Without the best power supply unit for PC gaming, you might as well be driving a paperweight. But these somewhat innocuous metal bricks may very well be the most critical part of your gaming PC build. Without the right power supply unit (PSU), your best graphics card or gaming CPU can't do what they were designed to do.
Unfortunately, just buying the biggest PSU you can possibly slot into your case is hardly the most efficient solution. While you'll certainly have more than enough juice to run your components, you'll be wasting money, potentially impeding airflow in your build by jamming a massive power brick in there and drawing an unnecessarily large amount of power that your PC won't have any use for, which just equates to excess heat.
(Image credit: CyberPower)
Need a stable supply? Here are the best uninterruptible power supplies for PC.
Besides looking at the overall wattage of a given PSU, there are three main flavors to choose from: Fully modular, which lets you pick and choose what cables you want to use from a small satchel that typically comes packaged with the system. These usually are slightly more expensive but save you on the hassle of finding ways to route cables you don't need.
Semi and Non-Modular PSUs have the essential ATX and SATA connectors slotted directly into the supply itself, and while semi-modular offers some room for expansion, non-modular supplies force you to work with what you have and can force you to find a home for cables you potentially don't need.
Besides the form factor and wattage of your PSU, you'll also want to look at the power efficiency which dictates how easily the PSU converts the AC from your wall into the DC that is usable by your computer. The industry standard for most commercial PSUs is the "80 Plus" rating system which rates from bronze to titanium. This means you can expect at least an 80 percent efficiency in terms of AC to DC, with a higher rating equating to better efficiency and potential savings on your energy bill. Other standards are also gaining popularity such as the ETA and LAMDA certifications which have more granular efficiency measurements, as well as monitoring the noise created by the PSU.
The good news is, if you invest in the right power supply with a little bit of headroom and the right warranty, you can continue to upcycle it to future builds as well, making this a decision worthy of consideration.
BEST POWER SUPPLY UNITS FOR PC
Image 1 of 4