For PC Gaming Week 2018, we here at TechRadar are celebrating all the components that make the best gaming PCs tick. And, today we’re looking at perhaps the most important component of your build, the best power supplies.
We’re just going to come out and say it: if you’re building the best PC, the most important component you can get is one of the best PC power supplies. Sure, it’s tempting to get a cheap PSU so you can save money for one of the best graphics cards, but trust us – it’s just not worth it. Every component in you computer relies on the best PSUs for power, and if you cheap out – you could end up bricking your entire system.
Believe us when we tell you there’s nothing worse than a dying PC power supply. And, to make matters worse, oftentimes you won’t even notice when your power supply is beginning to fail. Sure, some symptoms are obvious – like having your PC just flat out refusing to boot. However, they could be as subtle as some lost power efficiency. Look, point is, you should just get the best PC power supply now, so you don’t have to worry about burning your house down later.
We don’t want to be downers though – there’s a wide range of fantastic PC power supplies available right now. And, even if you’re trying to watch your budget, you can still get one of the best PC power supplies. There are even some amazing high-power units that can generate the ludicrous power required for the best gaming PCs, if you have the money ready. No matter what you’re looking for, you can be sure that you’ll find the best PC power supplies right here on this list.
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 scores the top spot on this list for one simple reason: it’s the most well-rounded power supply you can buy today. On top of a 10 year warranty and an 80 Gold Plus efficiency rating, the Corsair has a fully modular cable system. This means you only need to install the cables you need – you can say goodbye to the mess of cables and shoddy airflow that non-modular PSUs endure.
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.
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
Even the best PSUs seem to have extremely loud fans, and unlike case fans, it’s not exactly easy to replace them. Luckily, the Straight Power 10 line-up runs nice and quiet. Options range from 400w to 700w, and they’re SLI and Crossfire certified. They’re also modular, meaning you only need to use the cables that are necessary for your build.
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
The best power supplies have a tendency to be over-sized, taking up way too much space in your PC. However, these days there are plenty of compact pc power supplies that still provide plenty of juice. The Silverstone SX550 is almost half the size of other power supplies, so that you can better facilitate cables and airflow inside your case. Ths makes it the perfect case for micro ATX and mini ITX builds, and you can even slide it into a mid or full-size tower as well, if you feel like it.
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.
Best RGB Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W
Bright lights and high voltage
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 700W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus | Modularity: No | Warranty: 5-year
If you’re trying to build a PC worthy of showing off, you can’t do much better than the Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W. Not only does it have beautiful, customizable RGB lighting, but it also features a reliable 80 Plus efficiency certification and high enough wattage to support even the best gaming PCs. Sure, it isn’t modular, but at under a hundred bucks, we weren’t really expecting it to be.
- Pick up the best processors while you're at it
- TechRadar's fourth annual PC Gaming Week is officially here, celebrating our passion with in-depth and exclusive coverage of PC gaming from every angle. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2018 page to see all of the coverage in one place.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article