Choosing The Best Power Supply for Gaming in 2018

Updated July 26th, 2018 by Headshot Jacob Tuwiner

Although often overlooked, power supplies are a vital component of your gaming PC.

Why?

Not only do they power the build, if a faulty power supply shorts, you can fry your entire PC!

The importance of buying the right power supply cannot be overstated.

That’s why I’ve created this list of the best power supplies for gaming in 2018.

Best Gaming Power Supplies

Power Supply IMG Wattage
Corsair CX450M Semi Modular Power Supply Corsair CX450M Semi Modular Power Supply 450 Watts
Corsair CX650M Semi Modular Power Supply Corsair CX650M Semi Modular Power Supply 650 Watts
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 Fully Modular Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 Fully Modular Power Supply 850 Watts

Best Budget PSU 2018: Corsair CX450M Semi Modular Power Supply

Corsair CX450M Semi Modular Power Supply

The Corsair CX450M Semi Modular Power Supply is a 450 Watt power supply rated at 80 Plus Bronze. It is an ATX power supply, and it is semi-modular too, which is great for cable management.

If you’re a casual PC gamer with a basic gaming PC ($500 budget), this is one of the best power supplies on the market for you.

It is power efficient, and its semi-modular support allows for easy cable management, thus improving airflow.

This PSU is stable, and it’s manufactured by a reputable company. It uses Thermal Control Technology to keep the PSU quiet, even during heavy load.

The PSU has a matte black finish and black-sleeved cables, giving off a sleek and refined tech-look. It has low wattage, but it’s great for beginner builds. The 5-year warranty is nice, too!

Corsair CX650M Semi Modular Power Supply

Corsair CX650M Semi Modular Power Supply

This 650 Watt power supply is perfect for mid-range builds. It is 80+ Bronze Certified, and it features semi-modular support for improved cable management.

It is one of the top rated and best selling PSUs on the market, and for good reason. For its modest price of around $60, it is easily one of the best power supplies in its weight class.

The Corsair CX650M is cooled by a 120mm fan, and it is almost universally compatible with all motherboards.

The cables are long, which means you can use this PSU even if you have a tall, full height tower. It even has short circuit protection, which means your parts won’t be damaged in the event of a power surge.

EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 Fully Modular Power Supply

EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 Fully Modular Power Supply

I decided to save the best for last. The EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 is one of the best power supplies on the market for enthusiast builders.

This 850 Watt power supply is rated 80+ Gold, meaning it’s insanely power efficient, hitting 90% efficiency under moderate load. EVGA is widely known as one of the best PSU producers, so rest assured you’re getting a great product.

Featuring EVGA’s ECO Thermal Control System, this PSU makes little-to-no noise under low noise. Even when it’s running under a moderate or heavy load, it is still quiet.

Overall, it’s a fantastic CPU for enthusiasts builds that will be drawing a lot of power.

What to Look for in a Gaming Power Supply

Wattage: If you’re looking for a power supply, the PSU’s wattage should be the first thing you look out for. If you buy a power supply that can’t power your systems componets, your PC will shut down or short out. You can use power supply calculators like eXtreme Power to help you figure out how much wattage you need to power your rig. It’ll give you an estimate of your rig’s power consumption based on the components you’re using. If your rig draws 400W, for example, the calculator will probably recommend a 450-500W power supply to ensure there is always sufficient power at maximum load. If you plan on overclocking, I’d recommend going for an even more powerful PSU, just to be safe.

Efficiency: Power supplies have different efficiency rating. All you need to know is the Plus ratings go 80+, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium. As you progress up the efficiency scale, you’ll be saving energy. All power supply ratings are based on the 80 Plus Standard. PSUs are rated on their energy efficiency, just like all other electrical components. If your PC is incredibly power hungry, buy an efficient power supply to save on your electric bill!

PSU Cover

Modular: non-modular PSUs have all cables permanently attached. Semi-modular PSUs have some cables permanently attached (usually motherboard and CPU power cables), and others can be removed. Fully-modular PSUs allow you to remove all cables, if you wish to do so. Having a semi-modular or fully-modular power supply is ideal. Managing your cables is important to ensure your rig looks good and more importantly, to have good airflow. If there are a bunch of cables jammed inside a case, you’ll have poor airflow. On the other hand, if you only use the cables you need, your PC will have better airflow.

Compatibility: It would be unfortunate if you bought a power supply, only to find out it is not compatible with your case or your motherboard. Always do your research to ensure everything is compatible before buying!

Benefits of a Good Power Supply

Buying a good power supply will provide you with many benefits, including:

Prevents damage to PC: Having a high quality PSU will protect your components from shorting out and will ensure a long lifespan by providing stable power.

Reduces electric bill: An efficient PSU will reduce your electric bill, which can become quite expensive if you’re a serious gamer.

Future proofs your PC: If you decide to add a second GPU in the future, or you want to overclock your build, you’ll have to buy a powerful PSU to provide stable power, even after the increased demand.

How to Install a Power Supply

Conclusion

If you’re building an expensive gaming rig, don’t overlook the PSU.

Buying the right PSU will lower your power bill, future proof your build, and protect your components.

Before you buy, figure out how many watts your build requires, and go from there!