It doesn’t matter how awesome your gaming PC is, if you pair it with a cheap PSU you’re asking for trouble. I’ve rated & reviewed 18 of the best gaming power supplies available so that you don’t make the mistake of choosing a cheap low-quality power supply.
One component that often gets overlooked during the component-choosing process is the power supply. However, without a power supply there is no way that your computer can even run. And, your power supply is also important because the quality of the PSU you choose now will dictate what other components you can put into your computer right now and down the road.
If you choose a low-end power supply you won’t be able to put in a high-end graphics card.
Or, you technically could put a high-end video card in a system with a low-end power supply, but it probably won’t work and it’s possible that you could damage your system and destroy your other components.
So, even though your power supply won’t give you a higher framerate or allow you to play on a 1440p monitor, it’s still one of the most important components in your system. Therefore, you need to take your time in order to make sure that you choose a high quality PSU for your new gaming computer.
In this post, we will take a look at the best gaming power supplies in 2016. I’ve broken down the categories into wattage mainly because there are a ton of different power supply “tier” lists out there and I feel like it would be easier for builders to search by the wattage they need. So, there are four different categories: the best power supplies over 1000W, the best power supplies between 800W-1000W, the best power supplies between 600W-800W, and the best power supplies between 400W-600W.
There are multiple options for each wattage range, but know that this list doesn’t include every quality power supply out there. Some have been omitted, not because they aren’t quality units, but rather in order to keep this list from getting out of control. I will continue to update this list on a regular basis.
There aren’t a whole lot of gamers out there who will ever have the need to use a power supply larger than 1000W in their gaming computers.
Really, the power supplies in this range are monsters and are best suited for enthusiasts looking to build extreme setups.
So, if you’re not looking to run 3-way or 4-way SLI/CrossFire and overclock your CPU and video card to record-breaking levels, there really isn’t need for such a large power supply.
However, if you are one of the few immortals that require enough power to run a small village, then these 1000W+ units will serve you well.
1000W+ POWER SUPPLIES (CLICK ‘READ REVIEW’ TO EXPAND)Even a power supply in the 800W-1000W range is going to be overkill for 90% of gamers.
Again, unless you’re planning on running multiple video card configurations now or in the future and getting into some extreme system tuning, there really isn’t a need for this much power.
If, however, you want to run a 2-way SLI/CrossFire setup with two high-end video cards, then a solid 850W power supply will do the trick. And, these units will give you plenty of headroom to build a ridiculous setup.
It should be noted, too, that while the EVGA SuperNOVA P2 is listed here, the EVGA SuperNOVA T2 is excluded. It’s not that the T2 version isn’t a good power supply… in fact, it’s probably better than all of the other power supplies in this range…
However, it’s nearly $100 more than the P2 version, which while not Titanium rated, is still such a high quality unit that the difference between the two in a real-world setting is negligible. So, I decided to focus on price-to-performance and, as such, left the T2 version off of the list.
800-1000W POWER SUPPLIES (CLICK ‘READ REVIEW’ TO EXPAND)The 600W-800W range is the high-end for single video card setups and the low-end for 2-way SLI/CrossFire setups.
A quality 700W-750W power supply will allow you to run two moderate video cards in SLI/CrossFire configuration. So, that makes PSUs in this range great for anyone who wants the option to upgrade in the future.
These power supplies will also give you quite a bit of headroom for system tuning if you’re building a high-end single video card setup.
However, even if you do want to use a high-end video card like the GTX 980 Ti, a quality 550W power supply will give you enough power as well.
600W-800W POWER SUPPLIES (CLICK ‘READ REVIEW’ TO EXPAND)This range of power supplies is the most practical for the majority of gamers.
If you’re building a budget system, a 450W power supply will more than do the trick.
Even if you’re going with a a powerful video card like the GTX 980 Ti, a quality 550W unit like the ones listed in the chart below will get the job done.
So, the bottom line is that, unless you’re building an extreme setup that utilizes multiple video cards (or plan to in the future) the power supplies in this list are probably the route you want to go.
400-600W POWER SUPPLIES (CLICK ‘READ REVIEW’ TO EXPAND)
WHICH POWER SUPPLY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
It would be silly to say that this is an end-all-be-all list of power supplies. There are simply too many great options on the market to list and provide a brief overview for every single one.
However, by taking price-to-performance into consideration, this list gives you 4-5 very solid options for each wattage range to help you make choosing a quality power supply for your next build that much easier.
Ultimately, you will need a quality power supply if you are planning on building a new gaming computer. Skimping on your power supply is never a good idea. Fortunately, if you stick to this list, you can’t go wrong.