Best Power Supply for Gaming | Top Rated PSU

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There was a time when I used to underestimate the usefulness of a Power Supply Unit on a computer, otherwise known as PSU. In fact, I was of the opinion that one should give minimum consideration to this component. That was before I knew much about gaming rigs. The Power Supply Unit is a component of a computer that governs the power supply, and the thus the performance of the every single component such as RAM, Hard disk, optical drive, motherboard, and graphic card etc. 

Chances are that some of the errors such BSOD could be related to the lack of sufficient power being supplied to your PC components. It is worth knowing a few tips for purchasing power supply and understanding some of the terminology. 

The selection of the best PC power supply for gaming is regularly updated depending upon the latest product releases and interests of readers.

Purchasing Power Supply for Gaming

There is no such thing as too big or too small capacity for a power supply. It all depends upon your preference. However, it is a must that you at least meet the minimum requirement of your PC. For example if your PC is consuming 500W, then make sure that you have 550W capacity power supply. However, you need to realize that at 550W, the power supply will mostly be running at full capacity and it is not recommended to run power supplies at full capacity for a few reasons. Firstly, it shortens the life of the power supply and secondly it contributes to over heating.

Whereas a large power supply say 750-800W for a 500W demand, will be running quite efficiently. Furthermore, you can also get yourself room for expansion with larger power supply capacity. The PC only draws the power it needs, so your rated power consumption will still be 500W even if you have a 750-800W power supply.

Power Supply Efficiency Tip

best gaming Power supply unit

It is very important to realize that all power supplies have efficiency curve. It is kind of like a dome shaped curve, with the best power efficiency at the peak of that curve. Anywhere to the left or right of that peak is not recommended. The power supply curve peak is usually at around 50% to 60% of the rated supply. i.e at 60% efficiency, a 500W power supply would be most efficient for a 300W PC. So if you are below of above this you would actually get less efficiency (but not something to worry about if the gap isn’t too wide) . Therefore, neither would an over kill power supply be efficient nor would be a very low rated power supply for a particular demand.

The quality of the PSU for gaming in the market varies a lot and there cost is usually based on how curvy the power efficiency curve of a power supply is. The high end series of power supply (Gold or Platinum) from brands usually have a flatter efficiency curve so that when supply is off the peak efficiency level, the damage will still be minimal. However, high end power supplies usually are quite expensive and to see the return on your investment on high efficient power supply, you would have to use it for quite many hours for the extra efficiency to translate into savings.

Power Supply Unit Protections Schemes

Power supply units range widely in terms of price. It depends upon a lot of factors ranging from power efficiency curve, modular/non modular design, double ball bearing/single ball bearing fan, and of course the protection system installed.

For me, the protection of the power supply is one of the most crucial aspect because who really likes to burn their PC components due to say, voltage surge? The types of protection schemes include: Under voltage, over voltage, over-current, short circuit, Over power protection, Over Temperature protections, surge & in-rush protection, no load protection, and brown-out protection. Power supplies may feature none, some or all of the above mentioned protections. The more protection, the more heavy duty and expensive a power supply.

Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Efficiency Certificates

The best PC PSU 2015 for gaming machines comes in different efficiency standards. To put the meaning of these certificates into perspective, lets take example of a 500W power supply for a 250W PC demand. This means that power supply is running at 50% of rated supply and therefore at highest efficiency. Power drawn from the wall would be as follows for different standard of the supply:

Basic: 312.5W — Bronze: 304.9W — Silver: 294.1W — Gold: 277.8W —Platinum: 271.7W. Therefore, between basic and the platinum, there is  around 33 W/h savings. If you are running your computer for 8 hours a day with 15 cents per kWh, you will save $17.62 with platinum over the basic model. for 24 hours a day operation, you will be saving thrice that amount over the basic. You have to do the maths on whether this is a good return on your investment because the platinum power supplies are significantly more expensive then the basic models.

 

Corsair CX Series (80PLUS Bronze)

best Power supply unit

This is a staple power supply for enthusiasts and gamers who do not want to spend a lot on power supply and do not care much for extra features. This power supply does not have protection features, it has a semi-modular cable management system. 0.99 Active Power Factor, Three Year Warranty and Universal AC input i.e 90-264V.

Although the CX series does not have many features, it is a budget PSU that comes with Corsair build quality. Models Include:

430 Watt ($53)| 500 Watt ($61.50) | 600 Watt ($69.99)| 750 Watt ($79)

Cooler Master GX II (80PLUS Bronze)

best Power supply unit for computers

One of the latest series of power supplies from the cooler master series that can finally compete with its corsair counterparts. This Power Supply has almost the same price tag as the CX Bronze series of Corsair but this one goes further by including some sweet new features.

One of the most intriguing features of this budget power supply is the addition of power protection schemes that include Over voltage protection, Under voltage protection, Over current protection, Over power protection, short circuit protection and over temperature protection. This power supply also has the feature to charge USB devices even when the computer is off (does not charge some Apple devices). This power supply also comes with 5 years of warranty. The only edge that the CX series of Corsair has on this power supply is the brand trust. Cooler Master is not as well established as Corsair when it comes to power supplies. Models include:

450 Watt ($70) | 550 Watt ($65) | 650 Watt ($64) | 750 Watt ($95)

Corsair RM Series (80PLUS Gold)

best power supply for computers

A high end power supply from Corsair that has the 80PLUS Gold standard, which means that it has the potential to save up energy bills thanks to its efficiency. However, if you do not care much about the savings on energy bills, then you may be interested in some other features of this power supply. For starters, this is a low profile power supply but also has high end capacitors in its electrical circuit. 

Furthermore, this power supply also has fully modular cable management system and universal AC input. It also comes with 5 years of warranty. Another great feature of this power supply is the protection schemes which include, under-voltage, over-voltage, over-current and short circuit. This is perhaps the most recommended series of power supply for gaming. Models include:

450 Watt ($96) | 550 Watt ($110) | 650 Watt ($104) | 750 Watt ($120) | 850 Watt ($135) | 1000 Watt ($150)

Antec 80 Plus Platinum PSU (Best High Power PSU)

best power supply unit

This is a Platinum grade power supply unit for professional gamers and enthusiasts. It has advanced features for improving the efficiency and thus cutting down on your energy bills in the long run. This series of high end PSU come with modular connectivity, thermal and heat management system, and complete and one of the most comprehensive protection scheme including over current, over voltage, under voltage, short circuit, over temperature,  over power protection, surge & in-rush protection, no load protection, and brown-out protection. This is basically the protection scheme that you would expect in industrial grade systems. 7 years of warranty is also included with this power supply. Antec is perhaps the best I would say for Platinum grade PSU in terms of value for money as well as efficiency. I recommend platinum Antec PSU for 850W, 1000W and 1300W rated supply

The only difference between the 850W, 1000W and 1300W platinum PSU is that the latter 1300 Watt has OC link which allows 2 HCP Platinum’s to work together for even higher demanding systems. Models include:

850 Watt ($230) | 1000 Watt ($204) | 1300 Watt ($257)

 

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