Best power supply for PC gaming in 2024

Quick menu

The best power supply (PSU) fuels your PC with the energy it needs to run your components. It's a simple part of your rig, but a crucial one that could become a real pain. The best PSUs need to keep up with power-hungry graphics cards and CPUs and they need to do it with a good level of efficiency, and that can be too big an ask for some cheaper models from unknown brands.

That's why we're sticking to the best power supplies for this guide. These are PSUs we've tested for electrical worthiness, but also on their price and compatibility. The top of the lot for a mix of quality and wattage is the Corsair RM750x, but if you want to go bigger in terms of wattage we recommend the Seasonic Prime Titanium TX-1000 instead.

Overly cheap PSUs aren't worth it, so we chose the ones you want to spend a little more on to know you're secure. Don't think of it as wasted cash, however. The best PSUs run flawlessly, are more efficient, and can be carried forward to future builds. That doesn't mean every PSU we recommend is expensive. They're not—some PSUs we love are only $50. There's just a big difference between a cheap PSU from a well-known brand and one from someplace else.

If you're still unsure about where to start when it comes to power supplies, don't sweat, we've tested dozens of PSUs, and handpicked our favorites, highlighting the sort of builds they should be in.

The Quick List

Recent updates

This PSU guide was updated on January 26, 2024 to improve its readability.

The best power supply for PC gaming

The best power supply for gaming

Specifications

Manufacturer (OEM): CWT
Max. DC output: 750W
Efficiency: 80 PLUS Gold
Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
Noise: Cybenetics A- (25-30dBA)
Cooling: 140mm Mag Lev fan (NR140ML)
Modularity: Fully modular
EPS connectors: 2
PCIe connectors: 4 (on two cables)
Warranty: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
High build quality
+
Magnetic Bearing Fan
+
Ten-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Average efficiency could be a bit higher
-
In cable caps might bother some

For most PC builders, the Corsair RM750x is the best PSU available. The newest version, introduced in 2021, managed to improve an already outstanding product. Corsair’s RMx line is among the best in the PSU market, combining high performance and reasonable prices, and the RM750x is clear proof of this. The competition is tough, but Corsair’s R&D manager, Jon Gerow (aka famed PSU reviewer Jonnyguru), and his team of engineers manage to create products that set the bar higher and higher.

The build quality is outstanding in this CWT platform, which is only available to Corsair. The caps on both primary and secondary sides are Japanese and the FETs, along with the magnetic levitation fan, won’t have a problem outliving the ten-year warranty. 

The fan upgrade is a highly welcome feature, too. It boosts reliability, even under harsh conditions where most other fans would have issues in the long run. The cooling fan is the crucial part of every PSU, highly affecting its reliability, so it is important to use the best fan possible.

Read our full Corsair RM750X (2021) review.

The best 1KW power supply for PC gaming

The best 1KW power supply

Specifications

Manufacturer (OEM): Seasonic
Max. DC output: 1000W
Efficiency: 80 PLUS Titanium
Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
Noise: Cybenetics A- (25-30dBA)
Cooling: 135 mm FDB Fan (HA13525M12F-Z)
Modularity: Fully modular
EPS connectors: 2
PCIe connectors: 6 (all on dedicated cables)
Warranty: 12 years

Reasons to buy

+
High performance and silent operation
+
High-quality components and top build quality
+
Fully modular
+
12-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
High OCP setting on all rails, especially the minor ones
-
High inrush current with 115V

Seasonic hit the jackpot with its Prime platform, which starts from Gold efficiency and goes all the way up to Titanium. The TX-1000 is rated to Titanium, hence the name, and is the best 1KW power supply around today. Several high-impact brands have already used Seasonic's base platform in their own PSUs, including Asus with its ROG Thor 1200W, Corsair's AX line, and Antec with its legendary Signature line. 

If Seasonic could make more of these units, I would expect more brands to get in line to source them, despite their high prices. The majority of buyers prefer low-efficiency and more affordable power supplies, unfortunately. Still, when an OEM is confident enough to provide a platform with a twelve-year warranty, you know that this is a bullet-proof product.

At light loads, the PSU achieves some of the highest efficiency readings we have seen.

The Seasonic TX-1000 is a great power supply featuring top-notch build quality. Besides great soldering work, it also uses Japanese capacitors everywhere, including many polymer caps besides electrolytic ones and a fluid dynamic bearing fan. 

Seasonic's engineers did their best to offer sky-high efficiency under all load regions and silent operation, at the same time, along with increased reliability. Performance-wise, this PSU belongs to the top league since it achieves tight load regulation on all rails, it has terrific ripple suppression without using the annoying in-line caps, and its hold-up time is great. On top of that, the 5VSB rail's efficiency is high, and at light loads, the PSU achieves some of the highest efficiency readings we have seen so far. 

Another asset of the TX-1000 is that it has six PCIe connectors on dedicated cables. You won't have a problem powering energy-hungry graphics cards where the use of a single cable with two PCIe connectors should be avoided.

Read our full Seasonic TX 1000 review.

The best cheap power supply for PC gaming

The best cheap PSU

Specifications

Manufacturer (OEM): CWT
Max. DC output: 450W
Efficiency: 80 PLUS Bronze
Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
Noise: Cybenetics A- rating (25-30dB[A])
Cooling: 120mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan (HA1225M12F-Z)
Modularity: No
EPS connectors: 1
PCIe connectors: 1
Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to buy

+
High build quality
+
Compatible with the Alternative Sleep Mode
+
Fluid dynamic bearing fan
+
Five-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-modular
-
Lower than 17ms hold-up time
-
Lower than 60% efficiency with a 2% load

This XPG Pylon is our favourite PSU for low wattage nowadays, covering just the bare essentials in terms of PC performance, as Corsair decided to withdraw the popular CX450 model. That used a modern but expensive platform, making it hard to keep its price low. From the moment the CX450 is out of the equation, the road is open for the XPG Pylon 450 to shine.

From 2022, XPG upgraded the warranty on all Pylon models to five years to keep up with the competition. Given the fluid dynamic bearing fan and the reliable platform, the warranty upgrade makes sense. The significant compromise that had to be made to keep the cost down was the use of an outdated platform.

The non-modular cable design won’t please most users, but modular cables would notably affect the final price, so they had to go to. Given the not-so-high number of cables in this PSU, the non-modular design isn't the worst. Thankfully, the five-year warranty that XPG provides is the cherry on top of this product.

Read our full XPG Pylon 450 review.

The best low-capacity power supply for PC gaming

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

The best low-capacity PSU

Specifications

Manufacturer (OEM): CWT
Max. DC output: 550W
Efficiency: 80 PLUS Gold
Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
Noise: Cybenetics A (20-25dBA)
Cooling: 120mm Rifle Bearing Fan (BQ QF2-12025-MS)
Modularity: Fully modular
EPS connectors: 1
PCIe connectors: 4 (on two cables)
Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to buy

+
High performance
+
Silent operation
+
Compatible with the Alternative Sleep Mode
+
Good build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Only two 4-pin Molex connectors

Be quiet! has developed a unique platform alongside OEM partner Channel Well Technology for its Pure Power 11 FM line, and the results are fantastic. The Pure Power 11 FM with 550W capacity is our top choice for a low-capacity power supply, and it is ideal for not demanding systems where users require a top-quality PSU under $100.

The PSU is 80 PLUS Gold and Cybenetics Gold certified in efficiency and has a Cybenetics A noise rating, proving it is quiet. The dimensions are standard, with 160mm depth, and the cooling fan uses a rifle bearing for increased reliability. The five-year warranty is half than what the competition provides (e.g., the Corsair, RM550x). Still, you cannot call it short.

The Pure Power 11 FM 550 showed in testing that it has no problem facing intense competition from Corsair, Seasonic, EVGA, Cooler Master, and others. Perhaps its best competition is the Seasonic Focus Plus Platinum 550W, but this is still the outright winner.

Read our full BeQuiet! Pure Power 11 FM 550W review

The best high-capacity power supply for PC gaming

The best power supply over 1KW

Specifications

Manufacturer (OEM): Flextronics
Max. DC output: 1600W
Efficiency: 80 PLUS Titanium
Form factor: ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
Noise: Cybenetics A (20-25dBA)
Cooling: 140 mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan (NR140P)
Modularity: Fully modular
EPS connectors: 2
PCIe connectors: 10 (on eight cables)
Warranty: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful with top performance in all sections
+
High build quality
+
Silent operation
+
Software control

Reasons to avoid

-
Super expensive
-
Small distance between peripheral connectors

The Corsair AX1600i is the best high-capacity power supply, thanks to being one of the first desktop PSUs to use its cutting-edge power supply technology. Even several years after its initial release, few other PSUs utilize it. In short, the AX1600i uses a totem-pole PFC converter, utilizing GaN MOSFETs, which can offer up to 99% efficiency compared to the 96% efficiency levels that the most advanced conventional APFC converters can deliver. Okay, those are the technical details, but what you really need to know is that this is about as efficient as power supplies get.

Besides the totem-pole PFC, the AX1600i also uses two Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) to manage its circuits. A single microcontroller (MCU) is the communications bridge between the system and the PSU, allowing users also to control some vital functions of the PSU (for example, the fan speed profile and the selection between multiple and single +12V rails, setting up the OCP limits, etc.) besides monitoring tasks. 

The AX1600i is the worthy successor of the legendary AX1500i. Both units are made by Flextronics, using cutting-edge technology while offering the best performance that money can buy today, thanks to their digital platform. Besides being highly efficient, the AX1600i also offers outstanding load regulation, excellent transient response, long hold-up time, and excellent ripple suppression. 

Despite its high capacity, it remains impressively quiet in operation, thanks to the relaxed fan profile and a high-quality FDB fan. Finally, using the Corsair Link software, you're able to choose between three fan modes: performance, balanced, and quiet, so every user will be able to set the PSU according to their needs. You will pay a lot to get your hands on a Corsair AX1600i, but there is nothing else able to meet this PSU eye-to-eye when it comes to overall performance.

Read our full Corsair AX1600i review.

The best small form factor power supply for PC gaming

The best small form factor power supply

Specifications

Manufacturer (OEM): Enhance Electronics
Max. DC output: 1000W
Efficiency: 80 PLUS Platinum
Form factor: SFX-L
Noise: Cybenetics Standard+ (35-40dBA)
Cooling: 120mm Double Ball Bearing Fan
Modularity: Fully modular
EPS connectors: 2
PCIe connectors: 6
Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely high power-density
+
High build quality
+
Efficient
+
2x EPS and 6x PCIe connectors

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Low efficiency at light loads

The SilverStone SX1000 is the strongest small factor unit we have tested so far, and it has enough connectors to support a strong gaming system even in a tight space. It even appears way stronger than its specs list appears, since we pushed it close to 1500W without issue.

SilverStone has equipped this PSU with two EPS and six PCIe connectors to ensure it can deliver its full power without any problems. Moreover, all cables are modular, making the PSU’s installation a breeze. Because of the small PCB, the temperatures at the internals can go high, so a double ball-bearing fan is used, which can handle hot conditions without any problems.

Since everything small and powerful is usually expensive, especially in the IT world, the SX1000 will empty your wallet. That said, PSUs are inexpensive given the vital role that they have in every system, so a 250-300 dollar power supply doesn’t look that expensive. Especially if you consider that you will keep it for many years.

Read our full Silverstone SX-1000 review.

The most flexible power supply for PC gaming

7. Corsair RM1200x Shift

The best power supply for easy building

Specifications

Manufacturer (OEM): CWT
Max. DC output: 1200W
Efficiency: 80 PLUS Gold
Form factor: ATX
Noise: Cybenetics A-
Cooling: 140mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan
Modularity: Fully modular
EPS connectors: 2
PCIe connectors: 8
Warranty: 10 years

Reasons to buy

+
Quirky + convenient connector layout
+
High build quality
+
Similar CWT platform to other Corsair PSUs

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't fit every case
-
More useful if you're regular swapping parts

The Corsair RM1200x Shift is the most flexible PSU we recommend. The whole Shift lineup is a pretty wild concept for the world of power supplies, actually. What if, and stick with me here, you took the connectors off the back of the PSU and instead laid them out down the side of it? Then you could access all the plugs easier in a usual case after removing the side panel.

It seemed like a fun concept, so we called one in and tried it out inside a Corsair 5000T PC case. It works excellently once you start building, allowing you to skip over some of the hassle of pre-allocated connectors and running cables out of a tight spot. Instead you just load it into your chassis, decide on your cable runs, and it's all right there easy to use. Also all the connectors are micro-fit on the PSU side, meaning they're much smaller than usual, which makes things even easier.

The fundamental platform is made by CWT, the same manufacturer that takes on the job of crafting Corsair's RM750x, our favorite PSU for gaming. Also, it scores just as highly as that popular power supply in testing from Cybernetics, managing a Cybenetics Gold rating at both 115V and 230V. You can read a short version of the Cybenetics report if you want to get into all the details.

Read our story on what it was like to build with the RM1200x SHIFT.

How we test power supplies

Besides the experience and vast knowledge of electronics, the evaluation of power supplies also requires wildly 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. That's why PC Gamer relies on the work of Aris Bitziopoulos, and power supply testing and certification company Cybenetics, for the recommendations that we list in this article. That data is gathered using the following test equipment:

Power supply testing equipment

(Image credit: Aristeidis Bitziopoulos)

Aris uses 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. 

They 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, Aris also has a hemi-anechoic chamber at their disposal, with a close to 6dBA noise floor. The noise measurement's set-up is depicted in the photos below.