When you’re building a new PC, there is a fair amount of places where you could save a bit of money by going for a slightly lower-end component. However, the power supply is not one of them. Picking the wrong one could potentially mean trouble for your entire system. This is why choosing the right one from the best power supplies out there is crucial.
Unfortunately, things can get pretty confusing when you’re choosing power supplies. The issue starts when you look at the wattage. But, then you have efficiency, whether you get a modular or a non-modular (or maybe a semi-modular), and it’s all even more complex as you look into them.
That’s why we’ve picked some of the best power supplies on the market for you. Also, we’ve organized them in a way that shows you exactly which one you should pick. Let’s check them out, shall we?
Before we get into them, we should discuss a few things first. You don’t want to pick the wrong power supply, so here are the things you should be careful about.
Wattage is arguably the most important thing to keep in mind. The wattage determines how much power the PSU can provide to your system, and should be chosen according to your build. A thing to note is that you should know how much your system consumes. Then, pick a power supply that’s slightly more powerful than that. Optimally, your system’s peak power should be about 70 to 80 percent of the PSU’s wattage. If your system peaks at 400W, for example, get a 500W power supply. This gives you a bit of headroom.
Then, you’ve got the rating. The rating is basically an efficiency scale. It indicates how much power the PSU would draw to achieve the rated wattage. For example, a 500W power supply with a 50% efficiency will need to draw 1000W to achieve the peak output. To add to this, a higher rating usually indicates higher quality components. But we’ll get to that when we discuss the ratings.
Last but not least, consider whether or not the PSU is modular. A modular power supply means you can unplug any cables you’re not using. Or, switch them for custom colored braided ones. A semi-modular has some non-removable cables, but others can be removed, which is a nice compromise. If you can, stay away from non-modular ones. Now, on to the power supplies.
These are the highest possible efficiency ratings, which is why these power supplies tend to carry a significant price premium over most of the other options. Both the Platinum and Titanium power supplies are 90% and 92% at 20% and 50% load respectively. However, the Platinum rating means an 89% efficiency at 100% load, while Titanium nets you 94%.
Platinum and titanium power supplies also come with higher quality capacitors and other internal components. As a whole, they also, generate less heat. However, this isn’t something that will make a massive difference unless you’re constantly pushing your PSU hard. This is why you don’t really need one for a midrange or budget build. Here are a few suggestions that carry these ratings.
Corsair’s HXi series is incredibly popular and for a reason. Both the 1000W and 1200W models are 80+ Platinum certified, and they’re arguably the best PSUs you can get today. They’re fully modular, which means you can only use the cables you want. Also, they come with a 10-year warranty, which is impressive.
What’s nice is that you get a 140mm thermally controlled fluid dynamic fan that spins up or slows down as needed, keeping noise levels to a minimum. There is also a zero RPM mode. This turns off the fan altogether when it’s not needed, making the PSU basically quiet.
You can also connect these PSUs with Corsair Digital Link. The software provides advanced control over things like single/multi rail mode, and control the fan speed from your desktop. They’re incredibly good options for anyone looking to get a high wattage, premium power supply, without caring about the price. That’s why we’ve chosen the 1000W model for our all-out AMD build.
EVGA’s SuperNOVA T2 power supplies come in a few wattage options. However, we’d suggest either going for the 1000W, or the 1600W, depending on what you need. The efficiency rating is 80+ Titanium, the highest possible, and these are some really good power supplies.
Not only do you get high-quality Japanese capacitors, but there’s also a double ball bearing 140mm fan with ECO mode. The fan won’t start spinning unless it’s really necessary, so most of the time you’ll have a rather quiet PSU. You do get a switch for this, so you can have it off if you’d rather have the fan spin constantly.
The modular design allows you to only go for the cables you really need, something that greatly simplifies cable management. And finally, the SuperNOVA T2 power supplies come with pretty much any protection you could think of. This ensures it maintains reliability even if you have a power surge or something similar.
Seasonic’s Prime series have always been some of the most highly regarded power supplies out there and for good reason. They’re incredibly reliable, which is why they’re used as an OEM for many other power supplies that sell under different brands.
Both the 1000W and the 1300W Prime Platinum PSUs come with an 80+ Platinum rating. But that’s not the most impressive thing. You get a 0.5% micro tolerance load regulation. This makes these some of the best power supplies in terms of reliability.
Pair this with things like a fully modular design and excellent hybrid fan control (which you can turn on or off), and it’s easy to see why this is one of SeaSonic’s bestselling power supplies. Yes, it’s expensive, but it is honestly more than worth it if you want a high-performance power supply.
Not to be confused with the 80+ Gold rated V series, which we’ll get to in a minute), the V Series Platinum by Cooler Master are some of the best power supplies if you don’t want to spend too much. They are reasonably priced, come with everything you’d need for a good PSU, and there are a few wattages available.
The V series comes with Thermal Regulation Mode, or TRM, which keeps the fan speed quiet and constant at up to 60% load. The fan itself is rather quiet, which is neat because these are overall rather quiet power supplies. You do also get a single/multi-rail switch, which is a nice addition.
Last but not least, this fully modular power supply comes with 16AWG PCI-E cables. Also, there is pretty much any protection you could think of to make sure nothing goes bad if there’s an issue with power delivery.
These power supplies are usually best for midrange builds because they do offer high-quality components, but keep the price reasonable. The 80+ Gold rating means you have 87% efficiency under 20% load, 90% efficiency under 50% load, and 87% efficiency under 100% load. If you want a reputable, high-quality power supply, but don’t want to spend too much on the Platinum and Titanium models, these are the best power supplies you should be looking at.
A company that’s known for a product lineup that’s oriented towards quiet operation, be quiet! has nailed it with the Straight Power 11. Available in a variety of wattages, these 80+ Gold power supplies come with all the nice things of a premium PSU. And all while keeping the price reasonable.
To begin with, inside is a 135mm Silent Wings 3 fan which is basically inaudible, and results in an overall very quiet operation of the PSU. The funnel-shaped fan opening gets you better airflow. There are also no wires on the DC side, which further increases airflow – a nice addition.
These fully modular power supplies are excellent for any users who want to get clean cable management, quiet operation, and enough power to run their system reliably, even if you have demanding components in it.
Available in a few different wattages, the RMi series power supplies by Corsair are some of the best power supplies out there, period. Yes, they’re a bit pricey, but you get an 80+ Gold rating, 105C Japanese capacitors, and a premium build throughout. There’s also connectivity with Corsair’s software so you have full control and monitoring capabilities on your system.
The fan does a great job at keeping things cool, but it does also have a zero RPM mode, for virtually silent operation. It doesn’t even spin up if the PSU is kept at under 40% load, so noise is minimal.
A potential issue with this, being a fully modular power supply, is cable length. The cables that Corsair includes are quite long, and you might have issues with cable management. Nothing custom cables can’t solve, but it could be a bit of a headache if you don’t like cable management. If you don’t mind that, though, these are definitely among the best power supplies for users who want quality and reliability.
NZXT doesn’t have a lot of power supplies to choose from. However, the C series are some of the most highly regarded power supplies on the market nowadays. They’re fully modular, they’re 80+ Gold rated, and they’re built really well – what else could you need?
You can enable the zero RPM fan mode with the push of a button. This gets you virtually silent operation when the PSU is under low load. What we loved is that these being modular power supplies, you get sleeved main cables that look a lot better than some of the cheaper options, and are better at resisting damage and heat over time.
With a 10 year warranty, these power supplies are certainly something you’ll set and forget. If you’re after reliability and high-quality, by all means, check them out. Oh, and the prices aren’t bad either.
The V Series Gold is a budget alternative to the V Series Platinum we discussed earlier. And these are still some of the best power supplies for midrange systems. They come in various wattages and are all fully modular. You can only use the cables you need, which eases cable management.
The power supplies have high-quality components and come with a semi-fanless mode with a button. The 135mm fan is semi-fanless at up to 40%, something you can regulate with the hybrid switch. The cables you get are 16AWG, slightly thicker, which is a nice addition in terms of durability.
One of the best things is the warranty – Cooler Master gives you 10 years on the V Series Gold, which is impressive. Pair that with a reasonable price, and you see why these are some of the best power supplies out there.
This kind of rating is meant to indicate that your power supply is 82% efficient at 20% load, 85% efficient at 50% load, and 82% efficient at 100% load. While this isn’t bad, the components used inside these power supplies aren’t meant to take high loads for extended periods of time. For this reason, they’re best for budget builds. Here, you don’t need high wattages, and for components that won’t put too much strain. If you’re trying to save up, here are some of the best power supplies that carry an 80+ Bronze rating.
Not to be confused with the non-modular CX series, the CX-M series is a lineup of power supplies by Corsair with a semi-modular design and a variety of wattages available. The 80+ Bronze certification is somewhat of an indicator of quality, although you should still use this kind of power supply only if you’re on a budget.
However, the CX-M series are pretty great for the price. You get a thermally-controlled 120mm fan inside. This means it won’t spin up unless you really put load on the PSU, and you’ll have an overall rather quiet operation. The semi-modular design allows you to leave out some of the cables you aren’t using, which is neat for cable management.
Overall, for users on a budget, the CX-M power supplies are the best power supplies you can get. They also come with a five-year warranty, which does give you peace of mind.
Cooler Master’s MWE series has some of the most wallet-friendly power supplies out there. With prices that rival power supplies with no rating, if you’re on a budget but still want a somewhat reliable solution, by all means, read on.
The 120mm fan has a dustproof LDB bearing, which means it’s smooth and silent. And to make it even better, at low loads, it doesn’t even spin up. Overall, it’s a pretty quiet PSU. One of the downsides is that these power supplies aren’t modular, so you’ll potentially be dealing with excess cables you aren’t using.
However, if you have room in your case to fit the extra cables, you’ll be getting a great power supply. The 3-year warranty is decent as well, and you’ll be saving a lot of money by opting for one of the MWE models. We’re even suggesting the 650W variant in our $1000 Intel build!
Even though Riotoro is a relatively new brand to the market, their Onyx series power supply is a good choice if you’re trying to save money but still want a reliable 650W power supply. It comes with just about any certification you could ever need, and a semi-modular design with braided cables to increase durability.
Inside the PSU you have Japanese 105C capacitors, which are usually reserved for higher-end power supplies. The sleeve bearing fan is pretty quiet if you keep the PSU under 50% load, and even if it does spin up, it’s still quieter than most of the competition.
Overall, the Onyx might not be a household name in the industry. But if you ask us, it’s more of a hidden gem that will get you excellent bang for the buck, and perform admirably for years to come.
With prices close to 80+ Gold rated power supplies, EVGA’s BQ series of PSUs is one of those lineups that honestly, isn’t the best value proposition. However, if you’d rather spend a bit extra for a brand that has quite the reputation, do read on because they’re still good options.
The BQ Series power supplies are available in a vast variety of wattage options, and they’re semi-modular. The non-removable cables are all braided for durability and temperature resistance, and they’re pretty good. To add to this, you get a 140mm Teflon nano-steel bearing fan, which is near silent and adjusts RPM on its own.
The PSUs come with all the heavy-duty protections you might need, such as UVP, OVP, OPP, OCP, and SCP, and a five-year warranty for peace of mind. Slightly expensive? Yes, but they’re still some of the best power supplies for budget systems.
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