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Top 5 Power Supplies for Gaming

CORSAIR RMX White Series (2018) RM850x
Best Choice

CORSAIR RMX White Series (2018) RM850x

4.9

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EVGA 1000 GQ
Premium Pick

EVGA 1000 GQ

4.7

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EVGA 500 W1
Best Value

EVGA 500 W1

4.5

View At Amazon

A power supply unit (PSU) is the heart and soul of every single PC on the market. Despite this fact, it’s a component that is often overlooked during the component selecting process of a PC build.

Now, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you choose the absolute best power supply for gaming, as a PSU dictates what other components you can put into your PC. Truthfully, picking out a PSU isn’t as enjoyable as picking out the best graphics card for your gaming PC build, though you definitely don’t want to compromise on a PC power supply unit.

As the name suggests, every PC component in your gaming rig will depend on your PSU for power. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that you do your research and choose the best PSU for gaming. But, with so many power supplies on the market, which is the best? And are there some affordable options that won’t break the bank? Luckily, we have done all of the research for you by listing the most reliable power supplies for gaming in 2020.


Top 5 PSUs for Gaming

If you’re in the market for a brand new PSU or you’re troubled about how to build a gaming PC, we’ve got you covered with the top 5 power supplies for gaming in 2020. From best choice options to budget-friendly picks, we’ve picked out the absolute best power supplies on the market.

Best Choice: CORSAIR RMX White Series (2018) RM850x

Pros & Cons

  • Fully modular, flat cables
  • Quiet fan
  • Reliable power supply
  • Pricey compared to its competitors

Specifications

  • Wattage: 850W
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Modularity: Full
  • Efficiency Rating: 80 Plus Gold
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion

Key Features

  • Fully modular cables
  • High efficiency operation
  • Tuned for low noise operation

CORSAIR RMX White Series Power Supply Review

Corsair's latest RMX line of power supplies boasts new and improved components at a fantastic price point. The white 2018 version of the RM850x, in particular, comes armed with features loved by enthusiasts around the globe. As this is our best choice option, it's a power supply that bragsbrags an 80 Plus Gold certification, making this a very efficient PSU.

What's more, is it comes with individually sleeved cables that have in-line capacitors. Of course, as this is a fully modular unit, the cables don't come pre-attached. So, you don't have to worry about poor cable management when it comes to Corsair's RM850x power supply unit.

Now, although this is a fully modular PSU, there are plenty of cables and connectors to cover a gaming rig with a bunch of different components. From a few high-end graphics cards for gaming and a motherboard with multiple EPS sockets, you can efficiently power your rig with our best choice power supply for gaming.

Aside from its sleek white outer shell, this 2018 version of the RM850x features a fan tuned for low noise operation under light-to-moderate loads. Additionally, noise is minimized owing to the profile of the fan. The only downside we could find when it comes to this PSU, is the fact that when compared to its competitors, it's pretty pricey.

Albeit, this didn't stop us from placing the Corsair RM850x at the top of our list.

Premium Pick: EVGA 1000 GQ

Pros & Cons

  • 1000W
  • Well constructed
  • Quiet operation
  • Poor quality cables

Specifications

  • Wattage: 1000W
  • Form Factor:
  • Modularity: Semi
  • Efficiency Rating: 80 Plus Gold
  • Batteries: N/A

Key Features

  • Whisper silent fans
  • Modular design
  • 80 Plus Gold Rating

EVGA 1000 GQ Power Supply Review

If you're after a power supply unit for your high-end gaming rig, our premium pick option is the way to go. The EVGA 1000 GQ is a brilliant power supply suitable for gamers in need of a whole lot of power for their monster gaming setup. Not only is it powerful at 1,000W, but it's also highly energy efficient owing to its 80 Plus Gold rating.

Therefore, you'll be able to save money on your energy bill in the long-run—awesome, I know! An 80+ Gold rating is what you should be aiming for if you're a hard-core gamer who plays the latest AAA titles using multiple graphics cards. For this reason, we just had to crown this EVGA 1000 GQ PSU as our premium pick power supply for gaming.

When running on low or even medium mode, the high-quality fan is almost silent. What's more, is that like many other PSUs on the market, the fan only starts to run when things heat up. Which in turn, helps save more money on your bills by preserving energy. As it's a semi-modular PSU, some wires are already pre-installed and connected to the interior.

Albeit, for the most part, you can pick out which cords you require for your PC components—cutting down on messy wires inside your gaming rig. Plus, as the unit is pretty small, you'll have even more space inside your gaming PC for more flagship components and better airflow.

Best Value: EVGA 500 W1

Pros & Cons

  • Value for money PSU
  • Quiet fan
  • Efficient
  • Non-modular (poor cable management)

Specifications

  • Wattage: 500W
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Modularity: Non Modular
  • Efficiency Rating: 80 Plus White
  • Batteries: 1 12V

Key Features

  • Heavy-duty protection
  • Ultra-quiet fan
  • Compact design

EVGA 500 W1 Power Supply Review

If you've just purchased a bunch of new components for your gaming rig, chances are you're on a tight budget. If this is the case, we've got you covered with a value-for-money PSU that won’t break the bank. The EVGA 500 W1 is a power supply unit that costs a mere $40—an absolute bargain compared to our best choice and premium pick options.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, you just told us not to compromise on a PC power supply unit!" Yes, we did. But despite the price, this EVGA 500 W1 PSU is a superb option for those on a budget. We do still agree that spending a little more money can mean the difference between a catastrophic failure and a decent power supply that'll last—but trust us on this one.

The EVGA 500 W1 PSU is our favourite value for money choice for budget gaming PC builds. As one of the cheapest power supplies on the market, it's an affordable option suitable for every type of gamer. Despite the fact that this PSU only has an 80 Plus White rating, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a terrible power supply.

It just means it's a little less efficient compared to the 80 Plus Gold PSUs on our list. Regardless, it's a fantastic power supply unit that will last a long time, even under heavy loads. Plus, with a well constructed design and great customer service, you can't really go wrong with the EVGA 500 W1 power supply unit.

Best Budget: EVGA 600 BQ

Pros & Cons

  • Budget-friendly PSU
  • Heavy-duty protections
  • Easy to install
  • Cables are bulky and quite stiff

Specifications

  • Wattage: 600W
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Modularity: Semi Modular
  • Efficiency Rating: 80 Plus Bronze
  • Batteries: N/A

Key Features

  • Modular cables
  • Fan with nearly silent operation
  • Heavy-duty protections (OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP and SCP)

EVGA 600 BQ Power Supply Review

If you fancy spending a little extra on a budget-friendly PSU with a bit more power, you'll love the next power supply on our list. This 600 watt EVGA 600 BQ PSU is an outstanding 80 Plus Bronze certified unit for under $70. Armed with a fluid dynamic bearing fan for almost silent operation, it's a great power supply unit that you can really rely on.

As it features a semi-modular design, some cables can be removed for simple installation into your gaming PC. What's more, is that removing unnecessary cables will allow for fantastic cable management. Which in turn, maximizes airflow throughout your case so that your PC doesn't self destruct.

It's a very compact power supply unit that features a sleek black finish. With the typical lined exhaust grill on the front, this isn't the more impressive looking power supply unit on the market. Nevertheless, it works as a budget PSU that won't break the bank.

When it comes to operating under heavy loads, it does the job while maintaining operating temperatures of around 30- to 40C. So, you don't even have to worry about your PC heating up during intense gaming sessions! How good is that?

Best Seasonic: Seasonic S12III 500 SSR

Pros & Cons

  • High quality design
  • Budget-friendly
  • 5-year warranty
  • Non-modular

Specifications

  • Wattage: 500W
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Modularity: Non-Modular
  • Efficiency Rating: 80 Plus Bronze
  • Batteries: N/A

Key Features

  • Smart and silent fan control
  • Improved compatibility
  • High efficiency (80+ certified)

Seasonic S12III 500 Power Supply Review

To finish off our list, we have included another affordable option for you gamers on a budget. But don't be mistaken—the low price doesn't mean that the Seasonic S12III 500 SSR PSU is poor. In fact, as it's 80+ certified, it's a highly efficient power supply unit that'll save you some money on your energy bills.

Armed with a high-quality design, it's an excellent power supply unit that comes with a whopping 5-year warranty. This version of the Seasonic PSU features improved compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD platforms, a feature we were glad to see.

Like many of the other high-grade power supplies on our list, the Seasonic S12III 500 SSR brags smart and silent fan control, regardless of what you're playing. Although this PSU is available in 550W and 650W options, 500 watts is enough to power a gaming rig with a single GPU. Of course, this depends on how much power your graphics card requires.

Nonetheless, 500W should do the job. One thing cable management lovers will find frustrating, however, is the fact that the cables are fixed. Saying that, the Seasonic S12III 500 SSR power supply unit provides all the necessary cables you'll require for your PC—so, we can't complain too much.


Power Supplies for Gaming: Buying Guide

Before you go out and purchase a power supply suitable for your gaming PC, there are some very important factors to consider. What is wattage? How much do you require? What about “80 Plus” efficiency rating? Is it important? Let’s take a look into the specifics.

On the other hand, you can take a look at a detailed PSU tier list and find out what kind of power supply unit you want and how much it will cost you.

Wattage: Continuous vs Peak Wattage

Fittingly, the wattage rating on a power supply unit is how much power it can supply. Albeit, the listed wattage isn't always what it seems. You see, some PSUs might only supply a peak power in total. Therefore, 500 watts on one supply won't be the same as 500 watts on another.

What's more, is that even if you purchase a power supply capable of delivering its advertised wattage, it might not even be enough for the load that your components require. You see, PC power supplies offer power at three different voltages: 3.3V, 5V, and 12V. The delivery system for these three vaultages is known as 'rails'—a term you'll certainly come across when purchasing a PSU.

In simple terms, it's a cheaper and more efficient way to spread the load out among multiple wires tied to a single rail, rather than over a large single wire. Components in your PC, such as the motherboard and disk drive logic boards, typically use +3.3V or +5V power. While the motors in your PC, such as your fans, use the +12V power.

Note, that depending on the graphics card(s) you own, you should aim for around the 500-600W range. If you aren't exactly sure how many watts you require, you can use a PSU calculator to understand your power needs.

Corsair AX760 760W 80 PLUS Platinum PSU

Form Factor: Will the PSU fit?

The form factor of a power supply unit is basically the shape and physical layout of the component. Now, you may have heard of the industry-standard form factors: ATX—which use a single 20-pin power connector. The ATX12V v1.0 form factor, in particular, is a mainstream form that uses a 4-pin +12V connector to deliver power exclusively to the processor.

Without overcomplicating form factor too much, before purchasing a PSU, you want to ask yourself: "Will this power supply unit fit into my PC?" Once you've matched your power supply with your motherboard, take a look at the dimension of the product you wish to purchase. If it fits, bravo, you have yourself a powerful PC!

Modularity: What Makes a PSU Modular?

The handy thing about most power supply units is that they come with cables attached to them, ready to be plugged into your other components. This way, you don't have to go out and purchase separate cables. The downside to this is that, depending on the modularity of the unit, some PSUs can be messy when it comes to cable management.

Corsair AX1600i 1600W Digital ATX Gaming psu

Some PSUs, on the other hand, don't even come with cables attached, allowing you to be flexible with which cables you attach. So, what does modular or non-modular even mean?

Fully Modular:

This type of power supply unit comes with no cables pre-attached. This way, you can attach the cables you need in order to power your other gaming PC components.

Semi-Modular:

Only the absolute essential cables—such as the motherboard and CPU cables—come pre-attached to a semi-modular power supply. Meaning, there is less clutter and therefore better airflow throughout your rig. The other cables, like SATA and PCIe, are typically detachable—a suitable feature for cable management.

Non-Modular:

This type of power supply unit is the worst for cable-management. Why? They come with all possible cables attached to it already. Of course, this means that you won't need to go out and purchase a bunch of different cables. Though, it does mean that your PC will look pretty messy inside.

corsair ax1600i and evga 1600 t2 psu

Connectors: Will the PSU Power Everything?

If you already own a gaming PC but you're looking to swap out the power supply, note that each component has a specific power requirement.

Therefore, you must make sure that your PSU matches your PC components. To help you out a little, a motherboard will typically use a 24-pin connector, and your processor (CPU) will range from 2- to 8-pin power requirements. Your graphics card could use between a 4- to 12-pin connector depending on what GPU you own and how much power it requires.

Hard drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD), on the other hand, use a SATA connection. While fans and lighting that don't run off your motherboard power require power supply connections. So, before you purchase a PSU, you must ensure that it comes with enough connectors suitable for your specific PC components.

Corsair SF600 PSU

If you're having issues with your PSU, check out our short guide on how to test a power supply unit.

Efficiency Rating: Efficiency is Everything

As the name suggests, the efficiency of a power supply is simply how much power is provided to your internal components. You may have noticed that all of the power supplies on our list boast an "80 Plus" rating. In simple terms, 80 Plus is a certification program that manufacturers can use to provide assurance that their PSUs meet efficiency requirements.

Notice how "80 Plus" is usually followed by Gold, Bronze or White on our list? That's because 80 Plus has various levels ranging from White to Titanium depending on their efficiency. Power supplies are now rated to provide the following efficiency levels for 115V power systems:

[ninja_tables id="8050"]


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most important questions regarding power supply units for gaming in 2020.

Is PSU Important for Gaming?

Power supply units are absolutely necessary for gaming! Why you might wonder? A PSU supplies steady power to your GPU, CPU, RAM, motherboard, drivers, RGB lighting and even your fans. Therefore, a power supply unit is like the heart of a gaming PC. Of course, some power supplies are much more reliable than others, which is why our list contains the best power supplies available right now.

What Power Supply Do I Need for RX 580?

As the power consumption of a modern GPU has significantly increased, a common question asked by gamers is: "How much power does my graphics card need?" An AMD Radeon RX 580 GPU, in particular, is a dual-slot card that requires a maximum of 185W.

Penble PoweR supply 650w jumbo fan

Now, this doesn’t mean you’re limited to a very low wattage power supply, as your PSU has to supply power to other components in your gaming PC too. Which is why we suggest opting for a 500-watt power supply unit for a single graphics card.

What Does 80 Plus Gold Mean?

An 80 Plus Gold certified power supply unit is rated for at least 87% efficiency at 20% load, 90% efficiency at 50% load, and 87% at 100% load. Compared to Platinum and Titanium rated PSUs, 80 Plus Gold power supplies are very popular as they are efficient yet much more affordable.

Now, your power supply unit won't necessarily perform to those exact numbers, though they are close enough to give you a good idea of what a power supply is capable of.

two thermaltake toughpower grand rgb 1200w power supplies

Do I Need a 750 Watt Power Supply?

It depends. If you want to install a second graphics card, you should aim for a 750W power supply unit or even higher if you want more GPUs. Although PSUs over 500W are pretty pricey, you'll be able to supply power to multiple graphics cards depending on their requirements.

Of course, if you only own a single graphics card, you won’t require a 750-watt power supply. So, to get a more accurate number of what PSU wattage you need, you can use a power supply calculator.


Conclusion

Whether you’re after the best power supply on the market to power up your flagship PC components, or a budget-friendly option that won’t blow up after a single game, we’ve got you covered. Our list contains some of the best power supply units for gaming that will actually last through the years.

If you’re currently building a gaming PC or you simply want to upgrade your current rig, you’re going to want to connect your new PSU to the best components on the market.

What about a high-quality processor for gaming in 2020? Or even the best motherboard for gaming? These two components go hand-in-hand, components that determine the compatibility for the rest of your gaming PC build, so why not check out our list? After all, we only pick out the best products for you gamers.


Sources:

  1. A Short History of PC Power Supply Voltage Rails, PlayTool
  2. Electrical Safety, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

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Courtenay Smith
Written by Courtenay Smith

Courtenay’s love for gaming started when she was handed a Game Boy SP as a child. From there her youthful gaming memories consist of hitting some Donkey Kong bongos and cruising around Vice City listening to 'Take Me to the Clouds Above' at an unsuitable age. Since, she has gained a love for both PC and console games, sometimes even jumping on mobile. Don’t judge! When she’s not writing for the site she enjoys travelling, film, and diving down the rabbit hole that is YouTube.

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