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The best power supply might not excite you but it should interest you enough to make a careful and considered decision for your next gaming PC build. The power supply is the heart of your PC; it feeds every component in your machine. If your PSU goes down, it can take everything else with it. 

A good PSU will last for several systems builds. So, make a good investment now, and you won’t have to spend extra the next time you upgrade. Don’t be worried about going over the top either—a few years ago, high-capacity PSUs were less efficient at lighter loads, but this isn’t the case anymore. If you select a modern Gold or higher efficiency PSU, you won’t have low efficiency at light loads, regardless of its capacity. 

GeForce RTX 3080. 

Seasonic Prime Titanium TX-1000 power supply on a grey background

(Image credit: Seasonic)

2. Seasonic Prime Titanium TX-1000

The best 1KW power supply


Manufacturer (OEM): Seasonic

Max. DC output: 1000 W

Efficiency: 80 PLUS Titanium

Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92

Noise: Cybenetics A- (25-30 dBA)

Cooling: 135 mm FDB Fan (HA13525M12F-Z)

Modularity: Fully modular

EPS connectors: 2

PCIe connectors: 6 (all on dedicated cables)

Warranty: 12 years

Best CPU for gaming | Best graphics card | Best gaming motherboards
Best SSD for gaming | Best DDR4 RAM | Best PC cases

XPG Core Reactor 650W power supply on a grey background

(Image credit: XPG)

4. XPG Core Reactor 650W

The best 650W power supply


Manufacturer (OEM): CWT

Max. DC output: 650 W

Efficiency: 80 PLUS Gold

Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92

Noise: Cybenetics A (20-25 dBA)

Cooling: 120 mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan (HA1225H12F-Z)

Modularity: Fully modular

EPS connectors: 2

PCIe connectors: 4 (on two cables)

Warranty: 10 years

best gaming PCs and best gaming laptops that can give you the most bang for your buck and save you a headache. 

More and more of the best power supply brands have expanded into the small form factor category recently, an area that has started to garner much greater interest from gamers too. A few years ago, SFF PSUs were niche products, but the introduction of elegant small chassis, and the desire for smaller systems, have increased the competition in this category. 

The first brand that took the SFF PSUs seriously was SilverStone, which has the richest related products portfolio. Fractal, meanwhile, had nothing to show in this category until it launched these SFX Gold units. 

However, using the term ‘SFX’ isn’t accurate since both Fractal’s Ion units follow the unofficial SFX-L form factor SilverStone first introduced. Because of the larger than SFX depth—by 30mm—SFX-L units allow for larger cooling fans and better airflow. That means they can have more relaxed fan speed profiles and be quieter than their standard SFX counterparts. On top of that, the larger PCBs allow for higher capacity units, too, up to 1000W. 

The Ion SFX 650G advantages over its Corsair SFX adversary are the larger, 120mm fan because it follows the SFX-L format, along with the highly flexible modular cables, which indeed make a difference during the cable routing and installation processes. Moreover, you will find an SFX-to-ATX adapter bracket in its bundle, which will come in handy if you want to use this PSU along with an ATX chassis. 

Transparent illustrative image of the inside of a Corsair power supply

(Image credit: Corsair)

How we test power supplies

Besides the experience and vast knowledge of electronics, the evaluation of power supplies also requires insanely expensive equipment, which not everyone can get their hands on. On top of that, even if you have the proper equipment, you need to know how to operate it, and above all, you have to properly maintain it (AKA calibrate it in frequent intervals to ensure that your results are correct). 

This is why there are so few PSU reviewers, and even fewer can deliver good PSU reviews. The recommendations that we list in this article are based on data that we gathered using the equipment shown below: 

Power supply testing equipment

(Image credit: Aristeidis Bitziopoulos)

We use top-of-the-line equipment to test power supplies, including Chroma electronic loads, Keysight AC sources, N4L power meters, Keysight and Picoscope oscilloscopes for PSU timing, and ripple measurements, along with other specialized equipment. 

We take complete readings at normal operating temperatures, 28-32 degrees Celsius, and under high operating temperatures (>40C), which expose the slightest problem that a power supply might have. Testing a PSU only at room temperatures doesn’t provide the whole picture, and this is where most PSU reviews suffer. 

When it comes to noise measurements, besides a highly accurate sound analyzer, we also have a hemi-anechoic chamber at our disposal, with a close to 6dBA noise floor. The noise measurement’s set-up is depicted in the photos below.

Image 1 of 2

PSU noise analysis setup diagram

(Image credit: Aristeidis Bitziopoulos)
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PSU noise analysis setup diagram

(Image credit: Aristeidis Bitziopoulos)

The best power supply FAQ

What PSU wattage do I need for my PC?

graphics card is a great place to start. Still, we recommend using an online power calculator to get the most accurate figure. OuterVision’s Power Supply Calculator is our go-to.

What efficiency rating is best for a PSU?

Once you’ve found out the wattage you’ll need for your PC, you’ll need to decide what efficiency you can afford. Power supply manufacturers all tend to agree to the same PSU efficiency rating system: 80 Plus.

There are six ratings to look out for with your PSU:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Titanium

An 80 Plus Titanium certified power supply is more efficient than a Bronze one, meaning the parts within waste less power (heat) during the AC to DC conversion. These are often measured across three load levels: 20%, 50%, and 100%. Most PSUs tend to be rated at their most efficient at 50%, although Titanium PSUs tend to perform just as well, if not better, under heavy load.

Higher efficiency also means the internal components are subjected to less heat and are likely to have a longer lifespan. They may cost a bit more, but higher certified power supplies tend to be more reliable than others. Luckily, most manufacturers offer warranties.

What do we look for in a PSU?

Reliability, customer support, warranty, and manufacturer reputations are among the first things you should look for when choosing the best power supplies. Since there isn’t exactly a single solution that makes sense for every build, we decided on several categories to fit the needs of most PC gamers. For each, we also took into account budgets, compatibility, unique features, and design.

Our top selections were made based on a combination of the criteria listed above and overall efficiency ratings. While it isn’t by any means the all-telling solution for PSU performance, the 80 PLUS certification program provides some form of standardization and expectations for efficiency. More efficient PSUs mean less heat and lower energy consumption.

Do I need a modular PSU?

It pays to future-proof against any upgrades further down the line. A modular PSU will allow you to add extra cables as needed or remove unused ones to free up valuable room inside your case. This is handy if you’ve got your heart set on a beefier graphics card or want the flexibility of being able to add other peripheral connections later.

However, you can absolutely make do without, as even semi-modular or fixed cable designs will do the job just as well if only with a few extra cables lying around. You can usually tuck these into the back of your PC case to keep them out of your eyesight.

As a word of warning, compatibility is a significant factor when it comes to power supply units. Using cables from different PSUs could put your entire PC at risk, so stick with those provided. Even if they are from the same manufacturer, not all PSU cables will be universally compatible either, complicating things further. If you absolutely must splinter from the cables included, have a look at your PSU’s PIN connectors and make sure your cable set has ones that match to avoid any unnecessary frustration and breakages.