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Best Power Supply Unit for PC gaming

Best Power Supply Unit for PC gaming
(Image credit: Corsair, Seasonic)

They don’t get a whole lot of attention when it comes time to planning a build, but getting one of the best power supply units is actually one of the most important things you can do for your gaming PC. Most users are much more concerned with having the best graphics cards and CPUs. Unfortunately, even the smartest internal PC components could use a reliable power supply. In fact, they may even demand one if you want your gaming PC to last. One of the most common mistakes when building a PC is skimping out on a power supply and finding the cheapest option with a decent wattage rating from an unrecognizable brand. To save you the headache, we’ve compiled a list of the best PSUs for a wide range of budgets and needs.

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(Image credit: CyberPower)

Need a stable supply? Here are the best uninterruptible power supplies for PC.

Whether you’re getting ready to build a new gaming PC, or just looking to make an upgrade, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when shopping for the best power supply for gaming. First and foremost is efficiency, which measures how effective the power supply is in drawing power from your AC wall socket and converting it into DC power for your components. For example, a 1000 watt power supply with only 50% efficiency would actually be drawing 2000 watts of power from the wall to reach that peak output. The excess power is wasted as heat, which is the last thing any gaming PC wants.

This is the exact reason why the 80 PLUS standard and testing certification was created. When purchasing an 80 PLUS certified power supply, you can expect at least 80% efficiency from a 20% load all the way to 100% peak power. After deciding which level of efficiency you’re comfortable with, the next most important thing to consider is feature-set. Whether you’re looking for digital power monitoring or a full set of modular cables, we’ve handpicked the best options for power supplies in 2019. 

Best power supply units for PC

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1. Corsair RM850x

The best PSU for PC gaming

Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 850W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Full | Warranty: 10-year

Reliable with great warranty
Fully modular cables
Quiet fan
Slightly pricier than competitors

Corsair's RM-series power supplies have been an enthusiast favorite for years now. The company has developed a strong reputation as one of the leaders in reliability and warranty service for PSUs. The latest RMX line features improved components, a quiet fan and a fantastic price point. The usual features that made the series a hit are of course still present, including 80 Plus Gold certification, fully modular cables and a generous 10-year warranty.

We've used RMX power supplies for years here at PC Gamer and have never had an issue with any of them. Priced just slightly above competing modular 80 Plus Gold power supplies, the RM850x features up to 850 Watts of continuous power which is more than most users will need for even multi-GPU builds. Reliability and a great balance of performance and features make the RM850x our all-around top choice for power supplies.

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(Image credit: Cooler Master)
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2. Cooler Master MasterWatt 750W

The best budget power supply

Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 750W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Bronze | Modularity: Semi | Warranty: 5-year

Affordable
Fanless below 15% load
Relatively compact
Only semi-modular

When you're on a tight budget, it can be tempting to disregard major brands and choose the cheapest power supply available. In some cases, you might even be okay doing so, but we can't stress enough that power supplies should be given at least a little bit of thought. Spending just a few more dollars can mean the difference between just a simple power supply failure or a catastrophic one that takes down other components with it.

Cooler Master's MasterWatt series is our favorite choice for budget builds. They aren't the cheapest power supplies around, but they offer a whole lot more than their cheaper counterparts. 80 Plus Bronze certification, a clean design with semi-modular cables and a trusty five-year warranty make the MasterWatt a safe bet with great value for users on a budget.

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3. FSP Dagger 500W

The best compact power supply for mini-ITX builds

Form factor: SFX | Capacity: 500W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Full | Warranty: 10-year

High quality capacitors
Fanless under 50% load
Fully modular for easy installation
Expensive

If you're building a small form factor computer with a mini-ITX or otherwise compact case, using a standard ATX power supply will be either extremely cumbersome or downright impossible. That's where SFX and compact power supplies come in handy. If your mini-ITX case doesn't include a built in power supply, the FSP Dagger is our top recommendation.

It may not be a recognizable brand to some, but FSP is actually a major manufacturer of power supplies. The company has been responsible for creating PSUs for Antec, SilverStone, Thermaltake and many others for years. FSP's Dagger 500W is great for compact builds due to its high efficiency ratings and full modularity. These features make it easier to install while also keeping high temperatures at bay, which is important to consider with any small form factor build.

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(Image credit: Gamdias)
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4. Gamdias Astrape P1-750G

The best RGB power supply

Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 750W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Full | Warranty: 10-year

26 RGB lighting effects
10 year warranty
RGB only controlled via button
Lighting doesn't sync with other components

Whether you love it or hate it, RGB has just about made its way to every single component in the PC hardware space. A light up power supply is only natural if you're one of the few builders on a mission to fill an entire case with RGB components. There aren't a whole lot of options since most modern cases cover the entire power supply, but the Gamdias Astrape would be our main recommendation here.

The Astrape 750G features high quality Japanese capacitors, 80 Plus Gold certification and fully modular cables. The built in fan comes with addressable RGB LEDs that are loaded with 26 different lighting effects. These animations were much nicer than the other options we've tested, but the controls are inconveniently located behind the power supply. Gamdias isn't the most reputable brand when it comes to power supplies, but the Astrape is built with high quality capacitors backed by a ten-year warranty.

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5. NZXT E850

The best digital power supply

Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 850W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Full | Warranty: 10-year

Digital power monitoring
NZXT CAM software integration
Sleek design
Expensive

Digitally monitored power supplies have been around for a few years now, but none have come bundled with as useful a software as NZXT's E-series. The E850 is one of the most expensive 850 Watt Gold certified power supplies on the market, yet we can't help but recommend it in this guide. The build quality, design and overall feature set make it a solid choice for enthusiast builds.

The E850 is powered by NZXT's CAM software, an all-in-one hardware monitoring tool that provides valuable insight for both gamers and enthusiasts. The E-series power supplies are able to track in real-time Wattage draw from the CPU, GPU and attached peripherals. Additional insights include temperatures, power on time, voltage and fan speeds. Most users won't find this information terribly useful, but for those concerned or curious to know exactly how much power their PC and its parts are consuming, NZXT's E850 is the most consumer-friendly option available.

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6. Seasonic Prime 1000 Titanium

The best high end power supply

Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 1000W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Titanium | Modularity: Full | Warranty: 12-year

12 year warranty
Titanium certification
Very quiet
Really expensive

The 80 Plus certification standard has been around for quite some time now, but only recently has the 80 Plus Titanium certification become available. Unlike the Bronze through Platinum certifications, Titanium is the only level that measures efficiency at low loads. This is particularly important since most power supplies aren't operating at full load all of the time. 

There aren't a whole lot of options available when it comes to Titanium rated PSUs, but Seasonic's Prime Titanium would have to be our favorite. This power supply is likely the beefiest one you'll need. Unless you're running a full stack of power hungry AMD gpus, 1000 Watts is more than enough for a high end machine. The Prime Titanium features everything you'd expect in a high end PSU including the highest quality internal components, fully modular cables and a suite of useful accessories.

Best of all, the power supply comes with a staggering 12-year warranty. It certainly says a lot about reliability when a company is willing to back their product for over a decade. Seasonic's Prime Titanium may be pricey, but a high end machine deserves a high end power supply.

Choosing the best power supplies

An 80 PLUS Titanium certified power supply is more efficient than a Bronze one, meaning the internal components are subjected to less heat and are likely to have a longer lifespan. This also means fans don't have to work as hard, and are quieter in efficient power supplies. They may cost a bit more, but higher certified power supplies do tend to be more reliable than others. Luckily, most manufacturers offer warranties.

This is why reliability, customer support, warranty and manufacturer reputations are among the first things we looked for when choosing the best power supplies. Since there isn't exactly a single solution that makes sense for every build, we decided on a number of categories to fit the needs of more PC gamers. For each, we also took into account budgets, compatibilities, unique features and designs.

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. 

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