The power supply of your gaming PC is one of the most underrated components that can have the largest effect on your computer’s performance.
As every gaming rig is likely to be different from the next, the one size fits all approach doesn’t work when it comes to power supplies.
If you pick a more powerful power supply than your PC requires, that can be an overkill. On the opposite side of the scale, if you pick a less powerful PSU than your PC requires, you can starve your components from their demand for power, which will bottleneck the entire performance of your gaming rig.
To help you pick the right power supply for your gaming setup, the PureGaming team and I decided to take on the challenge and conduct all of the research for you and provide you with our best findings.
The selection process was fairly simple. First, we went out to identify the needs of the community when it came to PSUs. With our findings in mind, we created criteria, which helped us pick the products that you will see today.
We found that the average gaming power supply is around 650 watts, costs around $120, is fully modular, and at least 80+ gold certified when it comes to energy efficiency.
With all that in mind, let’s take a moment and explore our findings. Hopefully, by the end of this guide and review, you will have found the perfect gaming PSU for your gaming rig.
Best Power Supply Up to 550-Watts
If you are looking to build or upgrade your current rig, then the Corsair RM550x is a fantastic and relatively affordable mid-range option for a gaming PSU.
The price at the time of writing was $117.40.
Measuring 6.3″ (L) x 5.91″ (W) x 3.39″ (H), this PSUs relatively compact 160mm-long casing ensures an easy fit in almost all modern PC cases.
The full modularity of the PSU allows you to achieve a clean look by only connecting the cables that your system requires. To give you a little bit of an overview, you can go for any GeForce graphics card from the 10 series including the 1080 Ti, and still make use of this awesome PSU.
Having been made out of 100% industrial-grade material, this PSU features 105-degree C-rated Japanese capacitors, ensuring unwavering power and reliability for years in the future.
As far as energy efficiency, this PSU is 80+ Gold rated, which means that it can deliver power with over 90% efficiency while keeping the energy consumption levels, noise, and temperature to a minimum.
Best Power Supply Up to 750-Watts
If you are building a mid to high-end gaming rig, you will need a powerful PSU. One of our absolute favorites is the EVGA SuperNOVA PSU.
The price at the time of writing was $184.21.
This PSU measures 6.5″ (L) x 5.91″ (W) x 3.3″ (H), which is a very standard size for a power supply. Thus, it can easily fit within the standard mid and full-tower case (though we would always recommend you to check that for yourself so that you are 100% sure).
The EVGA SuperNOVA is also a fully modular PSU, which allows you the opportunity to use a lot fewer cables as compared to the standard semi-modular or non-modular PSU’s. Essentially, with this fully modular PSU, you only need to use the cables that your system requires, which will tremendously benefit towards achieving a cleaner-looking PC.
For reference, this PSU is suitable for gamers running one of the best graphics cards on the market in the likes of GeForce’s 20 series. This includes the 2080 Ti. In fact, the standard 2080 RTX will only require around 600 watts, which means that you will have plenty of power left for potential upgrades around your setup.
This PSU is also 80+ platinum rated, making it one of the most resourceful power supplies on this list.
With all that in mind, if you decide to go for this truly awesome power supply, you can enjoy a 10-year guarantee, so should any faults arise, you will be taken care of.
Best Budget-Friendly Pick
If you are on the lookout for an affordable yet decent power supply for your entry-level gaming setup, then the Corsair CX 450M is a great place to start.
The price at the time of writing was $59.99.
The CX 450M by Corsair measures 5.9″ (L) x 5.5″ (W) x 3.38″ (H), this semi-modular PSU can easily fit within 99% of modern-day PC cases.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that this PSU will require quite a lot more cables as compared to fully modular PSUs, which might not be ideal if you have a case that is made out of tempered glass all around.
As far as energy-efficiency, the CX 450M is 80+ Bronze certified, which isn’t great for some of our other recommendations, however, at this price point, there is zero reason for comparison.
The actual PSU doesn’t feature a fan. Instead of that, the manufacturers at Corsair have simply decided to use a thermally controller silent fan, which produces zero noise at low and medium loads.
Power Supply Shopping Tips
When shopping for power supplies, if you don’t already know what you are looking for, it may be quite a daunting and confusing experience.
Below, we have provided you with a couple of shopping tips to hopefully put you in the right direction and make your shopping experience easier and more enjoyable.
Figure the Wattage Requirements of Your PC
Before you click the buy button because a particular PSU looks “alright” to you, we would recommend you to take a step back and determine the wattage requirements of your gaming computer.
Generally speaking, a 450-watt to a 650-watt PSU will do a great job for most medium to high-end gaming rigs.
However, you can also go on websites such as Outer Vision and use their power supply calculator, which will give you a more precise estimate as to how many watts your power supply should be.
Skip On 1,000-Watt PSU’s Unless…
A few years back, all high-end graphics cards required a tremendous amount of power to operate to their full potential. Today, this has changed. Nvidia’s recent architectures don’t require that much power, even if you run multiple RTX 2080s in a single PC.
For such cases, an 800-watts PSU will offer enough power to your computer, even leaving room for overclocking.
Of course, if you decide to go for super high-end GPUs in the likes of Radeon VII or the newer Radeon RX 5700 XT, you will need to shop for an even more powerful PSU that can meet the demand for those GPUs.
Check the Physical Size of Your Case Before Buying (Form Factor)
Though this point is third on our list, before you decide to shop for a particular power supply, we would always recommend you to make sure that it would actually fit within your case.
While we have done our due diligence and have supplied you with an extensive list of PSU’s that can easily fit within the standard mid or full-tower PC case, we’d always recommend you to do your own research.
One thing you don’t want to happen is to buy all of your parts, and while building or upgrading your gaming rig, you find out that the PSU is bigger than your case can fit.
Consider a Modular PSU if You Want a Clean-Looking Build
There are three types of PSU – non-modular, semi-modular, and fully modular. There are different advantages and disadvantages to all three types.
Generally speaking, if you have a PC case with a tempered glass on all sides, ideally you should be going for a fully modular PSU to preserve the clean look of your rig. This is because unlike the other two options, a fully modular PSU can operate solely by only plugging in the power cables, and nothing else.
Why You Can Trust This Review
When writing these reviews, the PureGaming team and I spend a tremendous amount of time in research every angle of every product that we come across. Furthermore, we pay extreme attention to the community and take their feedback on particular topics very seriously.
This 2-stage research process allows us to recommend you the best power supplies on the market while remaining 100% transparent with our review and opinion any any given product.
This way, when going through our guide, you can shop with confidence and know that what you decide to buy, is one of the best on the market.
How We Picked
We knew that picking the best 8 power supplies from a competitive market where you can easily find hundreds of great products in a matter of minutes was going to be a very difficult and challenging task.
Because of that, we conducted some community research to identify core needs of gamers when it comes to power supplies. This way, we created criteria that would ensure that the products we are recommending you today match with your needs and expectations.
The criteria considered 5 key attributes – the energy efficiency, cooling, size, wattage, and PSU type of the power supply.
The power supply of your system will have a direct impact on how energy-efficient or power-hungry your gaming PC might be. If you don’t particularly care about your electricity bill, of course, you can skip this part, however, in most cases, why should you want to pay more when you can pay less and get the same results?
To overcome this obstacle, we only included power supplies, which offer a certain level of energy-efficiency, regardless of the wattage that they can output.
As your power supply is responsible for providing your entire gaming rig with a sufficient amount of energy, a normal part of the process is the production of heat in the PSU.
One thing you definitely don’t want to happen is for your PSU to overheat because that is likely to bottle-neck the performance of your whole system.
Thus, to combat any cooling issues, the PureGaming team and I have opted in for PSUs that feature a very decent internal cooling system to keep the power supply nice and cool during operation.
You definitely don’t want to buy a weirdly shaped PSU that won’t fit in your case. To solve this pretty basic yet very common problem, we ensured that all of the PSUs that you will see today can easily find their place in 99% of all mid and full-tower PC cases.
Of course, like with anything, we would highly recommend you to first check the dimensions of your PC case in order to ensure that the PSU that you have your eyes on can fit inside.
If you are a gamer who has a powerful, multi GPU rig, then there is a strong chance that you will need a more powerful power supply. On the other hand, if you are just starting out in gaming and have opted in for one of the best gaming PCs under $500, then you will require a PSU that is less powerful.
Because of this, we have ensured to provide you with a number of the best power supplies across a broad range of wattage outputs ranging from as low as 450 watts to as high as 1200 watts.
As we mentioned above, there are three main PSU types: non-modular, semi-modular, and fully modular. The core difference is how the PSU is designed to operate and how many cables are required to operate the power supply.
To ensure that there is something for everybody to pick from, we have ensure to provide the best range of power supplies across all three types.
The Corsair AX850 is an exceptional power supply that is powerful enough to run multiple GPU gaming rigs that require a tremendous amount of power. We believe that this is truly one of the best PSUs on the market in the under 1000-watt category.
The price at the time of writing was $354.99.
This PSU by Corsair measures 6.7″ (L) x 5.9″ (W) x 3.4″ (H) and weighs just over 4.4lbs, which is a fairly standard size for a PSU. However, what is inside the PSU is more important, which is really what makes this PSU stand out from the crowd.
Having qualified for the 80+ titanium certification, this PSU features the highest level of efficiency and performance that could be extracted from a PSU.
The zero RPM fan mode alongside the 135mm cooling fan with true FDB Bearing allows the PSU to operate while producing minimal noise at low to medium demands.
For reference, this PSU is so powerful and great that it can easily provide a sufficient level of power to 99% of PC rigs. Yes, this involves the 30 series from GeForce, including the 3080 Ti.
If you need a slightly more powerful power supply, then we would recommend you to go for the 1000 watts variant of this PSU.
Other Great Power Supplies
The be quiet! Straight Power 11 is another high-grade 750 watts fully modular power supply that really caught our attention with its capabilities.
The price at the time of writing was $144.50.
The Power 11 by be quiet! measures 13″ (L) x 9.75″ (W) x 4″ (H), which is quite large as compared to some of our other recommendations within this price range and wattage. So, as always, before you decide to get your hands on this product, make sure that it is suitable for your case.
The funnel-shaped fan opening of the PSU case allows for a decent amount of airflow intake to cool down the PSU. The 135mm fan is virtually silent.
Besides that, the fully modular design of this power supply further ensures a maximum level of build flexibility. So, if you are getting a PC case with tempered glass all around, this PSU would be a great choice.
As far as energy-efficiency goes, this PSU is 80+ platinum rated, which is the second best rating that you can get on a PSU.
If you are on the lookout for the most powerful PSU from our list of recommendations, then the 1200-watt Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 is a great choice.
The price at the time of writing was $369.99.
The Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 measures 14.33″ (L) x 9.49″ (W) x 6.26″ (H), making it amongst the biggest power supplies on our list today. Though it fits comfortably within most mid-tower cases, do make sure that it fits in your case specifically. If you are using a full tower case, then you shouldn’t have any problems at all.
One of the most notable features that this power supply hosts is the built-in Ring Duo 14 RGB fan with 18 addressable LEDs, which offer great light coverage, and uniform color and brightness to plant your build with 16.8 million.
Thanks to the integrated smart zero fan, you will hear no noise from the power supply until the load goes over 40%, and even then, you will hardly hear it working.
Furthermore, the 80+ platinum certification that this PSU have been awarded is thanks to its pretty impressive energy-efficienct mode of operation.
The fully modular design allows this power supply to operate without needing to be connected with virtually every cable, unlike its non-modular counterpart. This greatly benefits towards achieving a cleaner-looking gaming PC.
If you are looking for a fair middle ground when it comes to price and power, then the 650 watts NZXT C650 is a great option for your gaming PC.
The price at the time of writing was $109.99.
This particular PSU measures 6.3″ (L) 5.9″ (W) x 3.39″ (H), which is tiny as compared to some of our recommendations today. This means that you will have no issues with fitting this PSU in your gaming case.
The 80+ gold certification that has been awarded to this power supply ensures a reliable supply of power while ensuring optimal efficiency.
If you are building an ultra-quiet gaming PC, then you will appreciate the fact that this PSU features a button that enables a zero RPM fan mode. This can be used for silencing the fan when under low-load conditions.
For reference, this PSU is powerful enough to supply a sufficient amount of power to Nvidia GPUs up to the RTX 2080 Ti and AMD GPUs up to Radeon VII.
Should you decide to go for this PSU, you will get a 10 year manufacturers warranty that you can take advantage from in the unlikely scenario of malfunction or damage to the power supply.
And last but not least, we’d like to present you with the 1ST PLAYER PS-850SP. It is one of our top favorites despite being last on our selection.
The price at the time of writing was $99.99.
Measuring 11.06″ (L) x 8.62″ (W) x 5″ (H), this fully modular, average-sized PSU is a great addition to any powerful gaming machine.
Thanks to the detachable cables, you can easily manage and organize your rig inside for a clean look. Besides that, the 100% Japanese 105℃ capacitator ensures consistent delivery of power and long-term reliability.
The 140mm hydraulic bearing fan allows for a temperature-controlled operation for better performance without producing any significant amount of noticeable noise.
Awarded with an 80+ gold certificate, besides being reliable and consistent in delivering power to your gaming rig, it is also very power efficient. One different thing to this 80+ gold certified PSU compared to other PSUs with the same certification is that this power supply can reach power efficiency of up to 92.4% compared to just 80%.
If 850 watts is a little too much, you can also find this model in 750 watts.
Picking the Right Power Supply For Your Gaming PC
If you are reading this part of our guide and review, there is a fairly big chance that you are struggling with picking the right PSU for your gaming rig.
The goal of this guide and review is to not only provide you with the best power supplies on the market, but also help you with picking the best one that best matches your needs and budget.
To help you do that, below, we have provided you with three highly relevant scenarios alongside the best power supply for each one of them. So, hopefully, by the end of this section, you would have found the PSU for your gaming PC.
Scenario 1: You have or are planning on building a relatively low-end gaming PC – similar to our best under $500 gaming PC recommendations. Thus, you aren’t really looking for a super-powerful PSU and want to keep things as cheap as possible.
For this scenario, we would recommend you our budget-friendly pick, the Corsair CX 450M.
Scenario 2: You have plans on upgrading or building a gaming PC that is relatively powerful (hosting a 2080 GPU or higher), and don’t mind spending a little bit more money on getting a power supply that will provide your rig with the power that it needs.
For this case, we would recommend you our best up to 750-watts power supply, the EVGA SuperNOVA.
Scenario 3: You are building a true powerhouse. Your system requirements are over 1000-watts and money isn’t really of an objection. For this scenario, we would recommend you our most powerful PSU on our list, the Thermaltake Toughpower PF1.
You will hardly need a PSU more powerful than 750 watts if you run a single GPU gaming rig, even if you plan on potentially upgrading a range of different components like your motherboard, RAM, or CPU.
Some power supplies that we wanted to make part in our final selection that unfortunately didn’t make include the SilverStone Technology SX500-G, Seasonic X-850, and the Thermaltake Smart RGB PSU. The reason being is that they were either not rated high enough, or were a little more expensive than we believe they are worth.
Going for a super-powerful PSU in the likes of Apevia ATX-JP1000W or any 1000+ watt PSU for that matter would only make sense if you are building a multi-GPU gaming rig that requires a lot of power.