We’re just going to come out and say it: if you’re building the best PC, the most important component you can get is one of the best PC power supplies. Sure, it’s tempting to get a cheap PSU so you can save money for one of the best graphics cards, but trust us – it’s just not worth it. Every component in you computer relies on the best PSUs for power and, if you cheap out, you could end up bricking your entire system.
There’s no easy way to say it: having a PC power supply die on you is one of the worst tech experiences you can have. This is because many symptoms of a dying power supply will simply go by unnoticed until it’s too late. Sure, some are as obvious as having your PC just refuse to boot up, but they can also be as subtle as some lost power efficiency. By the time you notice your PSU is failing, it could be too late. So, do yourself a favor and buy the best PC power supply now, so it doesn’t fail later.
It’s not all negative though, as there’s a wide variety of fantastic PC power supplies available right now. And, even if you’re trying to watch your budget, you can still get one of the best PC power supplies. There are even some amazing high-power units, rocking RGB lighting, that can power the best gaming PCs – if you have the cash ready. Regardless of what you’re looking for, you can be sure that you’ll find the best PC power supplies right here on this list.
Best power supply: Corsair RM750x
The best all-around power supply for your needs
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 750W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Full | Warranty: 10-year
The Corsair RM750x scores the top spot on this list for one simple reason: it’s the most well-rounded power supply you can buy today. On top of a 10 year warranty and an 80 Gold Plus efficiency rating, the Corsair has a fully modular cable system. This means you only need to install the cables you need – you can say goodbye to the mess of cables and shoddy airflow that non-modular PSUs endure.
Best budget power supply: EVGA 500 B1
Everything you need to get started
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 500W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Bronze | Modularity: None | Warranty: 3-year
When you’re trying to keep the price of your PC build similar to that of a console, you don’t have a lot of choices for budget power supplies that don’t suck. In these situations, economical options like the EVGA 500 B1 are a lifesaver. For less than the cost a AAA game, you can expect 500 watts of power transmitted through several SATA cables and two PCIe slots – it covers the bare essentials without ignoring the needs of its audience. The three-year warranty is just gravy.
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair RM750x
Best silent power supply: be quiet! Straight Power 10
Quiet as the night
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 400W – 700W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Semi | Warranty: 5-year
Even the best PSUs seem to have extremely loud fans, and unlike case fans, it’s not exactly easy to replace them. Luckily, the Straight Power 10 line-up runs nice and quiet. Options range from 400w to 700w, and they’re SLI and Crossfire certified. They’re also modular, meaning you only need to use the cables that are necessary for your build.
Best compact power supply: Silverstone SFX Series SST-SX550
Perfect for Micro ATX and Mini ITX PC builds
Form factor: SFX | Capacity: 550W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: None | Warranty: 3-year
The best power supplies have a tendency to be over-sized, taking up way too much space in your PC. However, these days there are plenty of compact pc power supplies that still provide plenty of juice. The Silverstone SX550 is almost half the size of other power supplies, so that you can better facilitate cables and airflow inside your case. Ths makes it the perfect case for micro ATX and mini ITX builds, and you can even slide it into a mid or full-size tower as well, if you feel like it.
Best high capacity power supply: Corsair AX1500i
Form factor: EPS | Capacity: 1500W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Titanium | Modularity: Fully | Warranty: 10-year
This is an absolute monster of a power supply. This is for the serious builder who plans on powering multiple graphics cards, cooling systems, and perhaps a small village in rural North Dakota. It has the highest possible 80 Plus Titanium efficiency rating, and is fully modular so you only need to add the cables required by your build. If you have the money to go big, this is the power supply to get.
Best RGB Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W
Bright lights and high voltage
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 700W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus | Modularity: No | Warranty: 5-year
Look, we’re in 2018, and if your PC isn’t absolutely overloaded with RGB lighting, you’re just not trying hard enough. Enter the Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W – not only does it have gorgeous, customizable RGB lighting, but it also features a reliable 80 Plus efficiency rating and high enough wattage to support even the best gaming PCs. Yeah, it isn’t modular, but it’s less than a hundred bucks, so we weren’t really expecting it to be.
- Pick up the best processors while you're at it
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article