
When it comes to performance, this power supply doesn’t disappoint. This 750W unit boasts 90% efficiency or even higher when it works under typical loads. To ensure the best reliability, it makes use of top quality Japanese capacitors and an overall efficient design.
With the help of this power supply’s semi-modular design, you can get rid of unnecessary wires as you use just the cables needed for your particular build. You can improve the airflow of the case and keep cable clutter to a low level. When it comes to safeguards, is worth mentioning that this model comes with various voltage, temperature, and short-circuit protections.
Considering everything about the EVGA 750 GQ power supply, it’s not difficult to conclude that this is a powerhouse delivering amazing value for its cost. If you’ve decided to upgrade your power supply, this has more than enough juice to keep a high-end system running smoothly. With proper care, you can enjoy the benefits of this unit for more than 5 years. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a solid blend of performance and durability.
- 750W power supply
- 90% (115VAC) / 92% (220VAC~240VAC) efficiency
- 135mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing
- Semi-modular design
- Heavy-duty protections
- Active Clamp +DC to DC design
Best Buy Power Supply
EVGA is one of the most appreciated manufacturers of power supplies and they have a large selection of products suited for many different needs. Those who want a more balanced option in terms of cost shouldn’t miss the EVGA 500 W1 model which promises 80 PLUS White certification, heavy-duty protections, and incredible overall value.
When you have a tight budget it’s important to get the most performance out of your power supply even if you choose a more affordable model. This unit is rated at 500W and has a very space-saving design with fully sleeved cables and a neatly placed power switch.
Any basic computer build will benefit from the connections provided by this power supply. It’s capable of supporting 40A on a single +12V rail and is designed to maintain a high level of safety due to multiple protections such as those against over/under voltage, over current, over power, and short circuit.
Thanks to the 80 PLUS certification, you can be sure that the PSU won’t needlessly waste power and will steer clear of the damaging excessive heat. Under usual loads, it manages a decent 80% efficiency or higher which is a respectable value for its class. It’s fairly easy to install even if you’re not that familiar with the process of building a custom computer from scratch.
In terms of design, there’s nothing of particular note worth mentioning but it’s nice to see that it’s fairly compact. This means that it can fit a very wide range of cases including full and micro ATX cases. The cables are fully sleeved and another great thing about them is that they come with heat shrink ends so you can maintain a neat environment even if your case is loaded.
Perfect for many users with various low to medium computer builds, the EVGA 500 W1 is a strong asset to consider if you’re in the market for a capable and affordable power supply. Despite the fact that it’s not modular, having a couple of unused cables lying somewhere in the case is really a non-issue once your system’s up and running. An excellent choice for a 500W power supply, all things considered.
- 500W power supply
- 80% efficiency
- Heavy-duty protections
- Single +12V Rail
- Compact design
- Quiet fan design
Best Modular Power Supply
Corsair’s RMx series is geared towards users who prefer more control over their power supplies. The RM750x model is a 750W power supply that sports tight voltage control, Gold-certified efficiency and a convenient installation process thanks to its fully modular cable set. The price is a bit high for some but if you strive for durable performance, this could be a very attractive choice.
The capacitors on this model are 100% of Japanese origin built with long-term reliability and adequate power delivery in mind. Having premium internal components is important for all your other computer parts so why not for the power supply?
Another great aspect regarding this PSU (power supply unit) is the efficient operation. As it’s 80 PLUS Gold certified, you can expect less excess heat and reduced costs for operating it. The fan is also designed to work more efficiently. It has Zero RMP mode so you can benefit from superior levels of quietness at low and even medium loads.
Some people will love the faster installation process for this PSU. It comes with a fully modular cable set so you can mount it in the case and then simply attach just the required cables. Having no extra cables lying around could be a nice touch especially for those bothered by small details. Another advantage for some builds is that it also enables the maximum airflow possible.
This power supply has been designed for reaching its peak power output at a temperature rating of 50 degrees C. Besides a very long list of safety and agency approvals like UL, CE, and FCC, it also comes with all the protections you could possibly need such as those against over-voltage, under-voltage, and over temperature.
In conclusion, the Corsair RM750x is a solid fully modular power supply capable of handling a wide range of high-end systems. If you’ve decided to upgrade your PSU, this is a very decent solution. It could be a great replacement but also a solid unit for constructing a brand new computer from parts. Because it works as intended, doesn’t compromise on performance and looking how it boasts high-quality cabling, this power supply easily gains a top spot on this list.
- 750W power supply
- 100% All Japanese 105 capacitors
- 80 PLUS Gold certified
- Zero RPM Fan Mode
- Modular design
The Corsair CX750M is built for performance and flexibility as it provides everything you need to supply enough power to a high-end computer. For its price, this model is particularly reliable and efficient. It comes with 80 PLUS Bronze certification for its efficiency and the operation is also fairly silent.
Thanks to the modular cabling system you can only use the cables you need and limit the clutter. Your build will look cleaner and you can save some good space for improved airflow. Looking outside, this power supply has a very attractive matte finish with everything, including the cables and connectors, in elegant black for a high-tech look. To ensure the best level of compatibility, this PSU provides a dedicated single +12V rail and the fully-sleeved cables are sufficiently long and able to offer support to a full tower chassis.
In terms of performance, this 750W power supply has some interesting capabilities. It promises up to 85% energy efficiency for less created heat and uses 0.99 Active Power Factor Correction to deliver power in the most reliable manner. Its large fan is thermally controlled to enjoy quiet times during idle operation while the noise is kept under control even if the load is higher.
What’s nice about this power supply is how rigorous the quality control process is. Corsair’s engineers designed this unit with reliability in mind and extra attention to details so you can be confident in the performance of your newly built computer. It’s worth noting that a solid range of protections was integrated, including over-voltage, over-power, and short-circuit protections.
Taking into account its overall abilities, the Corsair CX750M takes performance and reliability to the next level. The modular cabling is great and the efficiency should definitely enhance any system’s power needs. One of the most impressive things about this unit is the quietness level is which hard to match for its class. The price is also decent and very reasonable considering the high-quality components and how smooth it runs.
- 750W power supply
- Modular design
- Up to 85% energy efficiency
- 0.99 Active Power Factor Correction
- Dedicated single +12V rail
- 80 PLUS Bronze certified
Best Power Supply For The Money
The EVGA 600 B1 was built to satisfy those users who need as much performance for their money they can get. It combines 600W of reliable power with an ingenious rail design while at the same time allowing you to stay safe with a nice bundle of protections against potential hazards such as short circuits.
This PSU will be able to handle typical loads with a decent 85% efficiency and to maximize the power, it uses a high amperage single-rail design. Thanks to EVGA’s Continuous Power technology you can be sure that you’re getting a steady output.
The single +12V rail is also a contributing factor for its solid power output adding extra stability and compatibility. The 120 mm cooling fan is designed to automatically adjust the noise level of its operation for a more enjoyable experience during the excess heat dissipation process.
When it comes to safety, this unit doesn’t disappoint as it presents the most valuable safeguards such as over-voltage, over-current, and over temperature protections, to name a few. Among the included connectors you will find 2 PCIe and 6 SATA connectors as well as 3 4-pin peripheral connectors.
This is not a modular power supply so you will have to live with the fact that useless cables can’t be removed. This is pretty much a non-issue as you can do some organizing and keep them neatly so as not to impact the overall airflow of the case in any noticeable way. Thanks to the ATX form factor, compatibility is guaranteed with virtually every conventional ATX case.
Despite being more on the lower spectrum in terms of cost, the EVGA 600 B1 doesn’t look or feel cheap in any way. What’s very interesting about this unit is how easy you can install it thanks to the comprehensive manual which actually helps you with recommendations for optimal results. The fan is quiet and the efficiency is on point for this price so it seems that once again EVGA has proven that it’s also capable in the PSU department and graphics cards aren’t their only specialty.
- 600W power supply
- Up to 85% efficiency
- 120mm Sleeve Bearing
- Heavy-duty protections
- Modular design
- Single +12V Rail
Best Budget Power Supply
Crafted for performance with only the best quality materials, the Antec VP-450 is a surprisingly capable power supply for those on a budget. It comes with a no-nonsense design, effective cooling, stable power delivery, and reliable protection circuitry. At this price, this model brings a lot of value to any computer builder.
One of the most impressive features of this unit is the whisper-quiet fan that’s controlled by Thermal Manager, Antec’s own technology. With its help, the fan maintains the noise levels under control for quiet computing while at the same time preventing excessive heat.
The heavy-duty capacitors on this PSU are built for DC stability so you can have some peace of mind that it will last you in the long run. The quality of the power regulation is certainly above the competition in its class. You need multiple direct-current voltages to be regulated with exact accuracy to ensure the correct operation of a computer and this power supply delivers in this regard.
Having an 80 PLUS certification means that this power supply is capable of reducing your electricity bill with approximately 87% efficiency. It doesn’t matter whether your work requires heavy or lower loads, this unit can live up to your expectations. A good sign of stability is the Continuous Power used by Antec for this power supply to provide consistent wattage to your newly built computer.
When it comes to safety and certifications, this model seems to get everything correctly. It makes use of CircuitShield, a complete suite of protections such as those against surge, over-power, and under or overvoltage. It’s also compliant with strict energy standards such as the ErP Lot 6.
Creating and assembling a computer using parts could be a simple process, much easier than some would expect. It’s all about choosing the best components. The Antec VP-450 PSU seems to fit the bill for many users who want a reliable budget-friendly model. It’s recommended to always remember the importance of the power supply because a well-built one can make all the difference even if it’s a low-power unit intended for less demanding systems.
- 450W power supply
- Dual +12V rails
- 80 Plus Certified
- 20mm quiet fan
- Heavy-duty protection circuitry
Best PC Power Supply
Another Corsair PSU on this list is surely unsurprising as they’re some of the most reliable on the market. This time we’ll take a look at the HX850i which is capable of an enormous supply of 850W. The fully modular power supply boasts other incredible features including 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency and a design built for cutting-edge performance.
The combination of this outstanding level of 92% efficiency with the Zero RPM mode of its fan turns this unit into a power supply that’s both quiet and performant. Even if you push it harder, this model’s 140 mm fluid dynamic bearing fan only spins as fast as it has to thanks to the advanced thermal control. When the fan’s not spinning you can expect a low level of noise better than other lower quality units thanks to the specially selected components.
Installing this computer component should be a breeze for any experienced computer builder but even beginners can obtain great-looking results almost effortlessly. This is mostly due to the low-profile set of modular cables and the fan self-test switch. This switch allows you to see how the PSU operates before you get working on connecting the right cables to the motherboard.
A great feature of this power supply is the free Corsair Link Dashboard application which allows for convenient performance monitoring of your PSU. All you need to do is to connect the dedicated cable to the USB header of the motherboard. Then it’s simply a matter of adjusting the settings including the fan speed or switching between single or multi rail mode.
If reliability and high-end performance are critical aspects for you, the Corsair HX850i is the PSU for the job. It has all the premium features you could possibly need including 850W of power, the 80 PLUS Platinum certified efficiency, modular cables and a more advanced level of performance control. The only flaw of this unit could be considered the high cost but if it fits your budget, you certainly can’t go wrong with this power supply.
- 850W power supply
- 80 PLUS Platinum certified efficiency
- Zero RPM mode
- Low-profile modular cables
- Corsair Link Digital
- Easy Installation
SeaSonic is another manufacturer with a solid reputation in the PSU industry. One of its best units is the SSR-650RM, a high-end model that aims to strike right for the optimal range of the most popular power requirements for a computer build. There are many features to be excited about, especially considering the reasonable price tag.
This unit is part of the G-Series lineup that blends 80 PLUS Gold efficiency with high-quality electrical components, and a superior level of fan control. This unit comes with semi-modular DC cables meaning that you’ve got certain cables that are attached permanently but the rest of them allow for more flexible connectivity. The inflexible cables are usually the 8-pin ATX power cables and the 24-pin ones. There’s enough cabling for connecting a maximum of 6 SATA hard drives and up to five 4-pin Molex connected hard drives.
Seasonic was actually one of the first manufacturers which brought the 80 PLUS Gold innovations in efficiency to the masses. This model is proof of continuation for achieving the best performance possible. At 50% operating load you can expect 90% efficiency which is certainly quite impressive. At 100% load, the value of 87% efficiency is very solid too.
Thanks to advanced thermal circuitry, you will be able to find the right balance between a silent operation and a cool performance. The Fluid Dynamic Bearing fans on this PSU are created to make use of the impact absorbance effects of oil. Compared to ball bearing fans, these don’t make as much noise and are more reliable as the lubrication of the surface keeps vibration and friction to a minimum for less power consumption.
One drawback of this power supply could be that the motherboard cable is a bit short for some users and you might need an extension. Considering the performance, design, and overall value, the SeaSonic G-Series SSR-650RM is a decent PSU for the money. The 90% efficiency level is also clearly superior to a model that only manages around 80%.
- 650W power supply
- Semi-modular cables
- Smart and silent fan control
- 80 PLUS GOLD Certified
- Fluid dynamic fan bearing
Best Cheap Power Supply
Not anyone is willing to spend a large amount of money for a super high-end gaming rig so it’s understandable that you can find many popular power supply units with affordable price tags. One great example of that is the Cooler Master Elite Power RS460 which is a nice PSU for less-demanding users.
As this offers a wattage of only 460, it’s geared towards lower to medium builds in terms of power requirements. At typical operation, you can expect a nice 70% efficiency which is a good value for its class. The green power design meets the Blue Angel and the Energy Star requirements.
When it comes to the cooling design, this unit uses a special honeycomb mesh created for optimized heat dissipation. Despite the low cost, there’s also a reliable 120 mm fan speed controller and there are both a noise filter and EMI built in. Protections against multiple electrical problems are also present so you won’t have to worry about overvoltage or overcurrent.
If you’re part of those who need some more power, this unit is compatible with dual +12V1 and +12V2 outputs. All Elite power supplies are fully compliant with the relevant standards such as ATX 12V V2.3. Bottom line is that it should have all the needed connectors and allows for a relatively easy install.
While the PSU is basic in functionality, it doesn’t disappoint even if you run it 24/7. It’s clearly built to last, judging by the quality components. It may not be the same level of quality as the one found on some more expensive units, but it does the job well and that’s all that matters at this price point.
Any custom-built inexpensive computer could benefit from this power’s supply decent performance. It won’t blow you away if you have a power-hungry system but that’s not his aim. The Cooler Master Elite Power RS460 is an excellent choice for users with tighter budgets considering what it can do. If it’s compatible with your power needs, this is definitely a great match.
- 460W power supply
- EMI & Noise filter design
- More than 70% efficiency
- +12V1 and +12V2 dual outputs supported
- 120 mm fan
One solid option to consider is the Thermaltake TR2 600W, a PSU which promises an incredible power output for its cost. It brings other performant features to the table including the 80 PLUS Bronze certification and the quality-made Japanese main capacitor. For a reasonable cost, this represents a very appealing choice for a power supply.
The TR2 series comes with 120 mm cooling fans that try to provide a silent operation while at the same time to maintain the right level of performance. This power supply is still a bit louder than other models. The maximum efficiency for this PSU is around 88% under most real-world conditions. Thanks to the double-forward switching circuitry, this model doesn’t allow for loss of power and is particularly reliable.
A robust +12V output delivers all the performance you need even if the load is low or high. This is the 600W model so you can expect it to be a nice fit for a more medium build. At peak power, it can even reach 720W and in a 40 degrees C operating environment it offers a stable and continuous power output.
The AC input of 100V-240V works universally, it can automatically detect and correct for matching the right voltage. There are some nice safety features included, some examples are over-current, over-power, and short-circuit protections. One interesting aspect about this PSU is that it fulfills the ErP guideline and supports Energy Star-compatible systems.
Using the connectors can be a bit difficult initially once you get the hang of the included documentation which, admittedly is a little confusing. You might think that you miss some connectors but later on realize that you just had to separate them as they were mated to each other.
For a wide range of computer builds, the Thermaltake TR2 600W is a decent fit. One particular issue you can expect with this model is the slightly increased loudness of its fans. Considering all of its abilities though, it can be said that this PSU represents good bang for your buck so it’s highly recommended overall.
- 600W power supply
- Active PFC
- Smart fan speed control
- Dedicated single +12V output
- 80 PLUS Bronze Certified
- 105 ℃ Japanese main capacitor
- Built-in industrial-grade protection