How to choose the best PSU for a Gaming Computer IN 2023?
Choosing the best PSU for a gaming computer can be daunting, especially for those new to PC building. With so many different wattage ratings, efficiency ratings, form factors, and cabling options, it’s important to understand what each of these factors means and how they can impact the performance and stability of your gaming computer.
This guide will explore the key factors to consider when selecting the best PSU for a gaming computer. From wattage ratings and efficiency ratings to form factors and cabling preferences, we will provide a comprehensive overview of what to look for in a PSU to ensure that your gaming computer receives the power it needs to perform at its best. Whether you’re a seasoned PC builder or just getting started, this guide will help you make an informed decision when choosing the best PSU for your gaming computer.
What are the different connectors on a PSU? Does it matter what connectors there are on a PSU for a gaming computer?
Several different connectors can be found on a typical computer power supply. These include:
- 24-pin ATX connector: The main connector that provides power to the motherboard. It has 24 pins arranged in a 2×12 configuration.
- 4-pin ATX12V connector: This provides additional power to the CPU and is often located near the CPU socket on the motherboard.
- 6-pin PCIe connector: Provides power to graphics cards and other PCIe devices.
- 8-pin PCIe connector: This is a larger version of the 6-pin PCIe connector and provides additional power to high-end graphics cards.
- SATA power connector: Provides power to SATA hard drives and other SATA devices.
- Molex power connectors: Provide power to IDE hard drives and other legacy devices.
- Floppy drive power connector: Provides power to floppy disk drives, which are rarely used in modern computers.
- RGB connectors: Used to power and control RGB lighting strips in a computer case.
Note that the specific connectors available on a power supply may vary depending on the model and manufacturer.
Well now that we know what kind of connectors there are, keep in mind when buying a PSU for your gaming PC, 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe connectors are a must. Always check the same in your PSU specification.
How do I know what PSU to get for my Gaming Computer?
The power supply unit (PSU) is a critical component of any computer, providing power to all the other parts. When building or upgrading a PC, it is necessary, to choose the right PSU that can deliver enough power to meet the demands of all your components.
Generally, when customers ask these questions, we follow the below-mentioned steps to decide for them –
Step 1 – Understand the Power Requirements of Your Components
To choose a PSU, determine the power requirements of computer components, especially CPU and graphics card. Check manufacturer’s website, product specs, and reviews for power consumption. Note that different versions of components may have different power requirements, and consider other components as well.
Step 2 – Consider Other Components
Consider power consumption of other components such as motherboard, RAM, and storage drives. Other peripherals like fans and lighting have minimal impact. Overclocking increases power consumption of CPU and graphics card by 50% or more, so ensure PSU can handle the additional demands.
Step 3 – Calculate the Total Power Requirements
Add up power requirements of components to estimate total power consumption, adding 20-30% to provide headroom for spikes in demand. For instance, a 105W CPU, 250W graphics card, and two 5W hard drives would require around 365W, but adding 30% would bring the total requirement to 500W.
Step – 4 Choose a PSU with the Right Wattage and Efficiency and more importantly a good brand
Choose a PSU that meets your estimated power requirements. Mid-range gaming computers need 500-650W, while high-end systems with multiple graphics cards may require 750W or higher. PSU efficiency is crucial, and higher efficiency results in less wasted energy as heat. Recommended brands include Corsair, Cooler Master, NZXT, EVGA, SilverStone, and Thermaltake.
Check out this PSU Calculator by Extreme Outer Visions if you want any more help to figure out what wattage you require. Just select what components you have or are about to buy from the dropdown menus and find youself the correct PSU for your gaming PC
What are these protections On PSU people keep taking about? does it matter if I have OVP or UVP on my PSU for a gaming computer?
A power supply unit (PSU) is responsible for delivering power to all the components of a computer. A PSU must be designed with various protections to ensure that it operates safely and reliably. Here are some of the common protections found in modern PSUs:
- Over Voltage Protection (OVP): This protection prevents the voltage output from exceeding a safe level, which can damage components.
- Under Voltage Protection (UVP): This protection prevents the voltage output from dropping below a safe level, which can cause instability and damage to components.
- Over Current Protection (OCP): This protection prevents the current output from exceeding a safe level, which can damage components or cause a fire.
- Over Temperature Protection (OTP): This protection prevents the temperature of the PSU from exceeding a safe level, which can cause damage to components or even start a fire.
- Short Circuit Protection (SCP): This protection prevents a short circuit from occurring, which can damage components or cause a fire.
- Over Power Protection (OPP): This protection prevents the PSU from delivering more power than it is rated for, which can cause damage to components or the PSU itself.
These protections are often abbreviated with short forms, such as OVP, UVP, OCP, OTP, SCP, and OPP. A PSU with these protections can help ensure that your computer components are safe from damage and that the PSU operates reliably.
Our recommendation is – Use a surge protector instead of directly using a socket on the wall. The surge protectors are designed in such a way, that if there is a spike the surge protector will shift any damaging power away from your PSU
PSU Efficiency Ratings
Power supply units (PSUs) are rated for efficiency based on how much power they can deliver to your computer components while wasting as little energy as possible. Efficiency ratings are expressed as a percentage, with higher percentages indicating that the PSU is wasting less energy as heat and delivering more power to your components.
There are four main efficiency ratings for PSUs, which are defined as follows:
- 80 PLUS White: This is the basic efficiency rating for PSUs and requires that the unit be at least 80% efficient at 20%, 50%, and 100% of its rated load. For example, an 80 PLUS 500W PSU would need to deliver at least 400W of power to your components while wasting no more than 100W as heat.
- 80 PLUS Bronze: This rating requires that the PSU be at least 82% efficient at 20% load, 85% at 50% load, and 82% at 100% load.
- 80 PLUS Silver: This rating requires that the PSU be at least 85% efficient at 20% load, 88% at 50% load, and 85% at 100% load.
- 80 PLUS Gold: This rating requires that the PSU be at least 87% efficient at 20% load, 90% at 50% load, and 87% at 100% load.
There are also higher efficiency ratings, such as 80 PLUS Platinum and 80 PLUS Titanium, which require even higher levels of efficiency. These ratings are typically found in high-end PSUs and server power supplies.
It’s important to note that a higher-efficiency PSU will typically be more expensive, but can save you money in the long run by reducing your electricity bill and producing less heat, which can extend the lifespan of your components.
PSU Form Factors
Form factors refer to the physical dimensions and specifications of a power supply unit (PSU). There are several form factors used for PSUs, and the form factor used will depend on the type of computer and motherboard being used. Here are some of the most common PSU form factors:
- ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended): This is the most common form factor for desktop computer PSUs. ATX PSUs are typically 150mm wide, 86mm tall, and 140mm deep, and they provide a standard set of connectors that are compatible with most motherboards.
- SFX (Small Form Factor eXtended): This form factor is designed for small form factor (SFF) computers that require a smaller PSU. SFX PSUs are typically 100mm wide, 63.5mm tall, and 125mm deep, making them much smaller than ATX PSUs.
- TFX (Thin Form Factor eXtended): TFX PSUs are even smaller than SFX PSUs, with dimensions of approximately 85mm wide, 65mm tall, and 175mm deep. They are often used in slimline desktop computers.
- EPS (Entry-level Power Supply): EPS PSUs are designed for use in entry-level servers and workstations. They typically provide more power than standard desktop ATX PSUs and have additional connectors for server-grade components.
- FlexATX: This form factor is designed for use in small form factor (SFF) desktop computers. It is similar in size to SFX PSUs but has a different arrangement of connectors and mounting points.
- CFX12V: This form factor is used in some server power supplies and provides additional connectors and power for server-grade components.
It’s important to ensure that the PSU form factor you choose is compatible with your PC case, without it you will end up hanging the PSU on your hanger.
Neat and Clean Look – Cables makes me mad
Cabling preferences can differ depending on the type of power supply unit (PSU) you have, whether it’s a modular PSU, semi-modular PSU, or non-modular PSU.
- Modular PSU: A modular PSU allows you to detach unused cables from the power supply unit, providing a cleaner and more organized look inside your computer case. This means that you only need to use the cables that are necessary for your build, reducing clutter and improving airflow. You can choose which cables you need and leave the rest in the box, making cable management much easier. This type of PSU is especially useful for custom builds and enthusiasts who want to create a clean, organized look in their system.
- Semi-modular PSU: A semi-modular PSU is similar to a modular PSU, but with some fixed cables that cannot be removed. Usually, the main motherboard power cable and CPU power cable are fixed, while other cables, such as SATA and PCIe cables, are modular. This can be a good balance between a fully modular and non-modular PSU, as it still allows for some customization and cable management, while also providing the essential cables you need for your system.
- Non-modular PSU: A non-modular PSU has fixed cables that cannot be detached from the power supply unit. This means that you have to use all the cables provided, even if you don’t need them, resulting in extra cables that can add clutter and hinder airflow. Non-modular PSUs are often less expensive than modular or semi-modular PSUs, but they can be harder to manage when it comes to cable routing and management.
In summary, the cabling preferences for modular, semi-modular, and non-modular PSUs can differ depending on your specific needs and preferences. A modular PSU provides the most flexibility and customization, while a semi-modular PSU provides a balance between flexibility and fixed cables. A non-modular PSU is the least customizable but can be a good option for those on a budget or who don’t require a lot of customization.
Final words (Only about the article, I am not planning to die in my 20’s. Alright late 20’s. Definitely not early 30’s.)
Selecting the best power supply unit (PSU) for a gaming computer is crucial to ensuring stable and reliable power delivery to all the components in the system. When choosing a PSU, it’s important to consider factors such as wattage, efficiency ratings, form factors, and cabling preferences.
For a gaming computer, it’s recommended to choose a PSU with a wattage rating that is higher than the system’s peak power consumption, to ensure there is enough headroom for future upgrades and to avoid potential stability issues. An 80+ Gold or higher efficiency rating can provide energy savings and reduce heat output, while modular or semi-modular PSUs can help with cable management and airflow.
The form factor of the PSU should also be considered, depending on the type of computer and motherboard being used. ATX PSUs are the most common form factor for desktop computers, while SFX or TFX PSUs may be more suitable for small form factor builds. It’s important to ensure that the chosen PSU form factor is compatible with the computer and motherboard being used.
In summary, when selecting a PSU for a gaming computer, it’s important to consider the wattage rating, efficiency rating, form factor, and cabling preferences, to ensure stable and reliable power delivery to all components in the system. By taking these factors into account, you can choose a PSU that meets your system’s needs and provides efficient and reliable power delivery for your gaming computer. If you are interested in our guides for any other part or are making a new Gaming Pc make sure to check our out articles here. We have provided a comprehensive guide on every component you might need for a gaming computer.
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