Your PC’s power supply is an important component in terms of safety and performance. The right PC power supply should be reliable, have a long lifespan, and protect your machine from issues like overclocking and surges. It’s not one of the first things you think about when putting together a custom build, but it’s an important element nonetheless. Let us know the Best Power Supplies.
If you need a new PC power supply, our top picks will give you a better idea of which components are a good match for your needs. You might not be familiar with the specs you should look for, but our guide to the best PC power supplies for 2020 is a good place to start your research!
Corsair makes some fantastic power supplies. But many come with very similar naming conventions, so picking our favorite of even that lineup — let alone all PSUs — wasn’t easy. But the RM750 gets the nod for its combination of high-end features and affordable pricing. At not far north of $100, the 750w model isn’t super cheap, but it’s far from expensive. It comes in a number of wattages, so you can save a little if 750w is overkill for you or opt for 850w for just $10 more. Whichever option you pick, the RM range comes with fully modular cabling, high-quality capacitors, a quiet fan, and modern standby support, which helps this unit get up to speed from standby in under five seconds. The more-expensive RMX range offers slightly higher-quality components, but it’s not quite as efficient. This unit enjoys an 80+ Gold efficiency rating, so you can be sure that you aren’t wasting much power even when your system is running at full tilt.
The PSU we recommend in all of our budget gaming system builds is the Corsair CX550. It isn’t a trendsetter or showstopper, but it is a stable and safe power supply. At this kind of price, that’s exactly what you need. It’s available in various other capacities and for just $5 more you can get semi-modular cabling, but this entry-level version is the most affordable and therefore most suited to our favorite budget PSU.
Despite the relatively low cost, you still get a quiet fan, a five-year warranty, and 80+ Bronze certification for reasonable efficiency. Compatible with all modern CPUs and motherboards, this PSU has enough juice to power entry-level gaming PCs, all the way up to relatively high-end systems with powerful graphics cards. Double-check it has enough headroom for your particular GPU on a site like RealHardTech first, but if this falls within your limits, then the CX550 is a fantastic budget power supply to choose.
Packing high-powered components into a miniature PC case is all the rage. But along with using compact cooling solutions and motherboards, many MicroATX and mini-ITX cases also need to use a small form PSU. This SFX unit from FSP is a fantastic option with an attractive shell, excellent modular cabling, and a decent capacity of 500w. If you need more, though, there’s always the 650w version for about $20 more.
It enjoys 80+ gold efficiency, a quiet fan that operates at near silent when the unit is under 50% load and has full Japanese capacitors for excellent stability and long life. If you run into any problems (which you shouldn’t), there is a three-year warranty you can take advantage of, too.
There’s not much point in building a multi-GPU system these days outside of benchmarking and a very few select games. But if you do, you’ll want a monstrous power supply to make sure your 2-4 powerful graphics cards have all the power they need. The Seasonic Prime Ultra is our favorite for that task, with a mammoth 1,300 watts of power and all the features you’d expect from a high-end PSU.
It’s fully modular, enjoys an 80+ Platinum efficiency rating, has a 12-year warranty, and operates entirely silently until 40 percent load is reached. It also has gold plated connectors for additional durability and a touch of class, all while supporting multiple graphics cards.
It’s pricey, but for super-powered PCs that want the utmost stability and plenty of protection for your highly expensive components, you can’t go wrong with the Seasonic Prime Ultra.
Maybe you prefer your PC bright and colorful. If that’s the case, then you shouldn’t neglect your PSU when it comes to selecting RGB-equipped components. There are many units out there that look great. But many power supplies don’t have the necessary underlying components to guarantee stable operation. That’s where the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB comes in.
This unit has fully modular cabling and programmable RGB lighting. It has an 80+ Gold efficiency rating, too. The silent operating fan is another perk, though it does amp up if high-operation is necessary). The RGB lighting is configurable with other lighting in your PC to make it uniform. Synchronizing the lighting allows for maximum effectiveness.
There’s even a 10-year warranty with Thermaltake. So if your lighting fails, the manufacturer will make sure you get a replacement.
A power supply might not seem like a negotiable purchase. You need one, but beyond its ability to power your PC, there are other things to consider. Namely, there are features you need to look out for to ensure protection for your computer. We also like customization elements that upgrade the power supply from necessity to accessory. Fortunately, these picks check all the boxes.
Of the two variants of Corsair’s CX450, the Great Wall version is more efficient than CWT’s, especially under light loads, and has a more efficient 5VSB rail. On the other side, it has a more-aggressive fan profile, so its noise output is increased. In the US market, you will only find the CWT version, which is made in Vietnam instead of China, so it avoids the tariffs and keeps its price tag low.
Another decent alternative if your budget is low, you need more than 500W of capacity, and you aren’t that concerned about efficiency or some fan noise under load is the Corsair VS650. It won’t win any performance awards, but it gets the job done without much in the way of frills or fuss, for less than $50.
Corsair AX850 Best Power Supplies
If you need the best 850W power supply and you don’t have a restrictive budget, the AX850 should be among your top choices. It registers high performance in all areas: efficiency, load regulation, ripple suppression, transient response and, on top of that, it is dead silent as well.
While it’s the best 850 watt premium PSU around, it’s not a perfect device. I wish the current triggering points on the minor rails were lower, that there was a larger distance between the peripheral connectors (ideally 150mm) and that there were 16AWG gauges on the EPS connectors.
These were some of the best PC power supply units that you can buy this year. Let us know in the comment section which one are you planning to buy and why.