The insufficient power supply can be inimical to your PC life span and of course, your gaming experience (if you’re a gamer) as we discuss in our best power supply for gaming article.
One of the errors caused by an insufficient power supply is Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). Although not limited to a power supply problem, a BSOD can be caused when the power being supplied to your PC isn’t enough for the vital components like graphics card, processor, and motherboard.
Best overall: EVGA SuperNOVA P2 650W
650W is a good sweet spot for gaming PCs in 2021, especially if you’re considering the best graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD. The SuperNOVA P2 from EVGA is a monster of a PSU. It’s fully modular, allowing you to use only the cables that are required by your motherboard and connected components.
The PSU is cooled by a single 140mm blower, which has a decent curve depending on current load and the ECO mode switch on the rear of the unit allows one to choose between performance and noise. The 80 Plus Platinum badge sees this PSU as 94% efficient at converting AC to DC when under 50% load, which should be about right for most single GPU PC builds.
If all that wasn’t enough already, EVGA backs this PSU up with a full 10-year warranty. It could be viewed as a little too pricey for some builds.
You’ll find it difficult to find a better value PSU than this EVGA example. It’s rated for 80 Plus Platinum and has enough power for gaming PCs.
Seasonic may not be the most renowned brand for power supplies, but it’s actually responsible for plenty of PSUs out there from reputable brands like NZXT. The Focus series is Seasonic’s mid-range line of power plants and this 550W unit is more than enough for most PCs. It’s semi-modular, is rated at 80 Plus Gold, and delivers stable power to all your components.
It may be semi-modular, but Seasonic allows you to pick and choose which peripheral cables you wish to use, as well as an optional PCIe cable if your GPU requires it. It’s a little pricey for an 80 Plus Gold PSU, but the level of quality you receive with a Seasonic power supply shouldn’t be overlooked.
The best 650W PSU for gaming – EVGA SuperNova G3 650W
The EVGA SuperNova G3 should offer all the features you’re looking for in a power supply. The wattage and efficiency are both high, there’s a lengthy warranty, and you have full modularity. Unless your rig has seriously insane power requirements or you need a whisper-quiet operation, this is most likely the best choice for you.
The only real downside is the price, which is a good bit higher than your typical budget PSU. Rest assured, though: you’re definitely getting your money’s worth here.
Best value: Corsair CX Series 450W
The Corsair CX450 is an interesting power supply and that’s not just because it can be found for as little as $50. This 450W variant is actually made by two manufacturers: Great Wall and Channel Well Technology. Depending on which version you manage to purchase, you’ll have slightly different efficiency figures and audible fan curves.
But really, when it comes down to it, the CX450 is an extremely good PSU for the price, backed by Corsair’s fair five-year warranty. The 80 Plus Bronze efficiency rating ensures this PSU is good at converting as much AC power into DC with little waste. It’s not all good news, however. The single PCIe connection may restrict expansion or use with GPUs that require additional cables.
Then there’s the fact this PSU is only semi-modular, meaning the main power rails are hard-wired into the unit.
Corsair is a household name for gaming hardware and the company’s range of PSUs are solid choices, especially the CX series.
Best enthusiast: Be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1000W
Be quiet! makes some high-quality PC components and the company’s PSU range is renowned for low noise and stable operation. Take those traits and throw in 1000W and 80 Plus Titanium efficiency rating and you get the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12. This 1000W unit is an absolute behemoth in power delivery
It’s expensive — and I’m talking the price of a GPU or CPU expensive — but you get a fully modular PSU with a 135mm fan to keep everything cool under load. There are eight PCIe connections, which shows just how serious this PSU is at supplying power, and you can choose between multi or single-rail 12V modes.
Best fully modular PSU – Corsair RM750x
Corsair’s RM750X PSU is ideal for power users who want the best building experience and have a rig with higher-than-average power requirements. There are a ton of benefits here, including a Zero RPM fan mode for quiet operation at low power usage, and an incredible 10-year warranty, which blasts the competition out of the water. In fact, Corsair is the only company to offer a 10-year warranty on any of our picks.
The only real downside worth noting, aside from the slightly higher price than the EVGA frontrunner, is that the cables are a little stiff. For some reason, Corsair’s modular PSU cables are a little stiffer than most other PSU providers, and nobody knows why. Still, that’s not enough to stop this from being one of the best PC power supplies.
Best semi-modular PSU – EVGA 650 GQ
If you want to save some cash, have a good building experience, and aren’t building an SFF/ITX PC, this is the PSU for you. The EVGA 650 GQ is our pick for the top semi-modular PSU, thanks to its stellar wattage, efficiency, and pricing. You also have a fairly good 5 Year Warranty attached, which is more than can be said for budget-oriented Semi-Modular PSUs.
Semi-Modular is generally just as good as Fully-Modular unless you’re building in an ITX or particularly small Micro ATX case. As long as that isn’t the case, there’s no reason not to snag this one.
Best 1000W power supply – Corsair HX1000
Perhaps unsurprisingly, our pick for the top 1000W PSU is none other than Corsair’s HX1000. It’s an enthusiast’s favorite thanks to its high wattage and efficiency, as well as stellar warranty and modularity. Even if your build doesn’t come anywhere close to using its full wattage, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of Corsair’s Zero RPM fan mode, which keeps fans slow or inactive at low power loads.
The only downsides are the high price (the highest on this list, actually), and the persisting cable stiffness problem. The cable stiffness is barely an issue, but it’s the one area where Corsair doesn’t meet or exceed the standards set by its competitors, which makes us think it’s an intentional handicap of what is ultimately our best modular power supply.