The best power supply unit (PSU) is perhaps not the most exciting part of your dream high-end PC build, but it is one of the most important. It\’s also the most satisfying to hold in your bare hands—there\’s just something so mechanical and compact about any one of the best PSUs. Wait, is that just us?

Careful consideration here will pay dividends in the long run.  A well-built PSU will keep your components fed with clean power day in, day out—thus ensuring a healthy and long life without issue. They also can help eliminate compatibility issues if and when you choose to upgrade other components. And while it might be tempting to just go with the highest wattage PSU you can get your hands on, there are several things that you\’ll want to consider before making your purchase.

The wattage is one of the first things you\’ll want to look at on any potential power supply unit. You need to make sure that the PSU has enough juice to power all of your PC\’s components, while leaving a wiggle room for better efficiency. Don\’t over do it, basically. 

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

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

$159.99View at Newegg$159.99View at CORSAIR$165.36View at AmazonSee all prices (6 found)586 Amazon customer reviews

Reliable with great warrantyFully modular cablesQuiet fanSlightly 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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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

$112.40View at AmazonSee all prices (2 found)

AffordableFanless below 15% loadRelatively compactOnly 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 given at least a little bit of thought. Spending just a few more dollars can mean the difference between only 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, clean design with semi-modular cables, and an excellent 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

No price informationCheck AmazonSee all prices (1 found)

High quality capacitorsFanless under 50% loadFully modular for easy installationExpensive

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 extraordinarily cumbersome or downright impossible. That\’s where SFX and small 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 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 excellent 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 critical to consider with any small form factor build.

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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

No price informationCheck AmazonSee all prices (1 found)

26 RGB lighting effects10 year warrantyRGB only controlled via buttonLighting 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 a builder 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 whole 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 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 recognizable brand when it comes to power supplies, but the Astrape has 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

No price informationCheck AmazonSee all prices (1 found)

Digital power monitoringNZXT CAM software integrationSleek designExpensive

Digitally monitored power supplies have been around for a few years now, but none have come bundled with as useful 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 can track in real-time Wattage draw from the CPU, GPU, and attached peripherals. Additional insights include temperatures, power-on time, voltage, and fan speeds. This information isn\’t exactly essential, 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

No price informationCheck AmazonSee all prices (1 found)1 Amazon customer review

12 year warrantyTitanium certificationVery quietReally 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 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 indeed 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

You don\’t need a degree in rocket science to work out the wattage requirements for your system. The recommended system power requirement listed on the specs list for your current or future graphics card is a great place to start, but we recommend using an online power calculator to get the most accurate figure. OuterVision\’s Power Supply Calculator is our go-to.

Once you\’ve found out the wattage you\’ll need for your PC, you\’ll need to decide what efficiency you can afford. Power supply manufacturers all tend to agree to the same PSU efficiency ratings system: 80 Plus.

There are six ratings to look out for with your PSU:

  • 80 Plus
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Titanium

An 80 PLUS Titanium certified power supply is more efficient than a Bronze one, meaning the parts within waste less power (as heat) during the AC to DC conversion. These are often measured across three load levels: 20%, 50%, and 100%. Most PSUs tend to be rated at their most efficient at 50%, although Titanium PSUs tend to perform just as well, if not better, under heavy load.

Higher efficiency also means the internal components are subjected to less heat and are likely to have a longer lifespan. They may cost a bit more, but higher certified power supplies do tend to be more reliable than others. Luckily, most manufacturers offer warranties.

The 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 several categories to fit the needs of more PC gamers. For each, we also took into account budgets, compatibility, unique features, and design.

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.

It also pays to future-proof against any upgrades further down the line. A modular PSU will allow you to add extra cables as needed or remove unused ones to free up valuable room inside your case. This is handy if you\’ve got your heart set on a second graphics card or just want the flexibility of being able to add other peripheral connections later.

As a word of warning, compatibility is a significant factor when it comes to power supply units. Using cables from different PSUs could put your entire PC at risk, so stick with the ones provided. To complicate things further, not all PSU cables, even if they are from the same manufacturer, are going to be universally compatible. If you absolutely must splinter from the cables included, have a look at your PSU\’s PIN connectors and make sure your cable set has ones that match to avoid any unnecessary frustration and/or breakages.

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