There’s no subtle way to say it, but there’s nothing more important when building a new PC than picking out one of the best PSUs. Sure, you might be tempted to skimp on your power supply in order to buy the best graphics card you can muster, but trust us – it’s just not worth it. If you’re trying to put together the best PC you can muster, you need to buy the best power supply that you can afford. Every single in your computer depends on it. If you do end up picking up a cheap power supply and it eventually fails – and it will – you could end up stuck with an expensive brick instead of a computer.
Nobody wants to deal with the nightmare of a failing power supply – trust us. And the worst part is, a lot of the time you won’t even know your power supply is on its last legs until it’s too late. Sure, there are some symptoms as in your face as your PC flat out refusing to boot, but they could be as subtle as some lost power efficiency. Do yourself a favor, if you’re building a PC, go out and buy the best power supply you can muster. No one wants to have their house catch fire to save a little cash.
The good thing is that there are a ton of amazing power supplies that you can buy right now. There are budget power supplies that will power your PC with no frills, and high-powered units that can pump out the ludicrous power requirements that some of the best gaming PCs need to run. No matter what you’re looking for, you can be confident that you’ll find the best power supplies right here on this list – we’ve tested them all ourselves.
Best power supply: Corsair RM750x
The best all-around power supply for your needs
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 750W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Full | Warranty: 10-year
The Corsair RM750x tops our list for one simple reason: it’s the most well-rounded power supply on the market. On top of a 10 year warranty and an 80 Gold Plus efficiency rating, the Corsair has a fully modular cabling system. That means you only need to install the cables you need. Not having unused cables in your case is great for air-flow and for those who appreciate the value of good cable management.
Best budget power supply: EVGA 500 B1
Everything you need to get started
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 500W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Bronze | Modularity: None | Warranty: 3-year
When you’re trying to keep the price of your PC similar to that of a console, you don’t want to blow a lot of your budget on a power supply. That’s where more economical options like the EVGA 500 B1 come in handy. This PSU is essentialist without neglecting the needs of its audience. For less than $50 USD, you can expect 500 watts of power transmitted through several SATA cables and two PCIe slots. A three-year warranty is merely icing on the cake.
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair RM750x
Best silent power supply: be quiet! Straight Power 10
Quiet as the night
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 400W – 700W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Semi | Warranty: 5-year
Power supply fans seem to run the loudest, and unlike case fans, they aren't quickly swappable. Fortunately the Straight Power 10 line up runs nice a quiet. Options range from 400w to 700w, and they're SLI and Crossfire certified. They also have a modular design, letting you use only the cables you absolutely need to use. It's also low-profile, freeing up even more space inside your computer tower.
Best compact power supply: Silverstone SFX Series SST-SX550
Perfect for Micro ATX and Mini ITX PC builds
Form factor: SFX | Capacity: 550W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: None | Warranty: 3-year
Power supplies can occupy a ton of space in your desktop tower, however time has allowed for the units to get smaller while the power they emit only expands in magnitude. The Silverstone SX550 is almost half the size of other power supplies, so that you can better facilitate cables and airflow inside your computer. This makes it notably ideal for micro ATX and mini-ITX builds, though you could slide it into a mid- or full-size tower as well if you deem it necessary.
Best high capacity power supply: Corsair AX1500i
Form factor: EPS | Capacity: 1500W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Titanium | Modularity: Fully | Warranty: 10-year
This is an absolute monster of a power supply. This is for the serious builder who plans on powering multiple graphics cards, cooling systems, and perhaps a small village in rural North Dakota. It has the highest possible 80 Plus Titanium efficiency rating, and is fully modular so you only need to add the cables required by your build. If you have the money to go big, this is the power supply to get.
- Pick up the best processors while you're at it
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article